At A.K. Smiley Public Library,
March 17 means more than St. Patrick’s Day- it’s Patron Saints’ Day, the
Redlands’s best-known benefactors, Albert and Alfred Smiley!
Born in Maine in 1828, identical
twins Albert and Alfred were successful educators before embarking upon careers
as resort owners in New York state in the decades that followed the Civil War.
Discovering Redlands in 1889, the pair went on to create a public botanical
oasis known as Canyon Crest Park in the hills southwest of Redlands and were
involved in many philanthropic projects in the city. Their immeasurable impact
is best exemplified by A.K. Smiley Public Library, which is named for Albert,
but would not have been possible without the
contributions of both brothers.
Now, 125 years after the opening of the first public library in Redlands, Director Emeritus Larry Burgess and Head of Special Collections Nathan Gonzales honor the Smileys and their gifts to the city with a special Patron Saints’ Day presentation on Sunday, March 17 at 3pm in the Assembly Room.