Old Town Temecula Candlelight Walking Tours

Old Town Temecula Candlelight Walking Tours Join your Old West guide on a 90 minute walk. Visit the oldest spots in Historic Old Town Temecula and Vail Headquarters while hearing local history blended with tales of legends and hauntings.

"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."

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CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAYConstitution Day and Citizenship Day is an American federal observance that recogniz...


Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.

It's a single day with a dual purpose—commemorating the formation and signing of the Constitution, while also recognizing both naturalized citizens and those born in the US. Ordinarily, many people become naturalized citizens in group ceremonies on this day; on average, about 700,000 people become American citizens each year.

So why is today both Constitution Day and Citizenship Day? The reason is rooted in the World War II era. In 1940, Congress created I Am an American Day, a demonstration of patriotism. Twelve years later, President Harry Truman signed into law Citizenship Day, which replaced I Am an American Day and moved the observance to September 17, the day the Constitution was signed in 1787. Eventually, in 2004 the day was designated as the mash-up of observances we have today.

One country, one constitution, one destiny.

—Daniel Webster

SOURCE: Various Internet Sources

On this day in history, California became the 31st state.The map shown provides the railroad stops for the Southern Cali...

On this day in history, California became the 31st state.

The map shown provides the railroad stops for the Southern California Railroad line (S.C.R.R.) which came through Temecula. The line went through Temecula Canyon (yes we have canyon) and ran along the west bank of Murrieta Creek. There is no date on the map but we know it is from the period 1882-1891. The railroad came to Temecula on March 27, 1882 but the railroad line was washed out in the spring of 1891 between Fallbrook and Temecula. That portion of the line was never rebuilt. Service was discontinued between Temecula and Elsinore on January 1, 1935 and the tracks along with the train depot removed.

From History.com:

The first Spanish missionaries arrived in California in the 1700s, but California didn’t become a U.S. territory until 1847, as part of the treaty ending the Mexican-American War. Shortly thereafter, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 inspired a wave of settlers to head to the west coast in search of fortune. In 1850 California became the 31st state, and is now the third largest state behind Alaska and Texas. With millions of acres of farmland, California leads the U.S. in agricultural production. The state is also home to famous cultural institutions and national parks including: Hollywood, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Date of Statehood: September 9, 1850

Capital: Sacramento

Population: 37,253,956 (2010)

Size: 163,694 square miles

Nickname(s): The Golden State; The Land of Milk and Honey; The El Dorado State; The Grape State

Motto: Eureka (“I have found it”)

Tree: California Redwood

Flower: Poppy

Bird: California Valley Quail

Interesting Facts

Following James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma in 1848, California’s population leaped from 14,000 to 250,000 in only four years. Between 1850 and 1859, miners extracted 28,280,711 fine ounces of gold.

California has the largest economy in the United States and, in 1997, was the first state to reach the trillion-dollar benchmark in gross state product. In 2012, California was ranked the ninth largest economy in the world.

California grows more than 3.3 million tons of winegrapes on over 540,000 acres each year and produces roughly 90 percent of all U.S. wine.

The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are located within 100 miles of one another in California: Mount Whitney measures 14,505 feet and Badwater Basin in Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level.

Considered to be the hottest, driest place in the United States, Death Valley often reaches temperatures greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and averages only around two inches of rain each year.

With a trunk slightly greater than 102 feet in circumference, the General Sherman in Sequoia National Park is the largest living tree (by volume) in the world. It is estimated to be somewhere between 1,800 to 2,700 years old.

Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year, although only 15 to 20 of them have a magnitude greater than 4.0.

Despite its urbanization and the loss of land to industry, California still leads the country in agricultural production. About one-half of the state’s land is federally owned. National parks located throughout the state are devoted to the preservation of nature and natural resources.

Baja California

Tourists flock to Baja California—separated from the rest of Mexico by the Sea of Cortez—to visit its stunning shoreline and test their mettle at sport fishing. The state’s border crossing at Tijuana is the busiest in all of Mexico.

California Missions

The California missions began in the late 18th century as an effort to convert Native Americans to Catholicism and expand European territory. There were 21 missions in all, lasting from 1769 until about 1833.

California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush was sparked by the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 and was arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century.

