The area around Anza Valley, located in the south-central part of Riverside County, California, includes Terwilliger Valley, Garner Valley, Pinyon Flats, and parts of Aguanga, a former Butterfield Overland Stage stop. It is a rugged, high-altitude area formed on the western side of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. Access into this enclave was always difficult, which subsequently protected the native Cahuilla people from the European influence of early pioneers and explorers until the coming of Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza in 1774. Once settler families were established in the surrounding valleys, close friendships and marriage soon linked them together through their shared ecomic livelihood of cattle ranching. Until the early 1950s, ranching, dry farming, some mining, hunting, and trapping were the main occupations. Today the area is one of the last undeveloped areas in Southern California and is rich in Native American influence and culture. Around Anza Valley provides an inside view to this rich history and the many changes that have taken place in and around Anza Valley.
Hamilton Museum, Margaret Wellman Jaenke, Tony Mauricio