Travel back in time to the late 1920's and early 30's and visit Winchester School. See the school as it looked in 1926. See the classes of the 1930-32 era. See names like Haslam, Rice, Blackmore, Connell, McCall, Graham, Smith, Hornberger, and Rawson. This adventure all came to light thanks to Helen Haslam Bruner, a one time resident of Winchester. She sent us a group of pictures showing the two room Winchester School and the classes of the 1930's of Mrs. Alta Rice and Mrs. Yonkers. There was quite an interest in the area of some of the old timers and visits to them added some names that Helen did not have. Many requested copies of them and through the gracious efforts of Helen we bought them. If your interested in a set of these photos contact the society and we can order you a set. Be aware that there is a cost for these photos. The set of 7 photos cost $25.00 if we mail them.
Efforts are underway by the County of Riverside to draw visitors to the area to see our many historic sites. A consultant was hired and a preliminary meeting was held at the Ramona Bowl in February to start the program. This is only in the early stages of development but it is hoped we can list the many sites and help draw people to the area. A group of local people in the San Jacinto Valley will also be meeting soon to map out the significant sites in the area to be included. Thoughts among this group is to make a map showing the different areas and placing them in local museums. Stayed tuned in on this one. It looks exciting.
We are in need of a finish carpenter to do the remaining windows and also to build shutters for the windows facing the street. If you want to earn some money or know someone who does PLEASE contact the society. We would like to get this finished and move onward towards retrofitting the Patterson House for earthquake protection. See the "How to Reach Us" article to find out how to contact us.
We have a couple of notable anniversaries this month. The first one is that the "Ploughshare & Pruning Hook" is starting the fifth year of publication. We hope you all enjoy and if you would like to contribute feel free to send us your articles and news.
The second anniversary is the Winchester Homeowners Association. They are twenty years old and still going strong. In fact lets give you a brief history of the group.History of Winchester Homeowners Association
The year is 1980 and the community is in the midst of a major flood. A group of citizens went looking for a way to vent their anger and frustration. The first stop was a meeting held at the Winchester School with the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was a group of business and homeowners who had been active in the community for years. Because of the fact that the school was planning to charge rent the group decided to move its meetings to the church annex. Because of a clause in the tax code a chamber cannot meet in a church, thus it was decided to form a homeowner's group. Bylaws were written and a name chosen. With this was born the Winchester Homeowners Association.
The first mission was to try to see what could be done about flood control. With a head of steam resembling a run away freight train they went looking for villains. They determined that the blame lied with the City of Hemet, County of Riverside and some unsuspecting candidates for county supervisor. Fortunately for the group the new supervisor forgave her rough treatment and with many meetings held in the area a plan was made to build an interim channel called Salt Creek. In 1988 an interim channel was built up to Rice Road.
It was soon realized that there were more important issues to be addressed for the betterment of the community and surrounding areas. One of the first projects the group took on was the completion of a Chamber project, natural gas brought to the community. The Homeowners also started looking into what was being planned for the community and was influential in stopping certain endeavors that they felt harmful to the community. Among other things the organization has accomplished, sometimes as joint efforts with other groups are:
The crossing guard at Winchester School.
The buying and building of a 5-acre park behind the school.
The revitalizing of Winchester Days in 1986 with a big gala celebration in 1990 for the 100th birthday of the community.
The closing of Double Butte landfill.
The Highway 74/79 communities plan.
Mitigation with E.M.W.D. of the placement of reclaimed water ponds in the community.
Expansion of the Winchester-Domenigoni Park by 13 acres and the building of a community center and fire station.
Donations to local groups and schools of funds.
Helping to design the recreation areas of the new Domenigoni Valley Reservoir.
Helping in the new route for Highway 79 through Winchester.
Taking over a local tradition in the annual Team Penning now held as a community benefit in Winchester.
Working with other organizations for our own community pantry.
Creating a Disaster Relief Group shortly after the California Fire to aid victims.
Donations to local Volunteer Fire Departments and the purchase of a window in the Patterson House Museum.
This group continues a long tradition of the community of Winchester doing things to improve the area. In the late 1800's the Town Improvement Society was formed. For many years there was also a Chamber of Commerce. The Winchester Woman's Club also has a long history of service. Sometime in the near future we will run a history of the Woman's Club.
Also February 21st marks a day some would rather forget as that was the day the levee broke on the San Jacinto River and flooded the community of San Jacinto. Those of you living in Winchester remember that the community was also rather inundated with water but not from the San Jacinto River but from Salt Creek.
We welcome your letters telling of your life growing up in the area. So if you have a story to tell, send it to us and we will publish it. Here is a note we received recently from Ellen Sheld Milholland.
"In the late 1920's my dad took me and my brothers to the railroad depot. He put us on the train in Winchester and we rode to Hemet. He wanted us to have a train ride. It was the only train ride I ever took in my life. It was fun."
Another letter we received was from Penny Nicolas Smith. Penny was one of the few people we know of from the area that actually worked on that new lake in the Domenigoni/Diamond Valley built by M. W. D. She said in her letter that we should mention who does this newsletter. So to fulfill her request we will publish the staff list for the newsletter.
Publisher: Winchester Historical Society of Pleasant Valley
Editor, Writer, Typist, Proofreader(O.K. sometimes), Folder, Stamp Licker, : Gregg Cowdery.
There you go Penny.
Winchester Cattle Club Opens 2nd Season
The Winchester Cattle Cub is back. If you would like to participate or just watch head out Ninth St. towards the West and visit the Winchester Wild West Arena. They have events every Wednesday and Saturday for the rest of the year. Cost of watching the event is free. Now there is a good deal for some entertainment. They have lined up a T.P.A. qualifying event March 18th and will hold the Southern California Regionals come this June.
Who We Are
The Ploughshare & Pruning Hook is published bi- monthly 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.
How to Reach Us
We can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 69, Winchester, California 92596-0069
Phone (909) 926-4039 or (909) 9269700.
Fax (775) 522-1852
The historical societies web site is: http://www.homestead.com/ winchesterCAhistory/home. html
Another way to get to the site, which may be quicker for you, is to do the following:
1. Go to http://www.homestead.com/
2. In the Homestead Directory click on Clubs & Organization.
3. Next click on Community Groups and look for "Winchester California History" and by clicking there you will reach our home page.
Saturday 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Sunday 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Closed holiday weekends. We will be closed Easter and Memorial Day weekend