Baja California Sur

Baja California Sur’s glorious colonial past has made it a center for historical architecture and traditional art forms, and it’s also a great place to surf and fish.

San Francisco

Perched atop hills and filled-in marshland at the entrance to one of the Pacific’s largest natural harbors, San Francisco has had an outsized influence on the history of California and the United States

Now more than ever we need to thank our Firefighters.

Now more than ever we need to thank our Firefighters.

Assessor Bob Dutton

Actually most of those people who live in Temecula have probably driven on US 395. If you have ever driven down Front Street in Old Town Temecula then you have driven on ol' 395. The local historical societies have placed signs on the original route in and around cities and towns.

Ever driven on U.S. Route 395?

Mission San Luis Rey

Mission San Luis Rey

DID YOU KNOW....that the original bell tower of the Historic Mission Church collapsed in July 1926, due to heavy rains after sustaining earlier damage in an earthquake? A new tower was built and dedicated in May 1927.

The bell marker in front of the Temecula Valley Museum in Old Town Temecula.  You can purchase a small replica bell from...

The bell marker in front of the Temecula Valley Museum in Old Town Temecula. You can purchase a small replica bell from www.californiabell.com.

- History of Commemorative Bell-Markers -

In 1892, Anna Pitcher of Pasadena, California initiated an effort to preserve the as-yet uncommemorated route of Alta California's Camino Real, an effort adopted by the California Federation of Women's Clubs in 1902. Modern El Camino Real was one of the first state highways in California. Given the lack of standardized road signs at the time, it was decided to place distinctive bells along the route, hung on supports in the form of an 11-foot (3.4 m) high shepherd's crook, also described as "a Franciscan walking stick". The bells were designed by Mrs ASC Forbes, who also owned the California Bell Company where they were cast. The first of 450 bells were unveiled on August 15, 1906, at the Plaza Church in the Pueblo near Olvera Street in Los Angeles.

The original organization which installed the bells fragmented, and the Automobile Club of Southern California and associated groups cared for the bells from the mid-1920s through 1931. The State took over bell maintenance in 1933. Most of the bells eventually disappeared due to vandalism, theft or simple loss due to the relocation or rerouting of highways and roads. After a reduction in the number of bells to around 80, the State began replacing them, at first with concrete, and later with iron. A design first produced in 1960 by Justin Kramer of Los Angeles was the standard until the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began a restoration effort in 1996.

Keith Robinson, Principal Landscape Architect at Caltrans developed an El Camino Real restoration program which resulted in the installation of 555 El Camino Real Bell Markers in 2005. The Bell Marker consists of a 460 mm diameter cast metal bell set atop a 75 mm diameter Schedule 40 pipe column that is attached to a concrete foundation using anchor rods. The original 1906 bell molds were used to fabricate the replacement bells. The replacement and original bells were produced by the California Bell Company, and are most typically marked 1769 & 1906, and include a designer's copyright notice. The two dates represent the date of the founding of the first Alta-California mission in San Diego, and the date of the setting of the first commemorative bell-marker, respectively.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Mission San Luis Rey

Mission San Luis Rey

Did you know that Gov. Pico sold Mission San Luis Rey for $2,437 in 1846? The Franciscans were then expelled and there were no resident priests until 1892 when exiled friars from Zacatecas, Mexico arrived. Fr. Joseph Jeremiah O'Keefe was assigned to the mission as guardian and to serve as liaison between the Mexican refugees and the friars at Santa Barbara.

This Day In American History

Missed posting this earlier. Such an historic event that was witnessed by millions including myself.

Today, 1969 - Neil Armstrong walks on the moon! Watch to see the original news broadcast.

Over the years Temecula has been a prime location used to film movies, videos and commercials.  From Westerns to reality...

Over the years Temecula has been a prime location used to film movies, videos and commercials. From Westerns to reality shows, the city continues to catch the eye of Hollywood production companies. For example, a Clorox TV commercials that ran across the country in the early 1970s was filmed in Temecula. In 1966 the pilot episode (The Beachhead) for the new TV show "The Invaders" was filmed in Temecula. It starred actors Roy Thinnes and Diane Baker and first aired January 10, 1967 on NBC.

