Founded in 1870 by John North and a group of Easterners who wished to establish a colony dedicated to furthering education and culture, Riverside was built on land that was once a Spanish rancho. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens: the first golf course and polo field in Southern California were built in Riverside.
The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry Riverside is famous for began two years later when Eliza Tibbets received two Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a friend at the Department of Agriculture in Washington. The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly.
Riverside is a rapidly growing city of 274,071 that currently ranks as the 11th-largest city in California. Riverside has a large and diverse economy, with the Inland Empire's largest number of businesses and total jobs.
The city is an important financial and professional center with numerous legal, accounting, brokerage, architectural, engineering and software firms. Riverside's banking institutions have holdings exceeding $3 billion in total deposits.