Cherry Valley History
Cherry Valley is a people-oriented, rural-residential and agricultural community nestled by beautiful mountains. It has two historic landmarks: the Cherry Valley Grange located at 10478 Banning Avenue and the Edward-Dean Museum of Decorative Arts located at 9401 Oak Glen Road. The community of 17 square miles is home to approximately 6,500 residents and also has an annual Cherry Festival that draws visitors from near and far. This festival has been around roughly 102 years - held every June and is an integral piece of California history.
Cherry Valley California is located southeast of San Bernardino between Redlands, Beaumont and Banning, along Highway 79 near Lake Perris and the San Jacinto Reservoir. Cherry Valley is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino, California metro area.
History of the Cherry Valley Festival
The Cherry Valley Festival had its origin in 1914. in the year 1930, the first Cherry Valley Festival Queen was crowned. The U-Pick Cherry System, where people pick their own cherries, started in 1941 during WWII when fuel shortages made fruit transportation uneconomical. After the war, the U-Pick System of "U-Pick Your Own Cherries" continued as a tradition. A non-profit organization called the Cherry Festival Association was formed and legally chartered in 1952. It incepted an annual program of a carnival, concession stands and an art and horse show.
In 1983, the Cherry Valley Chamber of Commerce united its efforts with the Banning Chamber of Commerce to select and support a queen and her court with the newly combined title of "Miss Banning / Cherry Valley." Each year the "Cherry Queen" reigns during the Cherry Festival.
In 1824, Franciscan friars from the San Gabriel Mission near Los Angeles established a mission ranch here and called it San Gorgonio Rancheria. Banning's first permanent landmark, an adobe house, was built in 1854 on land now known as the Gilman Ranch.