Temecula History

A CHRONOLOGY 1797-1993

Compiled by Emily Gerstbacher
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1797
Oct. 17

The first Spanish visit the Indian village at the mouth of the Temecula Canyon. The expedition, originating from Mission San Juan Capistrano, includes Padre Juan Norberto de Santiago, Captain Pedro Lisalde, seven soldiers, and five Indians.

1821

The Temecula Valley comes under the control of Mission San Luis Rey, despite protests by the padres at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Temecula Indians are placed under the jurisdiction of the Mission and called "Luisenos". The rancheria at Temecula includes a granary and a simple chapel. Its large grain crops makes Temecula the most important dependency of the prosperous Mission San Luis Rey.

1830s

The Emigrant Trail becomes the established southern route into California. It enters present-day Riverside County near Aguanga and passes through Temecula on the way to Los Angeles. (Local historians often call this route the "Immigrant Trail" or "Southern Immigrant Trail.") Up Arrow

1834
Aug. 4

California Governor Jose Figueroa issues a proclamation secularizing the California missions and their lands over a three-year period.

1835

Pio Pico becomes administrator of the Mission San Luis Rey and its lands after secularization and begins to claim ownership of the Mission's lands in the Temecula Valley for himself and his brother, Andres.

1836
June

Pico imprisons Pablo Apis, headman of the Temecula Indians and a spokesman for neophytes at the Mission San Luis Rey, in an attempt to stop his petitions and protests involving Pico's administration of the Mission's property. Up Arrow

1840
Aug. 8

Pio Pico secures a provisional grant to Rancho Temecula. Temecula Indians send a Delegation to Los Angeles to protest Pico's right to the land.

1844
Nov.

Vincent Moraga, an official in the Pueblo of Los Angeles, is granted Rancho Pauba by California Governor Manuel Micheltoreno.

1844
Dec. 14

Felix Valdes, a Mexican army officer, is granted Rancho Temecula by Governor Micheltoreno. Up Arrow

1845
May 7

Pablo Apis receives a 2,233-acre land grant from California Governor Pio Pico. This grant comes to be known as "Little Temecula Rancho."

1846
Jan. 30

Rancho Santa Rosa, 47,815 acres, is granted to Juan Moreno by Governor Pico.

1846
May 13

The Mexican War begins. Up Arrow

1846
June 15

Felix Valdes sells Rancho Temecula to his attorney, Luis Vignes. Vignes is a pioneer Los Angeles vineyardist and Winemaker.

1846
Dec. 6

U.S. General Stephen Watts Kearny, sent overland to California to establish an occupation government, is defeated at the Battle of San Pasqual by Californio cavalry under General Andres Pico.

1847
Jan.

In retaliation for the death of eleven Californios at the hands of Luiseno Indians in the aftermath of the Battle of San Pasqual, General Jose Maria Flores orders Jose del Carmen Lugo to find and put to death the quilty Indians. Thirty to 125 Luiseno Indians are killed at the east end of Pauba Valley, south of Adobe Springs (Los Nogales Road and Camino del Vino), by Lugo's troops and his Cahuilla Indian allies in what will come to be called the Temecula Massacre. Up Arrow

1847
Jan. 13

The signing of the Cahuenga Capitulations ends the Mexican War in California.

1847
Jan. 25

The Mormon Battalion,commanded by Captain Philip St. George Cooke, arrives in the Temecula Valley on its trek from Santa Fe to San Diego. It meets a party of 150 armed Luiseno Indians who have come to bury the victims of the Temecula Massacre.

1847
Jan. 26

The Luiseno dead are buried in a local burial ground located on Pablo Apis's rancho, near Temecula Creek. Up Arrow

1848
Jan. 28

Luis Vignes purchased Rancho Pauba for $3,000.

1849

John Magee's store is established on Little Temecula Rancho, at the crossroads of the Southern Emigrant Trail and the San Bernardino-to-San Diego road. It provides a resting place for settlers and gold seekers traveling the southern route into California.