In 1996 a TV movie called "A Weekend in the Country" was filmed in Temecula. At the time the population of Temecula was approximately 43,000 (compared to today's 115,000).

Copies of the movie can be found on Amazon and eBay in old media formats.

Here is the latest on NEOWISE.  Binoculars up to 8:45 p.m., naked eye at 9 p.m.  NOTE: This is from our vantage point in...

Here is the latest on NEOWISE. Binoculars up to 8:45 p.m., naked eye at 9 p.m. NOTE: This is from our vantage point in Temecula.

NEOWISE was a bust tonight. Its height above the horizon puts it in the ambient light of the city. You will need a dark ...

NEOWISE was a bust tonight. Its height above the horizon puts it in the ambient light of the city. You will need a dark sky out of town to see it. I picked a good vantage point in town on a high hill with not too much ambient light but it was not enough. I did get some other pictures that are attached. In the Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) you can see the light at the bottom of the picture where NEOWISE would be. If you are using your cell phone, put it on a tripod even a small one you can put on the roof of your car, find the night setting and engage it, and use the timer to take the picture in order to avoid any shaking. Download and use the SKY MAP app to become a backyard astronomer. Images are also included from SKY MAP. Another big event is happening now as Saturn and Jupiter are at their brightest and are close together in the southern sky. Have fun now while the heavens are putting on a show.

If you are interested in local history, CVS on Butterfield/Temecula Parkway has a great selection of books.

If you are interested in local history, CVS on Butterfield/Temecula Parkway has a great selection of books.

Map showing the 21 Franciscan missions in Alta California. The map also shows the horse and mule trail known as El Camin...

Map showing the 21 Franciscan missions in Alta California. The map also shows the horse and mule trail known as El Camino Real as of 1821. I have visited half of the missions, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá (1769) and Mission San Francisco Solano (1823) which are the first and last mission founded. I hope to visit them all as part of my bucket list. A future post will talk about the El Camino Real.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Note that in this mission incident the interior was gutted by fire except for the altar.  It was undergoing renovation s...
San Gabriel Mission, a symbol of faith, history and oppression, is badly damaged by fire

Note that in this mission incident the interior was gutted by fire except for the altar. It was undergoing renovation so thankfully much of the artwork had been taken down before the fire.

I have visited several of the missions in California. Missions were established from 1769 (San Diego) up until 1823 (Sonoma). Those who live in this area are fortunate enough to be able to visit several of them that have been restored. They are Mission San Diego de Alcalá (1769), Mission San Juan Capistrano (1776), and Mission San Luis Rey de Francia - Oceanside (1798). These were the first 3 missions established in Alta California. San Antonio de Pala Asistencia (Pala) was founded in 1816 as a sub-mission to the San Luis Rey de Francia mission that is 20 miles away. Before the establishment of San Luis Rey the Spanish came into Temecula Valley to see if this could be a potential site for a mission. While the valley had many of the resources that they required, it was too far away from the ocean.

I will be making individual posts about these missions in future posts. There is much history to be learned from visiting these sites.

As someone who is 26% Native American, I am well aware that history now shows the missionaries forced the native Californians to live in settlements called reductions, disrupting their traditional way of life. I know that the missions have been accused of various abuses including genocide. This post and FB page is not for that discussion. Thank you.

San Gabriel Mission, a symbol of faith, history, oppression, badly damaged by fire

I forgot to post about another historical even that occurred 51 years ago.  "The 363-foot-tall Apollo 11 space vehicle w...

I forgot to post about another historical even that occurred 51 years ago. "The 363-foot-tall Apollo 11 space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 8:32 a.m. EST, July 16, 1969. It was the United States' first lunar landing mission. The launch vehicle, AS-506, was the sixth in the Apollo Saturn V series and was the fourth manned Saturn V vehicle. After a 2½-hour checkout period, the spacecraft was injected into the translunar phase of the mission."

Comet NEOWISE tonight and Saturday.  Tonight and tomorrow night is a great opportunity to see the comet NEOWISE without ...

Comet NEOWISE tonight and Saturday. Tonight and tomorrow night is a great opportunity to see the comet NEOWISE without the aid of a telescope. In California, I have read it is best to look NNW in a dark area between 9:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Once it leaves our view it will not be around for another 6,800 years. Picture is not mine. A link to a Space.com article is in the Comments. This is a great outdoor adventure if you have children or grandchildren. Binoculars help when viewing.

