A People’s History of the Inland Empire Digital Archive

Inland Mexican Heritage Image and Ephemera Archive

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  • Henry Vasquez 2024.001.018

    In this interview, Henry Vasquez discusses his family history in Mexico and the U.S., changes in San Bernardino during his life, his observations of the people in South Colton, and the the encroachment of warehouses on the community of Bloomington, as well as the pollution that comes with them. He actively resists the increase of warehouses in the area, and shares his perspective as an Indigenous person from Mexico, addressing Native beliefs about the land.
  • Richey's Garage Interior

    Black and white photograph of the interior of Palmer Leland "Richey" Richardson's garage on 17 W. Central Ave in Redlands. On the back reads "Inside Richey's Garage 17 W Central Ave Redlands, Calif. we took in storage of cars for La Posada Hotel. Leland spent many nights at garage. Leland Richardson swept the floor twice a day, that is why it was so clean. Palmer Leland Richardson owner took foto."
  • Construction of Highway 99

    Black and white photograph of the construction of Highway 99 along Central Ave in Redlands California. Written on back "17 W. Central Ave. Redlands Calif. In front of Richey's Garage on left looking west. Digging up st. to put a drainage ditch before putting Highway 99 through town on Central Ave. Looking west. Palmer Leland Richardson owner took photo." Highway 99 was once the road that is now Redlands Blvd. Highway 99 was established in 1926 as a route that ran from the Mexican border all the way to Washington state. The road was decommissioned in 1964 after the creation of the 1-10 and I-5 freeways and redesignated as Redlands Blvd.
  • Construction of Highway 99

    Black and white photograph of the construction of Highway 99 along Central Ave in Redlands California. Written on back "17 W. Central Ave. Redlands Calif. In front of Richey's Garage on left looking west. Digging up st. to put a drainage ditch before putting Highway 99 through town on Central Ave. Looking west. Palmer Leland Richardson owner took photo." Highway 99 was once the road that is now Redlands Blvd. Highway 99 was established in 1926 as a route that ran from the Mexican border all the way to Washington state. The road was decommissioned in 1964 after the creation of the 1-10 and I-5 freeways and redesignated as Redlands Blvd.
  • Construction of Highway 99 in Redlands

    Black and white photograph of the construction of Highway 99 along Central Ave in Redlands, California. The street is dug open with only the sidewalk and a bit of street remaining. On the right you can see Palmer Leland "Richey" Richardson's Garage. Across the street is the La Posada Hotel. Written on back: "1930's Redlands, Ghost Town, Central Ave, Redlands California looking east toward Orange St. Richey's Garage on right at sign on roof looking east toward Orange St. Palmer Leland Richardson, owner. Elton Hotel on Left. Palmer took foto." Highway 99 was once the road that is now Redlands Blvd. Highway 99 was established in 1926 as a route that ran from the Mexican border all the way to Washington state. The road was decommissioned in 1964 after the creation of the 1-10 and I-5 freeways and redesignated as Redlands Blvd.
  • Richey's Garage

    Black and white photograph of the construction of Highway 99 along Central Ave in Redlands, California. The street is dug open with only the sidewalk and a bit of street remaining. On the right you can see Palmer Leland "Richey" Richardson's Garage. Across the street is the La Posada Hotel. Written on back: "1930's Redlands, Ghost Town, Central Ave, Redlands California looking east toward Orange St. Richey's Garage on right at sign on roof looking east toward Orange St. Palmer Leland Richardson, owner. Elton Hotel on Left. Palmer took foto." Highway 99 was once the road that is now Redlands Blvd. Highway 99 was established in 1926 as a route that ran from the Mexican border all the way to Washington state. The road was decommissioned in 1964 after the creation of the 1-10 and I-5 freeways and redesignated as Redlands Blvd.
  • Redlands Head Start

