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Hemet, California

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Hemet, California

City of Hemet
City Hall
City Hall
Official seal of City of Hemet
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
City of Hemet is located in California
City of Hemet
City of Hemet
Position in California.
Country United States
State California
Incorporated January 20, 1910[1]
 • City Mayor Larry Smith
 • Total 27.847 sq mi (72.124 km2)
 • Land 27.847 sq mi (72.124 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation 1,594 ft (486 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 78,657
 • Density 2,800/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92543–92546
Area code(s) 951
FIPS code 06-33182
GNIS feature ID 1652718

Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California, United States. It covers a total area of 27.847 square miles (72 km2), about half of the valley, which it shares with the neighboring city of San Jacinto. The population was 78,657 at the 2010 census.

The founding of Hemet predates the formation of Riverside County.[3] The formation of [4] The city is home to the Hemet Valley Medical Center, a 320-bed general hospital.[5]


The Cahuilla tribe were the initial inhabitants of the Hemet area. During the early 19th century, the land was used for cattle ranching by Mission San Luis Rey, which named the area Rancho San Jacinto. In 1842 José Antonio Estudillo received the Rancho San Jacinto Viejo Mexican land grant. In 1887, during the first major Southern California land boom, W.F. Whittier and E.L. Mayberry founded the Lake Hemet Water Company, the Hemet Land Company, and the city of Hemet. In 1895, the Hemet Dam was completed on the San Jacinto River, creating Lake Hemet and providing a reliable water supply to the San Jacinto Valley. This water system was a major contribution to the valley's development as an agricultural area. The area's original inhabitants, the Soboba Cahuilla were moved to the Indian reservation near San Jacinto.

Harvard Street c. 1907 Hemet Hotel in Background

The City of Hemet was incorporated in January 1910. Out of 177 residents, 130 voted to incorporate, with 33 votes against. Those who voted against incorporation were landowners who feared increased taxation. The incorporation helped to serve the growing city, which was outgrowing its current infrastructure.[6] Served by a railroad spur from Riverside, the city became a trading center for the San Jacinto Valley's agriculture, which included citrus, apricots, peaches, olives and walnuts. The city has long hosted the Agricultural District Farmer's Fair of Riverside County, which began in 1936 as the Hemet Turkey Show, now located in Perris. During World War II, the city hosted the Ryan School of Aeronautics, which trained about 6,000 fliers for the Army Air Force between 1940 and 1944. Hemet-Ryan Airport exists today at the site of the flight school. In 1950, Hemet was home to 10,000 people, and joined Corona and Riverside as the three largest cities in Riverside County.

In the 1960s, large-scale residential development began, mostly in the form of mobile home parks and retirement communities, giving Hemet a reputation as a working-class retirement area. In the 1980s, subdivisions of single-family homes began to sprout up from former ranchland, with "big-box" retail following. After a roughly decade-long lull in development following the major economic downturn of the early 1990s, housing starts in the city skyrocketed in the early 21st century. The area's affordability, its proximity to employment centers such as Corona, Riverside and San Bernardino, and its relatively rural character made it an attractive location for working-class families priced out of other areas of Southern California.

Hemet Panorama at night from the entrance of Simpson Park

History timeline

From the Hemet Library Heritage Room History Collection:

