Muscott Street

According to L. Burr Belden, the origin of this place name is probably a misspelling of the Muscat grape. The great object with the early settler was to get something planted that would bear early, for which there would be an outside market. The raisin grape was selected as one of these, and George Lord introduced the first Muscat raisin in 1870. Raisins were untried, but in the San Bernardino Valley the climate was similar to that of Spain, where the bulk of the world's raisins were grown, and it was not doubted that good raisins would be produced.

Image of A Muscat Grape Farm
A Muscat Grape Farm

When the Southern Pacific railroad furnished transportation for the infant industry, large plantings of the Muscat grape were made, and some growers realized as high as $500 per acre for their raisins, though only $200 to $250 could confidently be counted on.1 At first, Chinese and women did most of the work, and almost all of it in the packinghouse. The business flourished but began to decline when vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley proved more profitable, due to better drying weather. Also, due to the great success of the navel orange industry, vineyards began to be rooted out and stumps made into firewood, the acres thus vacated planted in citrus.

1 Brown & Boyd, op. cit., p. 442.

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