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Riverside County, California

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Contents

Early History of Riverside County, California

This profile is part of the Riverside County, California One Place Study.


Cities & Towns

  • Aguanga

The town gets its name from a former village of the native Luiseño people called awáanga, meaning 'dog place'. The Butterfield Overland Mail established a station 1.7 miles to the west of the current Post Office, in 1858. It was at first called Tejungo Station and was located 14 miles east of Temecula Station and 12 miles northwest of Oak Grove Stage Station. The wooden building was located in a grove of trees a few hundred feet from the stage road. Soon however it was being called Aguanga Station after the name of the nearby Luiseño village. The November 7, 1861, report of Lieut. Col. Joseph R. West, mentioned the abandoned station location was now called Giftaler’s Ranch, (after its German owner Joseph Giftaler) in a journal of his units march to Fort Yuma on the old Butterfield Overland Mail route. In a later Civil War itinerary of the route, it is referred to as the "Dutchman's". In 1863, Camp Giftaler Ranch was established at the ranch as a post along the march route of troops to Arizona Territory by the Union Army. In 1864, Giftaler’s Ranch was purchased by Jacob Bergman, also a German immigrant, stagecoach driver and Union Army veteran, who operated the Bergman Ranch there for many years until his death on September 13, 1894. After the Civil war he ran Bergman's Stage Station there for the Banning and Tomlinson Stage lines for many years.During the Julian Gold Rush he ran the Guahonga post office there from July 27, 1870, to September 13, 1871. The post office for the area was then moved to Oak Grove until the Bergman post office was opened in 1894 but its name was changed to Aguanga in 1901. Today the station site is on the Twin Creek Stage Stop Ranch, on Allmouth Road, found just east of the Stagecoach Inn at 43851 Highway 79, in Aguanga. The ruins of the old wooden station building and ranch house is located among a grove of trees, at the foot of the west end of the hill at the bottom of the meadow, along the right fork of Allmouth Road.[9] The small, fenced-in Bergman Family Cemetery and the Jacob Bergman Marker are found on Caprice Road, 200 feet from the highway, just across the highway from the entrance to the ranch and a short distance to the east. [1]

  • Anza

It is estimated that the Cahuilla aboriginal tribes inhabited an area including what is today the Anza Valley more than two thousand years ago and encountered Europeans only as late as 1774, when a Spanish expedition in search of an overland route from Sonora to Alta California made its way from Tubac, Sonora through the valley to Monterey, Alta California. Explorer Juan Bautista de Anza first passed through the valley on March 16, 1774, and again on December 27, 1775. De Anza originally named the valley "San Carlos"; it was renamed in his honor from Cahuilla Valley to Anza Valley on 16 September 1926. Up until about 1580 the area was in the proximity of a larger body of inland water known as Lake Cahuilla, but that inland lake larger than the current Salton Sea, which occupies a portion of its former location, evaporated, thus increasing the desert character of the Anza Valley. These climatic and cultural factors can be seen as having exercised a unique influence on the early European settlers of the Anza Valley. During the 19th century, settlement included ranchers, a limited number of miners, and honey producers. The mid-to-late 19th century witnessed moderate population and above average economic prosperity for this isolated community. From the late 1860s on, Anza was largely settled by families seeking to build ranches under the Homestead Act. Of the homesteads in the area, one, the Cary Ranch on Cary Road (south of Anza, east of the Tripp Flats Ranger Station) still exists and is still owned and occupied by family members of the original settlers. The ranch is now occupied by the Hopkins family. The Hopkins are direct descendants of the Cary family. Although the Cary Ranch used to encompass hundreds of acres of land, most has been sold off, and only a 20-acre parcel and several original buildings exist. The post office opened in 1926 [2]

