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TheCityOfLoma LindaCalifornia

Our History

In the late 1800's railroad companies encouraged development of tourist hotels along their lines. Loma Linda began as one such development known as Mound City. In the early 1800's, Mound City developers built cottages, shops, and the Mound City Hotel on the Site. Unfortunately, the project failed. In the late 1890's, a group of Los Angeles businessmen and physicians purchased the hotel and reopened it as a health resort and convalescent home called Loma Linda, the Spanish words meaning "pretty hill."
The Loma Linda Hotel closed again in 1904. However, in 1905, the Seventh-day Adventist Church purchased the former resort property and established a sanitarium and a nursing school. A school of medicine was opened in 1909.
1920 Aerial Photo
First known aerial photograph of Loma Linda, taken in 1920.
The City of Loma Linda was incorporated in 1970. The medical school has grown into Loma Linda University, a health-science University with Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Allied Health Professions and Public Health. Once the predominant land use, the Loma Linda orange groves, are giving way to residential developments as the city, with 22,200 residents, continues to grow.
From the Past to the Present...

The history of the Loma Linda area extends from prehistory through to the present day. In the pre-Columbian until the 18th century, the San Bernardino Valley was occupied by scattered bands of Serrano Indians. The Serranos occupied most of the valley and called it “Guachama” which means “plenty to eat.”

Spanish exploration of the area began around 1772 and paved the way for mission activities. Tangible influence of the mission system in the Loma Linda area occurred in 1810 when Father Dumetz entered the region to establish the Rancho San Bernardino, an outpost of the Mission San Gabriel. Some historical researchers believe that the location of the temporary chapel for the Rancho San Bernardino was in the immediate vicinity of the Guachama Rancheria where the present monument is located on the north side of Mission Road. The mission provided agricultural instruction to local Indians, while bringing them under the influence of the Catholic Church.

An adobe granary was constructed on the north side of Mission Road sometime after 1820. Legendary trapper, Jedediah Smith visited the mission outpost in 1826 and 1827 when he stopped at the granary to replenish his supplies.. In 1830, construction of the permanent adobe Asistencia buildings began farther east along what is now Barton Road.

The Land Boom Period began in 1885 and ended in the 1920’s and was characterized by land settlement, farming the citrus crop and population growth. In 1886, a Riverside syndicate purchased 260 acres (including a “mound”) from H.E. Hills for $31,500. The Mound City Land and Water Company plotted a city of 200 acres and constructed houses, stores and shops. A hotel, constructed on the remaining 60 acres, was completed in late 1887. The new development was named “Mound City.” The hotel was marketed primarily as a health resort, but due to an intermittent drought and stiff competition from neighboring health resorts, the hotel and Mound City failed in 1890.

In the late 1890s, the Mound City property (about 76 acres) was purchased by a group of Los Angeles physicians and businessmen. The group remodeled the hotel and added five cottages and a large recreation hall. The Loma Linda Association was incorporated in 1900 and the name of the development was changed to Loma Linda. In 1904, the Loma Linda Association venture failed and the property was once again placed on the market.

It was during this time that the property came to the attention of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA), through the efforts of prominent author, Ellen G. White. In 1904, White recognized the need for another sanitarium property between San Bernardino, Riverside, and Redlands.

White envisioned a school where medical missionaries including physicians, could be trained. Her plan was that the Loma Linda facility would be the principal training school on the West Coast. Nursing instruction commenced in 1906 and the first class of nurses graduated in 1907. The Loma Linda Medical College opened on September 23, 1910 and the first class of physicians graduated in 1914. The school evolved into the Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Loma Linda became an incorporated city in 1970, and today is a thriving community with a population of around 22,000.