Poway is a city in San Diego County, California. Originally an unincorporated community in San Diego County, Poway officially became a city on December 1, 1980. Even though Poway lies geographically in the middle of San Diego County. Poway’s rural roots gave rise to its slogan “The City in the Country.” Poway lies north of the city of San Diego and south of the city of Escondido. Some nearby communities of San Diego include Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, and in the county to the east, the community of Ramona. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.3 square miles (102 km2). 39.2 square miles (102 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.25%) is water.
Artifacts such as arrow heads, spear points, metates, grinding stones, and pottery found along the bed of Poway Creek all indicate an early Diegueño presence. Various pictographs adorn many of Poway’s boulders, and modern techniques suggest that these paintings date back to the 16th century or earlier. The name of the valley of Poway (Pauwai) is derived from the language of the Diegueno Indians who roamed the area for several hundred years before the Spaniards came. Traces of these Native Americans still remain. In Diegueño, the area is known as Pawiiy.
The success of crops depended on the annual winter rainfall, however, and so remained subject to variations in precipitation until the establishment of the Poway Municipal Water District in 1954. With water readily available, the town’s farming interest shifted to two principal crops, avocados and citrus fruits. Ironically, despite the relative success of these ventures, Poway ceased to exist as a farming town once the water needed to make it a true agricultural haven appeared. With water came new residents, and the former farm town transformed into a locale full of small commercial businesses and modest shopping centers.
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