Mission Inn Museum

Mission Inn Museum Preserving, promoting, and sharing the legacy of the National Historic Landmark Mission Inn. Experience our history today. The Mission Inn Foundation preserves, interprets, and promotes the cultural heritage of the Mission Inn, Riverside, and the surrounding southern California communities through its museum services, educational programs, and outreach activities.
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Mission: The Mission Inn Foundation preserves, interprets, and promotes the cultural heritage of the Mission Inn, Riverside, and the surrounding southern California communities through its museum services, educational programs, and outreach activities

Operating as usual

This week we're exploring Riverside's Parks & Green Spaces.  The locations for this week explore some parks that have be...
10/02/2020

This week we're exploring Riverside's Parks & Green Spaces. The locations for this week explore some parks that have been here for over 100 years as well as some newer editions. Go out and have some fun!

https://www.missioninnrun.org/

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Today's the last day to save $5!  Plus, refer 10 friends, get 100% off your registration! Help us share the @MissionInnR...
09/30/2020

Today's the last day to save $5! Plus, refer 10 friends, get 100% off your registration!

Help us share the @MissionInnRun to help support our non-profit @MissionInnMuseum!

#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation
www.missioninnrun.org

Reserve your 2020 T-Shirt & Medal!It’s time for us to order the new T-Shirts and Medals, so hurry up and reserve yours t...
09/28/2020

Reserve your 2020 T-Shirt & Medal!

It’s time for us to order the new T-Shirts and Medals, so hurry up and reserve yours today! September 30th is the last day to guarantee you’ll get your T-Shirt and Medal by November 8th. Of course, anyone who registers after this will still get their swag, but you might have to wait!

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www.missioninnrun.org

Riverside Historic Landmark Challenge Week 1 is live! Win great prizes like a stay at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and mo...
09/25/2020

Riverside Historic Landmark Challenge Week 1 is live! Win great prizes like a stay at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and more. Sept 30th is last day to save $5 and guarantee swag on your Mission Inn Run registration!

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#MissionInnFoundation

http://ow.ly/Vel050BBgNu

Suite Alice by Barbara Burns is now available for pre-order! All pre-orders will be signed by Barbara, and are expected ...
09/24/2020
Suite Alice of Riverside, Tahoe, and Laguna: California Hotel Pioneer 1874-1938 (America Through Time)

Suite Alice by Barbara Burns is now available for pre-order! All pre-orders will be signed by Barbara, and are expected to be available by November 7th. Available for pickup or delivery.
Stay tuned as we're planning a formal book release!

Support local author Barbara Burns and the Mission Inn Foundation by pre-ordering your book today.

All Suite Alice pre-orders will be signed by author Barbara Burns! By Barbara Ann Burns Paperback Alice Miller Richardson was barely fifteen when she started as a hotel manager in 1874. The job captured her heart and before long, she had a reputation for managing hotels in her own unique and success...

Just one week left to save! Early Bird sale ends September 30. #missioninnrun#missioninnfoundationwww.missioninnrun.org
09/23/2020

Just one week left to save! Early Bird sale ends September 30.

#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation
www.missioninnrun.org

Introducing our newest edition, the Fun Run!  Join the Mission Inn Virtual Run, and run, walk, skip or cartwheel anytime...
09/21/2020

Introducing our newest edition, the Fun Run! Join the Mission Inn Virtual Run, and run, walk, skip or cartwheel anytime and anywhere you want! Get all the exercise without the competition. You still get all the swag, including the Raincross Facemask, 2020 Mission Inn Virtual Run T-Shirt and Finisher Medal.

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www.missioninnrun.org

Join Mission Inn Virtual Run, Get a Raincross Facemask!  These will be mailed with race information right after you regi...
09/18/2020

Join Mission Inn Virtual Run, Get a Raincross Facemask! These will be mailed with race information right after you register so you don’t have to wait until Race Day. Get yours today!

Mission Inn Run Oct 8 - Nov 8

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www.missioninnrun.org

Usually run with your best friend? They can join too, and receive a sweet new 2020 Mission Inn Run bandanna. Just $10 to...
09/16/2020

Usually run with your best friend? They can join too, and receive a sweet new 2020 Mission Inn Run bandanna. Just $10 to add your best friend to your run registration!

