Riverside was founded in the late 1800's. It was a heavily British expiates populated area. Some even jokingly referred to it as a British Colony. Riverside was founded for the specific reason of having a town dedicated to the production of Orange Trees. The first Navel Orange tree that was planted is still around and is gated up with a plaque telling it's tale. (For locals, it is on the corner of Arlington and Magnolia, where they cross each other.) Packing houses, train stations, delivery services, all popped up across the landscape. It became hugely successful. More and More people began to head west to stake their claim on success, and ended up in Riverside. The town boomed and spread and today Riverside County stretches to the border of California and Arizona. The more rural areas were where the farms were. My current neighbour hood was once an orange grove. Alot of city land is still taken up by orange groves, though many on the outskirts of town have since been demolished to make way for stuccoed track housing.
And yet my little house still stands. I'm sure it won't stand for much longer. I'm sure some enterprising housing development with come in a sweep away my little house. But for now I'm glad it's there. I'd love to rescue it, paint it up lovely, fix the broken windows, plant a little garden, put yellowed lace curtains in the kitchen windows, and breathe a little bit of life back into the old house. Imagine the things this house has seen! I wish I could find out more about it's history. Who build it? What did it look like then? Did they farm oranges, or was it something else? How I wish I could get inside! I want to know everything about the people who lived here. I can see in my head how they must have looked, a woman at the kitchen door, skirts billowing in the wind, hair piled high atop her head, calling her children and husband to dinner after a long day of hard work on their land. My curiosity had gotten the better of me, and I'm quite thrilled with that.
Finding this house wasn't just wonderful for my imagination, it was something I needed to find for me. As my moving away creeps closer and closer I am becoming more and more impatient with being stuck here. Despite my comprehensive knowledge of this two bit town, I really hate it. I mean really hate it. I've never liked it, but that doesn't mean that there aren't things about it that are beautiful and worth finding. Because there are. There are still abandoned houses to find, and hidden secrets just waiting for me to turn down the wrong street. And that's what I intend to do. From now until June I'm going to search out those secrets and hidden places. I'm going to photograph them and learn as much as I can. Because these things weren't meant to be forgotten, and even if I'm the only one who cares to remember them, they still deserve a memory. Maybe these next few months won't be so boring after all :-)