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About Corona

 

Corona sits at the base of the mountainous Cleveland National Forest in western Riverside County near the Orange County border. Only 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the city is conveniently located at the junction of the 15 and 91 Freeways, offering easy access to all of Southern California.

One of the fastest growing cities in California, Corona has added over 47,000 residents in the past decade to reach an ethically diverse population of nearly 127,000. A key factor in this unprecedented growth is the city’s proximity to Orange County. As housing costs have escalated there, more young families are migrating to Corona in search of affordable housing and less congestion.

Businesses are also moving to the area. Since January 1994, more than 85 mid-sized companies have expanded to Corona, playing a major role in the city’s impressive 16.4% job growth in 1999. Currently, there are 53,000 workers contributing to the city’s vibrant economy.

Residents enjoy convenient neighborhood amenities found in established cities including local shopping centers, a public library, a senior center and 275 acres of parkland. Thirty-two parks throughout the city provide a variety of recreational opportunities for families with basketball courts, sports fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, a skate park and outdoor pool. Additionally, there are four public, 18-hole golf courses in the city.

Students in Corona attend schools in the Corona-Norco Unified School District which is one of the fastest growing districts in Southern California. Four high schools, five intermediate schools, 22 elementary schools and three alternative schools serve over 37,000 students. The district ranks third in student achievement out of the 23 school districts in Riverside County. Opportunities for higher education include 28 public and private colleges and universities within a 45-minute drive of the city.

Corona’s expanding economy has enabled the city to devote an increasing amount of community resources to law enforcement, as well as parks and education. Public safety efforts by the police and fire departments have resulted in a decreasing crime rate, a quick response time and an excellent paramedic program. With crime dropping 60% in the 1990s, Corona is now considered one of the safest large cities in the Inland Empire.

HISTORY

The Luiseno Indians were the first settlers in the Corona area but the land was soon taken over by Spanish ranchos. In1886, Robert Taylor and members of the South Riverside Land and Water Company purchased 12,000 acres and developed a town which they named South Riverside. Anaheim engineer H. C. Kellogg designed the city around a three-mile circular street named Grand Boulevard.

Ten years later, the residents voted to change the name to Corona, which is Spanish for crown, in honor of the circular street. The city earned the nickname of "The Circle City."

Nearly all of the new settlers planted orange and lemon groves and the city prospered during the early 1900s. Numerous homes, businesses and churches were built around Grand Boulevard which became the center of city life. In 1913, 1914 and 1916, the street was the scene of an international auto race which attracted over 100,000 people to the small town of 4,000 residents.

In 1913 Corona was shipping more fruit than any other city in Southern California and soon after, local businessmen formed the first Lemon Exchange By-Products Company which was eventually bought out by Sunkist. The successful marketing of lemons and lemon products from the early 1900s through the 1970s earned Corona yet another nickname, the "Lemon Capital of the World."

But by 1982, it was clear that production costs outweighed the advantages of harvesting citrus fruit. The Corona plant was closed and the groves were gradually replaced with housing developments. The 91 Freeway, built in 1962, and the 15 Freeway, built in 1989, paved the way for thousands of Southern California residents to move to Corona and ushered in a new era in the history of the city.

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