Local History Online
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
1953, Wildomar Post Office,Store, Garage
W. E. Turner Owner
Shell Station & Cafe
"Try our Fine Hamburgers"
Homemade Chili, Ice Cream Soda, Tobacco
Corner of Highway 71 and Central
Rachel Rodriguez relaxes a moment while she
sips a coke at Harry Katz's Cafe in Wildomar
Betty Turner
Eighty Years Old and Still Going Strong
   How does it feel to be running a business that will be 80 years old this year?

    This is the question we put to Betty Turner of Wildomar, owner and operator of the Wildomar Store.

    It all began around 1884 when the father of Alfred M. Lewis erected the first store building and began the job of selling merchandise to the local residents. In those 80 years, the store location has been changed from the original site and in 1926 it burned completely to the ground and Henry Price, the owner of the business, rebuilt the store.

    January of 1942, Betty and Wyman Turner, native Californians, moved from the Santa Maria home and purchased the business from Ken Freeman, who at that time was the owner. That was 22 years ago, and these two people are still in the grocery business.

    Not only that, but Wyman is the Postmaster for Wildomar and in his spare time does photography. Many of the wedding photos you have seen in La Laguna Revue have had his cut line under them.

    And Betty is quite a gal. She not only runs the store, but is the assistant postmaster and is active in many civil affairs.

    She is the chairman of the Wildomar Cemetery Board, was head of the Wildomar School Board and still takes an active part in school affairs, both elementary and high school.

    When the Red Cross and Cancer Fund have annual drives, Betty is always ready to serve in any needed capacity. She is Past Matron of the Eastern Star and has been an active member of the Elsinore Woman's Club.

    In addition to all of these activities that have kept the Turners busy, they raised a son, David, who at present lives in Pomona with his wife and daughter and is an engineering technician at General Dynamics.

    Betty is not only proud to be running this old established business, but very proud of her town. It will be interesting to some to know why so peculiar a name as Wildomar was adopted for this community located about seven miles south of Elsinore. In explanation I will state that William Collier and Donald Graham were two of the original purchasers of the Laguna grant. Mrs. Margaret Graham, the wife of Mr. Graham also being interested in the enterprise, was given the honor of manufacturing a name for the new town, which she did by using the first syllable or part of each of the three given names mentioned. Thus we have Wil-Do-Mar.

    In the Turner home, which is located directly behind the store, Betty has a collection of antique and unusual teaspoons, and her collection of blue ware about covers the walls in the kitchen, one of the plates being from the Andrew Jackson collection of dinner-ware.

    The greatest antique in all the Turner home though is "Squeaky" a cat that is 20 years old.

    When you are in Wildomar, stop in at the store, pull up a chair and chat with Betty, because she is not only interested in the past of Wildomar, but the future as well, and she is quite well-versed on both phases.

La Laguna Revue Vol. III No. 4
February 1963