Temecula is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 57,716 at the 2000 census. The current population as of January 2007 has skyrocketed to 97,935.  It was incorporated on December 1, 1989.
Temecula is bordered by Murrieta on the northwest and the Pechanga Indian Reservation on the south, with unincorporated areas of Riverside County on all of its other borders. It is served by the Interstate 15 (Temecula Valley Freeway) and Interstate 215, along with California State Route 79.
With neighboring Murrieta, Temecula forms the southwestern anchor of the Inland Empire region. It is almost equidistant to San Diego and Orange County, California; many residents consider themselves as living in a suburb of one of the two. Temecula is also home to many military families from nearby MCB Camp Pendleton, MCAS Miramar, March Air Reserve Base and the Navy bases in San Diego.
|Motto: Where you want to be...|
|Country||United States of America|
|Incorporated||December 1, 1989|
|- Mayor||Chuck Washington|
|- City||26.3 sq mi (68.1 km²)|
|Elevation||1,175 ft (358.14 m)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC7)|
|Website: City of Temecula|
The area was inhabited by the Temecula native people for many hundreds of years before their first meeting with the Spanish missionaries (the people are now generally known as the "Luiseños", after the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia), but they lost an estimated 40% of their population due to introduced epidemics in the last few years of the 18th century. 
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians has called the Temecula valley home for more than 10,000 years. Life on earth began in this valley, "Exva Temeeku", the place of the union of Sky— father, and Earth— mother ("Tuukumit'pi Tamaayowit"). The Temecula Indians ("Temeekuyam") lived at "Temeekunga"— "the place of the sun". Other popular interpretations include "The Sun That Shines Through The Mist" or "Where the sun breaks through the mist". According to the city website, "Temecula is the only city in California to still retain its original Indian name".
The first recorded Spanish visit occurred in October 1797, with a Franciscan padre, Father Juan Norberto de Santiago and Captain Pedro Lisalde. They were with a group searching for a new mission locale. Father Santiago kept a journal, and in it he wrote about "Temecula", an "Indian village". The trip included the Lake Elsinore area and the Temecula Valley.
In 1798, Spanish Missionaries established the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia and designated the Indians living in the region "Sanluiseños", or shortened to "Luiseños".
In 1845, during the disintegration of Mexico's hold on California, the Temecula Ranch was granted to Felix Valdez. The Luiseño and Cahuilla tribes were involved, rather bloodily, in the local battles of the Mexican-American War during the following years.
One of the most often told stories of Temeculas early days is of the Temecula Massacre in a nearby canyon that took place in January 1847. The canyon is just below the present site of the Vail Lake Dam and was the scene of the bloodiest battle of the Mexican War. The Luiseño Indians captured 11 Mexican soldiers, who had stolen some of the tribe's horses. The tribal council decided to execute the horse thieves at a place now known as Warner Springs. The event came to be known as the Pauma Massacre. A Mexican contingency, led by José del Carmen Lugo, was soon dispatched to run them down and avenge the deaths.
The Temeculans, who were now on the run, went into the canyon hoping to ambush their pursuers. The tables were turned on them, by the Mexicans who enlisted the aid of the nearby Cahuilla Indians, who had been itching to settle the score with the Temeculans over some previous skirmishes between the two tribes.
The Mexicans, feigning weariness and illness, lured the Temeculans out of the canyon and into the hands of the Cahuillas who promptly slaughtered them. Several days later the dead Temeculans were buried in a common grave, the mound of which is still visible from Highway 79.
Shortly after the Massacre, the Mormon Battalion entered the Temecula Valley. The Luiseño Indians asked the Mormons to guard them as they buried their dead. The Battalion passed through Temecula, then headed south to San Diego.
As white American settlers began to move into California in the aftermath of the war, friction with the native tribes increased. At last a "Treaty with the San Louis Rey, Etc., 1852.", negotiated in good faith by both sides, was signed in the Magee Store in Temecula in 1852. Unfortunately, it was never ratified by the United States Congress. 
