Monday, March 2, 2009

Andrew's 4th Grade Field Trip

On Friday, Feb. 27th, I got the pleasure of going on a field trip with Andrew's 4th grade class. The Heritage field trip would be taking us around Redlands to see many historical sites. So that morning I strapped on my tennis shoes and got ready to do some walking.

Andrew with his buddy Anthony on the bus.
Our first stop was the only packing house left in Redlands. Redlands used to be THE #1 place for the packing and shipping of citrus. Sadly, due to commercial development, Redlands now only has the one packing center left. Another sad thing, if you want to taste a Redlands orange you have to go to China (or jump out of your car when you are near the orange groves and score a delicious naval.... not that I am encouraging that illegal behavior, nor have I ever done that myself).
Next stop: a view of the first streeet lights in Redlands. These used to hang over the community pool which has long since been filled in and now is home to lawn bowling. Only the rich kids were allowed to go to this pool, except for on Sundays. Everyone was allowed on that day since they would drain the pool and clean it every Monday morning.

And then we were off to the University of Redlands, where the kids got to stand on the steps and yell as loud as they could to hear their voices bounce off the mountains. They of course had lots of fun waking up everyone in Redlands that day. *Tidbit of useless info: They built the front of the administration building to match the back because they didn't know which direction they would end up expanding the University.

Then we visited this old house made purely of stones excavated during the building of the Zanja in Redlands. The Zanja brought water from the mountains to the flourishing orange groves. I have driven up and down this street a million times and never noticed the place. It requires no air conditioning since the rocks provide great insulation. They even incorporated designs in the stone, which of course are hard to see in this picture taken from the bus.

This house on the other hand I have noticed in the past and it had peeked my interest due to it's strange shape. The story: The husband wanted to build a house for his wife for her birthday. So, he built a birthday cake shaped house, with three tiers of the cake. It used to have a light at the top of it to signify a candle. (sorry the pictures aren't the best, many of them were taken from the bus as we simply slowed down to view them and did not always get out of the bus.)

Next on our heritage tour was the Asestencia, a mini-mission of sorts. It was designed with the intent of being a fill-up station/rest stop between missions.

The kids all got a chance to ring the bell. This was orginally used to call those in the fields for dinner or worship time. Trust me, it was loud, and after hearing it rung THIRTY-FIVE times, my ears continued to ring.

I have always been fascinated by this house, which is located right by the hospital that Aiden spent time in during his NICU stay. The roof is unique, notice the section on the left kind of looks like an onion. It is made out of canoes, cut in half and then scalloped together. This house is called the Morey Mansion and is now a bed and breakfast (measly $300/night).

We then stopped at the Smiley Public Library and learned all about the identical twins, Alfred and Albert Smiley, who built the original library which since then has been added to.

Located directly behind the library is the Lincoln Memorial. It is the only Lincoln Memorial west of the Mississippi. Lincoln has never been to Redlands but the person who built the memorial (his name escapes me) felt that Lincoln was such an honorable man that others should strive to live like him, so he wanted to memorialize him. There are original artifacts from the Civil War, along with many other Lincoln memorabilia. *Tidbit of useless information: when you see a picture of Lincoln without his beard you will know that it was taken before he became president. He started growing a beard when a school aged child told him that he was ugly and if he would grow a beard he would look better and might win the election. He started growing a beard that very next day and his ratings increased as his beard grew* Interesting. :)

We then visited the Redlands Bowl, the only totally free outdoor theater to still exist. Dale, the kids and I have had a chance to see a few performances at the Bowl, and throughly enjoyed them. Alexis especially enjoyed the Irish dance performance and a child protege piano player. We hope to see a few more shows this summer when they open up again.

This house is the location of the first bowling alley in Redlands, located in the basement of the house.

This house has the largest tree house. Story: The wife was asked by her husband what she wanted for her 50th birthday and she replied that she had always wanted a tree house as a kid. So, he built her a tree house that even includes electricity.

Lastly on our Heritage Tour, was the Kimberly Crest, built in 1898 for only $15,000, and sold in 1920 for $29,000. It was then given to the people of Redlands when the owner passed away and I am sure at it's last appraisal it would go for millions. It is still preserved as it would have looked back then, with the grand furniture, fireplaces and all the fixings. The landscaping is beautiful, and many weddings are filmed on the lawns.

And, if you don't mind hiking the SEVENTY-EIGHT steps to the top, it has a spectacular view of the valley (on a non-foggy day that is). The kids have all grown up hearing stories about how the place is haunted and couldn't stop talking about it the entire time we were there. The stories got bigger and bigger as we walked through the estate. I wish I could have gotten pictures of the inside but photography is prohibited since the flash and other lights can ruin the antiques.

Andrew's entire class had a great time and I was thankful to be able to join them on their adventures.

One last view of the Kimberly Crest mansion.

Redlands used to be THE place for millionaires to live during the winter months, escaping the bitter cold winters of the midwest. There are numerous victorian homes and a very interesting story for each of them. There were other stops along the way, way too many to recount here. We even had to visit the Mr. Judson and Mr. Brown trees. Trees that had been planted by the two men who founded Redlands. It was a great fieldtrip and I am glad to have been able to join his class. *One last tidbit of usless info, the first painted lines down the middle of the streets happened in Redlands. And now you know more about Redlands then one would ever want/need to know.


  1. Sadly, having lived in the area all my life, the only one of those places I've been to is the Redlands Bowl and that was just in the last couple of years.

    There are a few on this tour that I wouldn't mind doing though!

  2. Now that is a field trip!!!!! How fun!!!! Unfortunately, we do not have funding for field trips and haven't had any for the past several years that I have been teaching. I look at the great sites that your son saw...and think to myself how sad it is that more don't get to experience such things. I am glad that you all had so much fun...and by the way, 4th graders are great!!!! (I've taught 4th grade for 12 years and love that age!!!!)