The History Behind the name of
“Alvord” Unified School District
Many would say the name “Alvord” is a little unusual and wonder, “Where did this name come from?” So, we went on a fact finding journey to find out the history behind the name of our school district. On
February 17, 1876 , a Deed of Conveyance was filed for the Riverside area, and on this legal transfer of ownership, one square mile was reserved for the “Townsite of Alvord”. This town was named by S. C. Evans, President of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company, in honor of William Alvord, President of the Bank of California and also a director of the San Jacinto Tin Company. Evans’ company became the full owner of the San Jacinto Tin Company when William Alvord, at the September 17, 1885 meeting of the Tin Company’s Board of Directors made the motion that a quitclaim deed be executed in favor of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company, thus amending the original Deed of Conveyance. This land extended roughly from Arlington to Temescal Wash. According to Jane Davies Gunther in, “ Riverside County , California , Place Names” , Mr. Alvord showed his appreciation of having this new town named for him by commissioning a flag for the Alvord Townsite and sending a letter of thanks to his long time Riverside friend, Mr. Evans.
The letter of appreciation sent by Mr. Alvord in San Francisco to Mr. Evans on April 11, 1889: “Accept many thanks for the delicious oranges, which were in my rooms when I went home last evening; filling them with fragrance of your own delightful groves. Your kindness, like your own raisins and oranges, is perennial, and fully appreciated. … I trust (this flag) will wave over land growing the finest oranges in the state, and over people blessed with abundant prosperity and contentment. Yours sincerely, William Alvord.”
In late 1892, the site of Alvord was changed to where the main line of the Riverside , Santa Ana and the Los Angeles Railway (now Santa Fe ) roadbed crossed Magnolia Avenue from Corona into Riverside . The Alvord rail extension opened in August 1893 with mule drawn cars being used to transport people from the Alvord Railway Tower , down the middle of Magnolia Avenue to Van Buren Street . The “ Alvord Tower ” watched over the transition from Corona into Riverside and had large platforms for shipping the abundant amount of Riverside produce. In 1899, pepper trees were planted down the center of Magnolia from Tyler to Temescal Wash with palm trees planted along the avenues, to both beautify the area and encourage development. However, Alvord never developed as a town.