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The History of Temecula

The History of Temecula

Did you know that the name of the city Temecula is also an Indian translation that means “Where the sun breaks through the mist”? Temecula has had many different changes and improvements going back to 900 A.D. Temecula has grown so much that our modern-day Temecula can be thought of as the fourth version of the city! You may have seen or lived in the city of Temecula, but have you ever wondered how Temecula came to be? 


The beginnings of Temecula, California- Temecula was founded in 1797 by “Father Juan Norberto de Santiago”, who was a Franciscan priest who was passing through Temecula during an “exploratory journey” to find sites for possible future missions. It was also during this period that the “Pala Mission” was built and also the time at which many Native Indians became Christian.

You may think that Temecula only had one era of civilization, however, Temecula was split up into four different eras. This included the Native American period, the Spanish Colonial period, the Mexican Republic period, and the United States statehood.


Important histories of common places around Temecula- Throughout history, you can still see many old streets or attractions still spotted today! 

Front Street- The famous front street running through old town used to be a US highway (395) that was the main road going from south to north. This highway was also known as the Three Nations Highway, connecting Mexico to Canada.

Hotel Palomar- Hotel Palomar’s building was used for various uses. At one point in time, it contained a drugstore, and a soda fountain, and was also used as the United States post office! This building holds the record for the oldest post office in the city of Temecula for 35 years!

Hotel Temecula- The historic hotel Temecula was purchased in 1960 by Dr. Horace Parker and his wife Leverne. Leverne loved Temecula so much that she collected original artifacts and relics of Temecula that can still be found in the lobby of the hotel.

Vail headquarters- The Butterfield overland mail service was one of the first mail services that was set up by contract with the U.S. government. This was set up by a man named “John Butterfield” who designed present-day Vail headquarters as transportation for the mail. This transportation trail named “Butterfield Trail” is one of the only urban trails left intact. People once rode stagecoaches to get around the headquarters through the Butterfield trail. Additionally, there were many good uses for the Vail Ranch headquarters.

Promenade Mall- Closer to present day, the Promenade Mall opened on October 27, 1999, and was ready for business! The Promenade Mall’s first stores were JCPenney, Robinsons-May, and Sears. One after another, the mall began to fill up with more and more stores gaining lots of people. Currently, the Promenade Mall contains 170 shops including the indoor and outdoor of the mall. 

Lastly, Fun facts about Temecula

1) Temecula is one of the only cities that still has its original Indian name 2)Temecula is known for its championship golf courses and wineries 3.)Olivia Rodrigo, a famous singer/songwriter, grew up in Temecula 4)Many people move to Temecula because of its amazing weather 5) Temecula is home to Pechanga, which is known as the biggest casino in California.


All in all, Temecula has had many important improvements and history hidden all over the city. So the next time you think that Temecula is just a plain old city, think again. If you’re interested in learning more about Temecula, go to

What is your favorite thing that you learned from this article? Leave a comment below!!



Pechanga Band of Indians 


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    Ethaniel CelisMar 18, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    This is cool to see the history of our city! :>