Place:Hemet, Riverside, California, United States


Coordinates33.742°N 116.983°W
Located inRiverside, California, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California, United States. It covers a total area of , about half of the valley, which it shares with the neighboring city of San Jacinto. The population was 78,657 at the 2010 census.

The founding of Hemet predates the formation of Riverside County. The formation of Lake Hemet helped the city grow and prosper, and stimulated agriculture in the area. The city is known for being the home of The Ramona Pageant, California's official outdoor play. Started in 1923, the play is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States. Hemet has been named a Tree City USA for 20 years by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to the local forest. The city is home to the Hemet Valley Medical Center, a 320-bed general hospital.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Cahuilla tribe were the initial inhabitants of the Hemet area. During the early 19th century, the land was used for cattle ranching by Mission San Luis Rey, which named the area Rancho San Jacinto. In 1842 José Antonio Estudillo received the Rancho San Jacinto Viejo Mexican land grant. In 1887, during the first major Southern California land boom, W.F. Whittier and E.L. Mayberry founded the Lake Hemet Water Company, the Hemet Land Company, and the city of Hemet. In 1895, the Hemet Dam was completed on the San Jacinto River, creating Lake Hemet and providing a reliable water supply to the San Jacinto Valley. This water system was a major contribution to the valley's development as an agricultural area. The area's original inhabitants, the Soboba Cahuilla were moved to the Indian reservation near San Jacinto.

The City of Hemet was incorporated in January 1910. Out of 177 residents, 130 voted to incorporate, with 33 votes against. Those who voted against incorporation were landowners who feared increased taxation. The incorporation helped to serve the growing city, which was outgrowing its current infrastructure. Served by a railroad spur from Riverside, the city became a trading center for the San Jacinto Valley's agriculture, which included citrus, apricots, peaches, olives and walnuts. The city has long hosted the Agricultural District Farmer's Fair of Riverside County, which began in 1936 as the Hemet Turkey Show, now located in Perris. During World War II, the city hosted the Ryan School of Aeronautics, which trained about 6,000 fliers for the Army Air Force between 1940 and 1944. Hemet-Ryan Airport exists today at the site of the flight school. In 1950, Hemet was home to 10,000 people, and joined Corona and Riverside as the three largest cities in Riverside County.

In the 1960s, large-scale residential development began, mostly in the form of mobile home parks and retirement communities, giving Hemet a reputation as a working-class retirement area. In the 1980s, subdivisions of single-family homes began to sprout up from former ranchland, with "big-box" retail following. After a roughly decade-long lull in development following the major economic downturn of the early 1990s, housing starts in the city skyrocketed in the early 21st century. The area's affordability, its proximity to employment centers such as Corona, Riverside and San Bernardino, and its relatively rural character made it an attractive location for working-class families priced out of other areas of Southern California.

History timeline

From the Hemet Library Heritage Room History Collection:

  • 1850: California becomes state.
  • 1858: Hemet was established as a farm settlement.
  • 1887 Jan 27: Lake Hemet Water Company & Hemet Land Company formed.
  • 1888: Rail service from Perris to the San Jacinto Valley.
  • 1892: Post office Established.
  • 1893: Riverside County formed from San Diego & San Bernardino Counties.
  • 1893: First Hemet elementary school built on Alessandro Street.
  • 1894: First Hemet high school built at Buena Vista and Acacia.
  • 1895 Oct 9: Lake Hemet Dam completed.
  • 1899 Dec 25: Strong earthquake (estimated magnitude ~6.5) destroyed most brick buildings in downtown Hemet.
  • 1910 Jan 20: City of Hemet incorporated.
  • 1914: Santa Fe depot opened at present site.
  • 1918 Apr 21: Major earthquake (estimated magnitude ~7) caused significant structural damage and ground failure.
  • 1921: Original opening of the Hemet Theater.
  • 1923 Apr: First performance of Ramona Pageant.
  • 1940 Aug: Ryan School of Aeronautics opened in Hemet.
  • 1943 Oct 3: Hemet Community Hospital opened.
  • 1950 Sep 26: Eastern Municipal Water District created.
  • 1959 Hemet Police Department built on East Lathem Ave
  • 1966 Jul 1: Hemet Unified School District formed from several existing districts.
  • 1970: Hemet has over 10,000 residents for the first time.
  • 1972 Sep 23: New Hemet high school opened on Stanford and Stetson Ave.
  • 1980: Hemet real estate boom begins.
  • 1987: Depot abandoned by Santa Fe railroad—offered to sell to City of Hemet.
  • 1987: Bacum, Mexico became second sister city.
  • 1988: Save Our Station (S.O.S.) purchased Santa Fe Depot.
  • 1991 Oct 8: Domenigoni and Diamond Valleys named sites for M.W.D. reservoir.
  • 1995: Metropolitan Water District started 800,000 ac·ft reservoir.
  • 1996 June 13: Domenigoni Parkway opened.
  • 1998 June: Hemet Museum opened in Santa Fe depot.
  • 1999 Nov: M.W.D. Diamond Valley Lake completed.
  • 2000 Mar: Diamond Valley Lake dedicated, becomes recreation spot.
  • 2003 Jul: Hemet Public Library moved to East Latham Avenue.
  • 2010: Hemet's centennial as an incorporated city.

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