An unusual piece of history from 73 years ago.

An unusual piece of history from 73 years ago.

Note: The book is available for sale on Amazon.com

Note: The book is available for sale on Amazon.com

LUMBER YARD LOST IN SPECTACULAR FIRECDF Efforts Fruitless; Total LossSeptember 6, 1956Temecula, Sept. 5 – A spectacular ...


CDF Efforts Fruitless; Total Loss

September 6, 1956

Temecula, Sept. 5 – A spectacular fire gutted the Temecula Valley Lumber Co. on Front Street here this morning, destroying everything including a fence which surrounds the lumber yard.

The California Division of Forestry reported that the entire lumber yard was in flames when its units arrived about 12:28 a.m. Defective wiring was considered a possible cause.

CDF spokesmen said no estimate of damage can be made until they contacted S.J. Hathaway of Oceanside, owner of the firm, which was a branch of the Hathaway Lumber Co. The property was believed to have been insured.

The blaze was reported to have started in a cement storage room and quickly spread throughout the lumber yard. A combination delivery and A-frame truck also was destroyed.

Seven CDF units were sent to the scene: two from Temecula, two from Elsinore, and units from San Jacinto, Lakeland Village and Perris.

NOTE: The lumber company was located where the Temecula Stampede is located in Old Town Temecula. A picture of the lumberyard before the fire is in the comments.

Many thanks to Carl Watson for providing this information.

MAHLON VAIL'S STORY - HE LED RANCH'S GROWTH FOR MOST OF HIS ADULT LIFEBy Rebecca Marshall FarnbackWhen we tell someone’s...


By Rebecca Marshall Farnback

When we tell someone’s story, we start with mentioning their parents. In Mahlon’s story, his father’s remarkable success story set the scene for Mahlon’s life in and love for Temecula.

You may know the story of Mahlon’s father Walter who left his home and family in New Jersey on the day he turned twenty-one. With one hundred dollars in his pocket, he left to seek fame and fortune in the West. When Wal-ter didn’t strike it rich in the silver mines of Virginia City, Nevada, his Uncle Nathan in Los Angeles urged him to buy a ranch in Arizona to start a cattle business.

Walter and some partners developed a huge ranching enterprise south-east of Tucson and found silver on his land. With his growing success, he be-lieved it was time to marry his longtime sweetheart. In 1881, Walter Vail mar-ried Margaret Newhall from New Jersey and brought her to their Empire Ranch home. He had made great improvements to make the bare adobe into a home for a civilized lady. From the adobe with dirt floors and no windows or doors, he eventually built a Victorian 22-room home with electricity and in-door plumbing and a bay window. It must have made a wonderful home for Walter and Margaret to raise their seven children.

Mahlon was born here in 1890, the fifth of seven children, the fourth of five boys. The name Mahlon is a Bible name from the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Mahlon Vail was named for his paternal grandfather.

Imagine the life Mahlon and his siblings enjoyed with a million acres and 40,000 cattle. They would have watched seasoned cowboys roping and branding. They may have tagged along as the men hunted and fished, repaired fences, and butchered meat. The boys would have had plenty of room for running and horseback riding. Life was hard work for the grownups but must have been wonderful for the Vail children.

When Mahlon was about eight years old, his Uncle Ed, who also lived at the Empire Ranch, managed a crew that drove 200 head of cattle from their ranch in Arizona to Warner Springs, California, a long and dusty trip to get the cattle to fresh pastureland. We see from Vail family photos that they spent time at the ranch property in Warner Springs, where, again, they enjoyed plenty of running room. In 1904, when Mahlon’s father Walter saw land for sale near Temecula, he bought 87,000 acres of grazing land. Temecula had a railroad station convenient for shipping of cattle to market.

By then, Walter and Margaret and their seven children lived in a prestigious neighborhood in Los Angeles on Mulholland Drive where it was convenient for Walter to manage his many businesses and the children had access to good schools. They depended on ranch foremen to take care of business at the Pauba Ranch as it was called in those days.