  • 1850: California becomes state.
  • 1858: Hemet was established as a farm settlement.
  • 1887 Jan 27: Lake Hemet Water Company & Hemet Land Company formed.
  • 1888: Rail service from Perris to the San Jacinto Valley.
  • 1892: Post office Established.
  • 1893: Riverside County formed from San Diego & San Bernardino Counties.
  • 1893: First Hemet elementary school built on Alessandro Street.
  • 1894: First Hemet high school built at Buena Vista and Acacia.
  • 1895 Oct 9: Lake Hemet Dam completed.
  • 1899 Dec 25: Strong earthquake (estimated magnitude ~6.5) destroyed most brick buildings in downtown Hemet.
  • 1910 Jan 20: City of Hemet incorporated.
  • 1914: Santa Fe depot opened at present site.
  • 1918 Apr 21: Major earthquake (estimated magnitude ~7) caused significant structural damage and ground failure.
  • 1921: Original opening of the Hemet Theater.
  • 1923 Apr: First performance of Ramona Pageant.
  • 1940 Aug: Ryan School of Aeronautics opened in Hemet.
  • 1943 Oct 3: Hemet Community Hospital opened.
  • 1950 Sep 26: Eastern Municipal Water District created.
  • 1959 Hemet Police Department was built on East Lathem Ave
  • 1966 Jul 1: Hemet Unified School District formed from several existing districts.
  • 1970: Hemet has over 10,000 residents for the first time.
  • 1972 Sep 23: New Hemet high school opened on Stanford and Stetson Ave.
  • 1980: Hemet real estate boom begins.
  • 1987: Depot abandoned by Santa Fe railroad—offered to sell to City of Hemet.
  • 1987: Bacum, Mexico became second sister city.
  • 1988: Save Our Station (S.O.S.) purchased Santa Fe Depot.
  • 1991 Oct 8: Domenigoni and Diamond Valleys named sites for M.W.D. reservoir.
  • 1995: Metropolitan Water District started 800,000 ac·ft reservoir.
  • 1996 June 13: Domenigoni Parkway opened.
  • 1998 June: Hemet Museum opened in Santa Fe depot.
  • 1999 Nov: M.W.D. Diamond Valley Lake completed.
  • 2000 Mar: Diamond Valley Lake dedicated, becomes recreation spot.
  • 2003 Jul: Hemet Public Library moved to East Latham Avenue.
  • 2010: Hemet's centennial as an incorporated city.


Hemet is located in southwestern Riverside County, in the San Jacinto Valley. Hemet is south of the city of San Jacinto. The valley is surrounded by the Santa Rosa Hills and San Jacinto Mountains, and is mostly dry land, except for Diamond Valley Lake to the south of Hemet. Hemet is located at (33.742001, -116.983068).[7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.847 square miles (72 km2) as of the 2010 census, all of it land.

Hemet is 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.[8]


Climate data for Hemet, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
Average high °F (°C) 67
Average low °F (°C) 37
Record low °F (°C) 20
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.69
Source: The Weather Channel[9]



The 2010 United States Census[10] reported that Hemet had a population of 78,657. The population density was 2,824.6 people per square mile (1,090.6/km²). The racial makeup of Hemet was 53,259 (67.7%) White (51.8% Non-Hispanic White),[11] 5,049 (6.4%) African American, 1,223 (1.6%) Native American, 2,352 (3.0%) Asian, 284 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 12,371 (15.7%) from other races, and 4,119 (5.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28,150 persons (35.8%).

The census reported that 78,043 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 155 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 459 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 30,092 households, out of which 9,700 (32.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,174 (43.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,349 (14.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,623 (5.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,002 (6.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 208 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 9,119 households (30.3%) were made up of individuals and 5,754 (19.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59. There were 19,146 families (63.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.24.

The population was spread out with 20,340 people (25.9%) under the age of 18, 6,814 people (8.7%) aged 18 to 24, 17,323 people (22.0%) aged 25 to 44, 16,776 people (21.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 17,404 people (22.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.

There were 35,305 housing units at an average density of 1,267.8 per square mile (489.5/km²), of which 18,580 (61.7%) were owner-occupied, and 11,512 (38.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 5.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 17.5%. 45,459 people (57.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 32,584 people (41.4%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Hemet had a median household income of $33,460, with 21.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line. [12]


As of 2008, the [14] 12.6% were of German, 10.5% English, 7.8% Irish and 4.3% American ancestry.[13]

There are 29,341 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.5 and the average family size is 3.2.[13]

In the city the population is spread out with 29.1% under the age of 19, 6.2% from 20 to 24, 11.9% from 25 to 34, 10.6% from 35 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 54, and 25.7% who were 65 or older. The median age is 38 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the city was $34,974, and the median income for a family was $41,559. Males had a median income of $40,719 versus $30,816 for females. The [14]


