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A notable sanitarium site in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,the southwestern San Bernardino County area that became known as Loma Linda, meaning “pretty hill,” was originally dubbed Mound City and now includes the historic communities of Bryn Mawr, Cottonwood Row, and Idlewild. The place evolved further as a center for the treatment of medical and mental illness when the Seventh-day Adventists, particularly one of their visionary authors, Ellen G. White, recognized the need for another sanitarium within the geographic triangle formed by the cities of San Bernardino, Riverside, and Redlands. Citrus fortunes also enlivened the economy from the 1870s through the World War II years, and Loma Linda was incorporated as a city in 1970. The world-class Loma Linda University Medical Center and the Seventh-day Adventists combine to still shape the area’s politics, economy, and culture.
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The city’s rich architectural heritage is evinced by the Mission Road Historic District, which is overseen by the Loma Linda Historical Commission, the collective author of this tour through the city’s past. For this evocative history, the commissioners have drawn on the city’s photographic archive, the holdings of the Heritage Room at Loma Linda University’s Del E. Webb Library, the A. K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands, the San Bernardino County Museum, and the private collections of numerous local families.