Citrus Town

The photographs shown here are of large reproductions of orange crate labels hung on a long wall near Riverside’s City Hall building. The photos were made on July 7, 2012 with a Yashica Electro 35 GSN on 35mm Kentmere 100 film.

It is very much appropriate to hang the orange labels in such a prominent place. Riverside and surrounding cities of Southern California owe much to the industry whose birth was catalyzed by Eliza Tibbets, who grew the first two Washington Orange trees in Southern California.

Eliza Tibbets is quite justifiably a local historical figure. For more information on Mrs. Tibbets’ role as the primary catalyst of the Citrus Industry, see History of Riverside.

Her importance to the area is underscored by a statue erected in her honor in downtown Riverside, which contains  only two other statues of historical figures, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

When I look at the statue of Eliza Tibbets, I am always of two minds about the aesthetic effect of it. I believe that it is fitting that a statue of her is standing there, but I find the likeness highly stylized, and don’t believe that can be an accurate depiction of her. If I am wrong, and it really is a close likeness of her in her twenties or thirties, she was a rather odd-looking woman. I can’t believe she looked like the stature. I believe that too much artistic license was taken by the sculptor, creating a jarringly weird-looking “likeness”. 

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