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All About Orange County

Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. Its county seat is Santa Ana. According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,846,289, making it the second most populous county in the state of California, and the fifth most populous in the United States. The state of California estimates its population as of 2008 to be 3,121,251 people, dropping its rank to third, behind San Diego County. Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, Orange County residents take their county name as their label of cultural identity. There is no defined urban center to Orange County as there generally is in other areas with one dominant municipal entity. It is almost uniformly suburban, except for some older urban areas such as downtown Santa Ana. Five Orange County cities have populations exceeding 170,000. It is also a famous tourist destination, as the county is home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. It is often portrayed in the media as an affluent and politically powerful region. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary business hub. Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo, with Anaheim being the oldest. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2005, Orange county was the second most expensive housing market in the United States with a median home price of $650,000.

The first people to live in Orange County came here thousands of years ago. They lived by hunting and fishing and gathering the plants and seeds. When the first Spanish explorers arrived, they found two native groups here. They called the Acjachemen people in the southern part of the county the Juaneño, and the Tongva people to the north the Gabrielino. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portol, a Spanish expedition led by Junipero Serra named the area Valle de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement. Among the group of explorers that came with Portol were Jos Manuel Nieto and Jose Antonio Yorba. Both of these men were given land grants and their heirs also inherited portions of family land. The oldest of the Orange County land grants or ranchos was Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana granted in 1810 by Ferdinand VII of Spain. The Yorba heirs Bernardo and Teodosio Yorba inherited ranches in 1834 and 1846 respectively. Their ranches were known as Rancho Can de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Canyon Ranch) and Rancho Lomas de Santiago.The Nieto heirs Juan Jos and Antonio Nieto were granted land in 1834. The Nieto ranches were known as Rancho Los Alamitos, Rancho Las Bolsas, and Rancho Los Coyotes. Other ranches in Orange County were granted by the Mexican government post 1821, year of Mexican Independence, during the Mexican period in Alta California.

A severe drought in the 1860s devastated the prevailing industry, cattle ranching, and much land came into the possession of Richard O'Neill, Sr.,[3] James Irvine and other land barons. In 1887, silver was discovered in the Santa Ana Mountains, attracting settlers via the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads. This growth led the California legislature to divide Los Angeles County and create Orange County as a separate political entity on March 11, 1889. It was named for its most famous product (However, there was already a town by the name of Orange, California that was not named for the fruit, but rather for Orange County, Virginia), but other citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction were also important to the early economy.

Orange County benefited from the July 4, 1904 completion of the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley connecting Los Angeles with Santa Ana and Newport Beach . The link made Orange County an accessible weekend retreat for celebrities of early Hollywood. It was deemed so significant that the city of Pacific City changed its name to Huntington Beach in honor of Henry Huntington, president of the Pacific Electric and nephew of robber baron Collis Huntington. Transportation further improved with the completion of the State Route and U.S. Route 101 (now mostly Interstate 5) in the 1920s.

Agriculture, such as the boysenberry which was made famous by Buena Park native Walter Knott, began to decline after World War II but the county's prosperity soared. The completion of Interstate 5 in 1954 helped make Orange County a bedroom community for many who moved to Southern California to work in aerospace and manufacturing. Orange County received a further boost in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland.

In 1969, Yorba Linda-born Orange County native Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States.

In the 1980s, the population topped two million for the first time; Orange County had become the second-most populated county in California.

A spectacular investment fund melt-down in 1994 led to the criminal prosecution of County of Orange treasurer Robert Citron. The county lost at least $1.5 billion through high-risk investments in derivatives.[5] On December 6, 1994, the County of Orange declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy,[5] from which it emerged in June 1995. The Orange County bankruptcy was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

In recent years, the county has been characterized by conflict between the older more historic northern and newer southern cities over development, the building of new toll roads, and a recently defeated proposal to build an international airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station that would have reduced operations at the existing John Wayne Airport.

In 2002 The Angels win their first World Series title :)

In 2005, a few months after the California Lottery joined the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, a ticket sold in Anaheim that was shared by seven people won a jackpot worth $315 million, the first time Mega Millions was won in the state. The group chose the $180 million cash option.

2006 Villa Park Orchards Association, Orange County’s last citrus packing house, closes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,455 km (948 sq mi), making it the smallest county in Southern California. Surface water accounts for 411 km (159 sq mi) of the area, 16.73% of the total; 2,045 km (789 sq mi) of it is land. Orange County is bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Los Angeles County, on the northeast by San Bernardino County, on the northeast by Riverside County, and on the southeast by San Diego County.