According to the [14]

Top employers

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[15] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Hemet Unified School District 4,225
2 Valley Health System 1,015
3 Deutsch Industrial 500
4 Walmart 421
5 Hilton Worldwide Closed 2011
6 Gosch Auto Group 399
7 City of Hemet 355
8 Skyline Corporation 300
9 The Village 230
10 ManorCare Health Services 230
11 McCrometer 212
12 Stater Bros. 210
13 Ramona VNA & Hospice 180
14 Target 135
15 Lowe's 125

Arts and culture

Hemet Museum/Old Santa Fe Depot on West Florida Avenue

The City of Hemet has two museums, and an outdoor amphitheater. The Hemet Museum is located at the intersection of State Street and Florida Avenue in downtown. It is a museum of local history, and features photographs of old Hemet, historic photographs from the Ramona Pageant, as well as Native American artifacts and agriculture displays. Hemet is also home of the Western Science Center, located in the southern part of the city at the intersection of Domenigoni Parkway and Searl Parkway. It features exhibits of Ice Age mammals, including 'Max', the largest mastodon found in the Western United States, and as 'Xena', a Columbian mammoth. Along with the two museums, science center and theater, Hemet also has an outdoor amphitheater, the Ramona Bowl a natural amphitheater located in the southern hills of the city. It is known for producing the play, Ramona.[16]


The city of Hemet is expanding upon its entertainment venues. The two largest venues are the Ramona Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater, and a Regal Cinemas. The city is planning two projects that will contribute to entertainment offerings for residents. The largest is the proposed, and in planning stages, "Garrett Ranch" will be a new outdoor lifestyle entertainment center located at the corner of Florida Avenue and Warren Road in west Hemet. Plans for it include a new state of the art multiplex, as well as rows of shops, cafes, and boutiques. It is to be modeled somewhat after the downtown area of a city, with boulevards,and pedestrian friendly streets.[17] Another development being planned for the area is a downtown transit village, with the center of it being a Metrolink station. It will be north of the downtown core, and will consist of residences, shops, as well parks. The station itself, could feature a railroad museum, heritage trail, as well as a farmers market and market hall.[18]

In addition, the now fully restored Historic Hemet Theater, which accommodates 300 seats, is being consider for sale to a private non-profit. The Diamond Valley Arts Council, formed about 2004 is a fully sustained non-profit that reaches out to the diverse and growing community of Hemet (both city and county).

Parks and recreation

In addition to Diamond Valley Lake, Hemet has five large parks throughout the city.

Weston Park

Weston Park was established in 1921 and was dedicated to John B. Weston, who was president of the board of trustees from 1914 to 1920. It contains shuffleboard courts, restrooms, playground, basketball court, and turf area for passive uses and games. It is located in the downtown area west of Santa Fe Street, and has an area of 4 acres (20,000 m2).[4]

Simpson Park

Dedicated to James Simpson, Hemet City Council 1947-48,and mayor 1950 to 1966. Simpson Park is a wilderness park located in the [4]

Mary Henley Park

Dedicated to Mary Henley, born in Hemet and served as Hemet City Clerk from October 1951 to March 1975, and is the first Hemet Park named after a real person. Mary Henley Park park contains two playground areas, half basketball court, picnic tables, shade structures,restrooms and a large turf area. There is a marked walking path/sidewalk of 0.75 miles (1.2 km) around the perimeter of the park. It has an area of 16 acres (65,000 m2), and was established in 1993.[4]

Gibbel Park

Gibbel park contains a large children's play area, ball field, a half basketball court, restrooms, two lighted tennis courts, lawn bowling green, horseshoe pits, picnic areas and large turf area for passive uses. The park also features a memorial of military branches of the United States. It has an area of 11 acres (45,000 m2), and was established in 1970.[4]

Valley Wide Community Sports Park

The Valley Wide Community Sports Park opened in September 2009. The park, part of the eastern recreation area of Diamond Valley Lake hosts eight baseball fields, eight lighted baseball fields, eight soccer fields, four basketball courts, six tennis courts, seven volleyball courts, two pickle ball courts, fitness trails, three play areas, four restrooms, and three picnic areas. The park is also adjacent to an aquatic center.[19]

Public Safety

The city of Hemet has a police department with 69 sworn officers. The department was founded in 1910 and is housed in the police building at 450 W. Latham Ave. Hemet. The building was built in 1959 and was at one time City Hall. The police department is a full service department and the current Chief of Police is David M. Brown.


