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May 14, 2020 - Thursday - Time flies under the lockdown!  We went for our first walking tour of Redlands in April and now, one month later, we're back for another one.  This one focuses mainly on State Street, the heart of the current downtown  shopping district.

This is Ed Hales Park, right in the center of the downtown shopping district on State Street. The popular soap sign dates to 1894-1902, which was hidden until 1972 when the adjacent building was torn down.

109 East State St. (1894) contained two businesses on the first floor, a bakery and a saddle shop. The Andover Hotel rented rooms on the second floor.

104 East State St. (1896) was a dry goods store for over thirty years. J. C. Penny occupied the space from 1933 to 1984.

110 & 112 East State St. (1903) was opened by the Davis Restaurant in 1887, but the wooden building was torn down because it violated city ordinances. It was later the Palace Billiards, and then the headquarters of the California Citrus Union (Pure Gold).

113 East State St. (1901) was originally a pool hall and barber shop. Citrograph Printing moved into the space in 1929 and has continuously operated here ever since.

114 & 116 East State St. (1903) was first occupied by the Edison Electric Company and the Live Oak Creamery. By 1919 the Model Creamery took over both spaces and the alley side of the building still has the creamery entrance.

117 East State St. (1904) was first used to store hay, grain and agricultural implements. It was later used for auto repair and buggy storage before changing into an appliance store.

120 East State St. (1907) housed the Great America Importing Tea Company and the Greg-Wolfin Grocery store.

127 & 129 East State St. (1953) was the site of the 1892 building of the Fashion Livery Stable and the Allen Wheaton feed store.

122-128 East State St. (1905) was built for the Pony Stables. New buggies were displayed in the front windows and buggy storage was in the rear of the building. The familiar curved arch of the buggy entrance is still visible on Sixth St.

200 & 202 East State St. (1906) was built for the Gregory Carriage and Harness Emporium. Visitors to Redlands could rent their hacks to visit the beautiful Canon Crest Park that the Smiley brothers had planted. The second floor still has its interesting terra cotta braid design visible.

150 East Vine St. (1911) was constructed by the Redlands Motorcycle Club. This spirited group raised $3,000 for this Gothic style building.

147 East Vine St. (c. 1920) was originally the Medical Arts Building, but is now known as "The Courtyard." The Mission Revival style was very popular by the mid-1920s.

14 North Fifth St. (1905) was Redlands' first jewelry store, which was owned by Benjamin Stephenson. He previously had a wooden building here for his jewelry business since 1887.

27 East State St. (1887) was built before the city of Redlands was incorporated in November 1888. It was first occupied by the Model Home Bakery and later was the home to the Grand Rapids Furniture Company. Grand Rapids also built coffins here.

28 East State St. (c. 1875-1885) is the oldest standing building in downtown. The first newspaper in town, the Citrograph, was first published from here on July 16, 1887.

22 East State St. (1957) is the site of the 1888 Shepard Tin & Hardware shop.

25 East State St. (c.1900) was a book and stationary store until 1909. The recessed storefront base may be Batchelder tile, made by the respected Pasadena craftsman, Ernest Batchelder.

17 East State St. (1926) is the second building on this site that opened with a Harris Company department store. Since 1893, it was a vacant lot filled with hundreds of orange trees. The first building here burnt down in 1925.

18 & 20 East State St. (1887) was home to the YMCA who occupied the entire second floor. Later it was a Lelean Dry Goods store before F. W. Woolworth moved in.

14 & 16 East State St. (1888) was originally a harness shop on one side and the Model Bakery on the other. J. J. Newberry bought both properties in 1926 and opened theirs doors to Redlanders.

11 East State St. (1891) was constructed by George W. Meade, a San Francisco entrepreneur and raisin-drying king. Lee Wilmarth, an interior decorator who decorated the Morey Mansion, was an early occupant. Later Milton Gair ran a clothing store here from the 1920s until 1985.

The original doggie watering station is still in use.

10 & 12 East State St. (1899) was first occupied by the Meserve's Clothing Store.

6 & 8 East State St. (1909) is the second building on this site. The original 1887 Drake Hardware store burnt down in 1908.

2 & 4 East State St. (1929) is also the second building on this site. The first dated to the 1880s and was occupied by Redlands' first grocery store called Pioneer Grocery. The "Empire Block" was rebuilt in 1929 with F. W. Woolworth as the main tenant.

1 East State St. (1959) was the site of the first brick building in Redlands, the Union Bank (1887). The original building was torn down in 1929 when the Bank of America moved in. That building was demolished in 1959, but the bank vaults are still in the basement.

With pleasant temperatures, a sunny sky, no cars and no pedestrians, our tour was a great way to enjoy and learn about our beloved historic downtown.

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Last modified: January 01, 2022