By the early 1900s the Vails owned and had developed much of Huntington Beach and many properties in downtown Los Angeles. They owned Santa Rosa Island west of Santa Barbara. They imported thousands of cattle from Mexico and took them to pastures and feed lots to fatten them for market. They would buy cattle at 200 lbs. and sell them at 1,200 lbs. The Vail Company leased the entire San Fernando Valley from Misters Lankersheim and Van Nuys.

While at the height of his success and shortly after purchasing the Temecula ranchos, Walter was crushed between two streetcars in Los Angeles and died at 54 years of age.

Not only did the family reel from the untimely death of their father, but they also had a huge company to manage. The question was who would take care of all of Vails’ businesses. Harry Hefner came from the Empire Ranch in Arizona to Temecula in 1905 to manage things until 1910 “when the boys took over”, meaning Walter’s sons. Mahlon was just 15 years old when Walter died.

Walter’s widow Margaret and her seven children formed the Vail Corporation, and each was assigned an area of responsibility. Listing them in order of their births, Nathan Russell was president of the Vail Company. Walter, Jr. managed their holdings in Argentina. Mary was a director, William Banning stayed in Arizona with the Empire Ranch. Mahlon was over the Pauba Ranch in Temecula. Edward was in charge of operations on Santa Rosa Island. And Margaret was a director.

When Mahlon turned twenty, he took over the Vail Ranch from Hefner. When he was twenty-nine he married Irene Howard, a socialite from Los Angeles. He built Casa Loma, a beautiful adobe on the hill above the ranch headquarters for their home. Casa Loma had an airstrip and a golf course, which were great for entertaining.

Irene didn’t like living in Temecula and didn’t feel safe. Mahlon built a secret staircase in the house for Irene to escape to the roof when she was frightened, but she returned to live in Los Angeles. Ranch foreman Louie Roripaugh moved to Casa Loma with his wife and children. Whenever Mahlon was in town, he would stay at his “hunting camp”, an adobe building at Vail Lake. This hunting lodge is still standing at Vail Lake and is now a bar. Mahlon often brought friends to hunt, camp and play. He and his buddies would stay at the hunting camp, called “the prison camp” by the family, referring to the use of the place in another era. He no doubt fondly remembered the freedom of his childhood on wide-open land of the Empire Ranch in Arizona and he continued to play well into his adulthood.

While Mahlon was in LA taking care of business, he left the day-to-day management of the Pauba Ranch to his foreman Louie Roripaugh and eventually to his nephew Sandy Wilkinson. Sandy told me that Mahlon had no education but had business smarts like his father Walter.

Many photos show Mahlon as a jokester, and a guy who knew how to have fun. But he possessed the same strategic intelligence as his father. His partners in play, whether golfing, hunting or camping were military officers and luminaries from Hollywood and Los Angeles. His Temecula guests included General Omar Bradley, baseball great Ty Cobb, aviation pioneer Donald Douglas and Temecula author Erle Stanley Gardner.

Mahlon always had a good car. In the early days Mahlon drove Model A or Model T Ford Roadsters, then he graduated to Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles that got beat up on the poor roads of the area. During Mahlon’s leadership at the Pauba/Vail Ranch, the ranch was the major employer of the valley and the First National Bank of Temecula, now a restaurant called The Bank. was built to handle the Vail payroll.

Mahlon’s leadership was at its best when he negotiated settlement of a longstanding lawsuit Camp Pendleton waged against the Vails for water rights. This culminated in 1948 with the construction of the Vail Dam for over a million dollars, at the time the largest privately financed dam in the world.

Mahlon oversaw construction of pumping stations and brought electricity and phone lines to the Vail Headquarters. There were small encampments throughout the ranch including Lower Camp, Upper Camp, the Dairy, Yoder Camp and the Santa Rosa.

Leo Roripaugh said Mahlon was an easy man to work for. Cowboy Lester Reed said Mahlon treated him better than any man had ever treated him.

