Murrieta Timelines

Timeline of Events

  • 1873: Basque sheep rancher Juan Murrieta buys 52,000 acres of ranch land for $52,000.
  • 1882: California Southern Railroad Company builds tracks through the valley. The tracks eventually become part of the southern transcontinental route.
  • 1884: Temecula Land and Water Company establishes and subdivides town sites, naming it Murrieta.
  • 1885: Murrieta's train depot is built, and a town site begins to grow around the nucleus of the depot. Pioneer families are drawn by advertisements of land for as little as $5 an acre. In that year, a 50 by 140 feet lot in the town site sold from $20 to $75.
  • 1890: Town with population of 800 is growing up around the railroad. The Fountain House Hotel, across from the depot, is a social hub.
  • 1916: Murrieta's grammar school has 62 pupils. The area produces fruits and grains.
  • 1920s: The Guenther Family's Murrieta Hot Springs resort has become renowned in Southern California.
  • 1935: Last train departs from Murrieta, ending local boom. That same year, the Fountain House Hotel is destroyed by fire.
  • 1947: Town has population of 1,200. Residents from Murrieta Fire Protection District donate $1,400 for a truck. Ten volunteers use the Methodist Church bell to sound a total of six calls in the first year.
  • 1956: Murrieta Valley Town Hall Association forms. In 1981, members dedicate a 7,200 square-foot town hall built with community development block funds.
  • 1960: Murrieta Chamber of Commerce is formed as a California non-profit corporation to promote and extend trade and commerce in the City of Murrieta and vicinity.
  • 1960s: Murrieta is known for breeding racehorses.
  • 1980s: Freeways widened. Murrieta becomes easily accessible from larger metropolitan areas.
  • 1991: Murrieta officially becomes a city. Jack Smith is chosen as the first city manager. Murrieta employees move into a city hall on Beckman Court.
  • 1992: Murrieta starts its own police department. City leaders say they like the local control that their own police force provides compared to contracting with the county sheriff's department.
  • 1993: Murrieta takes over control of the 46-year-old fire protection district.
  • 1994: The city approves a general plan, a guide for future development of the town. About 50 general plan meetings over two years result in the city agreeing to a target population of about 104,000. Also, Old Town Murrieta is flooded again, resulting in more than $210,000 in damages. Work starts on two flood channels intended to remedy the persistent flooding.
  • 1998: City of Murrieta establishes its own public library.