Historic preservationists mark a major Vail Ranch milestone

Whitney Vail Wilkinson, the great-grandson of Walter Vail, the rancher who owned what came to be known as the 87,000 acre Vail Ranch which was centrally operated at Vail HQ in south Temecula over 100 years ago, displays items from his Vail family’s cattle ranching days during a celebration for Vail HQ becoming a nationally recognized historical site, Sept. 18. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Tim O’Leary Special to the Valley News The ghost of our region’s pioneer past, the remnant of the sprawling Vail Ranch, has finally won its place in America’s rich history. It took nearly 27 years – and the relentless toil by a cadre of Temecula-area historic preservationists – to reach this hallowed ground. And now – due to the location’s recent designations as a National Historic Site and as a segment of the Butterfield Overland National Trail – the Vail Ranch Headquarters could soon attract legions of history buffs from all corners of the globe.I am humbled to have tracked this epic journey as community warriors fought and saved one of Southern California’s iconic historica
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