The northwestern part of the county lies on the coastal plain of the Los Angeles Basin, while the southeastern end rises into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of Orange County's population reside in one of two shallow coastal valleys that lie in the basin, the Santa Ana Valley and the Saddleback Valley. The Santa Ana Mountains lie within the eastern boundaries of the county and of the Cleveland National Forest. The high point is Santiago Peak (5,687 ft/1,733 m), about 20 mi (32 km) east of Santa Ana. Santiago Peak and nearby Modjeska Peak, just 200 feet (60 m) shorter, form a ridge known as Saddleback, visible from almost everywhere in the county. The Peralta Hills extend westward from the Santa Ana Mountains through the communities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, and ending in Olive. The Loma Ridge is another prominent feature, running parallel to the Santa Ana Mountains through the central part of the county, separated from the taller mountains to the east by Santiago Canyon.

The Santa Ana River is the county's principal watercourse, flowing through the middle of the county from Northeast to Southwest. Its major tributary to the South and East is Santiago Creek. Other watercourses within the county include Aliso Creek, San Juan Creek, and Horsethief Creek. In the North, the San Gabriel River also briefly crosses into Orange County and exits into the Pacific on the Los Angeles-Orange County line between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Laguna Beach is home to the county's only natural lakes, Laguna Lakes, which are formed by water rising up against an underground fault. Residents sometimes figuratively divide the county into "North orange County" and "South County" (meaning Northwest and Southeast --following the county's natural diagonal orientation along the local coastline). This is more of a cultural and demographic distinction perpetuated by the popular television shows "The OC" and "Laguna Beach," between the older areas closer to Los Angeles, and the more affluent and recently developed areas to the South and East. A transition between older and newer development may be considered to exist roughly parallel to State Route 55 (aka the Costa Mesa Freeway). This transition is accentuated by large flanking tracts of sparsely developed area occupied until recent years by agriculture and military airfields.

While there is a natural topographical Northeast-to-Southwest transition from inland elevations to the lower coastal band, there is no formal geographical division between North and South County. Perpendicular to that gradient, the Santa Ana River roughly divides the county between northwestern and southeastern sectors (about 40% to 60% respectively, by area), but does not represent any apparent economic, political or cultural differences, nor does it significantly affect distribution of travel, housing, commerce, industry or agriculture from one side to the other.

Unlike many other large centers of population in the United States, Orange County uses its county name as its source of identification whereas other places in the country are identified by the large city that is closest to them. This is because there is no defined center to Orange County like there is in other areas which have one distinct large city. Five Orange County cities have populations exceeding 170,000 while no cities in the county have populations surpassing 360,000. Seven of these cities are among the 200 largest cities in the United States.

Orange County is also famous as a tourist destination, as the county is home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as sandy beaches for swimming and surfing, yacht harbors for sailing and pleasure boating, and extensive area devoted to parks and open space for golf, tennis, hiking, kayaking, cycling, skateboarding, and other outdoor recreation. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary business hub.

Orange County was Created March 11 1889, from part of Los Angeles County, and, according to tradition, so named because of the flourishing orange culture. Orange, however, was and is a commonplace name in the United States, used originally in honor of the Prince of Orange, son-in-law of King George II of England.

Incorporated: March 11, 1889
Legislative Districts:
* Congressional: 38th-40th, 42nd & 43
* California Senate: 31st-33rd, 35th & 37
* California Assembly: 58th, 64th, 67th, 69th, 72nd & 74

County Seat: Santa Ana
County Information:
Robert E. Thomas Hall of Administration
10 Civic Center Plaza, 3rd Floor, Santa Ana 92701
Telephone: (714)834-2345 Fax: (714)834-3098
County Government Website:

City of Aliso Viejo, 92653, 92656, 92698

City of Aliso Viejo, 92653, 92656, 92698

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City of Anaheim, 92801, 92802, 92803, 92804, 92805, 92806, 92807, 92808, 92809, 92812, 92814, 92815, 92816, 92817, 92825, 92850, 92899
City of Brea, 92821, 92822, 92823
City of Buena Park, 90620, 90621, 90622, 90623, 90624
City of Costa Mesa, 92626, 92627, 92628
City of Cypress, 90630
City of Dana Point, 92624, 92629
City of Fountain Valley, 92708, 92728
City of Fullerton, 92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838
City of Garden Grove, 92840, 92841, 92842, 92843, 92844, 92845, 92846
City of Huntington Beach, 92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649
City of Irvine, 92602, 92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623, 92650, 92697, 92709, 92710

City of Irvine, 92602, 92603, 92604, 926

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City of La Habra, 90631, 90632, 90633
City of La Palma, 90623
City of Laguna Beach, 92607, 92637, 92651, 92652, 92653, 92654, 92656, 92677, 92698
City of Laguna Hills, 92637, 92653, 92654, 92656
City of Laguna Niguel, 92607, 92677
City of Laguna Woods, 92653, 92654
City of Lake Forest, 92609, 92630, 92610
City of Los Alamitos, 90720, 90721
City of Mission Viejo, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92694
City of Newport Beach, 92657, 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663