1850
Sept. 9

California becomes a state and the Temecula Valley becomes part of San Diego County. Up Arrow

1852
Jan. 5

The Treaty of Temecula is signed at the Apis adobe. The treaty offers a five-year program of U.S. assistance to the Temecula Indians and includes a three-to four-thousand-square-mile reservation. In return, twenty-nine headmen and chiefs agree to relinquish claims to lands outside the proposed reservation.

1852
July 8

Although signed by President Zachary Taylor, the Treaty of Temecula is rejected by the U.S. Senate in response to lobbying by land speculators and settlers.

1855

Juan Moreno sells the Santa Rosa Rancho to Augustine Machado, owner of the large La Ballona Ranch in Los Angeles, for $1,000 in cash and $500 in livestock. Up Arrow

1857

Louis Wolf, a native of Alsace, comes to northern San Diego County, takes out naturalization papers, and opens a general merchandise store about one-fourth mile north of the Magee store, across Temecula Creek. Wolfs store becomes a well-known stopping place on the road from Yuma to Los Angeles.

1858
Sept. 18

The first Butterfield Stage going east from San Francisco stops at Magee's store. Butterfield Overland Mail Company,headed by John Butterfield, has been awarded a six-year contract by the United States Postmaster General to provide semi-weekly mail and passenger service between St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco by way of Los Angeles.

1858
Oct. 1

The first Butterfield Stage going west stops in Temecula. One of the drivers is Jacob Bergman of Aguanga. Waterman Lilly Ormsby, a reporter writing for the New York Herald, documents the stage trip west. Up Arrow

1859
Jan.

Rancho Temecula, 26,608.54 acres, is patented to Luis Vignes by the U.S. Land Office.

1859
April 22

The first inland Southern California post office is established at John Magee's store on the Little Temecula Rancho. Louis A. Rouen is appointed postmaster and serves until the post office is discontinued during the Civil War.

1861
March 1

Butterfield Overland Mail Company discontinues service because its route traverses states seceding from the Union. Up Arrow

1862
March 12

The Temecula Post Office closes. John Magee abandons his store and moves to Rainbow Canyon, where he opens a new store.

1869
April 15

A group of Temecula Valley ranchers petitions the U.S. District Court in San Francisco for a "Decree of Ejection" for Indians living on Temecula Valley land to which they can not show clear title. The Decree is granted by the court and clears the way for eventual eviction.

1870
July 27

The Temecula Post Office is re-established at Louis Wolf's store. Wolf is appointed postmaster. Up Arrow

1872
Sept. 3

Most of the Little Temecula Rancho is sold by Cazilda Coyote de Apis, the widow of Pablo Apis, to Louis and Ramona Wolf for on hundred sheep and $1.00 in gold coin.

1873

Temecula School District is formed. The one-room Temecula School is built on Little Temecula Rancho, on Magee Road (now Loma Linda Road) and Pala Road. Louis Wolf serves as the first clerk of the District. There are nine boys and two girls enrolled.

1873
Aug. 20

Simon Levi joins Louis Wolf and is appointed Temecula postmaster, a position he holds until February 4, 1876. Levi then leaves Temecula and founds the Simon Levi Company, a highly successful, statewide wholesale grocery company. Up Arrow

1875

Juan Murrieta and two partners, Domingo Pujol and Francisco Zanjuro, buy the Temecula and Pauba ranchos, Totalling 52,000 acres, for $1.00 an acre.

1875

The Temecula Indians are evicted from Little Temecula Rancho land by a San Diego County Sheriff's posse which includes Juan Murrieta and Francisco Zanjuro. The Indians are led to an area in the hills south of the Temecula River, east of the Pala Road, which would eventually become the Pechanga Indian Reservation.

