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The area was originally inhabited by the Luiseño people, specifically the Pechanga band. In the 18th century, the area fell under Spanish rule and was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1850 as a result of the Mexican-American War.
Farming, which began in the mid-19th century, was concentrated in the Menifee area. Mining began in the early 1880s with the discovery of a significant quartz lode by miner Luther Menifee Wilson, from which Menifee derived its name.
Early development of the Menifee area began with Sun City in the early 1960s as the concept of an active retirement community envisioned by Del Webb, a building contractor from Phoenix, Arizona. Webb also developed Sun City, Arizona under the same concept. Sun City is a centrally located neighborhood within pain relief Menifee with a mix of residential and commercial activity.
The Menifee area later grew during the late 1980s and into the early 1990s as a master-planned community. However, lack of resources such as industry-oriented occupations and high-density retail and commercial businesses has made many residents drive longer distances or to nearby cities such as Temecula or Murrieta, to shop, dine, and work. However, there has been substantial growth in Menifee with new home construction in close proximity to large parks and lakes, and fine amenities have attracted many residents from the Inland Empire and Los Angeles to live.
On June 3, 2008, the residents of the communities encompassing the Menifee area voted to incorporate together to form Riverside County’s 26th city. The new City of Menifee was officially established on October 1, 2008.
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