In fact, Redlands was the first city to have center medians with trees or gardens in between roads.So beautifully kept was the area, with the dramatic mountain backdrops, that for several years the Santa Fe Railroad operated excursion trains along the loop that passed through the orange groves of Redlands and Mentone, across the Santa Ana River, and back into San Bernardino via East Highlands, Highlands and Patton, and advertised as the "Kite Route" due to its multi-sided alignment.
The Mormon community left wholesale in 1857, recalled to Utah by Brigham Young during the tensions with the federal government that ultimately led to the brief Utah War.Electrification and new rails replaced mules in 1899, The Pacific Electric Railway completed an interurban connection between Los Angeles and San Bernardino in 1914, providing a convenient, speedy connection to the fast-growing city of Los Angeles and its new port at San Pedro, bringing greater prosperity to the town and a new role as a vacation destination for wealthy Angelenos.Redlands was the eastern terminus of the "Big Red Car" system.By 1820, a ditch, known as a zanja, was dug by the natives for the friars from Mill Creek to the Asistencia.In 1822, word of the Mexican triumph in the War of Independence reached the inland area, and lands previously claimed by Spain passed to the custody of the Mexican government.The area now occupied by Redlands was originally part of the territory of the Morongo and Aguas Calientes tribes of Cahuilla people.
Explorations such as those of Pedro Fages and Francisco Garcés sought to extend Catholic influence to the indigenous people and the dominion of the Spanish crown into the area in the 1770s.
In 1945, the first annual Orange Queen Ball at the Redlands City Auditorium was held to raise funds for the union.
The citrus industry declined in the area as more agricultural areas were replaced by subdivisions, and all three citrus packing houses (two in downtown and one on San Bernardino Avenue) had closed by the end of the 1900s.
Today only one packing house remains to serve the needs of approximately the 2,500 acres (10 km) of citrus that remains in production in the area.
At the turn of the 20th century, Redlands was the "Palm Springs" of the next century, with roses being planted along many city thoroughfares.
The firm boasted of ability to supply current enough for 55 arc lamps, and 1,500 homes." During the 1930s and 1940s, labor activists campaigned in the canneries and packing houses for union representation and higher wages.