1876

Santa Rosa Rancho is purchased by a syndicate consisting of J.W. Ludivich, an American, and A.C. Jeffery of Liverpool, England. Parker Dear, age 17, is sent from England by his father, John Dear, to inspect the Rancho lands. John Dear buys into the syndicate after receiving favorable reports on the Rancho from his son. Up Arrow

1879
April 25

Ysabel Gonzalez Barnett, daughter of Jose Maria Gonzalez , is the first county-recorded birth among the new settlers in the Temecula Valley.

1880s

Santa Gertrudis School District is formed to serve students living south of Winchester Road and the Murrieta Hot Springs area. The schoolhouse, located on Winchester and Jefferson roads, is abandoned and dismantled around 1891.

1881

Parker Dear marries Elena Couts from the neighboring Rancho Guajome. Dear's father-in-law is the well-known pioneer, Colonel Cave Couts. The Dears make their Santa Rosa Rancho home the social hub of the region. Up Arrow

1882

Louis Wolf and Macedonia "Mac" Machado form a partnership to take over a small general merchandise store near the new California Southern Railroad line, a location now on the southeast corner of Main and Front streets.

1882
Jan. 23

Employing large Chinese work crews, the California Southern Railroad completes its line from National City to Temecula through the treacherous granite walls of the Temecula Canyon.

1882
June 27

President Chester A. Arthur signs an Executive Order creating a 4,000-acre Pechanga Indian Reservation as a home for the Luiseno Indians of Temecula. Up Arrow

1882
late

Pujol School District is founded to serve the new community (present-day "Old Town Temecula") developing around the California Southern Railroad Station. Classes are held in a boarding house built by Johnson and Mary Jane Welty to house railroad construction workers.

1883
circa

Temecula Valley rock quarries in the hills south of the town provide high quality blocks of granite for construction throughout California, particularly for curb stones, foundation blocks, and paving stones. John L. Lewis, later founder of the United Mine Workers Union, is employed in the Temecula quarries. Quarrying continues until 1915, when the widespread use of cement closes the quarries. Up Arrow

1883

Helen Hunt Jackson, crusader for Indian rights, visits Temecula, staying at the home of Louis and Ramona Wolf. Returning to New York, Jackson publishes her famed novel Ramona.

1883
Jan. 8

The Temecula Post Office is moved from Wolf's store to a small frame building built by Macedonia Machado on Main Street, near Front Street. The post office name is changed to Temecula Station. W.S. Bullis is appointed postmaster.

1883
Sept. 13

The California Southern Railroad begins regular service from San Diego to San Bernardino, linking Temecula to Santa Fe's transcontinental line. Up Arrow

1884
Feb. 3

The Temecula Canyon floods, washing out the California Southern tracks and stopping train service between Temecula and San Diego. Train service continues between Temecula and San Bernardino.

1884
Spring

The Temecula Land and Water Company and the Pauba Land and Water Company are organized by a group of Los Angeles investors to advertise and promote the sale of lands purchased from the owners of the Temecula and Pauba ranchos.

1884
Dec. 5

Fred T. Perris surveys the Temecula townsite which has developed on both sides of the California Southern Railroad tracks. Up Arrow

1885
Jan. 6

Full railway service resumes after California Souther Railroad is bought out by Santa Fe Railroad, which finishes rebuilding the tracks through Temecula Canyon.

1885

The Federal Government builds the first schoolhouse on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.

1885

Mercedes Pujol, widow of Domingo Pujol, disposes of her property, including the new Temecula townsite, and deeds to the town a site for the Temecula Cemetery, a small parcel east of Murrieta Creek for a park, and another small parcel as a school site. Pujol Street, later to become the town's principal residential street, is named in Mercedes Pujol's honor. Up Arrow

1887

John Dear purchases full title to the Santa Rosa Rancho.

1887
Sept. 15

Louis Wolf, who is once again postmaster at Temecula, dies.