Temecula had its share of experiences with desperadoes. Early in 1857, Juan Flores, the leader of a gang of outlaws, killed a storekeeper in San Juan Capistrano and then again in Temecula. With the help of Manuelito Chapalac, he hid out near Santiago Peak where he and his remaining followers, who by that time had also killed the Los Angeles County Sheriff, were captured by posses from El Monte and San Diego. He later escaped, triggering the greatest manhunt ever conducted in California. Flores was finally recaptured in Simi Pass north of Los Angeles. On February 21, 1857, the Los Angeles jailer surrendered him to a mob and he was hanged on a street of the town.
When a stagecoach line started a local route, from Warner Ranch to Colton, it passed through Temecula Valley, the first run occurring on October 27, 1857. Within a year, on September 18, 1858, the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line, with a route between St. Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, stopped at Temecula's Magee Store.
With the arrival of the stages also came the beginning of change in the Valley: stagecoaches were synonymous with holdups, stages brought new settlers to the area, and mail became an important link with the rest of the country. On April 22, 1859, the first inland Southern California post office was established in Temecula in the Magee Store.
This was the second post office in the state, the first being located in San Francisco. The Temecula post office was destined for a number of moves over the ensuing years; its present locations are the seventh and eighth sites it has occupied. The Civil War put an end to the great Butterfield Overland Stage Service and transportation once again became a problem.
In 1862, Louis Wolf, a Temecula merchant and postmaster, married Ramona Place of Santa Barbara; she was half Indian. Author Helen Hunt Jackson spent time with Louis and Ramona Wolf in 1882 and again 1883. Wolf’s store became an inspiration for Jackson's fictional "Hartsel’s store" in her novel, Ramona, (1884). There is some speculation that Jackson's fictional heroine, Ramona, a half Indian, was inspired by Ramona Wolf.
On January 23, 1882, the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad, completed construction of the section from National City (south of San Diego) to Temecula and the valleys silence was broken by the whistle of a locomotive. Regular service was started between National City and Temecula two months later and local residents had good access to San Diego. A minor business boom began in Temecula with the advent of rail service and several new stores were built and started to garner trade. In 1883 the line was extended to San Bernardino. In the late 1880s, a series of floods washed out the tracks and the section of the railroad through the canyon was finally abandoned. The old Temecula station wound up as a barn and was later demolished.
The stone age was revived in the 1890s with the operation of granite stone quarries. Temecula granite was shaped into fence and hitching posts, curb stones, courthouse steps, and building blocks. Many of the fence posts and curb stones can still be seen in Temecula, Riverside, and San Francisco.
At the turn of the century Temecula gained a place of importance as a shipping point for grain and cattle. During this period the cowboys ruled the roost and the great cattle drives from the back country took place. Temecula had become a cow town.
In 1904 Walter L. Vail, who had come to the United States with his parents from Nova Scotia, migrated to California and with various partners began buying vast areas of land in Southern California. Vail was already a cattle rancher on a grand scale before he started buying ranch land in the Temecula Valley in 1905, buying large tracts beginning with 38,000 acres (154 km²) of Temecula and Pauba Ranchos, along with the northern half of the Little Temecula Ranch. Vail was run over and killed by a street car in Los Angeles in 1906; his son, Mahlon Vail, took over the family ranch.
In 1914, financed by Mahlon Vail and local ranchers, the First National Bank of Temecula opened on Front Street.
In 1915, the first paved, two-lane county road was built through Temecula.
Temecula had its share of excitement in the late 1920s and 30s. There were murders, a bank robbery, a flood, and visits by Hollywood celebrities. Prize fighters Jack Dempsey and Jack Sharkey worked out in a makeshift ring on the second floor of the old Welty building at Front and Main Streets over the Blind Pig Saloon and some moon-shining was conducted in the surrounding hills.