  • Banning

It is named for Phineas Banning, stagecoach line owner and the "Father of the Port of Los Angeles." The area, up to the mid-19th century, was inhabited by the Cahuilla people, though the region around Banning was originally Maringayam (Serrano), and the Cahuilla expanded into the pass only in historic times. In 1824 it became part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, and then the Rancho San Gorgonio. The first Anglo to settle in the area was Dr. Isaac Smith in 1853. In 1863 a smallpox epidemic further diminished the Cahuilla. The government created Indian reservations for the Cahuilla in 1877. The settlement that was to become Banning developed in coincidence with the start of the Colorado River Gold Rush. The Bradshaw Trail, which passed through the area in 1862, was a wagon road to the gold boomtowns of Arizona Territory. Gilman's Ranch north of downtown served as a station for the stagecoach lines on this road. The railroad followed passing through the town in 1876. The Southern Pacific (later purchased by Union Pacific) railroad, was a major contributor to the area's growth. U.S. Route 99 was built in 1923, followed by U.S. Route 60/70 in 1936, and subsequently Interstate 10. Banning borders the Morongo Indian Reservation, home to the Morongo Band of Cahuilla (Mission) Indians. Relations with reservation residents have been stressed by such actions as disputes over water rights. See Dorothy Ramon's book (published 2000) "Always Believe" for a Maringayam's views on Banning and reservation life. Prior to the name Banning, the settlement was called Moore City. Ransom B. Moore operated a large cattle ranch and was later a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, settling in the area and nearby San Gorgonio mountains in the early 1860s. Moore sold his holdings and relocated to central Arizona in 1883, establishing a large cattle ranch on the site of the former Camp Reno army outpost and later served in the Arizona Territorial Legislature. The town of Banning was incorporated on February 6, 1913. Between the years 1880 and 1980, it was the largest city in year-round population between Redlands and the Colorado River. [3]

  • Beaumont

During the early 1850s, many surveying parties passed through the vicinity of present-day Beaumont in search of a pass that would connect the east to the Pacific Ocean. The San Gorgonio Pass was discovered in 1853 by a surveying expedition under Lieutenant R.S. Williamson, who was sent by the United States government. Its discovery enthralled many who now saw that connecting to the ocean was a feasible measure and led to plans for connecting a railway from the Missouri River to the Pacific. By the early 1860s, the Southern Pacific Railroad had laid tracks through the modern-day location of Beaumont. At the summit of the pass, a site was founded and named Edgar Station after a physician from one of the original expedition parties. Edgar Station served as a rest stop for railway travelers from the Mojave Desert on their way to the Los Angeles vicinity. Soon Edgar Station changed its name to San Gorgonio, named by a real estate development company, and it gradually attracted permanent residents. The sleepy town of San Gorgonio became an incorporated California city on November 18, 1912, and adopted its current name of Beaumont (French for "beautiful mountain"). [4]

  • Blythe

Blythe was named after Thomas H. Blythe, a San Francisco financier, who established primary water rights to the Colorado River in the region in 1877. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916. In the early or mid-1870s, William Calloway AKA Oliver Calloway, an engineer and a former captain of the 1st California Infantry Regiment, explored an area across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg, Arizona and found its potential for development. Calloway made preliminary surveys and filed land claims under the Swamp Land Act of 1850. He interested the wealthier Thomas Henry Blythe (real last name Williams), who was born in Mold, Wales, to undertake development and settlement of an "empire" located next to the Colorado. On July 17, 1877, Blythe filed his first claim for Colorado River water on what was to become the "Blythe Intake". Blythe appointed another man named George Irish as manager to assist Calloway in building an irrigation system. Calloway died in a Chemehuevi attack in March 28, 1880, and was replaced by C.C. Miller, the father of Frank Augustus Miller. Thomas Blythe died on April 4, 1883; his only revisit to the valley was in November 1882. After his death, the work in the valley halted and Blythe's estate subsequently went into litigation between his illegitimate daughter Florence and other claimants, the trial beginning on 1889. By the 1900s, Florence was awarded the estate, after several years of preceding rulings in favor of her and appeals against her. Frank Murphy and Ed Williams, who were involved on the cattle industry in southeastern Arizona, came to the area in 1904 and were convinced it was well-suited for cattle and farming. With the Hobson brothers from Ventura County, they bought Blythe's estate and formed the Palo Verde Land and Water Company.During 1911-12, W.F. Holt, who helped develop nearby Imperial Valley, was the company's general manager. On August 8, 1916, the California Southern Railroad reached Blythe from the desert station of Rice, then known as Blythe Junction. It was later renamed to honor G.W. Rice, an engineer and superintendent of the railroad. [5]

