Menifee Valley Historical Association Celebrates Area's History

Guests and group members gathered April 13 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Menifee Val...

Guests and group members gathered April 13 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Menifee Valley Historical Association.
Members of the Menifee Valley Historical Association presented displays of historical photos and artifacts to a large crowd of guests April 13 at the group's 10-year anniversary celebration at Kay Ceniceros Center.

Stories of the area's pioneer families were told through photos, posters and banners created by club members to showcase the history of the area. Volunteers were on hand to answer questions about pioneer families, farming history, Menifee's roots in mining, the growth of schools and much more.

Several descendants of the pioneer families were present, including Merle Zeiders, who still lives on the family property on Zeiders Road where his father farmed wheat.

"There's been so much of a change since I grew up," said Zeiders, who used to ride his tricycle down the dirt road that became Highway 395 and later Interstate 215. "Of course, there are so many more people. We relied on horses, and the machinery we used back then was homemade. My dad worked hard on the wheat thresher. Later, I just had to push buttons to make the new thresher work."

Betty Bouris (below) and her husband Herk farmed wheat over a large portion of Menifee. Betty still lives on the family property. She answered questions today at a display about the wheat farming industry.

"It's wonderful we can do this," she said about the anniversary display, which included a cake served to guests. "We have cooperation from several groups. Our mission is to get the history out to the people, and it's great that they are responding by being here."

James Wickerd, member of another of Menifee's pioneer families, featured a display about the Wickerd Farm's bee business. Beginning with James' father, the Wickerd family has collected and sold honey for nearly 100 years.

"My dad had bees and when I was in college, I worked for him during the summer," Wickerd said. "Later on, I worked for another beekeeper. Today, we supply honey to SueBee Honey."

Guests were welcomed by Elinor Martin (right), another lifetime Menifee resident, who serves as president of the association. She co-authored a book about the history of Menifee with Betty Bouris.

Association meetings are held on the third Saturday of every other month at 9:30 a.m. at the Haun Rural Center, 31850 Haun Road. The next meeting will be May 17. For more information, see the Menifee Valley Historical Association website.

Mining tools used by Luther Menifee Wilson and others in the area were on display.

Presented by the Motte Museum of Menifee, a 1924 Model T school bus used to transport area students was on display.

Many antique items were on display for guests to see.


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