Fallbrook History

The Fallbrook area, inhabited since the Ice Age, has a rich history of Native Americans, the Spanish and Mexican eras followed by American homesteading and settlement.
  • View a short video explaining the early origin of Fallbrook view

FALLBROOK HISTORICAL TIMELINE

1798:

San Luis Rey Mission Founded

Early 1800s:

133,000 acres of Santa Margarita Rancho granted to Pio and Andres Pico.  Most of the Rancho is now Camp Pendleton; a small portion is now included in Fallbrook

Monserate Rancho granted by Mexican Governor Pio Pico to Ysidro Maria Alvarado.

California becomes a U.S. Territory

Gold Rush begins

1850s:

California becomes 31st U.S. State

Vital Reche settles in Fallbrook, takes up commercial bee-keeping and brands his honey “Fall Brook”, after his home town of Fallbrook, PA.

Alvarado and Pico families raise cattle on Rancho Monserate and Rancho Santa Margarita

1860s:

Prospective homesteaders settle on periphery of the Ranchos and raise bees.

U.S. Civil War

Vital Reche donates land at Live Oak Park and Reche Rd. for the first Fallbrook School, The Fall Brook School.

1870s:

Second school built

Fallbrook Depot, originally built in the Santa Margarita Canyon, connected San Diego with points north.  Fallbrook is known as the lunch stop for runs to Los Angeles  or Yuma, Arizona

Non-ranch land opened for homesteading

First school district formed

1880s:

Eleven subdivisions added, lumberyards, 2 hotels and a bank

Vital Reche obtains first post office in Fallbrook

Real estate boom in Fallbrook

Fallbrook’s first newspaper, the Fall Brook Review

First church, the Methodist Episcopal South Congregation

First lodge, The Good Templars, which evolved into the Women’s Christian Temperance Union

First Fallbrook Festival, the Strawberry Festival held in April

Irrigation District organizes and brings water from the Santa Margarita River

Fallbrook Water and Power Co. surveys for a dam and an aqueduct

Cates Hotel built with 60 rooms.  Later named The Naples and then the Hotel Ellis

1890s:

Economy declines.  Bank closes, newspaper editor moves again.  Irrigation District fails.

The second block on Main St. burns to the ground, the volunteer bucket brigade was the only firefighting organization at the time

Fallbrook Irrigation District organized

3rd school built

Fallbrook Masonic Lodge founded

Second school burns down, Reche School rebuilt the same year

Directors of Fallbrook Irrigation District vote to dissolve the company

1900s:

Olives become more important crop than honey

First telephone service begins

Saturday Afternoon Club established, later to be known as the Fallbrook Women’s Club

Fallbrook telephone directory lists 19 subscribers

1910s:

Citrus Association builds lemon packing plant to take advantage of new rail line into town

Bank reopened

Chamber of Commerce organized

Inland auto route to Los Angeles passes through Fallbrook

The Fallbrook Enterprise newspaper established

First avocados planted

Fallbrook High School built

First library established

World War I

Floods permanently close railroad station near De Luz

First burial in the Masonic Cemetary, following sever flu epidemic

First Girl Scout troop west of the Rockies founded

Farm Bureau Center in Fallbrook

New railroad depot was built on Alvarado Street

1920s:

Fallbrook is on the major north/south road between Mexico and Canada, route now known as U.S. 395

Live Oak Park dedicated as County Park

First white line painted on Main Street

First sidewalks built on Main Street

Road paved between Fallbrook and Oceanside

Fallbrook Public Utility District (FPUD) formed

Road between Fallbrook and Bonsall paved

Order of the Eastern Star organized

Fallbrook Irrigation District is revived

Tomato product cannery opened

Bonsall Bridge opens

First Safeway grocery store opens

Hotel Ellis ceases operations

1930s:

Great Depression, and the Civilian Conservation Corps creates the rock channel for the stream in Live Oak Park

San Diego County stations a fire truck in Fallbrook, a Model A Ford

Fallbrook Garden Club began

The C.D.F replaces the Model “A” fire truck with a 1932 Chevrolet fire truck

Reche Community Service Club organized

First Fallbrook Hospital opened

3rd annual Future Farmers Day parade and show

World War II begins

1940s:

U.S. enters WWII

Avocado acreage increases dramatically

Dial telephone service introduced, bypassing the Operator

U.S. Government purchased land for Camp Pendleton

Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce incorporated

Rotary Club organized

American Association of University Women (AAUW) organized

U.S. 395 moved inland by 1948, thus Fallbrook is no longer on the “Inland Route”

First Fallbrook High School condemned as structurally unsafe to earthquakes, and a new one is built

1950s:

Fallbrook Community Hospital established

Fallbrook Hospital District approved by voters

Fallbrook Little League organized

Optimist Club established

Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (FGMS) founded

Hotel Ellis demolished

1960s:

Fallbrook Hospital opens on Elder Street

James E. Potter School built

Boys and Girls Club incorporated

First Avocado Festival.  Avocado Festival Excursion Train brought attendees from Los Angeles to Fallbrook Depot

Friends of Fallbrook Library formed, sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Art Club began

Pala Mesa Golf Course built

Fallbrook Airpark opened with a dirt landing strip, and construction of hangars begins

Boys Club received becomes affiliated with Boys Clubs of America

New Safeway store replaces the old one

New building for the Library is built

1970s:

Fallbrook Historical Society is formed

1980s:

Fallbrook Land Conservancy formed

1990s:

Fallbrook Art and Cultural Center opens in Harrison Drug Store building

First Murals in Fallbrook

$30 million remodeling of Fallbrook High School