  • Cabazon

"Cabazon was initially established as an unincorporated settlement in the 1870s after the Southern Pacific Railroad built a railroad station. The station was originally named Jacinto, but was renamed Cabezone after a nearby Indian rancheria. Cabezone was a chief of the Cahuilla Indians so named for his large head. A worker's camp named Hall's Siding which included a hotel and dance hall was established but eventually abandoned after the railroad relocated. In 1884 a new town was laid out by the Scottish-owned Cabazon Land and Water Company which established a fruit farm. Some lots were sold, but were later repurchased, and the land stayed intact until it was bought by a developer in 1910. The developer established a school and a post office but there were few residents."[6]

  • Calimesa

Calimesa is a city in Riverside County, California, United States It is situated in the San Gorgonio Pass.[7]

  • Cathedral City

The city's name derives from "Cathedral Canyon" to the south of the town, so named in 1850 by Colonel Henry Washington because of its rock formations that are reminiscent of a cathedral.[8]

  • Coachella

"The city was founded as Woodspur in 1876, when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a rail siding on the site. In the 1880s the indigenous Cahuilla tribe sold their land plots to the railroads for new lands east of the current town site, and in the 1890s, a few hundred traqueros took up settlement along the tracks. In 1901 the citizens of Woodspur voted on a new name for their community and at a town hall meeting, the homeowners settled on Coachella. The origin of the name Coachella is unclear. Some locals believe it was a misspelling of Conchilla, a Spanish word for the small white snail shells found in the valley's sandy soil, vestiges of a lake which dried up over 3,000 years ago. Coachella began as a 2.5-square-mile territory gridded out on the mesquite-covered desert floor. Not until the 1950s did Coachella begin to expand into its present range, about 32 square miles, an area which contained large year-round agricultural corporate farms and fruit groves, particularly of citrus (lemons, oranges, grapefruit) and date palms."[9]

  • Corona

"Corona, originally named South Riverside, was founded at the height of the Southern California citrus boom in 1886, and is advantageously situated at the upper end of the Santa Ana River Canyon, a significant pass through the Santa Ana Mountains. The town of Corona was once the Lemon Capital of the World. A museum there presents the lemon's former role in the local economy. The city derived its name (and its nickname, "The Circle City") from the curious layout of its streets, with a standard grid enclosed by the circular Grand Boulevard, 2.75 miles in circumference. The street layout was designed by Hiram Clay Kellogg, a civil engineer from Anaheim who was an influential figure in the early development of Orange County. Corona was established as a town by the South Riverside Land and Water Company. The company was incorporated in 1886; founding members included ex-Governor of Iowa Samuel Merrill, R.B. Taylor, George L. Joy, A.S. Garretson, and Adolph Rimpau. Originally a citrus growers' organization, it purchased the lands of Rancho La Sierra of Bernardo Yorba, and the Rancho Temescal grant and the colony of South Riverside was laid out. They also secured the water rights to Temescal Creek, its tributaries and Lee Lake. Dams and pipelines were built to carry the water to the colony. Originally located in San Bernardino County, the city was named "South Riverside" and received its post office in that name on August 11, 1887. In 1893, South Riverside became part of the new Riverside County. In 1896, the city was renamed "Corona" for its circular Grand Boulevard, where three international automobile races were held in 1913, 1914 and 1916."[10]

  • Desert Center

"The town was founded in 1921 by Stephen A. Ragsdale, also known as "Desert Steve", and his wife, Lydia. Ragsdale was an itinerant preacher and cotton farmer, originally from Arkansas. In 1915, he left his farm in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River to attend to some business in Los Angeles. The road between Phoenix and Los Angeles was mostly sand, and Ragsdale's vehicle broke down near a place called Gruendyke's Well. This featured a hand-dug well and was inhabited by a prospector named Bill Gruendyke. Gruendyke rescued Ragsdale and gave him food, shelter, and water until his vehicle was repaired and he could resume his journey to Los Angeles."[11]

