MURRIETA – Author and historian Rebecca Farnbach will present her findings about “The Unique Vail Ranch, from Helen Hunt Jackson to Erle Stanley Gardner” Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. in the community room at the Murrieta Library, 8 Town Square, in Murrieta.
Farnbach is one of the go-to people when residents want to know about the history of the Temecula Valley in Southern California. Farnbach and her husband Darell helped preserve the historic adobe Wolf Store and Vail Ranch headquarters where the Butterfield Stage Trail brought travelers into Southern California and to the fledgling town of Temecula.
Partnering with longtime residents of the valley, Farnbach has co-written six local history books in Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. The books of compiled vintage photographs and captions feature Temecula, the Temecula Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs and Fallbrook.
Farnbach received numerous writing awards. The San Diego Christian Writers Guild honored her with two poetry awards and named her Writer of the Year in 2006. Her poem “Dancing Louisa,” a biographic poem about a Native American woman, earned her three poetry awards, including one from Writers Digest. Eighteen years ago, Farnbach started a writers critique group whose writers have now produced over 80 books.
Farnbach is a founding member of the Temecula Valley Historical Society and the Vail Ranch Restoration Association.
After the death of Louis and Ramona Wolf, original owners of the ranch, their land and other ranchos were purchased by Arizona cattle baron, Walter Vail. By 1905, the 87,000-acre Vail Ranch became one of the largest cattle operations in California, stretching from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to Vail Lake to Murrieta. It operated through the late 1970s when it was sold to build Temecula’s housing. Some of the ranch’s oldest buildings survived in a cluster around the long-vacant Wolf Store. Together they would wait more than 40 years to be restored and once again become a center for community life in the Temecula Valley.
For more information, call Rita Nastri at (951) 698-8640 or visit www.murrietalibraryfriends.org.
Submitted by Friends of the Murrieta Library.