Originally an unincorporated community in the county, Poway officially became a city on December 12, 1980. Poway’s rural roots gave rise to its slogan “The City in the Country.” The city includes a large amount of dedicated open space. For a long period of time, Poway has been recognized for having the lowest overall crime rate of all the cities located in San Diego county.
The Diegueno and Luiseno Indians were the original inhabitants. In 1859 the first non-native settler, Philip Crosthwaite, constructed an adobe home and established a ranch. During the 1880s the population grew significantly. The valley was filled with prosperous farms, orchards, dairies, and vineyards. The area was known for producing excellent peaches.
Poway experienced substantial population growth beginning in the late 1950s. Lake Poway was constructed in 1971 to provide the farmers with a source of dependable water. However, the reliable water source attracted a large number of people and the city became a residential area with numerous businesses and shopping centers. Farming was no longer a major factor for the municipality.
The Blue Sky Nature Preserve is a notable location. Lake Poway is popular for a variety of outdoor activities and features trails for hiking, bicycle riding, and horseback riding. The city includes numerous trails and a large number of parks for recreational activities.