PLOUGHSHARE & PRUNING HOOK
Volume 3 Number 10January 1999
A New Year and a New Beginning
Well the new year is upon us and the task of getting the windows completed is moving forward. We received a nice Christmas gift as someone bought a window as a Christmas gift from her husband. With this purchase all but one window door, the kitchen, have been purchased. The entire second floor is still available including the door that goes nowhere. Hopefully we can finish this part of the project this year so we can begin to store some of our many historical articles there. If you would like to contribute to the restoration please contact us or send your donation to our society. If you can not afford the price of $300 remember we are including community windows where even $1 will help to make our dreams become reality.
The Winchester Post Office
THE WINCHESTER POST OFFICE HAS HAD A REMARKABLE HISTORY, AS FAR AS THE NUMBER OF POST MASTERS. THE OFFICE WAS FIRST ESTABLISHED AS THE ROCK HOUSE POST OFFICE ON THE DOMENIGONI RANCH, MAY 24, 1880. A ROCK HOUSE BECAME THE POST OFFICE AND WAS JUST THAT A ROCK HOUSE. BEFORE THE COMING OF THE RAILROAD THE ONLY BUILDING WERE THE ROCK HOUSE POST OFFICE, BUILT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SERVE THE TRAPPERS AND THE SCATTERED PIONEERS OF THE VAST AREA. THE SPOT WAS A BUSTLING STAGE COACH CENTER AND MAIL TRANSFER POINT. MULES AND HORSE DRAWN ROLLED THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY EN ROUTE TO THE MINING CAMPS OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY. STAGES ALSO MET HERE TO EXCHANGE MAIL AND PASSENGERS GOING NORTH TO SAN BERNARDINO. THIS WAS THE FIRST POST OFFICE IN THE AREA AND WAS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. RIVERSIDE COUNTY HAD NOT YET BEEN FORMED. THE FIRST POST MASTER WAS ANGELO DOMENIGONI'S GRANDFATHER WHO SERVED FROM 1880 TO 1882. THE OFFICE WAS DISCONTINUED UNTIL FEBRUARY 13, 1883 BUT GEORGE BANIB SERVED AS POST MASTER FROM JULY 25, 1882 TO FEBRUARY 13, 1883. DANIEL CLARK WAS APPOINTED AND REMAINED AS POST MASTER UNTIL THE NAME ROCK HOUSE DISCONTINUED AND THE NAME WINCHESTER POST OFFICE WAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED, FEBRUARY 23, 1887 WITH MRS. ELIZABETH RICE AS POST MASTER.
TODAY A BULLET RIDDLED SIGN ON HOLLAND ROAD SOUTH OF WINCHESTER MARKS THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF ONE OF THE LEAST KNOW HISTORIC LAND MARKS IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY. NOTHING BUT A PILE OF ROCKS ON A NEARBY RANCH MARK THE SPOT OF THEIR; ROCK HOUSE POST OFFICE.
BY: MISS. MARGHERITA C.
DOMENIGONI (DAUGHTER OF FIRST POST MASTER)
This article was given to us and was a school project. Over the years the Blackmore family served as postmasters and the last local postmaster was Ethel Terry. We are looking for dates and people who served to fill in the voids of who served the community.
Who We Are
The Ploughshare & Pruning Hook is published each month by the Winchester Historical Society of Pleasant Valley. The sole purpose is the let the community and others interested in preserving our history a glimpse into our past, present, and future history. We can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 69, Winchester, California 92596-0069 or by phone at (909) 926-4039. Donations to help support this newsletter and other activities are tax deductible as a gift to charity. We also accept gift writings about our local history and will publish them as space permits. Guest speakers and displays are available upon request. E-mail the society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Growing Town
Winchester, San Diego County, And Its Attractions
Editor Star:- We covet one beam of your enterprising brightness to enlighten those who "sit in darkness" concerning the thriving little San Diego county town of Winchester, in and around which a number of Pasadenians are considerable property owners. This precious infant town is situated on the San Jacinto branch of the C. S. R. R., about ten miles southwest from San Jacinto and almost equally distant from Perris. In March of '88, although it had a name, it was so small as to elude observation unless diligently searched for. Today as the train glides through the valley from Perris to San Jacinto, the eye of the traveler is attracted from the beauties of the landscape to the tokens of thrift and prosperity of a snug little town, and by the time the brakeman calls out "Winchester," he is interested. There on a half mile switch, stan twelve or fifteen cars, some being emptied of lumber and various building materials, machinery, etc., others loading with grain from two large warehouses, 50 x 100 feet in dimensions, packed to their utmost capacity with grain hauled to Winchester for shipment. It is estimated that over 200,000 sacks of barley will be marketed here this year, besides large quantities of wheat, hay, etc.
The hotel, a large, freshly painted, substantial building, nestled in its orchards of green trees, would do credit to a much larger town. Mr. C. C. Thomas and his estimable wife know how to make one feel at home; and the appetizing meals temptingly served in their cool shady dining room testify to the abilities of the cook. Mr. Thomas and son are also proprietors of a general provision store which, though something less then Wanamaker's general providery, is ample enough to supply the wants of the community and has worked up a good, independent trade during the few months of existence.
A two-story brick building now in process of erection by Pasadena contractors promises to be one of the finest business houses in the county, outside of San Diego, and is the property of your townsman, J. G. Miller. A hardware store, a tinshop, blacksmith shop, meat market, etc. indicate some of the branches of business carried on in the town. All the brick used in the building are manufactured in our own kiln, which is controlled by Haslam & Co., and arrangements are about completed for making our own brooms and those of our neighbors. A neat little church which the Pasadena Methodist people helped to build, lifts it spire heavenward and its services are attended by a congregation above the average in numbers and intelligence for a new place. The school is in a prosperous condition and the sum of $5,000 has been voted for the construction of a handsome brick building in the near future.
We have never had a systematic boom and therefore our progress is steady and solid, for which we are truly thankful. The building of new residences, the planting of orchards and vineyards, the lining of avenues with shade trees and the general improvement of property indicates the spirit of thrift and enterprise among the people.
Our close proximity to the San Jacinto mountains and consequent water supply, together with the fact that water can be had by all at a depth from twelve to one hundred feet and almost anything will grow here with irrigation, gives positive assurance for the future of our valley.
Winchester's pride is that she knows how to use her water supply and is numbered among the temperance town which are so rare. There is no liquor sold within ten miles of her borders and her citizens are honest, industrious, intelligent Christian people. When the trees are fully grown, our orchards and vineyards full of fruit and our dooryards of shade; and the "elixir of life" shall have become a factor in every household, then Pleasant Valley, lying in the shadow of the purple mountains, and Winchester nestled among her hills shall have become one long bright dream. In the meantime, however, we invite you to give us a call and verify the truth of these statements A WINCHESTERITE
THIS ARTICLE WAS COPIED FROM THE OCT. 10, 1889 SAN JACINTO WEEKLY REGISTER.
We recently heard of a rather strange tale. Someone told us that a tunnel once ran from the train station to what used to be the Blackmore store at Simpson and Winchester road. Let me assure you that to the best of our knowledge there was never such a tunnel.
Never underestimate the influence of the people you have allowed into your life.
Be grateful that God doesn't answer all your prayers.