RANCH HISTORY Hwy. 79. - Temecula, CA -92591 - Map
In 1904 Walter Vail, who had come to the
United States with his parents from Nova Scotia, migrated to
California and with various partners began buying vast acreages in
Southern California. He purchased 87,500 acres in Riverside
County which included the township of Temecula,
(four Spanish land grants) and drove 1,000 head of
cattle from Arizona. It was the last large cattle
drive in the United States. It remained a working
cattle ranch for the next 60 years. in 1882, when
the Santa Fe Railway came through our valley, Old
For years the Vail
family had dreamed of building a dam to catch the Temecula Creek water
which ran its course to the Pacific Ocean. In 1948, at a cost of more
that $1 million, the dam was completed and created Vail Lake. Vail was
run over and killed by a street car in Los Angeles in 1906; his son,
Manlon Vail, took over the family ranch.
Through the mid-1960's the economy of the Temecula
Valley centered around the Vail Ranch; the cattle
business and agriculture were the stimuli for most
business ventures. During that period, the
clientele of the Swing Inn, the Longbranch Saloon
and the Stables Bar seemed to be confined to
ranchers, cowboys, and Indians. While the Old West
lifestyle continued here, the outside world was
On July 1870 the Temecula
Post Office was moved to the Wolf Store in Vail Ranch and Louis
Wolf is appointed postmaster. The building still stands and is one of
Temecula's oldest buildings.
In the early part of 1870 the Post Office is relocated once again to Old
Town Temecula and was renamed Temecula Station, its official name
On December 4, 1964, the Vail Ranch was sold to Kaiser Development Company and
launched the transformation of the Temecula Valley. A later purchase by the
group brought the total acreage to 97,500 – a spread of land two and a half
times the size of the city and county of San Francisco.
Temecula's wine country and enjoy beautiful rolling hills, wonderful
views and clean air.
Enjoy wine from over 20 award-winning wineries, attend a jazz
concert, eat and stay for a day or weekend.