City of Newport Beach, 92657, 92658, 926

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City of Orange, 92856, 92857, 92859, 92861, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868, 92869
City of Placentia, 92870, 92871
City of Rancho Santa Margarita, 92688, 92679

City of Rancho Santa Margarita, 92688, 9

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City of San Clemente, 92672, 92673, 92674
City of San Juan Capistrano, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694
City of Santa Ana, 92701, 92702, 92703, 92704, 92705, 92706, 92707, 92708, 92711, 92712, 92725, 92728, 92735, 92799
City of Seal Beach, 90740
City of Stanton, 90680
City of Tustin, 92780, 92781, 92782
City of Villa Park, 92861, 92867
City of Westminster, 92683, 92684, 92685
City of Yorba Linda, 92885, 92886, 92887

Noteworthy communities Some of the communities that exist within city limits are listed below: * Anaheim Hills, Anaheim * Balboa Island, Newport Beach * Corona del Mar, Newport Beach * Crystal Cove / Pelican Hill, Newport Beach * Capistrano Beach, Dana Point * El Modena, Orange * French Park, Santa Ana * Floral Park, Santa Ana * Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest * Monarch Beach, Dana Point * Nellie Gail, Laguna Hills * Northwood, Irvine * Woodbridge, Irvine * Newport Coast, Newport Beach * Olive, Orange * Portola Hills, Lake Forest * San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Niguel * San Joaquin Hills, Newport Beach * Santa Ana Heights, Newport Beach * Tustin Ranch, Tustin * Talega, San Clemente * West Garden Grove, Garden Grove * Yorba Hills, Yorba Linda * Mesa Verde, Costa Mesa

Unincorporated communities These communities are outside of the city limits in unincorporated county territory: * Coto de Caza * El Modena * Ladera Ranch * Las Flores * Midway City * Orange Park Acres * Rossmoor * Silverado Canyon * Sunset Beach * Surfside * Talega * Trabuco Canyon * Tustin Foothills

Adjacent counties to Orange County Are: * Los Angeles County, California - north, west * San Bernardino County, California - northeast * Riverside County, California - east * San Diego County, California - southeast

Chambers of Commerce in Orange County
Orange County Business Council
Anaheim Chamber of Commerce
Brea Chamber of Commerce
Buena Park Chamber of Commerce
Corona Del Mar Chamber of Commerce
Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce
Cypress Chamber of Commerce
Dana Point Chamber of Commerce
Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce
Fullerton Chamber of Commerce
Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce
Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce
Irvine Chamber of Commerce
La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce
Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce
Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce
Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce
Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce
Orange Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
Placentia Chambers of Commerce
San Clemente Chamber of Commerce
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce
South Orange County Chambers of Commerce
Stanton Chamber of Commerce
Tustin Chamber of Commerce
Westminster Chamber of Commerce
Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce

Colleges & Universities in Orange County
Anaheim University
Argosy University/Sarasota
California State University, Fullerton
Chapman University
Coastline Community College
College of Information Technology
Concordia University at Irvine
Cypress College
Fullerton College
Golden West College
Hope International University
Irvine Valley College
Orange Coast College
Pacific West College of Law
Rancho Santiago Community College District
Santiago Canyon College
Santa Ana College
Saddleback College
Soka University of America
South Coast College
The Paul Merage School of Business
University of California, Irvine
University of Redlands
Vanguard University
Whittier Law School

School Districts in Orange County
Anaheim City Laguna Beach Unified
Anaheim Union High La Habra City
Brea-Olinda Unified Los Alamitos Unified
Buena Park Lowell Joint
Capistrano Unified Magnolia
Centralia Newport-Mesa Unified
Cypress Ocean View
Fountain Valley Orange Unified
Fullerton Placentia-Yorba Linda
Fullerton Joint Union High Saddleback Valley Unified
Garden Grove Unified Santa Ana Unified
Huntington Beach City Savanna
Huntington Beach Union High Tustin Unified
Irvine Unified Westminster

Community College Districts in Orange County
Coast Community College District
North Orange County Community College District
Rancho Santiago Coumminty College District
South Orange County Community College District

Arts and Culture
The area's warm Mediterranean climate and 42 miles (68 km) of year-round beaches attract millions of tourists annually. Huntington Beach is a hot spot for sunbathing and surfing; nicknamed "Surf City, U.S.A.", it is home to many surfing competitions. "The Wedge," at the tip of The Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, is one of the most famous body surfing spots in the world. Other tourist destinations include the theme parks Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. The Anaheim Convention Center is the largest such facility on the West Coast. The old town area in the City of Orange (the traffic circle at the middle of Chapman Ave. at Glassell) still maintains its 1950s image, and appeared in the That Thing You Do! movie. Little Saigon is another notable tourist destination, being home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam. There are also sizable Taiwanese, Chinese, and Korean communities, particularly in western Orange County. This is evident in several Asian-influenced shopping centers in Asian American hubs like the city of Irvine.

