8000 BCE

First humans occupy California


After Junipero Serra’s death the last California mission was founded La Misión de San Luis, Rey de Francia (The Mission of Saint Louis, King of France). At its prime, Mission San Luis Rey's structures and services compound covered almost 950,400 acres, making it the largest of the missions, along with its surrounding agricultural land.  Native Americans in this area came to be called the Luisenos by the Spanish.

Early 1800s



Corporal William Pittenger
  • William Pittenger fights in U.S. Civil War
  • Vital Reche settles in Fallbrook, takes up commercial bee-keeping and brands his honey “Fall Brook”, after the town of Fallbrook, PA.
  • Vital Reche donates land at Live Oak Park and Reche Rd. for the first Fallbrook School, The Fall Brook School.
Vital Reche

Fall Brook School
  • 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
Fallbrook Depot
  • 1882:
    The California Pacific Railroad was formed to build a railroad from National City to Oceanside, east through the treacherous Temecula canyon and then in a northerly direction toward San Bernardino, 211 miles distant. At Oceanside, a line running east up the Santa Margarita River was built with mostly Chinese laborers. From Barstow, trains would connect San Diego to the rest of the country.   The railroad reached Fallbrook in March 1882.  The Fallbrook station opened with a telegraph station and a Wells Fargo office at the intersection of today’s De Luz Rd and Sandia Creek Rd.
  • 1885:
    Two land speculators; William M. Scott and his son in law Francis W. Bartlett arrived in 1884, formed the Land and Town Company to buy acreage up the hill from the train station in Santa Margarita canyon.  F.W. Bartlett applied to the County of San Diego to create “West Fallbrook” under the State Townsite law. The County surveyor Charles Sanford arrived to officially lay off 75 acres of Bartlett’s property with street names that we still use today.
  • Eleven subdivisions added, yards, 2 hotels and a bank
  • Real estate boom in Fallbrook
  • Fallbrook’s first newspaper, the Fall Brook Review
  • First church, the Methodist Episcopal Southegation
  • 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
First Baptist Church
Cates Hotel
Third Fallbrook school
  • 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
Fallbrook 1890s
Masons Commemorative Plate
Pratt Olive Packing Plant
(Now Fallbrook Feed & Fertilizer)
  • 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
First Edition 1911
  • 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
Fallbrook Library 1913

Depot on Alvarodo 1917
Main St / US 395
  • 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
Bonsal Bridge
Fallbrook Citrus Association 1935
  • 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
First Fallbrook Hospital
Fire Dept with 1932 Chevy Engine
Camp Pendalton construction 1942
  • 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
Navajo Code Talkers marching at Pendalton 1942
Mission Theater Completed 1948
Fallbrook Hospital 1960
  • 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
Fallbrook Union High 1962
Fallbrook AirPark 1964
Excursion Train

  • Fallbrook Historical Society is formed
Fallbrook Library 1987
  • Fallbrook Land Conservancy formed
  • Library destroyed by arson 1985
  • Library rebuilt 1987

Library 2011
  • Fallbrook Hospital Closes
  • New Library replaces 1987 building
  • Railroad Heritage Park formed in 2018
Caboose installed at Main and Elder 2018