  • Desert Hot Springs

"According to early homesteader and writer Cabot Yerxa in his newspaper columns published in The Desert Sentinel newspaper, the first homesteader in the area of the city of Desert Hot Springs was Hilda Maude Gray, who staked her claim in 1908. Cabot Yerxa arrived in 1913 and soon discovered the hot water aquifer on Miracle Hill. Due to the Mission Creek Branch of the San Andreas Fault bisecting the area, one side is a cold water aquifer, the other has a hot water aquifer. His large Pueblo Revival Style architecture structure, hand built over 20 years, is now one of the oldest adobe-style buildings in Riverside County, and houses Cabot's Pueblo Museum, designated a state historical site after his death in 1965. Cabot's Trading Post & Gallery opened there in February 2008. The town was founded by L. W. Coffee on July 12, 1941. The original town site was centered at the intersection of Palm Drive and Pierson Boulevard and was only one square mile. Coffee chose the name Desert Hot Springs because of the area's natural hot springs."[12]

  • Hemet

"The Cahuilla tribe were the initial inhabitants of the Hemet area. The tribe was moved to the Indian reservation near San Jacinto. During the early 19th century, the land was used for cattle ranching by Mission San Luis Rey, which named the area Rancho San Jacinto. In 1842 José Antonio Estudillo received the Rancho San Jacinto Viejo Mexican land grant. In 1887, during the first major Southern California land boom, W.F. Whittier and E.L. Mayberry founded the Lake Hemet Water Company, the Hemet Land Company, and the city of Hemet. In 1895. By 1894, the area had a newspaper, the Hemet News, and "several general stores," the largest being Heffelfinger & Co, which occupied an entire block. There were "a drug store, an excellent barber shop, two blacksmith shops, harness shop, shoe repairing houses, two real estate offices and two lumber yards." "The most pretentious building" was the two-story Hotel Mayberry, "supplied with all the modern conveniences usually found in first-class hostelries, including stationary water, baths, etc., and a complete electric light system, the power for which is furnished by the company's private [plant."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemet,_California]

  • Idyllwild

"Idyllwild was known originally as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow there, especially beside the creek that runs through the town, Strawberry Creek. Shepherds regularly brought their flocks to the valley. In the 1880s, the Domenigoni family of San Jacinto homesteaded land near what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy. In 1889, George and Sarah Hannahs built a summer camp next to the site of their sawmill in upper Dutch Flat; they named it Camp Idyllwilde. By the 1890s a toll road had been built from Hemet, which opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A post office was established in 1893; at this time, the town was called Rayneta after the Hannahs' son Raymond. A Cahuilla legend recounts how tribesmen chanted over the body of their fallen chieftain Tahquitz, or Takwish, who had been possessed by an evil spirit and killed his sweetheart. Suddenly his body began to glow like fire, and he rose and settled on Idyllwild's Tahquitz Rock. According to the legend, Tahquitz is trapped beneath the rock with a rattlesnake and a condor for company, and when the mountain shakes and trembles, it is not an earthquake, but Tahquitz up to his evil tricks on Lily [Rock."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idyllwild-Pine_Cove,_California]

  • Indian Wells

As early as 1853, the area now known as Indian Wells was the site of a thriving Indian village, as reported by W.P. Blade, a Smithsonian Institution geologist. A decade later, when gold was discovered on the Colorado River, William D. Bradshaw built a trail from Los Angeles through the desert to the gold mines. The Alexander and Company Stage Line used the trail to transport prospectors and Indian Wells became an important stop along the trail. Competition from the Southern Pacific Railroad caused the route to be abandoned briefly in 1875 before being reactivated by the Wells Fargo Company the following year. Over the next decades, settlers gradually arrived in the area and date palm ranches became profitable. The area's first golf courses were opened in the 1950s at the Eldorado Country Club and the Indian Wells Country Club. In 1957, Desi Arnaz opened his Indian Wells Hotel. In 1960, Arnold Palmer won the first Bob Hope Desert Classic golf tournament. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a regular Indian Wells visitor and later an Eldorado homeowner..

