Creating an Orange Utopia

Eliza Lovell Tibbets and the Birth of California's Citrus Industry

by Patricia Ortlieb & Peter Economy

Format: Paperback
Pages: 136
Publisher: Swedenborg Foundation Press
Dimensions: 216mm x 139mm
Language: English 
Authors: Patricia Ortlieb and Peter Economy
Place of publication: West Chester, PA
Date of publication: 2011

Creating an Orange Utopia
(ISBN: 978-0-87785-337-4)



California’s citrus industry owes a huge debt to the introduction of the navel orange tree—in fact, to two trees in particular, the parent trees of the vast groves of navel oranges that exist in California today. Those trees were planted by a woman named Eliza Lovell Tibbets.

Born in Cincinnati in1823, Eliza’s Swedenborgian faith informed her ideals. Surrounded by artists and free thinkers, her personal journey took her first to New York City, then south to create a better environment for newly freed slaves in racially divided Virginia, and onward to Washington, DC, where she campaigned for women’s rights. But it was in California where she left her true mark, launching an agricultural boom that changed the course of California’s history.

Eliza’s story of faith and idealism will appeal to anyone who is curious about US history, women’s rights, abolitionism, Spiritualism, and California’s early pioneer days. Follow Eliza through loves and fortunes lost and found until she finally finds her paradise in a little town called Riverside.