Rare (unrecorded?) early plan of Colton, California, including manuscript annotations showing the location of lots purchased throughout the City, including the home in which Wyatt Earp was born.
The map shows a detailed town plan, the routes of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Santa Fe Railroad and the Southern California Motor Railroad. Of particular note is the location of Marble Mountain and the Cement Works, known in more modern times to locals as Mt. Slover or Cement Mountain, which was a major source of marble in the 1890s and early part of the Century and continued to be a major source of Southern California's cement for over 100 years. A November 29, 2009 Riverside Press-Enterprise article noted that "The Colton Cement Plant opened in 1891 and is . . . the oldest operating cement plant west of the Rocky Mountains." Other sources suggest different dates between 1888 and 1894 for the commencement of mining at the mountain.
The map is one of the earliest printed maps of Colton, pre-dating any maps listed in in OCLC. While the map is undated, it was most likely published some time between 1883 and 1889, as the Los Angeles Lithographic Company was not active until about 1883 and the map does not show the Colton City Hall, constructed in 1890. The most likely date is 1887-1891, given location of the Cement works, date of city incorporation (1887) and failure to note the location of the City Hall on the map.
Colton was part of two large privately owned ranchos, the Jurupa and the San Bernardino Ranchos. The southwest section of Colton is referred to as Agua Mansa ("Gentle Waters"); the area settled by New Mexico Pioneers in 1842. The town of Colton was laid out by the Southern Pacific Railway in 1875. Colton was named for Civil War General David Colton, who was also Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.
Colton was incorporated July 11, 1887. Nicholas P. Earp, father of the outlaw Earp Brothers, owned the Gem, one of the first saloons, while he was the City Clerk for Colton. Wyatt Earp applied to City Hall to operate a gambling hall in Colton, but was turned down. The Nicholas Porter Earp family settled in Colton in 1877. Nicholas was elected to the position of Recorder in 1887. The same year, Virgil Earp was elected Colton's first Marshal and lived with his wife Allie in a house at 528 W. H. Street. The location of the manuscript markings near 5th and H unquestionably includes the house where the Earps would have resided from 1883 to 1887.