#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation
www.missioninnrun.org

For all those serious runners, we’ve got you covered! The 5K, 10K and ½ Marathon are still here, just in virtual form! R...
09/13/2020

For all those serious runners, we’ve got you covered! The 5K, 10K and ½ Marathon are still here, just in virtual form! Run anytime and anywhere you want, and use the free RaceJoy app to track and time your distance! Your times will be automatically uploaded to our online leaderboards. Times/Distances accepted during the Mission Inn Virtual Run window, Oct 8 – Nov 8.

You can register online, at the Mission Inn Museum Store or by calling 951-788-9556

#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation
www.missioninnrun.org

Update on 2020 Run Riverside Challenge: Anyone who participated in the 2019 Mission Inn Run or 2020 Citrus Heritage Run ...
09/11/2020

Update on 2020 Run Riverside Challenge:

Anyone who participated in the 2019 Mission Inn Run or 2020 Citrus Heritage Run is eligible to earn the 2020 Run Riverside Challenge medal if they complete their third consecutive race at either the 2020 Hometown Heroes Honor Run or the 2020 Mission Inn Run. Due to issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Run Riverside Challenge cannot be started at either the Hometown Heroes Honor Run or Mission Inn Run this year. We hope to announce news on the next Run Riverside Challenge in 2021.

Join us this year!

www.missioninnrun.org
https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/AnyCourse/RiversideHometownHeroesHonorRun

We’re just about a month away from the start of our first ever virtual race. With all new swag, including a raincross fa...
09/10/2020
MISSION INN VIRTUAL RUN

We’re just about a month away from the start of our first ever virtual race. With all new swag, including a raincross facemask, Historic Landmark Challenges and more, this is going to be a fun year despite the chaos! Join hundreds of others in making this a safe and memorable year.
#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation
www.missioninnrun.org

The MISSION INN VIRTUAL RUN is on Tuesday September 1, 2020 to Sunday November 8, 2020. It includes the following events: 5K (Virtual Run/Walk), 10K (Virtual Run/Walk), 1/2 Marathon (Virtual Run/Walk), 1K Kids Run (Virtual Run/Walk), FUN RUN (Virtual Run/Walk), and Test.

For the Mission Inn, this photograph is a true testament to what Labor Day represents. Here one will see many workers po...
09/07/2020

For the Mission Inn, this photograph is a true testament to what Labor Day represents. Here one will see many workers posed with Mission Inn architect G. Stanley Wilson.

In the early days of The Great Depression, one final corner of the Inn’s property remained undeveloped. Frank Miller, through difficult circumstances, moved forward with the building of the final wing—the International Rotunda Wing.

Frank pledged to hire all local builders and craftsmen for the effort. This went on to be a two year project that largely aided local workers in providing for their families during the economic perils of the time.

It is on this day that our country honors the contributions of laborers to the advancement of our local and national society. And for the Mission Inn, it is the workers like these that had their hand in the building of this national historic landmark. Happy Labor Day!

Join us for Humanities Hour, a weekly collaboration with City of Riverside, CA - Riverside Public Library, Riverside Art...
09/01/2020

Join us for Humanities Hour, a weekly collaboration with City of Riverside, CA - Riverside Public Library, Riverside Art Museum and Inlandia Institute.

Votes For Women, Marching For Peace
September 2nd, Free Online Event
Mission Inn Foundation

To RSVP, Email:
[email protected]

Funding has been provided by California Humanities and the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.

August 26th is National Dog Day and we are commemorating the dogs days of summer by looking back at some of the best fou...
08/26/2020

August 26th is National Dog Day and we are commemorating the dogs days of summer by looking back at some of the best four-legged friends that have been guests at the Mission Inn. Join in on the fun, and share with us a picture of your dog in the comments!

Riverside Public Library will be hosting a virtual conversation with Dream Land author Sam Quinone on Wednesday 8/26 at ...
08/24/2020

Riverside Public Library will be hosting a virtual conversation with Dream Land author Sam Quinone on Wednesday 8/26 at 6pm. Dream Land was selected for the Riverside Reads program and looks at the history of the opioid epidemic in the United States. To register, please email [email protected]

This is great news! Congratulations Museum of Riverside !
08/24/2020

This is great news! Congratulations Museum of Riverside !

The Museum has been awarded a "Save America's Treasures" grant to begin the rehabilitation of Harada House! This $500,000 grant will get us started on the foundation and structural stabilization work. More news to come soon!