1888

Pujol School, a one-room schoolhouse, is constructed with funds raised by a bond issue and located on the land donated by Mercedes Pujol on what is now Moreno Road. Up Arrow

1888

Parker Dear subdivides a portion of Santa Rosa Rancho along the California Southern Railroad line, between Murrieta and Temecula, calling the development Linda Rosa. To the west a second townsite, called Rosita, is platted. Both developments fail when the so-called "Boom of the Eighties" goes bust.

1890

Winning a lot in a Temecula land raffle, Philip Pohlman founds the Temecula Mercantile Company on Main Street. After a few years, George Burnham purchases the business and provides service to the Temecula Valley for sixty years.

1891

Santa Rosa Rancho is deeded to Parker Dear. Up Arrow

1891
Jan. 3

The eight-room Welty boarding house burns down and , within the same year, the family opens the 24-room Welty Hotel on its Main Street property.

1891
Sept. 21

Elsinore Unified School District is founded and Temecula students begin attending high school in Elsinore. Students have previously taken the train either to Fallbrook or to Riverside.

1892
Jan. 18

After the Temecula Canyon railroad tracks flood and are washed out a second time, the route is abandoned, thereby ending the direct rail link between San Diego and San Bernardino and cutting off Temecula Valley from its county seat. Train service continues between Temecula and Colton until 1935. Up Arrow

1893

A depression causes Parker Dear to lose Rancho Santa Rosa to the San Francisco Savings Union. He and his wife move to Rancho Guajome.

1893
Mar. 11

Enabling legislation is passed to create Riverside County.

1893
Mar. 22

The board of Commissioners, established by state legislation to organize a new county government, designates Temecula as one of twelve original Riverside County judicial townships and as one of the forty original election precincts. Up Arrow

1893
May 9

Riverside County is officially formed as a result of a general election on May 2, 1893.

1894
Sept. 20

A robbery leads to the murder of Mary J. Platt, the Pechanga Indian School teacher since 1890, and the burning of the Reservation's schoolhouse to cover up the crime. The schoolhouse is rebuilt the same year and is remodeled in 1911.

1902

Joe Winkels, a young livery stable hand, buys the Welty General Merchandise Store at Front and Main streets and, after remodeling, opens the Ramona Inn, which offers rooms for rent, a bar, and a pool room. Up Arrow

1904

Walter Vail and his family purchase 85,000 acres comprising the region's four original Mexican land grants: part of Rancho Temecula, the northern portion of Little Temecula Rancho and all of ranchos Pauba and Santa Rosa, turning the land surrounding the town of Temecula into one of the last great southwestern cattle ranches and limiting town growth for the next sixty years. The Vail Ranch affects the lives of the majority of the families in the area, providing both employment for the residents and economic support for the businesses in Temecula.

1905
April 13

The post office is renamed Temecula Post Office.

1906
Dec. 2

Walter Vail is killed by a trolley car in Los Angeles and his son, Mahlon Vail, becomes principal operator of the Vail Ranch. Up Arrow

1907
Dec. 24

Horace Magee, the son of pioneer John Magee, shoots and kills Constable Preston Van Swanguen and Louis Escallier in a bar brawl in the Ramona Inn. After serving twelve years in Folsom Prison, Magee is paroled to the Garner family and lives the rest of his life at the family's ranch in Garner Valley.

1909

San Gabriel Chapel is built in Pechanga Canyon by the Catholic Church to serve the Pechanga Indian Reservation.

1909
Jan.

The Sanborn Map Company does measured drawings of the Temecula townsite for fire insurance purposes and counts 150 residents in the settlement. Up Arrow

1914
May

First National Bank of Temecula, promoted and financed by Mahlon Vail and local ranchers, opens on Front Street in a building constructed by E.E. Barnett in 1912.

1915

A paved, two-lane county road is built through Temecula.