By 1947, the Vail Ranch contained just over 87,500 acres (354 km²). 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 than $1 million, the dam was completed and created Vail Lake.
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 Long Branch 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 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 area to 97,500 acres (395 km²) a spread of land two and a half times the size of the city and county of San Francisco.
The last years of the 1960s and early 70's witnessed the beginnings of dramatic change in the Temecula Valley. Engineers, contractors, heavy-equipment operators and real estate agents quickly edged out the cowboys and Indians as the main customers at the local establishments. Pickup trucks towing horse trailers, trucks hauling cattle and tractors rigged with farm implements were replaced by cement mixers, lumber trucks and industrial grading equipment. Sales activity switched from cattle, hay and grain to subdivided real estate land.
The Kaiser Land Development Company marketed the valley's attractions actively. Soon, the area became known as Rancho California. Many land sales were accomplished by means of limited partnership syndications, which helped to spread awareness of the area.
One side effect of this high-profile development was a second tier real estate boom in land suitable for avocado groves and grape vineyards on the east side of the valley. The value of plantable land skyrocketed.
The late '70s brought changes to some of the original Old West sites. The Long Branch Saloon was converted into a meeting house, while the Stables Bar became the site for retail stores. Although the Swing Inn remains, new restaurants began to open.
The I-15 corridor between Los Angeles County and San Diego was completed in the early 1980s and the subdivision land boom began. When Rancho California incorporated in December, 1989, the citizens voted to officially name their city "Temecula".
Temecula is well known for its hot air balloon rides and tours, floating over wineries and desert terrain. The image of colorful hot air balloons is used throughout the Temecula Valley as a quickly recognizable symbol of the city.
Although the area is not as well known as Palm Springs, the warm desert climate attracts tourists year-round, especially golfers who can use one of the nine local golf courses including Redhawk, Temecula Creek Inn, Temeku Hills, CrossCreek, Pala Mesa and the SCGA Member's Course (in nearby Murrieta).
A collection of historic 1890s buildings, antique stores, shopping and restaurants, Old Town Temecula is also home to such events as car shows, western days and summer entertainment. Over 600 antique dealers do business in the district.
Several diverse destinations on the main street in Old Town Temecula include wacky inventor Professor Phineas Pennypickle's Imagination Workshop, Temecula's Children's Museum, and the Temecula Olive Oil Company and Old Time Photos available on Old Town Front Street at Remember When? Media.
Every Thursday, Old Town also plays host to the Thursday Night Market Place. Here, local farmers sell products that they grow themselves. Artists show their craft, Old Town merchants showcase their wares as well as local foods.
Old Town is also home to the Temecula Museum which features exhibits about the local band of Native Americans and the local natural history and city development.
In 2001, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians built the $262 million Pechanga Resort & Casino complex. Linked together in an architectural design that subtly highlights the tribe's Luiseño culture, the facility includes: an 85,000 square foot (7,900 m²) casino, 1,200-seat bingo hall, 515,000 square foot (47,800 m²), 13-story, 522-room hotel and 38,800 square foot (3,600 m²) convention center, 1,200-seat showroom, 200-seat cabaret lounge, and seven restaurants. The new casino also features 2,000 slot machines, 60 card tables and 15 poker tables.
In 2004, construction of a new gaming area was begun and completed. It is almost 400,000 square feet (40,000 m²) in area, including a new nightclub, Silk, and the Round Bar. Silk has a capacity of 1600 people and has five bars inside the club. The Round Bar features California's largest glass structure. The new poker room features 60 tables of play, including no limit poker. Also included are about 60 new card tables. The new casino also features a new sportsbar and restaurant, Kelseys, and five new eateries at the Festival of Foods.
Pechanga Resort and Casino is Temecula Valley's number one employer, with about 7,500 people employed.
The resort attracts gamblers and tourists from all over California and the U.S.