  • Indio

"The City of Indio came about because of the need of a halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Yuma, Arizona and Los Angeles. The engines needed to be re-filled with water. At first, the-would-be city was called Indian Wells, but because of so many other areas already called that, Indio – after a Spanish variation of the word "Indian" – was chosen.After the railroad's arrival in 1876, Indio really started to grow. The first permanent building was the craftsman style Southern Pacific Depot station and hotel. Southern Pacific tried to make life as comfortable as it could for their workers in order to keep them from leaving such a difficult area to live in at the time. It was at the center of all social life in the desert with a fancy dining room and hosting dances on Friday nights."[13]

  • La Quinta

"In the late-19th century and early-20th century (1880–1920), agriculture developed in present-day La Quinta and "East Valley" by pre-modern (mountain water runoff or open water springs) and modern irrigation techniques. At the time, California and federal land surveyors declared the sand dunes uninhabitable, only the hard rock ground of the "Marshall Cove" held potential farming and residential development. In 1926, Walter Morgan established the La Quinta Resort at the northern section of Marshall Cove as a type of secluded hideaway for nearby Hollywood's celebrities and socialites. The Resort was the site for the Coachella Valley's first golf course, coinciding with the construction and pavement of State Route 111 in the 1930s. "[14]

  • Lake Elsinore

"Overlooked by the expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza, the largest natural lake in Southern California was first seen by the Spanish Franciscan padre Juan Santiago, exploring eastward from the Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1797. In 1810, the water level of the Laguna Grande was first described by a traveler as being little more than a swamp about a mile long. Later in the early 19th century, the lake grew larger, providing a spot to camp and water their animals for Mexican rancheros, American trappers, the expedition of John C. Fremont, and the immigrants during the California Gold Rush as they traveled along the southern shore of the lake on what later became the Southern Emigrant Trail and the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail. On January 7, 1844, Julian Manriquez acquired the land grant to Rancho La Laguna, a tract of almost 20,000 acres which included the lake and an adobe being built near the lake on its south shore at its western corner that was described by Benjamin Ignatius Hayes, who stayed there overnight January 27, 1850. In 1851, Abel Stearns acquired the rancho and sold it in 1858 to Augustin Machado. Augustin Machado built a seven-room adobe ranch house and an outbuilding on the southwest side of the lake. Soon after, Rancho La Laguna became a regular stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route between Temecula 20 mi (32 km) to the south and the Temescal station 10 mi to the north. The old Manriquez adobe was used as the station house. Over the years, a framed addition and a second story were added, and it was used as a post office for the small settlement of Willard from 1898 until September 30, 1902. The building stood until it was razed in 1964, at what is now 32912 Macy Street. Today, three palm trees still grow in front of the site along Macy Street in front of the property. As a result of the Great Flood of 1862, the level of the lake was very high, so the Union Army created a post at the lake to graze and water their horses. In the great 1862–65 drought, most of the cattle in Southern California died and the lake level fell, especially during 1866 and 1867, when practically no rain fell. However, the lake was full again in 1872, when it overflowed down its outlet through Temescal Canyon. While most of the old Californio families lost their ranchos during the great drought, the La Laguna Rancho remained in the hands of the Machado family until 1873, when most of it was sold to Englishman Charles A. Sumner. Juan Machado retained 500 acres on the northwest corner of the lake, where his adobe still stands near the lake at 15410 Grand Avenue. On October 5, 1883, Franklin H. Heald and his partners, Donald Graham and William Collier bought the remaining rancho, intending to start a new town. In 1884, the California Southern Railroad built a line from Colton through the Cañon de Rio San Jacinto (now Railroad Canyon) to link with San Diego, and a rail station La Laguna appeared near the corner of what is now Mission Trail Road and Diamond Drive. On April 9, 1888, Lake Elsinore became the 73rd city to be incorporated in California, just 38 years after California became a state. Originally, Elsinore became a city in San Diego County and later part of Riverside County upon its creation in 1893. It was named Elsinore after the Danish city in Shakespeare's "Hamlet", which is now its sister city (Helsingør). Another source maintains Elsinore is a corruption of "el señor", Spanish for "the gentleman", because the city site had been owned by a don." [15]

  • Mecca

Mecca is an unincorporated community located in Riverside County, California, United States. The desert community lies on the North shore of the Salton Sea in the eastern Coachella Valley and is surrounded by agricultural [land.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecca,_California]

  • Menifee

The area was originally inhabited by the Luiseño people, specifically the Pechanga band. In the 18th century, the area fell under Spanish rule and was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1850 as a result of the Mexican-American War. Farming, which began in the mid-19th century, was concentrated in the Menifee area. Mining began in the early 1880s with the discovery of a significant quartz lode by miner Luther Menifee Wilson, from which Menifee derived its name. Early development of the Menifee area began with Sun City in the early 1960s, conceptualized as an active retirement community by Del Webb, a building contractor from Phoenix, Arizona. Webb also developed Sun City, Arizona under the same concept. Sun City is a centrally located neighborhood within Menifee with a mix of residential and commercial activity.[16]

