Woodcrest, California

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Woodcrest is a census-designated place (CDP) in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 8,342 at the 2000 United States Census. As of 2008, the population of Woodcrest was estimated to be over 15,000. The adjacent city of Riverside lists Woodcrest as an area for potential annexation.[1]



The Woodcrest area was initially populated by dry land grain farmers in the late 19th century.[2] In 1894 the population had grown enough for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to establish a school in the area, and on February 6 of that year they authorized the Oak Glen School District.

In 1905 the first subdivision, the Oak Glen Tract, was created. The House Heights tract was formed in April, 1924, and in May the Fertile Acres tract was created near the current Washington Street and Van Buren intersection. In February, 1926, the first of five subdivisions with the name Woodcrest Acres was formed, and Woodcrest was the name subsequently given to the post office that was established later that year.[2] Although the post office was closed in 1936, the Woodcrest name continued to be used to refer to the area from then on.

Water in the Woodcrest area became more affordable after the voters of Riverside, Corona, Elsinore and surrounding unincorporated areas approved the formation of the Western Municipal Water District in 1955. Landowners began diversifying agriculture in the area. Although citrus groves within Riverside city limits were on the decline, groves in the Woodcrest area began to expand.[3]

Beginning in the 1980s population pressures and the availability of cheaper land resulted in the decline of agriculture in the Woodcrest area. Today most orange groves in Woodcrest have given way to development. The citrus industry that was the foundation of Riverside and surrounding communities has nearly disappeared.


"Wood" was the name, or part of the name, of several prominent property owners in the area, and the word was combined with "crest" because the original Woodcrest Acres tract was at the crest of the hills in the area.[2] Susan Wood, owned property around the current Wood Road, who the road was named for in 1916. John C. Woodard owned 160 acres (0.65 km2) off of current day Washington Street. For many years one of the main routes from Riverside out to Woodcrest was referred to as Woodard Grade, or sometimes Woodward Grade, but the name was later lost when the county realigned the route with current day Washington Street.[4] Additionally, two real estate promoters in the area were named Marie and Charles Wood.[2]

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