1915

The old Pujol School building is purchased by Freida Knott, moved to 4th Street, and converted into the non-denominational Temecula Community Church. The Temecula Union School, a new Spanish style, four-room facility, is built on the site of the Pujol School on Moreno Road. Students from the Pujol and Santa Gertrudis school districts attend the new school. Up Arrow

1917

Temecula School District sells the first Temecula School building on Pala and Magee (now Loma Linda) roads. The building is moved to Main Street in Temecula and becomes a private residence. A second Temecula School is built on the old site.

1920

Joe Winkels operates a lucrative "blind pig" (illegal saloon) at the Ramona Inn during Prohibition, attracting numerous Hollywood stars and sports figures. The Inn's second floor is remodeled to create a training area for champion boxers and as an arena for boxing matches. Winkels is called the "Sage of Temecula," a name coined by a Los Angeles Examiner sports editor.

1920

St. Catherine's Catholic Church is built at Front and 6th streets with money collected at a barbecue fundraiser. Mahlon Vail's gift of a steer triggers a stream of visitors and donations from all over Southern California and insures the success of the event. Up Arrow
1920 * Elizabeth Baldwin Cockerline owned the Temecula Inn 1920--1941. She lived there with her daughter Grace.

1924

Palomar Hotel is built at Front and 5th streets, Temecula.

1924
May

U.S. Border Patrol traffic checkpoint is established in Temecula.

1925

Welty Hotel is sold to "Cap" and Gracie La Claire and renamed the Temecula Hotel. Up Arrow

1926

Owners of the Rancho Santa Margarita File a lawsuit against Vail Ranch claiming the entire surface flow of the Santa Margarita River.

1927

Mother's Cafe is opened on Front Street by the Charles Clogston family. Years later the cafe is renamed the Swing Inn Cafe.

1930

Ellen and Robert Dorland homestead three hundred acres southeast of Temecula, a portion of which will eventually become the Dorland Mountain Colony, a retreat for writers, musicians, and visual artist. Up Arrow

1930
Aug. 13

Miguel Diaz robs the First National Bank of Temecula and is captured on Winchester Road, after a dramatic car chase, by John Mc Sweeny and bank cashier J.W. Chisholm.  *  Agnes Cazas Freeman a 20 year old teller faced Diaz's gun. Her Dad, was James Oliver Freeman, who was the Pauba Ranch foreman in the early years, until about 1937. Her Mother was Estefana Cazas a full blood Luiseno, from one of the original clans: the Ayal clan.

1933

U.S. Highway 395, a narrow two-lane road, opens, connecting Temecula to Rainbow and Fallbrook in San Diego County.

1934

U.S. Border Patrol reopens checkpoints in Temecula after having been relocated in Elsinore since the late 1920s. Up Arrow

1935
Jan. 1

Santa Fe Railroad discontinues service between Elsinore and Temecula.

1937

Erle Stanley Gardner, writer of mystery stories, settles in Temecula on a 3,000-acre ranch named "Rancho del Paisano." He hires Sam Hicks to oversee the ranch land.

1937

Joe Winkels dies in Temecula and is buried in the Temecula Cemetery. His wife continues to run the Ramona Inn for a few years after his death and then sells the property. Up Arrow

1937
Apr. 4

Mary Jane Welty dies at the age of ninety-six.

1938

The second Temecula School is closed due to low attendance and the building is moved from Magee Road and adjoined, as an additional classroom, to the Temecula Union School on Moreno Rd.

1940

Rancho Santa Margarita and Vail Ranch settle their water suit, agreeing to divide the surface flow of the Santa Margarita River. Rancho Santa Margarita gets two-thirds of the flow and Vail Ranch is to receive one-third. The agreement is called the "1940 Stipulated Judgement." Up Arrow

1940

Bank examiners close the First National Bank of Temecula due to poor loans it has made.

1942

Temecula merchant and community leader Macedonia "Mac" Machado dies.

1948

Construction begins on U.S. Highway 395, a two-lane limited access road, through Temecula. Up Arrow

1948
Nov.

Vail Lake Dam, a 132-foot concrete structure designed to store irrigation water for ranch land, is completed by the Vail Company and creates a 1,100-acre lake.