Other notable structures include the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, the largest building in the county; the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, the largest house of worship in California; the historic Balboa Pavilion [4] in Newport Beach; the Huntington Beach Pier; and the restored Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Some of the most exclusive (and expensive) neighborhoods in the U.S. are located here, many along the Orange County Coast, and some in north Orange County. Historical points of interest include Mission San Juan Capistrano (destination of migrating swallows), and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda. The Nixon Home is a National Historic Landmark, as is the home of a very different character, Madam Helena Modjeska, in Modjeska Canyon on Santiago Creek.

Since the premiere in fall 2003 of the hit FOX series The OC, and the 2007 Bravo series "The Real Housewives of Orange County" tourism has increased with travelers from across the globe hoping to see the sights seen in the show. However, the former was not filmed anywhere in Orange County.

Cities in Orange County
The county is famous for its tourism, the home of such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as several beaches along more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline. Historically, it has also been known for its cultural contributions, especially in the genres of ska and punk music.

It is also recognized for its nationally known centers of religious worship, such as Crystal Cathedral, Saddleback Church, and Calvary Chapel. It is often portrayed in the media as an affluent and politically conservative region. Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center to Orange County. It is mostly suburban, except for some traditional downtown areas such as those of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Huntington Beach, and Fullerton.

There are also several edge city-style developments such as the South Coast Metro and Newport Center.While Santa Ana serves as the governmental center of the county, Anaheim is the main tourist destination and Irvine is the major business hub. Four Orange County cities have populations exceeding 200,000: Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, and Huntington Beach.Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo, which was incorporated in 2001. Anaheim is the oldest, incorporated in 1870 when the region was still part of neighboring Los Angeles County.

