In 1918, three men were hanged in the southern Riverside County town of Temecula.
Frank Fisher and John O'Neill were convicted of killing a bartender and a patron during a holdup. Sherman Powell was found to have slit the throat of a fellow dining-car waiter. Powell accused his victim of cheating him by using crooked dice.
The account of the hanging is found in the Temecula Museum, along with a copy of an invitation to the event.
But you don't need to enter the museum to get a taste of the Old West in Temecula. The town and its shopkeepers have kindly set up a replica of those times in the Old Town section.
2:30 to 3:15: The drive out to Temecula is about 70 miles from Costa Mesa. You should try to avoid rush hour.
I went midday and stopped for a late lunch at Rosa's Cantina. It's a low-key Mexican restaurant, named for the owner's wife, where you place your order at the window and then wait for your number to come up.
There is a large outdoor dining area, sheltered by a slatted wood roof and decorated with a mural of a little Mexican village and farm.
Prices are reasonable: daily specials are under $4.
3:15 to 3:30: Just up the street, you'll find the Temecula Museum, the one that contains the story of the hanging.
The docents are friendly, and you can wander among the artifacts as you please, or you can call ahead for a guided tour. There's no charge, but donations are accepted.
The museum's proudest piece is the "stone face," a carved stone weighing between 400 and 500 pounds. The Temecula Indians are believed to be the artists; the exact age of the stone is unknown.
The museum also holds a diorama--a miniature of Temecula as it would have appeared in about 1914.
A collection of the works and personal belongings of Erle Stanley Gardner is also found here. The author, best known for his Perry Mason stories, was the town's local celebrity from 1937 until his death in 1970.
The museum also holds household items and clothing from the Old West. There's a man's leather shirt collar, a butter mold, a hat stretcher and a machine that played cylinder-shaped records.
3:30 to 3:45: The Shire is home to 18 antiques vendors. Its most remarkable items are large dolls that look as though they were kin to Merlin--all decked out in feathers and velvet and gold thread.
The Shire has begun decorating for the holidays and has a good-size collection of Santas. You'll even find a few black Santas among the crowd.
3:45 to 4: You'll know you're at Rocky Mountain House by the pair of stuffed jeans standing at the doorway, prickly pear cactus growing out of the waist.
This shop is the town's center for American Indian art and artifacts: tomahawks, dream catchers, feather headdresses and drums.
A rare paperback book collection lines storefront windows. Titles include "Wigwam Evenings: Sioux Folk Tales Retold," "Maria: The Potter of San Ildefonso" and "The Cowboy at Work."
4 to 4:15: Stepping back from Front Street and up a flight of stairs, you'll find Pictus Orbis, a shop that collects rare children's books.
The shop is a cozy nook, with books filling window seats, curio cabinets and countertops. Among the 20,000 volumes, adults may find that book that their parents used to read to them each night.
4:15 to 4:30: As you head down the boardwalk again, you'll come to Mr. R's Antiques, a shop that specializes in oak furniture.
There are some beautiful, ornate pieces here: an oak file cabinet with 24 drawers, a 10-foot-tall bookcase with glass doors, and a free-standing oak mantle that frames a fireplace.
4:30 to 4:45: A final stop in Old Town is the most modern. Reruns collects memorabilia for the baby boom generation. An Aunt Jemima bottle graces one shelf, a "Get Smart" record album hangs in the back room, and life-size Beatles cutouts commemorate "Yellow Submarine" days.
The most popular items in this shop are the toys from McDonald's Happy Meals, said owner Karen Harding. She says she sells 200 a week and has a waiting list for many of them.
4:45 to 5:30: Temecula is the southernmost wine-producing region in California. There are a dozen vineyards here, most offering tours to the public between the hours of about 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
One, the Thornton Winery, also offers a happy hour on Friday evenings from 4:30 to 7. For less than $5, you can order an appetizer and glass of champagne, listen to live music (soft hits, jazz) and watch the sun set over the vine-striped hills.