We're going vintage with our new raincross gear and they're available for pre-order now! Buy 3, get 1 free! (make sure t...
08/20/2020
Raincross Two Layer Face Mask

We're going vintage with our new raincross gear and they're available for pre-order now! Buy 3, get 1 free! (make sure to add 4 to your cart)

Just one more day to save $5 on Mission Inn Virtual Run! Flash sale ends Sunday, August 16th at midnight. Get your ticke...
08/15/2020
MISSION INN VIRTUAL RUN

Just one more day to save $5 on Mission Inn Virtual Run! Flash sale ends Sunday, August 16th at midnight. Get your tickets at www.missioninnrun.org, at the Mission Inn Museum store (Open 11am-3pm daily) or by calling 951-788-9556.

Every participant gets a 2020 Mission Inn Run T-Shirt, newly designed finisher medal and a raincross facemask.

Join us in celebrating 43 years of Mission Inn Run (Even if it looks a bit different this year!)

Headlined as an “atomic age marvel” the landing of a Veterans Service Helicopter on the roof of the Mission Inn on July ...
08/14/2020

Headlined as an “atomic age marvel” the landing of a Veterans Service Helicopter on the roof of the Mission Inn on July 3, 1947 was a spectacular and historic event.

Not only was this landing a first for the Mission Inn, it was also a first for the state of California, according to the Riverside Daily Press. A crowd gathered on the roof of the Inn’s third floor to watch a perfect landing of this new-age aircraft. Frank Miller’s son-in-law, DeWitt Hutchings, welcomed the passenger and expressed a “happy landing.”

This incoming passenger was Mrs. Albert W. Platt who had returned by plane to the U.S. from China the day prior. She had been working as an economic analyst and reports officer for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) at Changsha in the Hunan province of China. Her husband was the administrative officer of that regional office and was giving a presentation about China at the Mission Inn on July 3.

Shortly after the historic landing of the Veteran Services Helicopter, the aircraft departed with a different passenger, Mrs. Wilberta Lipps, who was a guest at the Inn. Mrs. Lipps utilized the helicopter to fly to Hemet and settle business matters following the sale of some property.

During WWII, Mrs. Lipps and her husband operated the Del Tahquitz Hotel and often welcomed Army Air Corps pilots who ferried planes into the Palm Springs Air Field. She encouraged them to enjoy all the amenities she offered at her hotel—a western themed bar, tennis and badminton courts, rooftop solariums, and a swimming pool. Because of this morale-building service to military personnel, the 21st Ferry Command presented a medal of appreciation to Mrs. Lipps. On July 17, 1943 The Saturday Evening Post shared a story about her service, “Ma to the Air Gypsies” brought Mrs. Lipps nationwide recognition.

The pilot flying the helicopter over the Inn on July 3 was Charles E. Marthens from Phoenix, Arizona. He was well-respected among helicopter pilots and had a list of firsts in helicopter history to his credit. He was the first to fly for the first commercial helicopter service in the world, the Arizona Helicopter Service started in November 1946, the first to fly below the Tropic of Cancer, the first to fly north of the Arctic Circle and on July 3, 1947 the first to land a helicopter on the roof of the Mission Inn. Helicopter flying was of cutting-edge aircraft manipulation for the time, with the first helicopter having flown just a decade prior.

After this event in 1947, helicopters were used for many different services including to run local errands, to assist in fighting fires, to track whales, to make movies, to fly guests to the Arrowhead Springs Hotel in San Bernardino, to patrol electric power and pipe lines, and to deliver mail—all of which required first landings in a variety of places and settings, some easy and some challenging. But the first roof landing of such an aircraft belongs to Riverside’s own Mission Inn.

(Research and history by Nancy Follett.)

08/10/2020

The Mission Inn Foundation and Museum Education Department is proud to offer our latest Art Session “Sketching a Riverside Coloring Page”. Patrons will learn how to create the coloring page from inception to final product. It will feature the iconic Raincross and citrus fruit. The event is hosted by local artist Kimberly Cobb.

Mission Inn Run
08/07/2020

Mission Inn Run

Share your love of history and make new friends as a volunteer docent at the Mission Inn Foundation! Training starts thi...
08/07/2020
Docent-in-Training Application : Mission Inn Foundation

Share your love of history and make new friends as a volunteer docent at the Mission Inn Foundation! Training starts this fall with an all new online format, and the application deadline is August 15th. Join us!

