Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

A Century of Perris History Online

Perris Redevelopment Project Coordinator Veronica Arana transformed a series of panels relating the City’s history into a digital book on the city’s website
Perris Redevelopment Project Coordinator Veronica Arana transformed a series of panels relating the City’s history into a digital book on the city’s website.

A century of Perris history is now available on the City’s website at the click of a computer mouse.

The e-book, titled “Celebrating 100 years of Perris,” can be accessed on the City website, www.cityofperris.org  under tab marked “About Perris.”

Under the subheading marked “History,” the e-book appears in five volumes beginning in 1910, the year before Perris incorporated as a City. The last volume continues the story of the City from the 1980s to present.

Readers who access the digital book will notice that every time they click to turn the page, the effect is similar to turning the pages of a paper book.
 

Perris IT Contractor Marden De Castro provided technical support for creating the new e-book “Celebrating 100 Years of Perris” while Redevelopment Project Coordinator Veronica Arana took the leading role in bringing the project to fruition
Perris IT Contractor Marden De Castro provided technical support for creating the new e-book “Celebrating 100 Years of Perris” while Redevelopment Project Coordinator Veronica Arana took the leading role in bringing the project to fruition.

Michael McDermott, the City’s Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager, announced the creation of the online text at a recent City Council meeting. Redevelopment Project Coordinator Veronica Arana and IT contractor Marden De Castro worked to bring the e-book to life.

McDermott said the e-book grew out of a series of 100 panels created for the City’s centennial in 2011 by the Perris Valley Historical and Museum Association. Each panel is about 8-feet high and they are filled with photos, maps, newspaper articles and biographies from Perris’ century of history.  The display received rave reviews at the annual Southern California Fair that year and portions of it have been reproduced and installed the Cesar E. Chavez Public Library in Perris. City officials eventually want to see the panel exhibit become a traveling display at schools, churches and businesses throughout the Perris Valley.

McDermott said the e-book allows people to become acquainted with Perris via cyberspace.

“It’s a way for people who didn’t get a chance to see the exhibit at the Fair a chance to see it in one fell swoop at their leisure,” he said. “It’s nice to have a pictorial history of Perris online.”

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said residents interested in learning about the hometown would be hard-pressed to find a better source.

 “This is about as comprehensive a history of our City as you can find,” said Mayor Daryl Busch. “It really tells the complete story of Perris.”

The first segment tells the story of Perris before there was an incorporated Perris, a time when fertile land, abundant water and the rich Good Hope Gold Mine drew pioneers to the region.

“Great Future for Perris,” chimes an early headline from the local newspaper, The Perris Progress.

Among the early visitors was Fred T. Perris, chief engineer for the California Southern Railroad, who laid out the route of the railway through the City and for whom Perris is named. Although he never lived in the City, local citizens appreciated his early efforts to establish a rail line here and honored him by naming the new community after him.

The segment from the 1930s-1940s features pictures of Perris residents in uniform during World War II, agricultural tallies of Perris Valley crops and how they supported the war effort and images from the post-war boom, including the introduction of modern conveniences like electric washing machines.

The 1950s-1960s installment relates the story of how irrigation changed the Perris Valley, spurring development and new business opportunities. Drag boat races at now defunct Skiland marked one of the recreational highlights from that time period. The 1970s-1980s saw the creation and growth of the Lake Perris State Recreation Area, the development of planned neighborhoods and shopping centers and new road networks. That installment also pays respect to Perris leaders like Nan Sanders, who spent half a century as a school board trustee.

The final installment makes mention of the great recreational opportunities at venues like the Perris Valley Skydiving Center and the Orange Empire Railway Museum and efforts to preserve the City’s historical D Street and Downtown areas, including the renovation of the City Hall Campus.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough praised City staff for using technology to bring the City’s past to the present. He called the e-book a “nice, fast and quick” reference to the City that takes advantage of the latest technology.

“In this tight economy, we know we have to do more with less,” he said. “We’re doing it with technology.”
Perris City Councilman Al Landers said “Celebrating 100 Years of Perris” is a book every resident should find informative and captivating.

“I’ve always said we’ve got a great story to tell and we’ve got to be the ones who tell it,” Landers said. “I commend our staff for presenting the story of our City in such an outstanding manner. Perris is an aggressive and progressive City when it comes to making life as good as possible for our residents.”

City Councilman Julio Rodriguez said he likes the e-book because it respects Perris’ past while using the latest technology to tell the community’s story.

“That’s a great combination,” said Rodriguez, adding that he hopes students and young people will use 21st Century wizardry to learn about the City’s long and colorful history.

City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said that in today’s often-hectic world, finding a century’s worth of Perris history and culture available online is priceless.

“It’s all there at your fingertips,” she said. “People can access all of our wonderful history and legacy. Every part of our history—from the gold mine to the mom-and-pop stores to the first churches to our planned neighborhoods of today—it’s all there. It’s so easy to access.”

See the History of Perris Online...