1950
Oct. 1

Louis Wolf's store is designated as an historical site by the California Centennial Commission. Temecula businessmen and the Mission Indian Federation of California present a bronze plaque to commemorate the Treaty of Temecula.

1951

A suit is filed by the U.S. Department of Justice to protect the water at Camp Pendleton against all water users within the Santa Margarita River watershed. Vail Ranch is the primary user of this watershed. Up Arrow

1951

A new, streamlined U.S. Highway 395 opens, providing direct, two- lane access between Temecula and Escondido.

1951
June 16

The Archaeological Survey Association begins a full-scale excavation of an ancient Indian village site located south of the confluence of the Temecula and Murrieta creeks. The site is found to include the foundation of a nineteenth-century Spanish era structure, floor areas of three ramadas, and one pit house.

1952

The three Temecula Valley school districts merge: santa Gertrudis School District in the Murrieta Hot Springs area; Pujol School District serving the town of Temecula; and Temecula School District in the southwest part of Temecula Valley, a portion of the Vail Ranch, and the Rainbow area. Together they form the Temecula Union School District. Up Arrow

1955
Feb. 27

"Brush Country Journal," a column written by Horace Parker that focuses on the history of the Temecula area, first appears in the Riverside Enterprise.

1956

Woodchuck RV Resort, located an Highway 79 South, is opened by Tony and Mildred Tobin on land homesteaded in 1895 by Mrs. Tobin's grandparents, Amos and Maggie Kolb. The resort offers family camping facilities until closing in 1977.

1960

The Temecula Hotel is sold to local historian Horace Parker and his wife Laverne, who restore the historic building and make it their home. Up Arrow

1964
early

Vail Ranch hires richard Break, a University of California trained specialist in agriculture and viniculture, to conduct a crop feasibility study on the east side property to determine the range of acreage that could be planted in citrus. The study finds the land's growing conditions to be ideally suited for wine grapes.

1964
Dec. 4

Vail Ranch is sold to a partnership composed of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Kaiser Industries, Inc., and Macco Realty Company of Corona del Mar for $21 millon. The developers rename the ranch land "Rancho California."

1965-
1967

6,000 acres of Rancho California land are sold to the Boise Cascade Company, which creates a five-acre and twenty-acre parcel subdivision. Another 6,000 acres are sold to Palomar Land Company, a subsidiary of Richfield Oil. Up Arrow

1965
Feb.-
March

A demonstration vineyard featuring fifty-seven varieties of grapes is developed on Rancho California Road. Richard Break forms a partnership with investors from Fresno called "Temecula Ranchos" to buy the land, and the management of the Rancho California development funds the purchase of pure grape stock.

1965

Security Pacific Bank becomes the first banking institution to locate in Temecula since the closure of the First National Bank of Temecula in 1940. The bank opens in a building adjacent to the Post Office, on Front Street.

1965

The U.S. Court of Appeals reinstates the "1940 Stipulated Judgement" involving the surface flow of the Santa Margarita River. The decision guarantees Rancho California one-third of all the river's water, including some underground flow. Up Arrow

1965
Feb. 25

Robert L. Unger, general manager of Rancho California, announces at a Los Angeles press conference long-range development plans which include 60 miles of new roads and an improved water system for the old Vail Ranch.

1965
June

The proposed formation of the Rancho California Water District is approved by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

1965
June 9

Mahlon Vail dies in Borrego Springs. Up Arrow

1965
Aug. 16

Rancho California Water District is formed and annexed to the Eastern Municipal Water District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

1966

Bond sales of seven million dollars are used to develop irrigation and domestic water supply systems for the portion of Rancho California served by the Rancho California Water District. Up Arrow

1966
July 21

The Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce is founded with Peter Van Vechten as the first president and Evelyn Kilgore as secretary.

1966
late

The first Rancho California store, El Emporia, opens in the Rancho California Plaza.