The city's educational services are under the Hemet Unified School District to cover all of Hemet, and parts of San Jacinto and Valle Vista, with a student pupil population of over 20,000 students. There are HUSD member schools in the rural communities of Anza, Idyllwild and Winchester.

As of January 2010, the school district is facing having to possibly go far out of budget to fix the Historic Hemet Elementary school, due to settling of ground soil underneath the building. The main building was built in 1927, and is one of the few historic landmarks left in Hemet. The other choice, would be to destroy the school, and rebuild a new school in its place. The State of California will pay for 50% of either project, but the already cash strapped district may run into trouble if the repairing of the school goes over budget. A new building could cost 20 million dollars, with an extra 3 million dollars added to that cost to have it built in the original architectural style of the old building.[20]

High schools

Hemet High School, Western Center Academy, West Valley High School and Tahquitz High School in Hemet and Hamilton High School in Anza.

Middle schools

Acacia Middle School, Diamond Valley Middle School, Dartmouth Middle School, Western Center Academy, and Rancho Viejo Middle School.

Elementary schools

Bautista Creek Elementary, Cawston Elementary, Fruitvale Elementary, Harmony Elementary, Hemet Elementary, Jacob Wiens Elementary, Little Lake Elementary, McSweeny Elementary, Ramona Elementary, Valle Vista Elementary, Whittier Elementary and Winchester Elementary.

All grade

Cottonwood School of Aguanga, Hamilton School of Anza, and Idyllwild School (grades K–8).

Alternative schools

Advanced Path Studies School (credit recovery), Alessandro High School - continuation (grades 10–12), Family Tree Learning Center (grades K–8), Helen Hunt Jackson School for independent studies, Hemet Academy of applied academics and technology (grades 9–12), Hemecinto Alternative Educational Center (grades 6–9), and Western Center Academy (grades 6–10). Riversprings Charter School k-12.

San Jacinto Valley Academy[21] is a K–12 charter school that serves students and families who do not wish to go to traditional district schools. This school is International Baccalaureate (IB) accredited and it is dedicated to college prep and student achievement.


Hemet and nearby San Jacinto are situated in the Los Angeles DMA and are able to receive most of the Los Angeles and Riverside/San Bernardino area television stations via cable and satellite providers. Over the air signals with limited reception include KCAL-TV 9 (Independent) Los Angeles; KVCR-TV 24 (PBS) San Bernardino; KFMB-TV 8 (CBS), KUSI 9 (Independent) and KNSD 39 (NBC) from San Diego; two ABC stations KABC 7 L.A. and KESQ-TV 42 from Palm Springs, California; KOCE 50 (PBS) and KVEA 52 (Telemundo) from Orange County, California. Two local TV stations based in Hemet and nearby Perris are KBLM-LP 25 (Spanish independent) and KZSW 27 (Independent) of Temecula.



Public transit in Hemet, is provided by the RTA, which has stops at various locations including Florida Ave. and Lincoln Ave, and the Hemet Valley Mall. Routes in the Hemet area include: 27, 31, 32, 33, 42, 74, 79, 212, 217.[22]

Air service is provided by the Hemet-Ryan Airport, which is a municipal airport owned by Riverside County. The closest International Airports are Palm Springs International Airport and Ontario International Airport.

