Riverside County has a New City: Menifee

What once was a small area out on the 215 that people from OC and LA were moving too, to get away from traffic and live in the wide open spaces has become Riversides 26 city.

The City of Menifee is located in southwestern Riverside County approximately 30 miles southeast of the City of Riverside. The city encompasses approximately 50 square miles with an overall population of approximately 60,000. In the Mid 80's the population was right around 15,000 residents, most of whom lived in Del Webs Sun city.

Interstate 215 traverses north and south through the center of Menifee, with existing community commercial areas located primarily along Newport, Bradley and McCall Roads off the I-215. From the late 80's till the time I got sick and could no longer drive for a living I had the chance to be out in the area on a daily basis and watch it explode with hundreds of new homes, a major hospital and dozens of shopping centers. And since I worked in the courts I had the chance to see a lot of the new filings posted in the recorders office. Thousands in fact, a clear indication of how fast the area was growing.

The City of Menifee includes the communities of Menifee, Sun City, Quail Valley and portions of Romoland. The city is generally bordered on the north, west, and south by the Cities of Perris, Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore and Murrieta and on the southwest by the City of Wildomar. To the east and northeast, the city borders unincorporated county territory and eventually Temecula.

The area was originally inhabited by the Luiseno and Pechanga Indian Tribes, and in the 1700s, the area fell under the Spanish empire. The area was eventually annexed into the United States from Mexico in 1850 under California's statehood.

Farming activity beginning in the mid-1800s was concentrated in the Menifee area, and mining activity began in the early 1880s with the discovery of a significant quartz lode by miner Luther Menifee Wilson. Menifee derived its name from that mining operation.

Early development of the City of Menifee began with Sun City in the early 1960's as the concept of an active retirement community was envisioned by Del Webb, a major building contractor from Phoenix, Arizona. Sun City is centrally located within the City of Menifee with a mix of residential and commercial activity.

The Menifee area began to grow further in 1989 with the master-planned community of Menifee Lakes and continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in California. Quail Valley is a semi-rural residential community in the northwestern section of the city, and Romoland is a residential and commercial community located in the northeastern section of the city.

Elementary and middle school education in the City of Menifee is provided by the Menifee Union School District. High school education is provided by the Perris Union High School District. The City of Menifee is also home to Mount San Jacinto Community College, Menifee Campus which serves the Temecula, Murrieta and Menifee area.

On June 3, 2008, the residents of the communities encompassing the City of Menifee voted to incorporate into Riverside County's 26th city. The new City of Menifee was officially established on October 1, 2008.


Gary Hall, the ghostpainter

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