Preserving the History of Moreno Valley and its People

Moreno Valley Historical Society

Preserving the History of Moreno Valley and its People

The mission of the Society is to collect, catalog, display, preserve and to share with area residents, visitors, and the world’s community of students and scholars, the rich history and heritage of the Moreno Valley area. Through this effort we will educate, enlighten, entertain and enrich this community for many generations to come.




The Schlador Family of Moreno

The Samuel Schlador Family of Moreno


These are the Schlador girls pointed out. The back of this photo reads, "In the old grade school building on Alessandro Blvd around 1905"

In 1885, Frederick and Frances Schlador with their daughter, Magdalena, their son, Samuel, Sam’s wife, Mary (Travino) Schlador, and the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, left the Fred Schlador ranch in Bandera County, Texas. They came to California by wagon train according to a Glendale News-Press article about the 100-year birthday celebration of Elizabeth (Schlador) Gadden. The pioneer group settled in Los Angeles and the elder Schladors bought a hotel. Samuel, Mary and Elizabeth went on to settle...


The J. B. Maxwell Ranch


Front row (L to R) Donald Dixon Maxwell, Kenneth Eugene Maxwell, Myrtle Wardrobe Maxwell, John Langdon Maxwell and J.B. Maxwell. Back row (L to R) , Unknown girl, Margaret Ruth Maxwell and James Robert Maxwell by the family's Maxwell Touring Car at the Maxwell Ranch.


This post was created using portions of the book, “Remember the Armada” written by Kenneth Maxwell, copyright-1990. A copy of this local history book is available in the Reference section of the main Moreno Valley Public Library on Alessandro Boulevard. Permission to post from his Uncle’s book and to use the Maxwell family’s photos was granted by Jim Maxwell, former President and Hi...


Innovations in Agriculture Through Pictures

These historical photos can be found in the “Images of America, Moreno Valley” book available through the Moreno Valley Historical Society’s on-line store. Please click on store. The 127-page book of images makes a great gift with sections on Moreno; Alessandro; March Air Force Base and Camp Haan; Edgemont; Sunnymead; Maxwell Ranch and Banta Ranch. The Historical Society has big goals for the new year including a local history museum in Moreno Valley. All purchases from our on-line store move us financially closer to those goals. We have books, mugs, hats and more. The site is set up to receive donations as well. Thank you.


Innovations in Agriculture Through Pictures:





Fred T. Perris (1837-1916) The man for whom Lake Perris State Recreation Area, the City of Perris and Perris Hill Park in San Bernardino are all named.

Fred T. Perris was born Jan. 21, 1837 in Gloucester, England. He arrived in the U. S. in 1853, becoming a mineral surveyor for the federal and California governments. As a young man, he surveyed some of the San Bernardino Rancho lands for the San Bernardino Colony. Back before Riverside County was formed in 1893, the Moreno Valley area was a part of San Bernardino County. Fred Perris did a tremendous amount of work developing the County and southern California as he was instrumental in the development of the railroad. His first railroad work ...


Molasses and the Malt Shop


The Banta family malt shop and grill was located on Sunnymead Boulevard across from Back Way for many of the early years of Sunnymead, today's Moreno Valley.

Found in the Moreno Valley Historical Society’s archives is this first-hand account written many years ago by Elizabeth Ann Swegles Berry telling of the big accident on Sunnymead Boulevard in the late 1940s.

“I recall the accident on Sunnymead Blvd. (highway 60). We lived the second door down (east). Mother, Grandma and I were there within minutes of the crash. The sound was so loud and terrible. I don’t remember the date of the accident, but Winifred Banta may remember as it happened on their property and in front of th...


Plumbing Sunnymead


With “Get the pump and start the motor, I can’t stand that cesspool odor,” Jan Carr of Webster Street was the first-place winner of the Sunnymead Sewer Bonds Jingle Contest in 1966, winning a $25 U.S. Savings Bond.

While most people in the community felt that a proper sewer system in Sunnymead was a vital necessity based on health and convenience, the disagreement was over who would control the sewer district. Those in favor of the $4.8 million sewer bond were voting to allow Eastern Municipal Water District, the established agency in Sunnymead with sewer construction power, to build and maintain the entire operation. Those opposed to the bond wanted the district to be con...


Oscar Lantz- Early Citrus Farmer


Carl Oscar Lantz and his bride, Hilma Alexina (Isakson) Lantz in 1895.

Carl Oscar Lantz was born in Sweden in 1867. Oscar traveled from Liverpool, England to New York in 1885 on the ship, Britannic. From New York, he moved to Iowa then to Riverside before finally landing in Moreno valley in 1891. Oscar bought 10 acres near the corner of Nason and Alessandro and began to grow grapes. After a grasshopper invasion destroyed his grape crop, Mr. Lantz turned to oranges. In 1895 Oscar married Hilma Isakson of Iowa, also a native of Sweden. They built a home on their Nason Street acreage. Mr. Lantz planted the very first five-acres of citrus in the valley according to memories shared by his son, Car...


The Colby Ranch


1946 Ercoupe sitting on the landing strip on the Colby property. According to the College Park Aviation Museum, “The Ercoupe was manufactured by the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) in nearby Riverdale, MD, to be spin-proof, stall-proof, and slip-proof. It was marketed as simple, safe, and a plane that "anyone could fly."


“The Colby ranch was purchased by my father, Lyall William (Bill) Colby, in 1948 when he retired from his ostrich plume company in Hollywood. My mother, Karen Colby, met Bill when she was a costume designer for Paramount Studios in Hollywood. By Bill’s account, he was the second owner of the ranch after the Indians. He purchased i...


The "Butterfield Express" newspaper


Begun in the mid-1950s, the local weekly paper in our area for decades was the “Butterfield Express” located at 24231 Sunnymead Boulevard in an old Camp Haan building that was painted bright red. Viola Hamner wrote of the "Butterfield Express" in her book, “Moreno Valley, California, In the Beginning,” “Volume 1, Number 1, was dated March 2, 1955. James E. Lewis was the publisher and editor. This paper was filled with local news stories and advertising and lasted over thirty years.” For years the subscription price was $2.50 per year with single copies available for five (5) cents each.

By 1986, the “Butterfield Express” reached a circulation...


Kendall's Beacon Station in Edgemont

From Moreno Valley Historical Society’s Digital Archive:


Kendall’s Beacon Station was located on the west side of old Highway 395 (today’s Old 215 Frontage Road) just north of Cottonwood Avenue in Edgemont. The popular station operated for a number of years as a center for gas service and for automobile repair. Irene Kendall ran the station by herself in Joe Kendall’s absence. The car at right is a 1937 Chevrolet that was still owned by Irene and her family into the 1980s. Thank you to Irene Kendall.

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