Explore the fascinating history of our area by going to:
Here is a taste of what you can find, courtesy of Tom Frew, Historian, Fallbrook Historical Society:
The lands of the Spanish San Luis Rey Mission, founded in 1797, included all of today’s Camp Pendleton, DeLuz, Fallbrook, Temecula, and Pala. After Mexican Independence in 1821, these lands were taken from the Spanish owned Missions and granted to Californian citizens. Today’s Camp Pendleton became the Rancho Santa Margarita. The Rancho owners, Pio Pico and later Juan Forster, believed the boundaries of the Rancho included all of today’s De Luz. Cattle and livestock from the unfenced Rancho spread out grazing over the De Luz hills. They were periodically rounded up in a rodeo. The name De Luz is believed to come from a former Spanish soldier named Jose de la
After the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War, a U.S. survey determined that the Rancho boundaries had to move west, opening up the future De Luz and Fallbrook up as U.S. government land. Homesteaders began to arrive around DeLuz in the late 1870s. 1877, William B. Hayden homesteaded 160 acres centered at today’s junction of DeLuz and Sandia Creek Roads. The same year, Charles Ely homesteaded another 160 acres just east of Hayden. A few of the earliest DeLuz settlers were Henry Camp, Harry Day, Vincent Riboni, and Orlando Stewart.
The California Southern Railroad came through the canyon 1n 1882 and bought Hayden’s land. The Fallbrook train station stood at the junction of today’s DeLuz Rd and Sandia Creek Road from 1882 until it was washed away in the 1916 flood.
George Yackey purchased the 325 acre Rancho Sandia from John A. Marchant in 1958. Rancho Sandia / Marchant Ranch / Yackey Ranch is described in 1958 as being at the head of Sandia Canyon north the Santa Margarita River. In 1960, Yackey received permits to build a dam on Sandia Creek. FPUD was unhappy with this development as the Sandia Creek dam was upstream of the proposed Fallbrook Dam that FPUD wanted to build.
In the early 1960s DeLuz had no water and no electricity. At the time FPUD was not ready, or willing, to extend its services to De Luz Heights. DeLuz resident Ross Daily began successfully drilling water wells around DeLuz Heights. George Yackey resigned from FPUD in 1958. He and Ross Daily started the De Luz Heights Municipal Water District in 1962 by borrowing the money to install water tanks and a pipeline. The DeLuz Municipal Water district later consolidated with FPUD in 1969.