The Ramona neighborhood was part of the original City boundaries and formed the most western edge of the City when Riverside was founded in 1883. The neighborhood is now centrally located within the City due to the expansion of the City’s limits to the west. The Ramona neighborhood is generally bounded by Arlington Avenue, Madison Street, the Riverside (91) Freeway and Jackson Street.
The Ramona neighborhood can boast of being the home of two of the City’s most distinctive landmarks. The first is Heritage House, City Landmark #5, located at 8193 Magnolia Avenue. A stunning example of Queen Anne Victorian Architecture, the three-story mansion was built in 1891 as the home of Mrs. James A. Bettner, widow of one of Riverside’s early citrus pioneers. In 1969 the Riverside Museum Associates purchased the home for restoration. Today, it’s a living museum depicting early life among Riverside’s citrus groves. The second is Sherman Indian Museum, City Landmark #16, located at 9010 Magnolia Avenue. This structure was built as the Administration Building in 1901, and is the last of thirty-four Mission Revival structures that comprised the Sherman Institute, U.S. Indian School. The federal Indian school was named for U.S. House Representative James Schoolcraft Sherman, Chairman of Indian Affairs, who promoted the act that funded construction of the school.
Magnolia Avenue is a historic roadway running through the middle of the neighborhood. It is reported to be the first dual carriage-way west of the Mississippi River. In the late 19th Century, Magnolia Avenue was conceived as a grand boulevard with wide parkways and a substantial landscaped median. The segment of the Magnolia Avenue within the Ramona neighborhood reflects much of the vision and character of the original avenue. There are a number of significant institutional uses such as California Baptist University, Ramona and Sherman Indian High Schools, the Heritage House Museum, and the YWCA located along Magnolia Avenue within the neighborhood.
This neighborhood consists mostly of medium-density single-family homes, with higher density apartment complexes located along Magnolia Avenue. Many of the apartments along Magnolia Avenue are set back and physically separated from the Avenue by small frontage roads directly accessing the complexes. Commercial and office uses are found along Ramona’s major streets and provide convenient shopping opportunities.
There are many fine parks and public and private schools in the Ramona neighborhood. Hunt Community Park with Hunt Pool and Renck Community Center, and Don Jones Neighborhood Park provide ample recreation opportunities. Schools include Adams, Jackson, Jefferson, and Monroe Elementary Schools, Chemawa Middle School, Ramona and Sherman Indian High Schools, Riverside Christian School, and California Baptist University all proudly call Ramona home.