RIVERSIDE COUNTY

 

COUNTY HISTORY AND MAP OF COUNTY HISTORICAL LANDMARKS

The indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are the LuiseñoCupeño and Cahuilla Indians. The Luiseño lived in the Aguanga and Temecula Basins, Elsinore Trough and eastern Santa Ana Mountains and southward into San Diego County. The Cahullia lived to the east and north of the Luiseño in the inland valleys, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and the desert of the Salton Sink.

The first European settlement in the county was a Mission San Luis Rey de Francia estancia or farm, at the Luiseño village of Temecula. Grain and grapes were grown here. In 1819, the Mission granted land to Leandro Serrano, mayordomo of San Antonio de Pala Asistencia for the Mission of San Luis Rey for Rancho Temescal.

Following Mexican independence and the 1833 confiscation of Mission lands, more ranchos were granted. Rancho Jurupa in 1838, El Rincon in 1839, Rancho San Jacinto Viejo in 1842, Rancho San Jacinto y San Gorgonio in 1843, Ranchos La LagunaPaubaTemecula in 1844, Ranchos Little TemeculaPotreros de San Juan Capistrano in 1845, Ranchos San Jacinto SobranteLa Sierra (Sepulveda)La Sierra (Yorba)Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Nuevo y Potrero in 1846.

New Mexican colonists founded the town of La Placita on the east side of the Santa Ana River at the northern extremity of what is now the city of Riverside in 1843.

When the initial 27 California counties were established in 1850 the area today known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County. In 1853 the eastern part of Los Angeles County was used to create San Bernardino County. Between 1891 and 1893 several proposals, and legislative attempts, were put forth to form new counties in Southern California. These proposals included one for a Pomona County and one for a San Jacinto County. None of the proposals were adopted until a measure to create Riverside County was signed by Governor Henry H. Markham on March 11, 1893.

The new county was created from parts of San Bernardino County and San Diego County. On May 2, 1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. Voters chose the city of Riverside as the county seat, also by a large margin. Riverside County was officially formed on May 9, 1893, when the Board of Commissioners filed the final canvass of the votes.

Riverside County is the birthplace of lane markings, thanks to Dr. June McCarroll in 1915 when she suggested her idea to the state government.

The county is also the location of the March Air Reserve Base, one of the oldest airfields continuously operated by the United States military. Established as the Alessandro Flying Training Field in February 1918, it was one of thirty-two U.S. Army Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917.

Riverside county was a major focal point of the Civil Rights Movements in the USA, especially the African-American sections of Riverside and heavily Mexican-American communities of the Coachella Valley visited by Cesar Chavez of the farm labor union struggle.


COUNTY HISTORICAL LANDMARKS (LIST)