Valencia Avenue

Much has been made over introduction of the navel orange in Riverside by Mrs. Eliza Tibbets in 1873 - so much, in fact, that the introduction and history of the Valencia has become obscured.

The Valencia is a late orange - maturing in summer and fall, when the navel is off the market. Valencia in Spain is its supposed original home. It came to California via Florida. The Valencia proved to be a fine commercial orange, since it matured late and kept well, both on the trees and in storage.1

Valencia Avenue in San Bernardino was so named because extensive acreage of Valencia oranges was established in the vicinity.

Image of Anson Van Leuven
Anson Van Leuven

According to Ingersoll, Anson Van Leuven and his brother, Louis, were the first orange growers in San Bernardino Valley. They set out orchards in 1867 in "old San Bernardino" - in the Barton Road area - and their trees attracted much attention when they came into fruit.2 The picture of Mr. Van Leuven hangs in Pioneer Log Cabin, with the inscription "First Orange Grower of San Bernardino County" [The log cabin burned down in 1973].

1 Brown and Boyd, op. cit., pp. 430, 431.
2 Ingersoll, op. cit., p. 680.

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