Friday Aside: Why Were The States in the Streets Named After States in Redlands Chosen?
March 15, 2013 Leave a comment
I have yet to find an answer. Some clues are found in the archives of the Fortnightly Club of Redlands, Streets in Redlands, by Dr. Lawrence E. Nelson, January 1974 at the Assembly Room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The best take-away, completely non-related to the subject of this post, from 1974:
Philip Merlan, the scholarly refugee professor at the University of Redlands and later at Scripps, once remarked that when he came to Redlands he was amazed to find how religious the people were; they even had a patron saint for torn-up streets. Everywhere he went he saw signs set up honoring St. Closed.
What states have streets named after them in Redlands? Of the north-south streets, from west to east: California Street, New Jersey Street, a very tiny Oregon Street off of Orange Tree Lane, Nevada Street, Idaho Street connecting Plum Lane and Orange Tree Lane, the solely-south-of-the-10 Iowa Street, Alabama Street, the rump Arizona Street off the anachronistic Coulston Street, Missouri Court (a cul-de-sac off of Park Avenue), Indiana Court, the cul-de-sac off of West Lugonia Avenue, Kansas Street (home of the Animal Shelter), which runs from Barton to Redlands Boulevard, Tennessee Street, the carved-up New York Street, Texas Street, the somewhat north-south Michigan Avenue, Colorado Street north of Pioneer Avenue, the northside Ohio Street, the probably-not-named after the state Washington Street, and the probably-named-after-the-daughter-of-a-developer Georgia Street. As far as east-west streets, Pennsylvania Avenue, Delaware Avenue, the way-out-east-may-technically-be-in-Yucaipa Florida Street.
I once answered an interrogatory speaking about Illinois Court (meaning Indiana Court), the location of a fatal motorcycle accident (outside the City limits), and the then-Public Works Director, Ron Mutter, informed me that there was no Illinois Court within the City, despite the fact that a variety of really old streets are named after Chicago streets (such as State Street) in Redlands.
The state-named streets are on the Lugonia grid, and that the original ones were California, New Jersey, Nevada, Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas Street, New York Street, and Texas Street. California is an easy one, but why Alabama and Tennessee?
Looking at a 1939 topographical map online, we see California Street, New Jersey Street, Nevada Street, Iowa Street, Alabama Street, Kansas Street, Tennessee Street, New York Street, and Texas Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue. On the 1899 Redlands Quadrangle map, you can clearly see California and Alabama (the former because of its proximity to Bryn Mawr, the latter because it goes across the Santa Ana wash to Highland, but it doesn’t give street names. The same on the 1901 Redlands Quadrangle topographical map, available on the USGS website for download, and the Redlands Quadrangle Map of 1908 shows the same. So for now, the mystery of why certain states and not others is still a mystery.