Save big on Mission Inn Virtual Run!Get the biggest savings of the year now through August 15th with our special flash s...
08/07/2020
MISSION INN VIRTUAL RUN

Save big on Mission Inn Virtual Run!

Get the biggest savings of the year now through August 15th with our special flash sale pricing.

#missioninnrun
#missioninnfoundation

The MISSION INN VIRTUAL RUN is on Thursday October 8, 2020 to Sunday November 8, 2020. It includes the following events: 5K (Virtual Run/Walk), 10K (Virtual Run/Walk), 1/2 Marathon (Virtual Run/Walk), 1K Kids Run (Virtual Run/Walk), and FUN RUN (Virtual Run/Walk).

Continuing the story of the St. Cecilia motif at the Inn, must include a special stained-glass depiction of this patron ...
07/31/2020

Continuing the story of the St. Cecilia motif at the Inn, must include a special stained-glass depiction of this patron saint of music that was nearly lost forever.

As described on July 26, 2020, the original intimate St. Cecilia Chapel was found off the the Cloister Music Room stage from 1910-1957. During this time, there was a colorful stained-glass window that came to the Inn by way of Massachusetts and displayed an elegant St. Cecilia holding a lap-size pipe organ, referred to as a Pianoforte.

The window of St. Cecilia with a Pianoforte was placed in an interior wall between the St. Cecilia Chapel and another small room that served as a connecting space between the Music Room stage and the Spanish Art Gallery. This room was also adorned with religious items and a small piano under the interior window. The candlelight from these two rooms created a glowing light that radiated from the colorful glass window.

In l957, when the St. Cecilia Chapel was relocated to its current location off the St. Francis Atrio, the St. Cecilia with Pianoforte window was left behind in a room that would be used for a storage closet for the next 25 years. Decline began continued when a large piece of glass was broken from her robe. As the Inn went through great upheavals between 1957 and 1984, St. Cecilia with Pianoforte remained largely unnoticed in that interior wall of the storage room.

In 1984, stained-glass artist Gary Ecker, came across the broken St. Cecilia window—at the exact moment when construction workers were beginning to apply drywall on both sides of the window and encase her within the walls of the Inn. Gary Ecker went to the supervisor, asking him to stop the dry wall encasing of the window so it could be salvaged and repaired. According to Ecker, the supervisor’s response was, “There’s no window there. Go find something else to do.” Gary Ecker would not be deterred. He waited until the drywalling was done and the workers had moved on. Then he took his tools and removed the drywall and carefully extracted St. Cecilia and the Pianoforte, from the 2ft. x 5ft. space she had occupied at the Inn for 74 years.

Ecker found a beautiful piece of glass and repaired the hole in her robe. Then he delivered it to the supervisors’ construction trailer. The supervisor found her to be quite beautiful and St. Cecilia graced the construction trailer during the Inn’s many months of renovations.

It was during the restoration of the Inn that continued through the late 1980s and into the early 1990s where the St. Cecilia with Pianoforte window was mounted on the northern wall of the Spanish Art Gallery as an artificial window. It continues to be located on this wall and electrically lighted from behind to show the delicate beauty of her face, hands and feet, and her draping robes in rich colors of green, brown, and gold. This exquisite stained glass that was saved from being entombed in the thick walls of the Mission Inn for forever, now proudly hangs near the center of the Inn's room dedicated to fine art.

(Research and history by Barbara Burns.)

Tucked away in the corner of the St. Francis Atrio, behind heavy mahogany carved doors, an intimate wedding chapel dedic...
07/26/2020

Tucked away in the corner of the St. Francis Atrio, behind heavy mahogany carved doors, an intimate wedding chapel dedicated to St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, is found.

One of the most restricted rooms at the Inn, this Chapel is not often seen by the public due to the artifacts found within—those of great age and fragility. The wedding altar of gesso and gold leaf dates to 1740 and is one of the oldest objects found within the hotel’s walls. Above the altar, the carved wooden ceiling panel shines with gold leaf and depicts God holding a crucifix while being surrounded by angels. The Chapel’s single window is also of great significance. While it is one of nine Louis Comfort Tiffany windows at the Inn, this is the only window with Tiffany’s signature on it. The window is entitled Monk at the Organ and portrays a monk in a rich brown robe with his hands on the keyboard of the antique-style organ.