1966
Oct. 19

The Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce holds its first general business meeting. Up Arrow

1966
Nov. 17

Bank of America opens offices on Ynez Road in Rancho California.

1967

Brookside Vineyard Company, headquartered in Guasti, California, plants a 400-acre commercial vineyard in Rancho California.

1967

The Bekedam family purchases a model dairy built on General Kearny (now Margarita) and Solano roads. The original Rancho California development plans include sites for forty 20-acre dairies on the land where the Meadowview residential community will eventually be built. Up Arrow

1967

Rancho News is founded, and is partially subsidized by Rancho California's developers.

1967

The Rancho California Plaza, a shopping center built to serve the initial 1,500-home development, is completed.

1967
Summer

The High Country, a quarterly magazine developed to highlight the history of southern Riverside County and northern San Diego County, begins publication in Temecula with Tom Hudson as the first editor. Up Arrow

1967
July 3

A branch of the Temecula Post Office opens in the Rancho California Plaza.

1967
Nov. 19

Rancho California Baptist Mission is established as a mission of the First Baptist Church of Elsinore. Construction of a church on Morago and Rancho California roads begins in October, 1968. In April, 1970, the Missions name is changed to the First Baptist Church of Rancho California (later renamed "Temecula").

1968

The Bakma, Visser, and Nauta families purchase the second dairy built on General Kearny Road. The third dairy built is purchased by the Schotanus family. Up Arrow

1968

Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo plant forty acres of commercial vineyards on Calle Contento, off Rancho California Road. For several years their harvested grapes are sold to various California wineries.

1968

Ely Callaway, President of Burlington Industries, buys 150 acres north of Rancho California Road.

1968

Development begins in the western half of Rancho California. The Santa Rosa Ranches Water District is formed on January 24, 1968, the first exploratory wells are dug, and roadwork begins. Up Arrow

1968

The Santa Rosa Ranches Water District is annexed to the Western Municipal Water District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

1968

Rancho California Lions Club is founded.

1968

Construction begins on the aqueduct running through the Temecula Valley designed to link the Metropolitan Water District's Skinner Reservoir site to San Diego County. Up Arrow

1968

Temecula's first Frontier Days is held.

1968

Butterfield Country Recreation Park is established at Vail Lake.

1968
Jan.

Construction of a 450-acre industrial park begins between Highway 395 and the Rancho California Airport. Within a decade, 71 businesses will be established there. Up Arrow

1968
May 10

The Rancho California Track and Training Center, a 234-acre horse training facility built by the developers of the Valle de Los Caballos community, has a preview opening for over one thousand horse owners and breeders.

1968
Sept. 10

Temecula Union School, at Moraga and General Kearny roads, is dedicated. It replaces the Temecula Union School on Moreno Road, which had served the area since 1915.

1968
Sept. 17

Rancho Community Church, located on Vallejo Avenue at Ynez Road, is founded by a group of seven families who move into the Temecula area to run dairy farms. It is originally a Dutch Reform congregation. Up Arrow

1968
Dec. 19

Loren John Nauta is the first child to be born to residents of the Rancho California development.

1969

Under the direction of viniculturist John Moramarco, 105 acres of vineyards are planted on Ely Callaway's property.

1969

"They Passed This Way" monument is dedicated on the grounds of the old Temecula School. Designed by Sam Hicks and Tom Hudson to commemorate Temecula Valley pioneers and explorers, the monument is a granite boulder taken from an abandoned Temecula quarry. Up Arrow

1969
Aug.

The first annual Rancho California Summer Horse Show is held at the Rancho California Track and Training Center.

1969
Aug.

Kaiser Aetna, a joint real estate venture between Kaiser Aluminum and Aetna Life and Casualty Company, purchases Macco's one-third interest in Rancho California.

1969
Sept.

Rancho California's first commercial harvest of premium wine grapes is harvested by Brookside Vineyard Company. Up Arrow

*  Indicates later additions by  christopher