  • Mira Loma

"Rancho Jurupa/Jurupa Valley was originally granted by the Mexican government to Juan Bandini, on September 28, 1838. Originally known as Wineville, it is located in the modern day "Jurupa" area of unincorporated Riverside County. It is separated from the city of Riverside by the Santa Ana River to the south, borders the Ontario/Fontana area of San Bernardino County to the north and west, and Pedley / Glen Avon to the east. The community officially changed its name from Wineville on November 1, 1930, due in large part to the negative publicity surrounding the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders."[17]

  • Moreno Valley

"Moreno Valley is a city located in Riverside County, California, and is part of the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area."[18]

  • Murrieta

"For most of its history, Murrieta was not heavily populated. On July 17, 1873, Domingo Pujol, Francisco Sanjurjo, and Juan and Ezequiel Murrieta purchased the Rancho Pauba and Rancho Temecula Mexican land grants, comprising 52,000 acres in the area. Ezequiel returned to Spain and turned the land over to his younger brother, Juan Murrieta (1844–1936), who brought 7,000 sheep to the valley in 1873, using the meadows to feed his sheep. The partnership dissolved in 1876 and Ezequiel and Juan Murrieta retained 15,000 acres of the northern half of the Temecula Rancho. Ezequiel and Juan Murrieta granted a right-of-way, one-hundred-feet wide to the California Southern Railroad through the Temecula Rancho on April 28, 1882, so that the railroad could be constructed through the valley. In 1884, the Temecula Land and Water Company purchased about 14,500 acres from Juan Murrieta and mapped a town site along the California Southern Railroad. Others discovered the valley after the construction of a depot in 1887 that connected Murrieta to the Southern California Railroad's transcontinental route. By 1890 some 800 people lived in Murrieta. Today much of the site (about 50 acres) is home to a Bible college and conference center, owned by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which has invested millions of dollars into restoring and rebuilding the old resort rooms. When the trains stopped in 1935, tourists – the lifeblood of the town – were much harder to come by. The boom that Murrieta had experienced due to the train and the hot springs gradually died, leaving Murrieta as a small country town."[19]

  • Norco

"The city's name is an abbreviation of "North Corona". It was named after the North Corona Land Company. Norco had its "grand opening" on Mother's Day, May 13, 1923. It was later incorporated as a city on December 28, 1964 According to city ordinances, the architecture of Norco “shall reflect a desired Western theme,” including qualities “described as rural, informal, traditional, rustic, low-profile and equestrian oriented."[20]

  • Palm Desert

"The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life."[21]

  • Palm Springs

The first European resident in Palm Springs itself was Jack Summers, who ran the stagecoach station on the Bradshaw Trail in 1862. 149 Fourteen years later (1876), the Southern Pacific railroad was laid 6 miles to the north, isolating the station. In 1880, local Indian Pedro Chino was selling parcels near the springs to William Van Slyke and Mathew Bryne in a series of questionable transactions; they in turn brought in W. R. Porter to help market their property through the "Palm City Land and Water Company". By 1885, when San Francisco attorney (later known as "Judge") John Guthrie McCallum began buying property in Palm Springs, the name was already in wide acceptance. The area was named "Palm Valley" when McCallum incorporated the "Palm Valley Land and Water Company" with partners O.C. Miller, H.C. Campbell, and James Adams, M.D

  • Perris

"The Perris Valley was actively settled in the 1880s, a boom period for Southern California. Prior to 1880, the land was used for pastures. The coming of the California Southern Railroad led to the founding of the city around the new depot. The California Southern was built through the future town site in 1882 to open a rail connection between the present day cities of Barstow and San Diego. Due to a land title dispute at Pinacate, most of its citizens moved two miles north on the railroad and established Perris in 1885. The city is named in honor of Fred T. Perris, chief engineer of the California Southern Railroad. The city of Perris was incorporated in 1911. It originally was part of San Diego County, but in 1892 was transferred to the newly established Riverside County."[22]

