Smiley Twins

To the A.K. Smiley Public Library, March 17 means more than St. Patrick’s Day. It’s Patron Saints’ Day, the birthday of Redlands’s 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, on their 195th birthday, Library Director Emeritus Larry Burgess and Archivist Nathan Gonzales honor the Smileys and their gifts to the city with a special Patron Saints’ Day presentation at 2 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the Contemporary Club or on Zoom. Visit News + Events at for access on Zoom.

This event is free, but reservations are recommended. The Contemporary Club is at 173 S. Eureka St.

For additional information, call the the Heritage Room at (909) 798-7632.