Rare San Jacinto Valley Promotional Map and Pamphlet
Nice example of this scarce promotional booklet advertising homesites in Hemet, California, with a folding plat map of the company’s lands, as surveyed by B.W. Pierce.
The accompanying map shows more than 200 10-acre lots and 32 smaller lots within the Town of Hemet, along with 36 lots on Park Hill of varying sizes, between 10 and 25 acres.
The land for the town of Hemet was first acquired from its original Rancho owners in 1886. In 1887, W. F. Whittier and E. L. Mayberry, established the Hemet Land Company and the Lake Hemet Company, in order to create a dam which would supply the area with water for farms and residential growth. Completed in 1895, the dam is described in the pamphlet as “the largest piece of solid masonry in the West,” enabling water for local farms and residential use.
Hemet was first developed in 1893, but was not incorporated until 1910, by which time it had grown to about 170 residents, fueled by agricultural lands in the surrounding San Jacinto Valley, southeast of Riverside.
While the Hemet had grown to a bustling town with a lumber and a flour mill, a newspaper, and a variety of businesses—and, accordingly, many mouths to feed. In addition to describing Hemet’s active local market for produce, the prices for acreage based on their crop suitability, and the logistics and seasonal costs of the Lake Hemet water and irrigation system, the booklet devotes substantial attention to the increasing “material wealth” of the region, with sections dedicated to “The Soil,” “Deciduous Fruits,” “Sun Dried Fruits,” “Citrus Fruits,” “The Olive,” “Alfalfa,” “Dairying,” “Stock Raising,” “Sugar Beets,” and so on. It closes with information on schools, churches, and hotels in the town.
The map, drafted by B. W. Pierce, shows a sectional view of the land plots belonging to or already sold by the Hemet Land Company. The Southern California Railroad cuts through the northwest corner of the map, and at its southern edge are the “cement canal” and “distributing reservoir.” Also indicated are the region’s pipe and flume systems.