To contrast the countless gilded artifacts in the small Chapel, the walls are covered in heavy crimson red velvet draperies that add visual drama and richness to the room. The combination of the extensive amount of shiny gold and rich red transports one back to early wedding chapels of Italy and Spain.

While often overshadowed by the expansive St. Francis Chapel across the Atrio, the St. Cecilia Chapel was the first and only wedding chapel at the Inn for a number of years. Before the Rotunda Wing was completed in 1931, which now houses both chapels, the St. Cecilia Chapel found its home in a small room off of the Cloister Music Room stage—across from the St. Cecilia Windows (see posting from February 29, 2020). It remained here until being moved to its current location in 1957 during the Inn’s notorious modernization era. This original location was smaller than the current location. Today the Chapel seats approximately 15 guests and provides a special backdrop for more intimate ceremonies.

This Chapel reflects the Miller family’s interest in music. Although the moving of the Chapel separated it from the three St. Cecilia windows, both these windows and the Chapel remain a tribute to the Inn’s premier music enthusiast and Frank Miller’s first wife, Isabella Hardenburg Miller.

During the 1957 move of the Chapel, much of the drama and opulence of the original space was lost due to changes in décor. The lavish red velvet, golden ceiling and gilded artifacts were changed to a more simplistic midcentury era of décor with the walls and furnishings all being draped with beige fabric. Gone was the beautiful contrast of the red velvet and gold leaf.

In 1979, the Friends of the Mission Inn sought to undo the poor decorative choices and restore the Chapel to the beauty it once captured. The walls were again covered in the crimson red velvet, an ornate rug covered the tile floor, and all sights of beige were removed.

Years later in 1996, the Friends of the Mission Inn once again funded the herculean task of cleaning and restoring the Chapel. The painstaking process for this small Chapel took three months to complete the work of repair, re-carving, and re-applying gold leaf on the delicate artifacts. A total of $50,000 was spent by the Friends in these restoration efforts for the St. Cecilia Chapel.

Today, this Chapel remains a hidden gem that mesmerizes guests with its lavish materials and rich color contrasts as both a dedication to the patron saint of music and to the original matriarch of the Inn, Isabella Miller.

(Excerpts from Mission Inn Foundation Archives, Historic Mission Inn by Barbara Moore, & The Mission Inn: Its History and Artifacts by Esther Klotz.)

Address

3696 Main St
Riverside, CA
92501

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 15:00
Thursday 10:00 - 15:00
Sunday 10:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(951) 788-9556

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Our Story

The Mission Inn Museum is run by the non-profit Mission Inn Foundation, which was incorporated in 1976 to assist in the preservation and restoration of the Mission Inn, and originally, to manage the hotel during ownership by the City of Riverside's Redevelopment Agency. The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is now privately owned by Duane and Kelly Roberts, and the Foundation has a unique role of operating a non-profit museum within a for-profit hotel. The Mission Inn Museum was opened in 1993, simultaneous with the reopening of the Mission Inn after seven years of extensive renovations. In addition to the museum, the Mission Inn Foundation interprets the history and significance of the Mission Inn along with the story of its patriarch, Frank Miller, and family through daily hotel tours, monthly public programs and special events, the Hands On History educational initiative, and the continued stewardship of the hotel's expansive art, artifact, and archival collections.

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Comments

Had our wedding reception here in 1975
St Francis Chapel Altar..
Earlier this year we came across a souvenir spoon from the Mission Inn. I'm not sure what year it was made & etc. I bought it for $3 at an antique shop in Bentonville, Arkansas. We here moved from Riverside 3 years ago! Thought I'd share!
These history posts, in my opinion, are some of the most meaningful and engaging work of the MI Foundation to date. Well done and please continue. Your audience extends well beyond the City of Riverside.
Enjoyed a charming, unique and informative tour by your Ambassadors-- what a courteous and sharp group! I thought I knew a lot about the Mission Inn but I learned much and appreciated their courtesy and concern for our safety as we strolled outside the Mission Inn and each young man pointed out unique features and historical artifacts. Highly recommended! And a stroll across the Mall to Mrs Tiggy Winkles brings one to one of the most whimsical and attractively-arranged gift shops of unique items!
Ready, Set, Gooooo!!!!