The land reminded Esequial Murrieta of his native Spain, so he bought 52,000 acres, fully intending to move his sheep ranching operation here from central California. He never did, going back to the Santurtzi area of Spain to marry and turning his holdings over to younger brother Juan, who brought a flock of some 100,000 sheep to the valley. The year was 1873. By 2005, more than 85,000 people had moved to the community, making it one of the five largest in Riverside County.
The natural scenic beauty of the area and what is still by California standards reasonably priced housing continues to attract significant numbers of residents and businesses who are finding Murrieta a great place to grow. Those living in the community find distinguished schools, abundant recreation, excellent medical facilities expanding employment opportunities and one of the lowest crime rates in Southern California. More and more people are discovering what the Murrieta brothers envisioned more than a century ago: Murrieta is, indeed, a great place to grow.