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The Collection | Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

The people who move and shake society have made the Mission Inn a favorite haunt ever since it opened its doors in 1903. Presidents, social leaders, entertainers, and other celebrities have all left their mark, making it the center stage of Riverside’s public life for over a century. More

  Booker T. Washington photo with Frank Miller

On a trip to southern California in March of 1914, Booker T. Washington, the former slave and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, visited Riverside.  Crowds of people heard him speak at three different locations on March 23, 1914.  His first speech was at the First Congregational Church on 7th Street. He then spoke at the 2nd Baptist Church.  His third speech of the day was in the Music Room of the Mission Inn.  It was Frank Miller, the owner of the Mission Inn, who introduced Washington to those who had assembled to hear the dynamic and influential educator. More

  Elbert Hubbard book

Elbert Hubbard founded an arts community named Roycroft (the king’s house), in East Aurora, New York 1894. A former soap salesman, Hubbard enjoyed writing and as a result, the first art processes established in East Aurora was a printing shop. Later, the Roycroft community would produce leather, metal, furniture, and other hand-made products. The community became so popular that Hubbard opened a hotel named the Roycroft Inn. Frank Miller and his wife Isabella visited the Roycroft Inn, in 1902, before the Mission Inn opened. More

  Pat and Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon, as child, visited Riverside and the Mission Inn. His mother’s sister, Edith Timberlake, her husband Philip and their three children lived in Riverside. Philip Timberlake worked at the Citrus Experimental Station. More

  Roosevelt Planting Orange Tree

In the spring of 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) traveled over 14,000 miles during a two-month trip through the western United States. The President visited 150 cities and towns in 25 states and gave over 200 speeches.  When he arrived in California by train, the President’s first stop was in Barstow. More

  Taft Chair

In the fall of 1909, during his first year as president, William Howard Taft (the 27th President of the United States 1909-1913), traveled throughout the west and made several stops in southern California.  On October 12, 1909 he visited San Bernardino, Redlands, and Riverside. More

  Bette Davis photo

The St. Francis Chapel, at the Mission Inn, has been a popular wedding site for hundreds of couples since it was completed in 1931.  In the collections of the Mission Inn Museum, is a wedding register that the couples signed.  At one time, there was an airplane propeller, that some of the couples would also sign.  Many of those married at the Inn, were in the in the military and stationed at March Field, east of Riverside. More

  Carrie Jacobs Bond photo

Carrie Jacobs Bond was a famous composer who lived from 1862 to 1946.  Born in Wisconsin, she began writing and publishing music in the 1890’s.  She is credited with writing over 200 songs, of which two of the most famous were “I Love You Truly” and “A Perfect Day.”  More

  Eddie Rickenbacker photo

The birth of manned powered flight occurred the same year Frank Miller opened his mission-styled hotel.  Mr. Miller, his guests, Riverside, and the whole world would soon learn of Orville Wright’s 12-second flight on December 17, 1903.  Riverside was headed for an adventure “in the skies” that continues 101 years later.  Leading the way was Frank Miller and his beloved Mission Inn. More

  Swedish Prince

In 1926 Prince Gustavas Adolphus of Sweden and his wife, Louise, were on a yearlong trip of the world.  Their trip included the United States and a visit to Riverside.  The couple arrived in San Bernardino on July 22, 1926.  They had just come from the Grand Canyon.  Before arriving in Riverside and the Mission Inn, the royal couple toured Redlands and then onto Riverside in a motorcade of automobiles.  With the couple was California’s governor, Friend Richardson. More

  Ronald and Nancy Reagan

On March 5, 1952 Ronald Reagan married actress Nancy Reagan at a church named the Little Brown Church in the San Fernando Valley.  Actor William Holden and his wife, actress Brenda Marshall were the best man and matron of honor.  Following a small reception at the Holden’s home, Ronald and Nancy Reagan drove to Riverside. More

  Duane Roberts
Mission Inn founder Frank A. Miller was affectionately known as the “Master of the Inn.”  That role is now the responsibility of Duane R. Roberts.  Mr. Roberts, who purchased the hotel in December of 1992, is considered the “Keeper of the Inn.”  Common to both men is/was creativity and a drive to succeed.  More
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