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Ranch Profile

Established 1904
By Walter Vail
87,500 acres 
Sold in 1964 to Kaiser

Mount Palomar  Palomar wines are produced under the care of Winemaker Etienne Cowper

Nearby Facilities

Vail Ranch Center
Redhawk Golf Course
Redhawk Park
The Promenade Mall
Old Town Temecula
Temecula Shopping Ctrs.


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 Town Temecula was born.

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 evolving dramatically.

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 until 1905.

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.

Some of the buildings still stand and have been preserved and a museum in currently in development. The Vail Ranch location is now home to a shopping centers, several  Communities, The Redhawk Golf Course, parks and many more facilities.

More Temecula History...

Nearby Parks Nearby Communities 
Redhawk Community Park
Vail Ranch Park
Paloma Park
Michael J. Linen Park
Pablo Apis Park

Park Directory

Vail Ranch
Morgan Hill
Country Glen

Community Directory




Temecula's Wine Country


Visit 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.

Wine Tasting Coupons
Events Calendar
Hotel Reservations
Photo Tours


Mount Palomar  Palomar wines are produced under the care of Winemaker Etienne Cowper

Pet Rescue

Permanent placement of homeless Dogs, Cats, Puppies and Kittens. Adoptions are held at the Petsmart in Murrieta weekend.
Donations are tax deductible. 951-698-0940
Save a pet!

More info...

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