  • Rancho Mirage

"Although the first modern settlements date back to the 1920s and 1930s, Rancho Mirage got its claim to fame after World War II. The Annenberg Estate or Sunnylands, owned by philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, had long been popular with the wealthy and powerful, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Patrick Macnee and Mary Martin. Several United States Presidents have vacationed at the Annenberg estate, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. Ford later bought a house in Rancho Mirage and was living there at the time of his death in 2006. The Betty Ford Center, a world-renowned addiction rehabilitation center, is located in Rancho Mirage at the Eisenhower Medical Center. President Barack Obama has also used Sunnylands for summit meetings with world leaders during his administration."[23]

  • Riverside

"In the late 1700s and early 1800s the area was inhabited by Cahuilla and the Serrano people. Californios such as Bernardo Yorba and Juan Bandini established ranches during the first half of the 19th century. In the 1860s, Louis Prevost launched the California Silk Center Association, a short-lived experiment in sericulture. In the wake of its failure, John W. North purchased some of its land and formed the Southern California Colony Association to promote the area's development. In March 1870, North distributed posters announcing the formation of a colony in California.Riverside was founded in the early 1870s. It is the birthplace of the California citrus industry and home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery"[24]

  • San Jacinto

"named the valley, San Jacinto, which is Spanish for Saint Hyacinth, and around 1820 they established an outpost there. In 1842 José Antonio Estudillo received the Rancho San Jacinto Viejo Mexican land grant. In the 1860s, the Estudillo family began selling off portions of their rancho and through acquisitions, a small American community began to form. In 1868, local residents petitioned to form a school district and by 1870 a store and post office had been established. With these establishments, 1870 is considered the founding date of San Jacinto. A plan for the community was developed in 1883 and a city government for it was incorporated on April 20, 1888, within San Diego County. San Jacinto is one of the oldest American cities in the region. In May 1893, Riverside County was created by the division of northern San Diego County and part of what now is San Bernardino County, changing the county government over San Jacinto as the new county was created."[25]

  • Temecula

"In 1798, Spanish Missionaries established the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia and designated the Indians living in the region "Sanluiseños", or shortened to "Luiseños". In the 1820s, the Mission San Antonio de Pala was built. The Mexican land grants made in the Temecula area were Rancho Temecula granted to Felix Valdez and to the east Rancho Pauba granted to Vicente Moraga in 1844. Rancho Little Temecula was made in 1845 to Luiseño Pablo Apis, one of the few former mission converts to be given a land grant. It was fertile well watered land at the southern end of the valley, which included the village of Temecula. A fourth grant, known as Rancho Santa Rosa was made to Juan Moreno in 1846, and was in the hills to the west of Temecula. The Luiseño and Cahuilla were involved in local battles not part of the Mexican-American War. In January 1847 in the Pauma Massacre, Luiseños captured 11 Mexican soldiers, who had stolen some of the tribe's horses. The Californios in Los Angeles mounted a military retaliation directed by General Pio Pico. In the Temecula Massacre, a combined force of Mexican soldiers and Cahuilla Indians killed 33 to 100 Luiseños As American settlers moved into the area after the war, conflict with the native tribes increased. A treaty was signed in the Magee Store in Temecula in 1852, but was never ratified by the United States Senate. In addition, the Luiseños challenged the Mexican land grant claims, as under Mexican law, the land was held in trust to be distributed to the indigenous population after becoming subjects. They challenged the Apis claim to the Little Temecula Rancho by taking the case to the 1851 California Land Commission. On November 15, 1853, the commission rejected the Luiseño claim; an appealed in 1856 to the district court found in favor of the heirs of Pablo Apis (he had died in late 1853 or early 1854). The Luiseño of Temecula village remained on the south side of Temecula Creek when the Apis grant was acquired, in 1872, by Louis Wolf; they were evicted in 1875. A stagecoach line started a local route from Warner Ranch to Colton in 1857 that passed through Temecula Valley. Within a year, the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line, with a route between St. Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, stopped at Temecula's Magee Store.On April 22, 1859, the first inland Southern California post office was established in Temecula in the Magee Store. This was the second post office in the state, the first being located in San Francisco. The Temecula post office was moved in the ensuing years. Its present locations are the seventh and eighth sites occupied. The American Civil War put an end to the Butterfield Overland Stage Service, but stage service continued on the route under other stage companies until the railroad reached Fort Yuma in 1877. In 1862, Louis Wolf, a Temecula merchant and postmaster, married Ramona Place, who was mixed-race and half Indian. Author Helen Hunt Jackson spent time with Louis and Ramona Wolf in 1882 and again in 1883. Wolf's store became an inspiration for Jackson's fictional "Hartsel's store" in her 1884 novel, Ramona. In 1882, the United States government established the Pechanga Indian Reservation of approximately 4,000 acres some 8 miles from downtown Temecula. Also in 1882, the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad completed construction of the section from National City to Temecula. In 1883, the line was extended to San Bernardino. In the late 1880s, a series of floods washed out the tracks and the section of the railroad through the canyon was finally abandoned. The old Temecula station was used as a barn and later demolished. In the 1890s with the operation of granite stone quarries, Temecula granite was shaped into fence and hitching posts, curbstones, courthouse steps, and building blocks. At the turn of the 20th century, Temecula gained a place of importance as a shipping point for grain and cattle."[26]