An Orange County CHRONOLOGY (1769-present)
1769 First Spanish expedition crosses Orange County, led by Capt. Gaspar de Portolá. They pass
several native village sites and perform the first baptisms in California.
1776 Mission San Juan Capistrano founded.
1778 Mission San Juan Capistrano is moved to its current site.
1781 Los Angeles is founded. It would be remain the seat of local government until Orange County
broke away in 1889.
1784 Manuel Nieto granted grazing rights between the Santa Ana and San Gabriel Rivers; the first
private rancho in Orange County.
1801 Juan Pablo Grijalva given permission to establish a rancho south and east of the Santa Ana River;
later granted to his heirs, the Yorba and Peralta families, as the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
1806 Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano is dedicated after nine years of construction;
destroyed by earthquake, 1812.
1821 Mexico gains independence from Spain; California becomes a Mexican territory.
1825 Severe flooding changes the course of the Santa Ana River.
1834 Secularization of the missions begins opening more land to be granted as ranchos.
1837 Rancho San Joaquin granted to José Sepulveda; later becomes the core of the Irvine Ranch.
1845 Juan Forster is granted Rancho Mission Viejo.
1846 California captured by the United States during the early weeks of the Mexican War; formally
ceded in 1848 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
1848 Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill; the gold rush creates a huge market for cattle from the local
1850 California admitted to the Union as the 31st state. Los Angeles County formed; includes what is
now Orange County.
1857 Anaheim founded as a co-operative farming colony; first settlers arrive in 1859.
1863 Two-year drought begins, devastating local cattle ranches.
1864 Anaheim Landing established on Alamitos Bay.
1864 Flint, Bixby & Co. (including partner James Irvine) buy two old Mexican ranchos and a part of
third for a sheep ranch. Becomes the Irvine Ranch when Irvine buys out his partners in 1876.
1868 Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana partitioned among the Yorba and Peralta heirs and other owners.
Several new towns soon founded.
1868 Stearns Ranchos west of the Santa Ana River placed on the market, opening that area to
settlement. Other new towns soon follow.
1869 Santa Ana founded by William Spurgeon.
1870 Tustin founded by Columbus Tustin.
1870 Rev. Lemuel P. Webber founds Westminster.
1870 First attempt to form a separate county to be known as Anaheim County; passed the State
Assembly but died in committee in the State Senate.
1870 First local orange trees planted; first English walnut trees planted.
1870 First local newspaper, the Anaheim Gazette, founded.
1870 First commercial vessel enters Newport Bay.
1871 Orange founded by Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell. The town was originally known as
Richland, but was renamed in 1873.
1875 Southern Pacific railroad builds branch line from Los Angeles to Anaheim; extended to Santa Ana
in 1877.
1878 Mining boom at Silverado.
1882 The first successful oil well in Orange County was drilled near the junction of Brea Canyon and
Tonner Canyon.
1886 Mysterious disease begins to sweep through local vineyards, devastating local wine and raisin
1887 Santa Fe Railroad arrives; real estate boom.
1887 Fullerton and Buena Park founded.
1888 Original Newport Beach Wharf built by the McFadden brothers.
1889 Orange County formed out of the southern third of Los Angeles County; Santa Ana selected as
county seat.
1891 First successful celery crop in Orange County.
1893 Southern California Fruit Exchange (Sunkist) formed; citrus becoming major local crop.
1896 Sugar beet factory built at Los Alamitos.
1897 James Irvine donates Irvine Park to the County.
1901 Huntington Beach founded; originally known as Pacific City. Renamed in 1903.
1901 Old Orange County Courthouse dedicated.
1903 Brea founded; originally known as Randolph.
1904 Pacific Electric’s “big red cars” reach Orange County, and extend down the coast towards
Newport Beach. Santa Ana line opened in 1905. Line to Yorba Linda was completed in 1911.
1905 Cypress and Stanton founded.
1906 Balboa Ferry begins service.
1907 The Newbert Protection District is formed to help control the unpredictable Santa Ana River.
1908 The Trabuco Canyon Reserve is designated the Cleveland National Forest.
1910 First airplane flight in Orange County, built and flown by Glenn L. Martin of Santa Ana.
1913 Fullerton Junior College founded; now oldest in the state.
1913 First Fuerte avocado grove planted in Yorba Linda.
1914 Orange County Hospital and Poor Farm opens.
1916 The Joy Zone amusement park opens at Seal Beach.
1917 1,600 residents from Orange County enter the military for World War I.
1919 Orange County Historical Society founded.
1919 Orange County Free Library established.
1920 First oil well brought in at Huntington Beach.
1920 Knott family moves to Buena Park to go into the berry business.
1922 R. M. Schindler begins construction of the Lovell Beach House on the Balboa Peninsula,
introducing European Modern architecture to the United States.
1925 San Clemente founded by Ole Hanson.
1926 Pacific Coast Highway opens.
1927 Orange County Flood Control District formed.
1929 Santiago Orange Growers Association in Orange ships over 820,000 crates of Valencia Oranges,
becoming the largest Valencia packing house in the United States.
1931 Santiago Dam built, forming Irvine Lake.
1933 Long Beach Earthquake causes serious damage and loss of life in several Orange County
1935 First Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.
1936 Newport Harbor is dedicated following an extensive dredging program.
1938 Serious flooding, loss of life and property damage throughout much of Orange County.
1941 Orange County Airport opens.
1942 With the start of World War II, the Santa Ana Army Air Base, Los Alamitos Naval Air Station,
and other military installations are established in Orange County.
1942 Local Japanese Americans sent to internment camps.
1943 Lighter-Than-Air blimp base in Tustin and El Toro Marine Corps base established.
1947 Case of Mendez v Westminster forces desegregation of California schools.
1948 Orange Coast College opens on the site of the former Santa Ana Army Air Base.
1951 Municipal Water District of Orange County formed.
1952 Los Alamitos race track opens.
1953 Boy Scouts of America hold their third National Jamboree on land provided by The Irvine
Company near Newport Beach.
1954 Chapman College moves from Los Angeles to Orange.
1955 Disneyland opens.
1958 Hughes Aircraft Co. opens Orange County’s first major aerospace plant in Fullerton.
1959 Classes begin at Orange County State College (now California State University, Fullerton).
1961 Seal Beach Leisure World founded. Laguna Hills Leisure World follows in 1964.
1963 Orange County’s population passes one million.
1964 University of California, Irvine dedicated. Opens for classes in 1965.
1966 Anaheim stadium opens.
1967 South Coast Plaza opens in Costa Mesa.
1969 Yorba Linda native Richard M. Nixon inaugurated as President of the United States.
1971 First section of Dana Point Harbor opens.
1975 After the collapse of the Vietnamese government, refugees flood into MCAS El Toro and Camp
Pendleton. Many later settle in Westminster and Garden Grove.
1978 The Los Angeles Rams football team moves to Anaheim.
1980 Crystal Cathedral is completed in Garden Grove.
1983 Donald Bren purchases a controlling interest in the Irvine Company.
1986 The Orange County Performing Arts Center opens.
1986 First homes in Rancho Santa Margarita go on the market.
1990 The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace opens to the public.
1993 The Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim opens, home of the Mighty Ducks hockey team.
1993 First segment of Foothill Toll Road (241) opens.
1994 Orange County files Chapter 9 bankruptcy after a $1.5 billion investment pool loss.
1996 Orange County emerges from bankruptcy after only 18 months.
1997 Knott’s Berry Farm sold to Cedar Fair L.P. of Ohio.
1999 El Toro Marine Corps Naval Air Station closes.
2001 Disney’s California Adventure theme park opens in Anaheim.
2002 The Angels win their first World Series title.
2006 Villa Park Orchards Association, Orange County’s last citrus packing house, closes.

