Riverside is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Inland Empiremetropolitan area. Riverside is the county seat of the eponymous county and named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. It is the most populous city in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County, and is located about 60 miles (97 km) east of Los Angeles. It is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Riverside is the 59th most populous city in the United States and 12th most populous city in California. As of the 2010 Census, Riverside had a population of 303,871.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the area was inhabited by Cahuilla and the Serrano people. Californios such as Bernardo Yorba and Juan Bandini established ranches during the first half of the 19th century. In the 1860s, Louis Prevost launched the California Silk Center Association, a short-lived experiment in sericulture. In the wake of its failure, John W. North purchased some of its land and formed the Southern California Colony Association to promote the area's development. In March 1870, North distributed posters announcing the formation of a colony in California. North, a staunch temperance-minded abolitionist from New York State, had formerly founded Northfield, Minnesota. A few years later, some navel orange trees were planted and found to be such a success that full-scale planting began. Riverside was temperance minded, and Republican. There were four saloons in Riverside when it was founded. The license fees were raised until the saloons moved out of Riverside. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens. As a result, the first golf course and polo field in southern California were built in Riverside.