The City of Temecula celebrates our 25th anniversary of incorporation on December 1, 2014, yet the valley has been inhabited for thousands of years. We are both a very old community and a large, energetic city filled with exciting opportunities. Temecula as a city values our small town feel and community involvement, which has at its heart an appreciation for our history and culture. Even our City slogan “Old Traditions, New Opportunities” reflects this appreciation.
Many know that when voting for incorporation in 1989, citizens were also asked to name their new city. But newcomers are not aware that the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of retaining the name that is the heart of the area’s cultural roots. Almost 70% of the voters chose “Temecula” as the official name, with “Rancho California” a distant second, and “Temecula Valley” and “Rancho Temecula” garnering only meager votes. Voters celebrated the valley’s heritage as our name is derived from the Native American’s who were the first to inhabit the valley. They called their village “Teméeku” from the Luiseño word “Temecunga” – “teme” meaning “sun,” and “nga” meaning “place of”. The vote made Temecula, arguably, the only city in California to retain its aboriginal name, and importantly, set the stage as a city that deeply values cultural traditions and history.