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Traces of these Native Americans still remain in Diegueño.Poway's contemporary history began in the late 18th century, when padres from the Mission San Diego de Alcalá kept cattle in the valley.Not until 1954 did the town establish the Poway Municipal Water District, which utilizes water from the Colorado River Aqueduct to irrigate all of Poway's 10,000 acres (40 km). In 1957, following the sewer system's completion, developers built housing tracts, and modern Poway grew from there.In 1980 Poway incorporated and officially became the City of Poway (nicknamed "the City in the Country") rather than a neighborhood of San Diego itself.Though many residents today mistake Poway for an old Western-style cowboy town, its original roots lie in agriculture.

Poway has a creek and fertile soil, but the lack of easily available water prevented the settlement from attracting large-scale farmers and the accompanying population growth.

The fecund soil proved well-suited to a variety of crops, including peaches, Muscat grapes, apricots, pears, hay, and alfalfa.

Some farmers captured swarms of wild bees and cultivated honey. Most families kept a cow for milk and butter, chickens for eggs and meat, and perhaps a hog to sustain them while they farmed. Between the seasons of 18, the Poway Progress reported bits of agricultural information such as: Muscat grapes are beginning to ripen, and the San Diego market is getting a supply of the fine article Poway always produces. The season has been a prolific one for bees, thirty of forty stands the present season from a single captured swarm a year or two ago. The peach is a good article, and Poway produces it to perfection.

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.

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