Indio, California

Indio
City of Indio
Indio during the 1950s: Stan Sniff, a local date grower's booth at the annual National Date Festival and Riverside County Fair, selling dates which is one of the region's most popular crops.
Indio during the 1950s: Stan Sniff, a local date grower's booth at the annual National Date Festival and Riverside County Fair, selling dates which is one of the region's most popular crops.
Nickname(s): 
The City of Festivals
Motto(s): 
"The place to be"[1]
Location of Indio in Riverside County, California.
Location of Indio in Riverside County, California.
Indio is located in southern California
Indio
Indio
Location in the United States
Indio is located in California
Indio
Indio
Indio (California)
Indio is located in the United States
Indio
Indio
Indio (the United States)
Coordinates: 33°43′14″N 116°12′56″W / 33°43′14″N 116°12′56″W / 33.72056; -116.21556

Indio is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California's Colorado Desert region. It lies 23 miles (37 km) east of Palm Springs, 75 miles (121 km) east of Riverside, 127 miles (204 km) east of Los Angeles, and 148 miles (238 km) northeast of San Diego. The word Indio is Spanish for Indian.

The population was 76,036 in the 2010 United States Census, up from 49,116 at the 2000 census, an increase of 55%. Indio was once referred to as "the Hub of the Valley", which was the Chamber of Commerce slogan in the 1970s—today the nickname is the "City of Festivals" because of cultural events held in the city, most notably Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

History

Railroad line construction east out of Los Angeles began in 1873. Trains were operated to Colton on July 16, 1875, and to Indio (then Indian Wells) on May 29, 1876. Moving on eastward from Indio, the railroad reached the west bank of the Colorado River opposite Yuma on May 23, 1877 (a village known as Arizona City prior to 1873). There was delay in getting military authority to lay tracks across the Yuma Indian reservation, and it was September that year before the bridge was completed so trains could operate into Yuma. The Southern Pacific Railroad was to have joined those of the Texas & Pacific, one of several railroads then holding, or seeking, federal authority to build lines from various sections of the country west to the Pacific Coast. But the rail-head of the T & P was at a standstill far off in Texas, so Southern Pacific continued building eastward. (A Historical Sketch of the SOUTHERN PACIFIC 1869-1944 by Erle Heath Editor, The Southern Pacific "Bulletin", www.cprr.org/Museum/SP_1869-1944/).

The City of Indio came about because of the need of a halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Yuma, Arizona and Los Angeles. The engines needed to be re-filled with water. At first, the-would-be city was called Indian Wells,[9]:292 but because of so many other areas already called that, Indio – after a Spanish variation of the word "Indian" – was chosen.[10] After the railroad's arrival in 1876, Indio really started to grow. The first permanent building was the craftsman style Southern Pacific Depot station and hotel. Southern Pacific tried to make life as comfortable as it could for their workers in order to keep them from leaving such a difficult area to live in at the time. It was at the center of all social life in the desert with a fancy dining room and hosting dances on Friday nights.[11]

While Indio started as a railroad town, it soon became agricultural. Onions, cotton, grapes, citrus and dates thrived in the arid climate due to the ingenuity of farmers finding various means of attaining water; first through artesian wells and later through the valley’s branch of the All-American Canal. However, water also was a major problem for Indio and the city was flooded several times until the storm water canals were created throughout the Coachella Valley.[12]

Businessmen and women found this last frontier land of the continental United States as an ideal place to start fresh. Dr. Harry Smiley and his wife Nell were early residents and stayed in Indio after their car broke down on the way to Los Angeles and became people of influence and helped shape the area. A.G. Tingman was an early storeowner and first Postmaster of Indio, but also well known for taking advantage of miners as they headed to the mountains, selling at rather high prices. Later Dr. June Robertson McCarroll became a leading philanthropist as well as successful doctor in Indio. She was responsible along with the Indio Woman’s Club for pressing California into adopting the placing of white lines down the streets after she nearly got hit one too many times by passing vehicles. But even though these early founders of the city are considered pioneers, they still partook in the lifestyles of their friends living in such areas as Los Angeles. Indio established itself quickly and kept up with all the trends as they were brought in by the railroads.[13]

By the turn of the 20th century, Indio was already more than a fading railroad town. Schools were built, the La Casita hospital provided medical services, and families established roots. This was the growth of a city, not just a railroad town.

By 1920, about one to two thousand year round residents lived in Indio, while it can double to 2,500 to 5,000 during the winter months and was advertised as a health resort for senior citizens and those with respiratory diseases and ailments in the rest of the 20th century.[14]

Indio also served as the home of the USDA’s Date Station, a place where leading scientific research was taking place on the fruit that would become a major part of the culture of Indio. The station started in 1907 and was responsible for the ability of local farmers to better understand this unique crop and make the Coachella Valley a leader in American date crops. This also created a tie to the Middle East that led to the theme for the County Fair with the Middle Eastern flair.[12]

Coachella and Thermal were soon larger cities than Indio, but Indio remained the “Hub of the Valley,” as it was called. With the burning of the majority of Thermal and the decline of Coachella, Indio grew again. By 1930 Indio was a thriving area and incorporated. On September 6, 1930, storekeeper Fred Kohler received the first business license in Indio.

Indio was also aided by the visiting soldiers from Patton’s training grounds in Chiriaco Summit located 30 miles to the east.[15] However, Indio saw another decline as the valley’s population begin to move west towards newer cities such as Palm Desert. However, now there is a reversal in this trend and the eastern section of the valley is poised to once again become the center of the Coachella Valley.[16]

The city had significant unemployment rates (in some cases over 20 percent) in the late 20th century and from the recession in the late 2000s.[citation needed] The rate in 2006 was under 5 percent after the local economy rebounded in the real estate boom when more affluent residents moved in.[citation needed] The rapid population growth fueled the city's present need for employment opportunities.

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Indio (California)
български: Индиоу
català: Indio
français: Indio
Kreyòl ayisyen: Indio, Kalifòni
മലയാളം: ഇൻഡിയൊ
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Indio (California)
polski: Indio
Simple English: Indio, California
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Indio, California
svenska: Indio
українська: Індіо (Каліфорнія)
Volapük: Indio