Highways and streets

Two California State Highways cross the city. California State Route 74 runs along most of Florida Avenue, the main corridor of east and west transportation in Hemet, and California State Route 79 also follows Florida for a short time before heading south on Winchester road, in nearby Homeland. Highway 79 is slated for re-alignment when the Mid County Parkway project is started. Streets in Hemet are arranged mostly in a standard grid. Almost all major streets that go east-west are avenues, and almost all streets going north-south are streets. Exceptions are Sanderson Avenue, Lyon Avenue, Palm Ave and Cawston Avenue. Major streets in Hemet are Florida Avenue, Sanderson Avenue, San Jacinto Street, Stetson Avenue, and State Street.[23]


The railroad to Hemet was operated by AT&SF Railway from 1888 to 1987. It was used for loading and shipping oranges that grew in the region. In 1987, it was abandoned because of a lack of demand for transportation. Today the railroad line is mostly abandoned. Tracks are usually used for storing rail cars for a short time while they are not needed by Class I railroads. The city of Hemet has plans to remove all crossings and pave over the tracks to reduce the roughness of the crossings.


Hemet Public Library, located in downtown

The City of Hemet public library was created in 1906. Members of the Women's Club opened a reading room at the corner of Harvard street, and Florida avenue.

In 1910 after the city had incorporated, citizens of the newly formed city voted for its own library, and the city took over the operation of the facility built in 1906. Shortly after, the reading room became too small for the growing community, and groups and citizens lobbied to get a new larger facility built. This would help to house the growing collection of books. A woman of the community named Mrs. E.A. Davis was on the one who wrote to Andrew Carnegie seeking funds to help build a new library. The city received $7,500 to fund part of the construction, and Mr. and Mrs. St. John donated land to the city to build the new Carnegie Library. The new library was finished in 1913, and served the city for 52 years. The building was declared unsafe by the Fire Marshall, and the building was razed in 1969, and the new C.B. Covell memorial Library was built. This building however, also became too small for the city.

The library moved again in 2003, to its current facility, re-located for the first time since 1913. The new facility is now located at 300 E. Latham Avenue. Just blocks from its former location. The new building is two stories tall, and contains 52,000 square feet (4,800 m2). It was designed by John Loomis of 30th Street Architects at a cost of over 15 million.[24][25]

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  2. ^ U.S. Census
  3. ^ "Hemet Facts". City of Hemet. 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Hemet Parks". City of Hemet. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Hemet Valley Medical Center". HelthGrades. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  6. ^ Rokos, Brian (January 10, 2010). "100 years ago today, voters brought forth a new city -- Hemet". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ Wright, Lawrence. "The Apostate." The New Yorker. February 14, 2011. 16. Retrieved on May 10, 2011.
  9. ^ "Monthly Averages and Record Temperatures for Hemet, CA".  
  10. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Hemet city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ 
  12. ^ 
  13. ^ a b c d "Hemet Data Profile". 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Hemet 2009 Progress Report" (PDF). rctlma. 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  15. ^ City of Hemet CAFR
  16. ^ "Local Attractions". City of Hemet. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  17. ^ "Leasing Brochure". Garrett Ranch. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  18. ^ Atienza, Herbert (March 18, 2007). "Transit village gets early look in Hemet". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  19. ^ "Diamond Valley at a Glance". Valley-Wide Recreation. 
  20. ^ Rokos, Brian (January 10, 2010). "Soil report offers bleak future for historic Hemet Elementary School". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  21. ^ San Jacinto Valley Academy
  22. ^ "Route Schedules". Riverside Transit Agency. 
  23. ^ "Why is the Mid County Parkway Needed?". Mid County Parkway Project. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Library History". City of Hemet. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Performance Audit" (PDF). City of Hemet. August 17, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 
  26. ^ Thehemetyears
  27. ^ Bill Murray Divorce Finalized - Divorced, Bill Murray :

External links

  • Official website
  • Hemet Museum
  • Information for residents and visitors of Hemet and San Jacinto located in San Jacinto Valley, California.
  • Official Library website
  • San Jacinto Valley Eagles Youth Football and Cheer, Established '63
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