Alessandro Avenue

Named in 1907 after Alessandro Assis, a fictitious character in Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1884 bestseller Ramona. (Nearby Cloverly Avenue was originally dubbed “Ramona Avenue” on the same tract; see Ramona Boulevard for why Jackson’s novel had such great influence over California street names.) A LuiseƱo tribesman who excelled at sheep shearing, horseback riding, and violin playing, the handsome and forthright Alessandro was the lover of Ramona‘s titular protagonist. The book was so popular that Alessandro was effectively the Romeo of his day: several SoCal sites took his name, including, in 1887, a farming settlement near Perris in Riverside County. It was advertised as the next big thing but was thwarted by irrigation problems. That Alessandro is now the March Air Reserve Base. This Alessandro still stands.