Valley Center Timeline

1524 Rumors of island called California reach Cortes in Mexico City.

1542 Cabrillo discovers San Diego Bay.

1602 Vizcaino explores California coast.

1769 Serra begins colonization of Alta California, establishes first mission at San Diego.

1781 Los Angeles founded.

1795 First recorded reference to Valley Center found in diary of Franciscan Padre

1810 Mexico revolts against Spain.

1822 California becomes part of Mexican empire.

1833 Missions are secularized.

1841 First overland immigrant train reaches California.

1845 Governor Pio Pico gives Mexican land grant to Jose Maria Orosco, establishing Rancho Guejito.

1846 U.S.-Mexican War begins.

1847 Mexicans surrender to Americans.

1848 Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill. California ceded to U.S.

1849 Gold Rush begins. State Constitution adopted.

1850 California admitted to Union.

1852 Land Commission surveys Valley Center, establishes first boundary lines.

1854 Sacramento becomes state capital.

1860 Pony Express brings mail to California.

1861 First transcontinental telegraph line opens.

1862 Civil War. Union militia is garrisoned around Valley Center to guard telegraph lines.

1862 President Lincoln signs Homestead Act, James Davis is Valley Center’s first permanent settler.

1866 Largest California grizzly bear in history is killed in Valley Center; area becomes known as Bear Valley.

1869 Transcontinental railroad completed.

1873 First navel orange trees planted.

1874 Post office established in Valley Center; town name is Valley, California.

1876 First one-room schoolhouse opens in Valley Center.

1879 New constitution adopted.

1882 First church is built in Valley Center.

1883 Elizabeth Jane Wimmer, co-discoverer of gold at Sutter’s Mill, moves to Valley Center.

1883 First burial at Valley Center Cemetery.

1886 First shipment of oranges leaves for east coast.

1887 Valley Center population reaches 1,000.

1888 California’s pioneer cotton plantation planted in Valley Center.

1896 First telephone in Valley Center is installed in general store.

1906 Earthquake and fire devastate San Francisco.

1912 Rubber plantation established in Valley Center.

1913 Owens Valley Aqueduct opens.

1917-19 World War I.

1920 Pioneer aviation flying field opens on Cool Valley Road.

1923 Union School and Community Hall completed in Valley Center.

1929 Stock market collapses and Depression begins.

1930 Electricity comes to Valley Center.

1936 World’s largest turkey farm operates in Valley Center.

1937 Golden Gate Bridge completed.

1941-45 World War II.

1945 United Nations dignitaries meet at Rancho Lilac home of Ambassador Irving Salomon.

1947 Valley Center Road becomes the “highway to the stars” as world’s largest telescope is trucked up to Palomar Mountain.

1955 Water service comes to Valley Center, agricultural expansion starts.

1979 Oldest commercial building (Valley Center Grocery, 1880s) is burned in fire training exercise.

2003 Oldest remaining commercial building (Valley Center General Store, aka Corral Liquor, 1923) is destroyed by fire.

2013 The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp is razed by the Valley Center Pauma Unified School District to accommodate a sports field.