The History of Tremont
The Smiley Brothers have a resounding and long history within Redlands; but here we start our adventure all the way back in 1893, where these brothers fascination with wooded retreats would lead them to a great venture! In the "badlands" of South Redlands along the crest of hills south and west of San Timoteo Canyon; the brothers purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land.
In April of 1893 they began constructing a road that was four miles in length, up the hill toward a summit of 3,000 feet in elevation. The proposed park at the end of the road was named "Tremont" by the Smiley's. Tremont got it's name from the three nearby peaks, Beacon Peak, Overlook Peak, and The Crown. Tremont Park afforded a spectacular view of the eastern San Bernardino Valley and as far as Ontario; and of course the mountain ranges, including distant Mount San Jacinto, to the east.
All during 1893 and 1894, ornamentation of the Tremont grounds took place with mostly varieties of eucalyptus being planted. Natural springs provided the necessary water for later planting of the shrubs. Some of the people in the Redlands area contributed about $500 to the project, mostly for road construction. Among the contributors were F.P. Morrison (Redlands Banker); J.B. Breed (Businessman), and E.G. Judson (One of the founders of Redlands). The plans envisioned by the Smileys for Tremont were never completed. Whether it was to be a hotel site, a residential area, or wooded retreat was never made fully clear. Pressing problems in New York caused the abandonment of the Smiley's project. Still, interest in Tremont was widespread in the Redlands area. The City Directory for 1896 listed it as one of several nearby resorts for recreation and relaxation. "It is impossible to describe the view," exclaimed the Directory, "in its wild and magnificent splendor of utter desolation, relieved here and there by the orchards and houses which the hand of man has brought into the midst of a parched and barren wilderness..." The ride to the summit was described as, "particularly pleasant on horseback and it affords an enjoyable moonlight excursion."