In 1842, the Lugo family bought the Rancho San Bernardino Mexican land grant and this became the first fixed settler civilization in the area.The area northwest of current Redlands, astride the Santa Ana River, would become known as Lugonia.The area now occupied by Redlands was originally part of the territory of the Morongo and Aguas Calientes tribes of Cahuilla people.Explorations such as those of Pedro Fages and Francisco Garcés sought to extend Catholic influence to the indigenous people and the dominion of the Spanish crown into the area in the 1770s.
So beautifully kept was the area, with the dramatic mountain backdrops, that for several years the Santa Fe Railroad operated excursion trains along the loop that passed through the orange groves of Redlands and Mentone, across the Santa Ana River, and back into San Bernardino via East Highlands, Highlands and Patton, and advertised as the "Kite Route" due to its multi-sided alignment.The Serrano (Mountain-dwelling Cahuilla) village of Guachama, located just to the west of present-day Redlands, was visited by Fr.Francisco Dumetz in 1810, and was the reason the site was chosen for a mission outpost.In 1851, the area received its first Anglo inhabitants in the form of several hundred Mormon pioneers, who purchased the entire Rancho San Bernardino, founded nearby San Bernardino, and established a prosperous farming community watered by the many lakes and streams of the San Bernardino Mountains.The Mormon community left wholesale in 1857, recalled to Utah by Brigham Young during the tensions with the federal government that ultimately led to the brief Utah War.
At its peak, PE operated five local routes in Redlands, with streetcars running to Smiley Heights, and on Orange, Olive, and Citrus Avenues. "This dispatch is sorted and morning deliveries started by a.m. The post office department has temporarily arranged for this mail to be brought in by the Santa Fe train at a.m.