Lesson Plan

Mound Cities


Lesson Preparation


Teacher Reading

You'll definitely want to use Sunshine, Citrus and Science, Chapter Three, "A Tale of Two Cities". The chapter gives an excellent overview of how the two Mound Cities were started, and how they failed. Bibliography





  • See the Links
  • Your best source will probably be the searchable database of the Del E. Webb Library Heritage Room, Loma Linda University.


  •  Let me know if you find something.


  • As in the last chapter, you can use this website exclusively, or adapt some sections of Sunshine, Citrus and Science.




1. Habitat: The trend toward multiple-crop farming continued.

2. Food: Varieties of food, especially citrus, made the diet healthier and more enjoyable.

3. Housing: Adobe is gradually being abandoned, in favor of fired brick and lumber.

4. Social Structure: Farmers predominate. Local government is still many years away.

5. Art and Tools: Farming is becoming more mechanized. The building of the Southern Pacific Railway through this area gives rise to many of the townsites, including the first Mound City. Check the Mound City maps for Depot Road and other evidence of the importance of the railroad to development.

6. Footprints: The railroad significantly increased the number of settlers coming to the valley. It was no longer grueling to travel here. People who came expected more "civilization."

7. Demise: The Mound City idea failed mostly because there was simply too much competition for settlers' dollars. All over Southern California, people were buying up land and selling it. The area that is now Loma Linda was just not all that beautiful, when compared to Orange County areas, or parts of Los Angeles close to the ocean.

Projects and Activities

1. Students can continue map-making to show how Mound City was planned to develop. This is a great way to discuss failure and competition!


Worksheet - Mound Cities


The worksheets may be used as either a lesson guide and written in as you go along, or as a test. Feel free to make up your own to fit your approach to the curriculum




1.Go to the top of the Mound (by the Campus Hill Church) and look North. Compare the view with pictures from the 1800's.