The photo shows the members of the Woodward family. In the front row seated on wall are sons George W. Woodward, Charles Woodward, with Clinton Woodward in the foreground. In the back row is an unknown male. The two women are: Mable Woodward, wife of George W., and Rebecca W. Woodward, wife of William D. Woodward who is beside her.
Woodward Pumping Plant & Woodward Family
by Bill Hulstrom
Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association
The Woodward Pumping Plant is an example of what Perris area farmers found necessary to do in order to farm successfully. Drilling wells for farming activities was necessary since the San Jacinto River was mostly dry during the summer months and an 1880 a plan to bring water from Big Bear Lake did not materialize. Farmers had to abandon the orange groves they had planted and turn to dry land farming of grain.
The pumping plant was located at the corner of San Jacinto and “G” street. A 50-horsepower gasoline engine that was linked to a No. 8 centrifugal pump powered this plant. This combination was able to pump 200 inches of water from five 10-inch wells that were connected to the pump. These wells averaged 120 feet in depth while, at that time, the water table stood at 28 feet below the surface.
William D. Woodward settled in the Perris area in 1884. He first proved up a homestead, the Aielo place on Post Road at the foot of the Gavilans. He sold this property and bought a store in San Diego. He then sold this store for a profit and returned to the Perris area to build the Woodward’s Mountain Glen in Good Hope. He then began buying small tracts of land north of San Jacinto Ave in Perris. These tracts of land eventually totaled about 180 acres and formed the very successful alfalfa farm he operated as Woodward and Sons.
It is hoped that some of the readers may have additional information about the Woodward Family. Please contact the Perris Valley Historical & Museum. Any information shared would assist the Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association fill in pieces of the history of the Greater Perris Valley. Post Office Box 343, Perris, CA 92570. (951) 657-0274.