In A Thousand Years in Temecula Valley Tom Hudson told a story that I believe was autobiographical. In 1956 the editor of the Lake Elsinore Valley Sun met with Mahlon at his hunting camp. Mahlon informed him that he wouldn’t talk to a newspaperman without his lawyer present. Mahlon walked away and climbed to sit on the top rail of a corral fence. The interviewer climbed and sat next to him. Ignoring the newspaperman, Mahlon reached into his shirt pocket for his bag of Bull Durham and proceeded to roll and light a cigarette. The editor extended his hand for the Bull Durham bag and when Mahlon saw the newspaper man was capable of rolling a decent cigarette, Mahlon struck a match on the corral fence to light the cigarette for his guest and then they spoke. After the interview concluded, the editor dined with Mahlon and other guests including movie producer Hal Roach. They ate steak and beans in a barn-like structure and finished with spiked coffee.

1965 When the editor wrote about the interview, he said Vail was an agile man of average height. While he maintained an office on the prestigious Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, but his ruddy complexion was proof that he spent much of his time on the big ranch he loved so well in Temecula. He moved among the big names of Los Angeles and Hollywood with ease and self -assurance, and he spoke their language.

On the ranch in Temecula he moved with equal self-assurance among the men who worked for him – and he spoke their language. On December 4, 1964, after running the ranch for 60 years, the Vail Company made the difficult decision to sell the ranch holdings. They sold the 87,500 acres to Macco Realty, Kaiser Industries and Kaiser Aluminum and Mahlon retired.

He died six months later at the age of 74 doing something he loved. He suffered a heart attack while playing a round of golf in Borrego Springs. The June 10, issue of the Riverside Daily Enterprise ironically carried two death announcements related to the Vail Ranch: Mahlon’s and Harry Heffner’s, the man who ran the ranch until Mahlon came of age after his father’s death. Heffner was 91. The same newspaper edition carried an announcement that David March, the son of the maid for the Roripaughs at Casa Loma was named covaledictorian of his graduating class.

The Daily Enterprise minimized Mahlon’s importance to the ranch in the headline of his death announcement “Mahlon Vail, son of ranch’s founder, dies”. Walter made the purchase of the ranch, but did not live long enough to oversee it. Mahlon was involved for the entire 60 years of the ranch, but he was identified as the “son of the founder”.

It occurs to me that Mahlon was a man who kept his promises. He was a person shouldered his responsibilities and had the dogged determination to do what he needed to do. He also knew how to have fun and he formed a lot of friends and did manly things with them.

As I’ve met children of the ranch workers, I ask about Mahlon. They have nothing but good to say about him. He provided each family with a vehicle and a place to live. The children always received Christmas gifts. Also, Mahlon’s family members say he was an upstanding man. If you read between the lines, that means he was honest.

Mahlon Vail ran a historic ranch headquarters, once the seat of financial power and influence in the Temecula Valley. We will be nominating the site in January 2022 for recognition as a National Historic Site.

There are two Mahlon Vails living today and each of them have visited Vail Headquarters. “Mahlie” Vail Lawton, a granddaughter of Walter Vail lives in the Palm Springs area, and the other is a great grandson of Walter Vail associated with Cal Tech in Pasadena.

SOURCE: Temecula Valley Historical Society Newsletter - July 2020. Volume 20 - Issue 7


Old Town Temecula & Vail Headquarters
Temecula, CA

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Hi Temecula history friends, Thought this was VERY cool, not too surprising, but I had no idea! Temecula and Santa Rosa is covered in thick ancient volcanic basalt. MANY years ago, the region had lava flow and in certain areas, the volcanic rock is visible. See article below: “The Murrieta hogbacks are apparently related. The Murrieta hogbacks are the conspicuous ridge east of I-215, south of Los Alamos Road, and north of Murrieta Hot Springs Road. There are houses on top, and a road goes up there from Los Alamos. They also have a similar basalt on top. Farther east, some of the hills at the west end of Vail lake are also volcanic. To find the Vail Lake site, drive toward the dam along the flood channel of Temecula Creek. In times of low water this is not too hard. Once you work back toward the dam, you can see the basalt, the basalt ridge, and the putative cinder cone. There is a ridge near the dam that ends in what looks for all the world like a cinder cone. The soil is a very similar clay, and supports Chocolate lilies and other clay soil plants. Again, the basalt appears very similar. The county geologist (Steve Kupferman) told me that someone published a paper a few years ago that tied all of this together.”
There was one question I wanted to ask him and now that will never happen. So sad, rest in peace Bob.
Where are all the cars and people? Oh that's right . . . it is 1951.