Alice Miller Richardson

Alice was Frank Miller’s sister, coming to California with her parents C.C. Miller and Mary Clark Miller from Tomah, Wisconsin, in 1874. Alice grew up in the Glenwood as her father, C. C. Miller, developed it into a hotel in the late 1870s. In 1880, her parents sold the hotel property to her older brother, Frank, who renovated and expanded it in 1882.
Even though Frank was a relentless promoter of the Glenwood Hotel, the early years were difficult. In 1884, Frank undertook the job of decorating and furnishing the new Long Beach Hotel. He opened the hotel for the owners and operated it for the summer. In 1885, Alice married Frank W. Richardson and shortly after, the young couple began to manage the Glenwood for Miller.

Miller, it seemed, intended to pursue a career in the booming real estate market, but his hotel expertise pursued him. For years, the standard advertisements for the Glenwood had a small addendum, “For Sale. Hotel Glenwood Property. Furniture and Business is offered for sale at a bargain as the proprietor wishes to retire from the hotel business.”

During this period, Frank Miller and his wife, Isabella, also took a job managing the Hotel Palomares in Pomona and, in 1887, when the Palomares underwent a major expansion, he became an agent for the development of the new boomtown of Claremont. In 1894, Frank and his sister attended a convention of the Southern California Hotel Association and both presented papers. Frank’s paper focused on the transportation of guests to and from railways stations, while Alice discussed management of the pantry and kitchen. Alice is often credited for the homelike qualities of accommodations in the hotel. Later, in 1897, Miller leased the Hotel Arcadia in Santa Monica and again left the Glenwood in his sister and brother-in-law’s hands.

Eventually, Frank Miller focused his energies on his dream of building a new hotel in Riverside. Despite attempts at starting from the ground up, most notably with a combination hotel-courthouse project, Miller’s dream hotel turned out to be the Glenwood Mission Inn. He capitalized the renovation by selling common shares at $100 each and Alice’s husband, Frank Richardson, is listed as a secretary and assistant manager among the new company’s officers, with 100 shares.

When the renovation and expansion was complete and the Glenwood Mission Inn reopened on February 20, 1903, Alice Richardson is listed as the hotel’s buyer and her husband, Frank W. Richardson, is listed as manager. Frank Richardson died in 1906 and Alice stayed on in a management capacity until her death in 1938.