Plaques placed by the Orange County Historical Commission in cooperation with the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

8002 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado
In 1881, after the Southern Pacific took over the Santa Clara Coal Mine northeast of here, a bustling mining camp complete with hotel, saloons, shacks, store, and post office sprang up on these flats. Three years later the mine played out and Carbondale disappeared without a trace.

Arboretum, California State University, Fullerton
Built in 1894 by Fullerton's pioneer physician on the original townsite of Fullerton. An excellent example of the Eastlake Style of Victorian architecture faithfully preserved and maintained as part of California's heritage by hundreds of volunteers.

614 N. Bush St., Santa Ana
Santa Ana's oldest assembly on its original site was completed on 1888 and dedicated Easter 1889. Consecrated by Bishop Joseph Johnson October 31, 1887, with Rev. W. B. Burrows, Rector. The building was designed of redwood construction by Ernest Coxhead with changes made in 1910 and later years.

4. HEWES MANSION (Built 1881)
350 South B Street, Tustin
This 14-room Victorian mansion was built by prominent California pioneer David Hewes (1822-1915). Known as the "Maker of San Francisco," he donated the golden spike at Promontory Point and contributed greatly to local civic, church, and agricultural development.

5. IRVINE PARK (1897)
21401 Chapman Ave., Orange
Indians gathered acorns here long before Columbus' time. In 1897, James Irvine, Jr. gave the people their long-time favorite "picnic grounds." The original 160acre grove was known as Orange County Park until 1928.

307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach
The Laguna Beach Art Association, started by Edgar Payne, was a natural development of the art colony established about 1900. The first gallery was in Old Town Hall. The permanent gallery,
constructed on this site in 1929, houses a collection of early paintings significant to Orange County and California.

6586 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
Established 1889 as the Pacific Condensed Milk, Coffee and Canning Co. by J. M. Pitblado. First evaporated milk cannery in California and the first industry in Buena Park. The Bixby family owned the factory from 1896 until it closed in 1907. Site was later used as a tomato cannery.

Blakey Historical Park, 8612 Westminster Blvd., Westminster
This board and batten house, built in 1874 as a drugstore by Dr. James McCoy, first physician of Westminster Colony (founded 1870 by Rev. L. P. Webber), was the home of Marie Larter Hare, local educator, from 1912 to 1974. Restored in 1976 by Westminster Historical Society and City Council as a Bicentennial Community Project.

9. NEWLAND HOUSE (Built 1898)
19820 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach
Wm. Taylor Newland and Mary Juanita Newland settled in Huntington Beach in 1898. An early civic leader and agricultural developer, Newland was a pioneer in clearing the Santa Ana River lowlands for productive farming. Restored by Huntington Beach Historical Society.

707 Electric Ave., Seal Beach
The Pacific Electric's Southern District was completed in 1902. In 1903 Philip A. Stanton organized the Bay City Land Co. which developed the townsite of Bay City. "Red Car" service began in 1904 transporting tourists and early residents. The town was incorporated in 1915 and renamed Seal Beach.

Corner of Center and Lincoln W., Anaheim
The original townsite of Anaheim was surrounded by a living fence of willow trees to keep out the livestock which roamed freely on the open range. This is the site of the gate that was opened to permit travel to and from San Pedro and Los Angeles.

Corner of Fifth & Sycamore, Santa Ana
Here on October 10, 1869, his 40th birthday, William H. Spurgeon climbed a sycamore tree to inspect this mustard covered valley. Impressed, he bought 74.2 acres of the Santiago de Santa Ana, and laid out a townsite between First and Seventh, Spurgeon and Broadway.

Heritage Park, 12174 Euclid St., Garden Grove
This two acre site is dedicated to preserving a visible link to early Garden Grove. Edward G. Ware settled here in 1875 becoming a prominent rancher. His daughter, L. Agnes Ware Stanley, was an early school teacher. Deeded in 1970 to the Garden Grove Historical Society by the Stanley Family.

301 S. Euclid St., La Habra
This structure symbolized the beginning of a new era of development in the rich La Habra Valley. The La Habra Line was one of the most significant in Southern California progress. Early crops and supplies to the new oil fields could be rapidly transported via the popular "red cars".