  • Thermal

Thermal is an unincorporated community within the Coachella Valley in Riverside County, California located approximately 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs and about 9.5 miles north of the Salton Sea.[27]

  • Thousand Palms

Thousand Palms is in the Coachella Valley of Riverside County, California, United States The location had a post office called Edom in 1913. The post office was moved in 1938 and then renamed as Thousand Palms in 1939. [28]

  • Whitewater

White Water, still a populated place on the west bank of the Whitewater River, 10 miles northwest of Palm Springs. It began as rest and watering place for travelers on the Bradshaw Trail between San Bernardino and La Paz Arizona Territory in 1862. With the start of the Colorado River Gold Rush the trail was created to ship goods and allow people to cross the desert to the new boom towns on the Colorado River and the interior of Arizona Territory. White Water got its name from the White Water Station a stagecoach station that was located there on the Bradshaw Trail.[5] The settlement at White Water remained as a stop on the road into the Coachella Valley and to other desert regions to the east as it does today.[29]

  • Wildomar

"In January 1885, Collier, Graham, and Heald made a map of Blocks K, L and M of the Elsinore area, recording the maps with San Diego County in October of that year. In February 1885, Collier and Graham purchased Franklin Heald’s one-third interest in the 2,600 acres of unsold land south-east of Corydon Road. Heald took full interest in the unsold land to the north west of the Corydon Road line. Collier and Graham made a map of the Wildomar townsite in December 1885, recording it with San Diego County the following November 20. The name Wildomar was derived by combining the names of the new town’s founders, Wil for William Collier, do for Donald Graham, and mar for Margaret Collier Graham, wife of Donald Graham and sister of William Collier. In 1886 a new school was built, along with a post office and railroad depot. By 1887, Wildomar could boast a large hotel, livery stable, blacksmith shop, numerous stores, a lumber yard, and a park. A Methodist-Episcopalian church was built in 1888 across from the new school just north-west of Central Avenue. In October 1887, Collier and Graham made a map of the Santa Rosa addition to Wildomar, an addition of about 1,500 acres purchased from Parker Dear, owner of the Rancho Santa Rosa who was attempting to develop a town he called Linda Rosa further south on the rail-line. This new map was recorded February 10, 1892, in the San Diego County records."[30]

  • Winchester

Winchester was founded in 1886 in Pleasant Valley in what was then San Diego County. The town was named after the widow of Horace Winchester, Mrs. Amy Winchester.[31]

Historical Attractions

Online Resources

Cemetery Records

Find A Grave - Riverside County [32]

Census Records

  • 1790 United States Census [33]
  • 1800 United States Census [34]
  • 1810 United States Census [35]
  • 1820 United States Census [36]
  • 1830 United States Census [37]
  • 1840 United States Census [38]
  • 1850 United States Census [39]
  • 1860 United States Census [40]
  • 1870 United States Census [41]
  • 1880 United States Census [42]
  • 1900 United States Census [43]
  • 1910 United States Census [44]
  • 1920 United States Census [45]
  • 1930 United States Census [46]
  • 1940 United States Census [47]

Land Records

Newspapers

Libraries





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