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'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
'The palest ink is better than the best memory.'
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Juan Murrieta Introduced Avocados to So. California

By Rebecca Farnbach

Reprinted from the July 2007 issue of the TVHS Newsletter

     You may know that Juan Murrieta was a shepherd and not a bandit. Many folks confuse him with the unrelated bandit Joaquin Murietta, who didn’t come from the same country or even spell his name the same. You also may know that when Murrieta came from Spain, he invested in real estate in Northern and Central California before coming to the Temecula Valley. But did you know that he introduced avocados to Southern California?

     While researching information for the book Images of America: Murrieta, I found the surprising story when I “Google-d” his name. Up popped the 1936 annual report of the Californian Avocado Association, an issue dedicated to him, shortly after his death.

     Juan Murrieta came to the Temecula Valley in 1873, when he and his brother Ezequiel bought Ranchos Temecula and Pauba with two partners. By 1882, Ezequiel returned to Spain, and in 1884, Juan moved his family to Los Angeles. Juan became the first deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County. He and his wife Adele enjoyed horticulture and experimenting with plants.

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JANUARY 2018 - "The Invaders"
FEFRUARY 2018 - After Years, Finally a New Temecula Bank
MARCH 2018 - Juan Murrieta Introduced Avocados to So. California