15. ST. MICHAEL'S EPISPCOPAL CHURCH (Erected 1876, Consecrated May 17, 1880)
311 W. South St., Anaheim
The walls of this House of God are hallowed by the prayers of countless worshippers. For nearly a century the mellow tones of its bell have called the faithful to prayer, announced weddings with joy and tolled in grief for those who have passed beyond.

Orange County Fair Grounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
The Air Base was one of the largest of its kind in the nation. It was activated in February of 1942. Pilots trained here for Europe and the Pacific during World War II.

17. IRVINE BOWL (Dedicated June 30, 1941)
650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach
Home of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. The originator was Lagunan John Hinchman. The first living pictures were presented in 1933 as the Spirit of the Masters Pageant. The Festival of Art Association was formed September, 1934 and the first Pageant of the Masters was presented in 1935.

Southwest Corner, Orange Plaza, Chapman Ave. and Glassell St., Orange
Here, in 1871, the town and farm lots of Andrew Glassell IV and Alfred B. Chapman were offered to prospective buyers by the tract's resident agent, Captain William T. Glassell. Agent Glassell maintained two seedling orange trees in front of his office/residence, as curiosities to entice settlers.

321 E. Chapman, Fullerton
Offering its first courses on September 25, 1913 to 28 students, Fullerton College is the oldest community college in continuous operation in California. All the college classes were held in the Fullerton High School facilities until 1937 when the first building was completed on this campus.

8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
Founded as a 10 acre farm in 1920 by Cordelia and Walter Knott, developer of the Boysenberry. From the berry fields came a tea room, a berry market, a nursery, and one of the nation's oldest themed amusement parks now on 150 acres with authentic replicas of a ghost town, gold mine, and our Independence Hall.

Civic Center, 201 E. La Habra Blvd., La Habra
The first post office, officially naming this settlement "La Habra" was granted in 1896 and was established in a corner of Coys Store, located on this site. El Camino Viejo, the old road between the missions, passed this corner, which became a central trading point in the fertile La Habra Valley.

136 W. Palm Circle, Placentia
This is the home of Albert Sumner Bradford, built in 1902 on his Tesoro Rancho. Bradford founded the town of Placentia, helped to bring the railroad, and was president of the Chamber of Commerce from its beginning to his death in 1933. He organized the Placentia National Bank and the Bradford Packinghouse.

31871 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
Built in the 1840s by Manuel Garcia, a Portuguese merchant, this is the only surviving Monterey style adobe in Orange County. Owned by the Oyharzabal family since 1880, its uses have included: French Hotel, a general store, and the town's first American era post office.

15261 Brookhurst Ave., Westminster
Built by Charles R. Post in 1937 to reclaim farmlands ruined by floods, the Post Brothers' Plow is considered to be the world's largest plow. Measuring 37 ft. long, 12 ft. high, and 11 ft. wide, with a blade of 86 inches, it was pulled by five 100 Drawbar h.p. D-8 Caterpillar tractors.

6749 Parkwood Ct., Yorba Linda
In 1858, Don Bernardo Yorba, son of one of the first land grantees in Southern California and a major land owner in his own right, set aside this land as a cemetery. For almost a century, members of many early California families were buried here.

555 W. Main St., Tustin
This church is the oldest in Tustin, having been in continuous service since 1881. The original sanctuary contains pews which came around the Horn from the East Coast by sailing ship.

Near the corner of Crowther Ave. & Porter Way, Placentia
In 1841, Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, owner of the Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, built an adobe residence on this site. His holdings included land which became the Anaheim Colony, as well as the later townsites of Placentia, Fullerton and Brea.

Corner of Moulton Parkway & Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills
Before you are the white limestone remains of an 18,000,000 year old tropical shell reef. Formed in a shallow bay, it contains fossils of scallops, clams and tube worms. Mudstones of the same age, found nearby, hold fossil whales and shark teeth. Later, as the Santa Ana Mountains rose, the rigid limestone buckled and broke along small faults. We can now see evidence that tropical seas once cover the spot where you stand.

625 W. Bastanchury Rd., Placentia
George B. Key, superintendent of California's first Valencia orange grove and one of the pioneers of Placentia, developed a twenty-acre citrus grove on this site in 1893. The ranch, with its late Victorian home, gardens, citrus trees, and historical collections was acquired by the County in 1980, a tangible reminder of the importance of agriculture in the development of Orange County.

8572 Talbert Ave., Fountain Valley
Homesite of Roch and Magdalena Mogart Courreges. Roch, a Basque sheep rancher, farmer, and businessman, came to the area in 1878 and purchased "the Bluff" in 1896. He was a founder of the First National Bank of Huntington Beach, the Smeltzer Telephone Company, and the Farmer's Cannery.