Margarita Middle School is the sister school to Daisen-cho, Japan. The three high schools, Temecula Vally, Great Oak, and Chaparral swich off sending students to the Netherlands while they all share hosting. The Dutch students come during October and the American students go during Spring Break. Margarita Middle sends a delegation every other year during Spring Break, while Daisen sends a delegation every year during the summer. The sister cities celebrated their 13th year of cooperation this year.
The city recently dedicated a Japanese Garden at the centrally located Temecula Duck Pond to honor the 10th anniversary of the city's relationship with sister city Daisen.
The Temecula Duck Pond is also home to an art piece entitled Singing in the Rain. It was commissioned by the city of Leidschendam-Voorburg as a gift to the city to commemorate the resilient American spirit in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The piece depicts a mother and her children bravely pedalling a bicycle into the strong headwinds of a storm. The statue stands as a lasting tribute to the strength and courage of those who refuse to be broken by brutality and terrorism.
The Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) has schools in Temecula, Murrieta and Winchester, California. The general boundaries extend north to Baxter Road in French Valley, south to the Riverside/San Diego county line, east to Vail Lake, and west to the Temecula city limit. The district covers approximately 148 square miles (383 km²).
The district has expanded rapidly in the last few years. In 2004, the district opened its third high school, Great Oak High School, only six years after the opening of its second high school, Chaparral High School.
Approximately 25,000 students (Grades K-12) are currently enrolled in the district. The district offers many programs for students to advance their educational experience.
In a March 1983 speech to the U.S. Olympic Committee, President Ronald Reagan praised a community in Southern California and their "can-do" volunteer spirit: "... There are many similar stories right here in California, the folks in a rather small town, Temecula. They got together and built themselves a sports park, held fundraising barbecues and dinners. And those that didn't have money, volunteered the time and energy. And now the young people of that community have baseball diamonds for Little League and other sports events, just due to what's traditional Americanism... " At the time of the speech, Temecula was six years away from becoming a city and many projects were completed by community leaders and volunteers who provided money, labor and equipment.
On the 22nd anniversary of the speech, in 2005, about 70 city officials, community leaders and residents gathered to formally rename the Rancho California Sports Park, which has served the community for many years with its family friendly sports fields and attractions, after Reagan. Former first lady Nancy Reagan sent a letter thanking the city.
It was recently decided that the city would dedicate a memorial to the 40th president and place the statue in the park. The monument will depict a young family and represent the volunteers who helped build the park. Those figures will be life-size. Reagan will be larger-than-life, a short distance away. He will be smiling as he looks at the family. He will be holding a cowboy hat in one hand and leaning on a shovel in the other.
Construction of the memorial is slated to begin by the 23rd anniversary of the speech in 2006.
Temecula is located at GR1.(33.503295, -117.123687)
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 57,716 people, 18,293 households, and 15,164 families residing in the city. The population density was 848.6/km² (2,198.3/mi²). There were 19,099 housing units at an average density of 280.8/km² (727.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.93% White, 3.42% African American, 0.86% Native American, 4.73% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 7.41% from other races, and 4.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.01% of the population.
There were 18,293 households out of which 52.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.1% were non-families. 12.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 34.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. The above average number of young people in Temecula was attriubted to an influx of middle-class families came to buy homes in the 1990s real estate boom. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $76,892 (2003), and the median income for a family was $68,051 (2003). Males had a median income of $47,113 (2000) versus $31,608 (2000) for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,312 (2003). About 5.6% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
The community is also known for its technology. Temecula has 2.2 computer per household with 90% of them having an internet connection. The city has also been chosen to have the new fiberoptic internet connection infastructure.
On a rank of 1-371, safest to dangerous, Temecula was voted 116, while neighboring Murrieta was 39 
Temecula crime statistics (2004): 
Violent crime: 207
Murder and non-negligent man-slaughter: 0
Forcible rape: 15
Aggravated assault: 154
Property crime: 2,423
Motor vehicle theft: 340