The first record of a European in Borrego Valley was when Lieutenant Pedro Fages of the San Diego Presidio came in search of deserters in 1772. His pursuit led him northwest through the present town of Borrego Springs and up Coyote Canyon.
This event was related by Kumeyaay Indians to members of the first Anza expedition, who camped at their village in March, 1774. The Spaniards called this village (and spring) just east of the Borrego Sink, San Gregorio. It is the location of the original Borrego Spring.
Juan Bautista De Anza was seeking an overland route from Sonora Mexico to Monterrey California. Proceeding west from San Gregorio, he and his party of 25 followed Coyote Creek and ascended Coyote Canyon. They camped the following night at the Cahuilla village of Lower Willows, now known as Santa Caterina.
It was another hundred years before cattlemen began homesteading the Borrego Valley in about 1875. The first successful well was dug in 1926, which quickly led to irrigation farming. By then, the town included a post office, a small general store, and a gas station.
The military presence of both the Army and Navy during World War II brought the first paved roads and electricity to Borrego Springs. After the war, developers subdivided the area attempting to create a resort community by capitalizing on the tourism generated by the state park.
Borrego Springs was a hideaway for the Hollywood Stars back in the 1950's and the Hoberg Resort was their hangout.
Borrego Springs is an unincorporated community in the county of San Diego.
For more information on the history of Borrego Springs, see the excellent book by Phil Brigandi Borrego Beginnings - Early Days in the Borrego Valley 1910-1960, published by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association.
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