    Black and white image of Redlands' first Head Start preschool in 1968. From left to right: Carlos Ojeda, Bobby Gonzales, and an unidentified University of Redlands student work together to assemble a playset.
  • Eva Romero Villegas with Donald Montgomery

    Black and white image of Eva Romero Villegas with nephew Donald Motgomery, a sailor during World War II. Donald graduated from the University of Redlands and went on to teach at Redlands schools.
  • Manuel "Manny" and Eva Romero Villegas

    Black and white image of Manuel "Manny" Villegas and his wife Eva Romero. Manny was an honor educator and community advocate known throughout the Inland Empire. He was an advocate for community programing including Folklorico dancing, Scouting, and the first Spanish Club at Redlands High School.
  • Harris Dalhberg, Ben Romero, Frank Romero at Fairbanks Ranch, late 1950s

    Black and white image of Harris Dalhberg, Ben Romero, and Frank Romero shown working at Fairbanks Ranch in the late 1950s.
  • Concepcion (Concha) Romero at Fairbanks Ranch, 1960

    Color photograph of Concepcion (Concha) Romero standing in front of the orange groves at Fairbanks Ranch. Concepcion Romero was an active member of the Divine Savior Church and was an entrepreneur. She ran restuarants and made tamales and tortillas. Her daughter Eunice Romero (Gonzales) noted, "My mother had a restaurant right here on Colton Avenue, on Lawton and Colton. There was a gas station and then a little restaurant up on old Third Street, and then her final restaurant was on Stuart and Third Street, and they were all Romero restaurants."
  • Ramon and Esther Romero

    Ramon Romero, one of the founders of Divine Savior Church, sits with his granddaughter Esther Romero at 1140 Ohio Street in the 1920s. The Romero family lived on the same street for over 100 years. Another granddaughter, Ramona Romero Dalhberg wrote a letter stating, "My grandfather used to have a horse named Jack and a cart and on Sunday mornings they would hold church meetings on street corners, like Calhoun Street and Brockton and different places. Then the men got together to talk about forming a Presbyterian Church. Gavino Trevino owned property on the corner of Webster and Union, which he donated, and they drew plans for a building. The building consisted of one large room with the front door facing Webster Street. It was a very well made building with a big porch in front."
  • Portrait of Eunice Gonzales

    "Eunice Romero (Gonzales) was a bilingual instructional aid in the 1970s. She recalled one of the biggest controversies ever to engulf the Northside, 'When my children started going to school, there was always this measure of prejudice, especially when they started with this business of integrating the schools. You could see the prejudice, that these people didn't want our kids from the Northside at their schools any more than we wanted theirs over here because it was a two way street.'" Eunice was also active in the parent-teacher association (PTA), Divine Savior Church, and community groups in North Redlands. (Vasquez and Carpio, 46)
  • Unidentified Civilian "Before" Photograph

    This small black and white photograph is one of a series of two photograph showing the unidentified young man "before" and "after" donning military uniform for World War II. From unknown civilian to unknown soldier.
  • Unidentified Man Infront of Barbershop

    This unidentified man stands in front of a common symbol for the era, the segregated barbershop. For decades, segregation in shops and services was common in Redlands. Manasses Soto recalls: "When I'd go downtown to get a haircut I couldn't get a haircut because the signs said, 'For Whites Only' and that kind of disturbed me because I was a student going to school and I couldn't see it in school with the students too much, but the adults seemed to push it on us. The only person that would take me to give me a hiarcut was Abe. We used to call him Abe Lincoln. He had whiskers and he had a barbershop downtown, and he used to go every year when they had the Lincoln Memorial Parade and they had a celebration for Lincoln at the Bowl, he would go and give a speech and that was very enjoyable to see the guy that gave me the haircuts."
  • Soldiers in Panama City, 1947

    Three solders identified from left to right as "Babe," Mac," and Nello" pose at a Panama City Bar in 1947. The back reads: "Taken in Panama City, Sept 13, 1947" Nello, Mac, Me, My love (Babe).
  • Soldiers, World War II

