Claremont's Citrus Industry

Paralleling the growth of the college community in the late 1800s was the spread of citrus ranches, not only in Claremont but also across all the foothill communities from Los Angeles to Riverside. By the early 1900's, all of non-residential Claremont was “set out in orange, lemon and grapefruit groves.” Citrus became a big industry in Claremont. One of the earliest cooperatives to grade, ship and market citrus was established by Claremont growers – an enterprise followed all across Los Angeles County – and adopted as a model for Sunkist. At one time, there were four citrus packing houses, an ice house and a pre-cooling plant lining the Santa Fe tracks.

(College Heights Packing House was renovated and re-opened in 2007 as a multi-use site. Read more about it at

As the California Citrus Industry grew, so did the need to attract the eye of the produce buyers in the East. At first the packers simply stamped or branded an identification mark of some sort on the end of each crate they shipped. This would help the buyers in the eastern markets to identify where the fruit was from and who packed it. If they liked the particular packer’s quality of fruit they could reorder simply by asking for that specific brand again. Full color lithographed crate labels were developed and came into regular use. The striking graphic designs of these labels were largely the product of anonymous staff artists in each litho house. These labels are collectors’ items today.

Click here to explore more about Claremont Citrus Fruit Crate Labels...

A wide variety of authentic citrus fruit crate labels (not reproductions) are available for purchase at Claremont Heritage. Our Gift Gallery also offers merchandise enbellished with Claremont fruit crate labels.

Interested in purchasing the 2024 Claremont Heritage Calendar?

Visit our GIFT GALLERY at Garner House in Memorial Park, Claremont
or Phone 909.621.0848

CLAREMONT HERITAGE • 909-621-0848 •
Located in the historic Garner House at Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont California
Mailing Address: PO Box 742, Claremont CA 91711