Lonesome Linda


Would you like it better if we called it "beautiful hill"?

The Mound City Villa was very nice, and very empty. The streets of Mound City were also empty. People kept thinking it should be a nice place for a town, especially with that nice mound of dirt in the middle.

Someone thought that the Mound would be more beautiful if they said it in Spanish. When they tried for the third time to create a new town, they called it "Loma Linda" - "beautiful hill."

The new owners were mostly doctors from Los Angeles. They changed the Mound City Villa to a health hotel, called a "sanitarium."

They sent out advertisements, inviting people to come to Loma Linda to get well.

From the Archives of the A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands, California

Why build a sanitarium?

At this time a lot of people in America were sick. Tuberculosis made many people weak. Many, many died. Doctors believed that coming to the Southwest would help people get well. They had heard that the hot, dry air was good for people with TB.


Amazing Fact: The first villa at Loma Linda advertised: NO CONSUMPTIVES!

No one who was really sick could stay there!

Loma Linda was advertised as a nice rest place "for the overworked business man to recuperate for a few weeks or months."


Loma Linda was supposed to be a big success. The advertisements called it "The Switzerland of California, where health and pleasure are twins."

Big surprise! Few people came. Loma Linda didn't look anything like Switzerland, and it was terribly hot and dry in the Summer. Remember, there was nothing like air-conditioning yet, and summer in Southern California can be very uncomfortable!

See this Advertisement BIG!

From the Archives of the A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands, California

Lonesome Linda

The rooms in the sanitarium were mostly empty. The doctors weren't selling lots for homes and they weren't getting patients. People around the area began calling Loma Linda "Lonesome Linda".

By 1905 the doctors really wanted out. They had lost a lot of money and hoped that they could sell the town to someone else. Fortunatly for them, somone was looking for a place to start a sanitarium.

Lonesome Linda wouldn't be lonesome forever!

See this photo BIG!

San Bernardino County Museum

Next Lesson

In the next lesson you'll read about the people who bought Loma Linda, and turned it into a successful town.

How Big Were Their Footprints?