    Three soldiers sitting on a rock or log near a forest. They are in military dress and are posing for the camera.
  • Rosa the Riveter

    Black and white photograph of an unidentified woman heading to work at Norton Airforce base during the 1940s. Her hair is short with a headband and she wears overalls. During World War II many women entered the workforce especially in the defense industry. While the common image was Rosie the Riveter, women workers were of all races and ethnicities. Due to federal rules against segregation in the defense industry, Mexican American, African American, Asian American and white women worked side by side on production lines.
  • Unknown Naval Seaman

    A portrait of an unidentified Mexican American naval seaman in military dress taken at a photography studio. The image is also a post card and has written on back "Daniel, Taken 3 months ago at Fresno"
  • Carlos and Tillie Guzman Wedding circa 1930s

    "The Guzman family home was located on Stuart Street (515) in Redlands. The house was near the family's Blacksmith shop owned by Carlos' father Epimenio. Connie Guzman McFarland recalled, 'My grandmother [Jesusita] was born in Magdalena, Mexico. That's where they have the coffin of San Francisco Javier .... When she came over, she was a little girl, she brought a sapling of a tree. And that tree, they planted it in front of their house. I think I have the picture of that. And that's why my mom and dad had this type of tree. In fact, those trees are planted, would you believe, at what they call the Catholic Hill at Hillside Cemetary.'" (Vasquez and Carpio, 21)
  • Home of Carlos Guzman

    The Guzman family home was located on Stuart Street (515) in Redlands. The house was near the family's Blacksmith shop owned by Carlos' father Epimenio. Connie Guzman McFarland recalled, "My grandmother [Jesusita] was born in Magdalena, Mexico. That's where they have the coffin of San Francisco Javier... When she came over, she was a little girl, she brought a sapling of a tree. And that tree, they planted it in front of their house. I think I have the picture of that. And that's why my mom and dad had this type of tree. In fact, those trees are planted, would you believe, at what they call the Catholic Hill at Hillside Cemetary."
  • Rafael Gonzalez with daughter Melinda

    Black and white image of Rafael Gonzalez sitting on the lawn with his daughter Melinda on his lap in the early 1950s. Rafael Gonzalez apprenticed as a shoemaker in Mexico before coming to the United States as a Bracero in 1942. Gonzalez dreamed of returning home and establishing a business but was delayed during the war and was among a group of Braceros stranded in San Bernardino without a contract or transportation home. Later, Gonzales met Eunice Romero while working for her father, Jacinto Romero, at Fairbanks Ranch.
  • Eunice and Rafael Gonzalez with grandaughter Bianca

    Color image of Eunice and Rafael Gonzalez holding Bianca, their granddaughter, at their home on Ohio Street in the 1970s. Rafael Gonzalez apprenticed as a shoemaker in Mexico before coming to the United States as a Bracero in 1942. Gonzalez dreamed of returning home and establishing a business but was delayed during the war and was among a group of Braceros stranded in San Bernardino without a contract or transportation home. Later, Gonzales met Eunice Romero while working for her father, Jacinto Romero, at Fairbanks Ranch.
  • Rafael Gonzalez, 1943

    Rafael Gonzalez is pictured here at Cone Camp in 1943. Gonzalez was recruited from Mexico City as part of the United States - Mexico Bracero labor program during World War II. "Coney Camp" as it was known to the local Mexican population, was a former jail and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) training center located on the banks of the Santa Ana River in East Highlands. Converted to house Mexican laborers, the facility held up to 1,500 men at a time. Despite federal mandates for reasonable living conditions, wages, and medical care many braceros like those living in Cone Camp lived in wooden barracks and sometimes in tents where the men endured severe winter weather and extreme heat in the summer. The Bracero Program officially ended in 1964.
  • Eunice Romero Gonzales as a child

    Eunice Romero (Gonzales), pictured on the left, as a child at Fairbanks Ranch.