[That is, Orange]

(Southern Californian, May 10, 1873)

            On our way home, we made a slight detour in order to visit Richland, where we were hospitably received by Capt. W.T. Glassell, the agent for the sale of the Richland tract. Little can be said of this fine body of land that is not now known, it having been well written up in the various newspapers of the county. The appearance of the crops betoken an abundant supply of water, the A.B. Chapman canal furnishing more than enough to irrigate the whole tract. The soil is specially adapted to the profitable growth of semi-tropical fruits, and recognizing this fact, the settlers have planted extensive vineyards and orchards. The Farmers’ and Fruit Growers’ Club, at one of their meetings, appointed a committee to ascertain the number of trees, vines etc. that had been planted this season. At a subsequent meeting they reported the number of vines to be 320,000, fruit trees, 11,000, arbor trees 10,000. This is only a partial report and does not embrace the whole district. We believe it was the Star that stated that Mr. Garey of Los Angeles had sold to the settlers in that vicinity some $19,000 worth of trees.

            With an eye to the future importance of this place, the proprietors have laid out a town site, and already a number of lots have been sold, and several new homes are in process of erection. A blacksmith shop is in full working order, and a grocery store is about being opened by B.F. Smith. The school house is large and commodious, and has an average attendance of fifty-two scholars. The water for domestic purposes is supplied from a large reservoir, near the center of the town, from which iron water pipes and hydrants are erected in convenient localities. Pepper trees have been planted along the streets which are eighty feet wide. One of our party, partaking of the quiet enthusiasm of Capt. Glassell, who described in glowing terms the brilliant future in store for Richland, invested in a city lot (B. 6), and thus became a bloated landholder in this embryo metropolis. After ratifying the sale with appropriate ceremonies, we started homeward, having thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon’s ramble….

* * *


Its Appearance then and now – Business Houses –

Hayward & Casey’s Nursery – Its Water Privileges –

Prices of Land

(Southern Californian, January 17, 1874)

            Whilst on a business trip during the past week, we had occasion to visit the village of Orange, better known by its former name of Richland. Our approach was made from the Rodriguez crossing of the Santa Ana river, and via the old stage road to San Juan Capistrano. As emerging from the willow-clad banks of the river, we beheld before us a vast plain, covered with cultivated fields and dotted with cozy farm houses with here and there patches of the dark green foliage, indicative of orange and lemon groves, we could not refrain from contrasting its appearance now and as it was but three short years ago. It seems but as yesterday when beyond the Eastern bank of the Santa Ana there met the eye nothing but a sterile waste, entirely devoid of habitation, and over which traditions of former years told of herds of cattle roaming, but which then presented an appearance seemingly worthless. It has not been entirely forgotten either how the ditch enterprise, inaugurated by Glassell and Chapman, which has resulted in so magically transforming the face of the country, was treated as a most Quixotic idea.

            Driving through the lanes enclosed on either side by cultivated fields and by young orchards with every variety of fruit, we reached the residence of Capt. Glassell, transacted our business and found time for a more critical inspection of the many evidences of thrift and energy, which appeared on every side. As is well known the Chapman tract was laid out as an agricultural village with town lots in the centre and subdivisions gradually increasing in size as they are distant from the village proper. On Glassell street there are several business houses, amongst others the general merchandise establishment of Fisher Bros. who, we believe, were the pioneer merchants of Richland. Dr. Geo. H. Beach, who with his family has recently settled in the place, is building a large two-story edifice, the lower portion of which will be devoted to the transaction of a general merchandise business, carried on by the owner. The upper story, designated Orange Hall, is used by the Orange Grange No. 40 for their work. The lodge of Odd-Fellows, about to be established, will also be held in the Hall. Just above Dr. Beach’s store is a ten-acre tract belonging to Capt. Glassell and planted with Languedoc Almond trees. Father on are the nursery grounds of Hayward and Casey. The establishment of these gentlemen is only about a year old, but as inspection of their nursery speaks wonders for the fruit-bearing properties of Richland soil. Besides a great variety of orange, lime and peach trees, we noticed particularly their young apple trees, on grafted stocks. They are only one year old, and have already attained a height of seven feet. It is impossible, however, to tell of all that we saw, and it is equally as difficult to see all that is to be seen in and around the village in one day. It is also useless to advise a visit to Richland. Its fame has already gone abroad, and is bringing to its population fresh accessions every day.

            Although the present supply of water is ample for the demand, the rapidly increasing growth of the place has created a doubt regarding the future. To prevent this evil a large reservoir has been constructed. It is situated in the mouth of a gorge, coming out of the foot-hills, and its contents are capable of being distributed over any portion of the tract. Other reservoirs are in course of construction, which, when completed, will prevent any scarcity of water in the future. The canal, which supplies the town with water, will be enlarged at an early date to nearly treble its present capacity. It is the intention of the directors of the company to construct two branch ditches from the main ditch at the Burruel hill, one branch being the present ditch, and the other making a perpendicular descent of between forty and fifty feet.

            Other evidences of the prosperity of the settlement are shown in the increased value of the lands and in the general enterprise and thrift, displayed by the settlers. Lands, that two years ago were held at prices ranging from $25 to $40, now meet with a ready sale at from $60 to $150, according to location. Its population is chiefly of the farming class, and judging from the appearances of every place, there is not one drone in the community. It is a good location for those not afraid of work. We recommend it to those interested in securing a comfortable home in a healthy climate.