Mound Cities - 1875-1895

Failed Attempts

The Big Hill

Lots of people noticed the big, round hill near the estancia. People would climb to the top, or ride a horse up to enjoy the view. It became known as "The Mound". A great name for a big pile of dirt!

The view from the Mound was great! People from the East were not too impressed, though.

The View East from the Mound

San Bernardino County Museum

Is the name that important?

In 1876 a group of men started a town at the mound. They bought a large piece of land and subdivided it. They advertised these small chunks of land, called "lots", for sale.

Lots of people were moving west. The railroad made it easy to stop and buy a lot in the new town. The owners didn't think it needed a fancy or beautiful name. They called it "Mound City." Perhaps the name doomed it.

Go to the Map Room to see these next two maps in a larger size!

Town for Sale!

Only a few people bought lots, so they finally sold all the remaining land to H.E. Hills. He planted fruit trees on the land. After a few years he became sick, so he sold his land to another group of men.

Let's try that again!

The new group of men decided that the time had come to start a new town. They renamed all the streets, laid out a bigger town, and waited for customers to come. Again, only a few people came to buy. Some built homes and settled in Mound City. The owners built a $30,000 hotel at the top of the hill to attract tourists. They called it the Mound City Villa. Almost no one came. Mound City died again.

Maybe they needed to come up with a new name. Who wants to live in "Mound City" anyway?

The Mound City Villa

San Bernardino County Museum

How Big Were Their Footprints?