“We the people” made a difference. They saved the past for our future.
Take your families to our new living history site these dedicated folks have preserved for you. It is a California State Heritage site. Paperwork has been completed for its recognition as a National Historic Register site. The site include living history exhibits,a blacksmith,operating stores including an ice cream parlor and so much more and "Funday Sunday's" with vendors,music and more. .
Next to Kohls on Rt 79 Temecula, Ca.
We the people did the right thing and now residents have a place of beauty with a touchstone to the past.
Today’s Reality Rally Charity Spotlight shows how stepping up, speaking up and getting up and out of your comfort zone does make a difference. The Vail Ranch Restoration Association has been a big part of Reality Rally at the “Temecula History Challenge Checkpoint” in our Amazing Race type game.
Every once in a while an issue comes up that requires stepping up and out of our comfort zones. That’s where we were in 1997 when several of us were concerned about the future of the rundown remnants of the old Vail Ranch Headquarters. There was no historical society at the time so we formed a group called the Vail Ranch Restoration Association (VaRRA).
We became especially concerned when the County of Riverside approved the developer’s plan to remove all traces of the historic legacy site and to put a strip mall in its place.
VaRRA wanted to save the five historic buildings and to set aside several acres as a park. In the Spring of 1998 when the developer bulldozed and buried a historic adobe structure at the ranch site VaRRA jumped into motion and filed a lawsuit against the County of Riverside and the developer to prevent any further demolition.
We filed a suit with no legal representation. All construction and demolition was at a standstill for six months until the suit was settled. Right, we the “little people” stood against the high up attorneys sent from Sacramento to defend the County of Riverside and our documented evidence of the historic value of the buildings and property persuaded them to settle with us.
The settlement set aside four acres and provided for the saving and restoration of the five historic buildings which are now sandwiched between Kohls department store and Famous Footwear on Temecula Parkway, where the historic buildings once stood alone. Also the new surrounding retail buildings were required to have Western ranch architecture. Kohls’ concession to not having ranch style architecture was to enlarge a photograph of Vail Ranch cowboys and to mount it on the wall overlooking the ranch property.
It is a California State heritage site. Paperwork has been completed for its recognition as a National Historic Register site. All the renovation is being done according to the US Department of Interior Standards for Historic Rehabilitation.
Although going through the lawsuit was a difficult and exciting time, the outcome didn’t come out as we had envisioned. No governmental agencies wanted to take over the property for state, county or city parklands. We recognized that the ongoing care of the site would require production of income. We viewed Old Town San Diego and how the many business provided the funds to keep that historic site going and decided that would be the best way to finance its ongoing existence.
The developer who was part of the lawsuit fulfilled their obligation to do preventative maintenance to prevent “demolition by neglect”. That meant reroofing, painting and fortifying structural supports. Then, before they did anything else, they sold the property to Price Legacy, a real estate developer who inherited the terms of the lawsuit settlement. Price Legacy sold it to Excel Legacy who sold to Kimco and then finally someone bought rights to preserve the property per the legal agreement.
Arteco Partners has taken the project to heart and has taken it farther than VaRRA ever imagined. Now visitors can stroll through the property that feels like a wholesome bit of country and linger under the shade of trees and hear birdsongs. For those who are interested in the historic past, there are informational plaques mounted on historic Temecula granite.
So we are happy. The historic property and buildings are a place for enjoyment and reflection to all its visitors. We the people did the right thing and now residents have a place of beauty with a touchstone to the past. http://myvalleynews.com/local/new-life-being-breathed-into-languishing-vail-ranch-site/
Here are a few of the significant people and events related to the site:
We wanted to save the ranch site because of many important features and events. The Southern Emigrant Trail transverses it. This was the only year-round route to California. The Mormon Battalion marched down the road on their way to help with the Mexican – American War in 1847. The Butterfield Stage used it to deliver mail and the 49ers used it to head north to the gold fields.
Pablo Apis, a Native American, received this property as part of his 1,100-acre Mexican land grant. Later a Jewish merchant built an adobe store that was later owned by Louis Wolf and has since been called the Wolf Adobe. The adobe was the center of the town of Temecula. It housed the post office, general store and had hotel rooms.
Darrell Farnbach,founder of the VaRRA which is a 501c(3) in front of the Wolf Store and Darrell and Rebecca Farnbach sharing the resoration process and the plans for the future.
Helen Hunt Jackson visited Ramona and Louis Wolf and later wrote them into her novel Ramona as the Harzels who tended the store near the graveyard, which is nearby. The cemetery holds the remains of those mortally wounded in the Indian to Indian massacre of January 1847.
After the train came to the area along the foothills and the Wolfs moved closer to the railhead in an area then called New Town, now known as Old Town Temecula, the historic property was sold to a succession of ranchers. Finally in 1904, Walter Vail started amassing his 87,500-acre cattle ranch from four Mexican Ranchos and the property became the headquarters for his operation.
The Vail Company built barns, a bunkhouse, and a foreman’s house. They remodeled the former home of the Wolfs and made it a cookhouse. In the 19-teens a meteorology station was built to conduct weather studies and to gauge water flow in the nearby Temecula Creek to answer questions raised by ranchers in the Camp Pendleton area who were suing the Vail Company, a suit that resulted in the construction of the Vail Dam at Vail Lake.
http://www.vailranch.org/index2.html and for more on the History of Temecuand Read Rebecca’s books.