31745 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano
This jail cell was built in 1896 to serve as a holding cell for miscreants on their way to County jail. Originally located on the west side of Camino Capistrano at the intersection with Ortega Highway, it was the scene of several jailbreaks and one hanging.

25151 Serrano Rd., Lake Forest
Vivid reminders of El Toro's past are preserved in Orange County's first historical park. The Serrano Adobe (circa 1863), El Toro Grammar School (1890), St. George's Episcopal Mission (1891), and Harvey Bennett Ranch House (1908) reflect the history of the area form the Rancho Cañada de Los Alisos to its development as an agricultural community.

S.W. Corner of Fairmont Blvd. & Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Anaheim
Ramón Peralta built this adobe dwelling in 1871. His grandfather, Juan Pablo Peralta, was co-grantee with José Antonio Yorba of the only Spanish land grant in Orange County, the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, upon which the old Peralta settlement was located. The adobe was restored in 1985.

Macadamia Street (west of Placentia Avenue), Placentia
These Australian nut-producing trees are the oldest Macadamia tetraphylla in California. They were planted prior to 1890 by a local spiritualist health colony, the Societas Fraternia. Members experimented with many varieties of fruits and nuts to enhance their strict vegetarian diet. The colony remained active until the 1920s.

Ocean Front, between Washington & Palm Streets, Newport Beach
Built near this site in 1928, the Rendezvous became a showcase for Big Bands, especially during "Bal Week." For 38 years, the sounds of dance music echoed from this block-long ballroom, which was destroyed by fire in 1966. The music and dancing have ended, but the memories linger on.

1905 Main St., Huntington Beach
This 1926 structure is an excellent example of Lombard Romanesque Revival architecture. The school site was donated in 1908 to the five-year old Huntington Beach Union High School District by the town developers, the Huntington Beach Company. Design by Allison and Allison and built during the local oil boom, this landmark building continues to represent the spirit and pride of the community.

Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange
This pioneering water project, a model of efficiency and economy, was first built of clay in 1879. After flood damage, it was rebuilt with rock and concrete in 1892. Each dam reached down to bedrock, forcing ground water to the surface where it was diverted for irrigation and domestic uses. Both were built by the Serrano Water Association and the Carpenter Water Company in cooperation with the Jotham Bixby Company.

35501 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano
These springs have been used for therapy and enjoyment for centuries, first by the Indians and then by San Juan Capistrano missionaries from the 1780s until the 1830s. Beginning in the 1880s the area was developed into a vacation resort with a hotel, dance hall, general store, bath houses, and cabins. The springs were closed to the public in 1936 and reopened with new facilities in 1982.

Valencia and Redhill Avenues, Tustin
In 1927 Rear Admiral W., A. Moffett selected this site for the U. S. Navy's tenth Lighter-Than-Air Station. The base was commission in 1942 during WWII. Two LTA hangars, the world's largest clear-span timber structures, housed Navy blimps used for anti submarine duty. Post-war coastal patrol continued until 1949. In 1951 the Marine Corps recommissioned the base as their first facility solely dedicated to helicopter operations.

Featherly Regional Park, Anaheim
Water from the Santa Ana River was largely responsible for the transformation of this arid valley into productive agricultural land. Irrigation companies in Orange County were in operation as early as the 1860s. The two largest were the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company and the Anaheim Union Water Company, operating into the 1970s. This headgate was used by the SAVI to divert water from canal to orchard.

4125 Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton
This is Orange County's oldest general aviation airfield still in its original location. In early years, the site was used for raising pigs and as a city sewage farm. In 1926 William Dowling, a local pilot, led efforts to make this site a formal airport. In February, 1927 he made the first landing at the new Fullerton Airport in his biplane. On April 21, 1928 it was dedicated as a Municipal Airport and two days later hosted the first of many air shows.

Irvine Regional Park, Orange
In 1860 William Wolfskill acquired the Rancho Lomas de Santiago and built the first wooden house outside of Anaheim at this location for his cattle foreman, Joseph E. Pleasants, who was the pioneer settler in the Santa Ana Mountains. Pleasants spent the next 74 years in the canyons. This area has also been a sheep camp (1867), a Pathe and movie set (1912), a health camp (1926), a Boy Scout camp (1935), a U. S. Army post (1943), and an equestrian center (1988).

6711 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park
Since its establishment in a newly created Orange County (1889), the Buena Park Woman's Club has influenced the civic life of its community. The club helped establish a volunteer fire department in 1915, a library district in 1919, and the town's first electric street lights in 1910. This Spanish Revival clubhouse was built in 1931 with funds raised by members. From that time, it has served as a local social and cultural center.

Sycamore Park, Mission Viejo
This spring and the sycamore trees mark the area of an adobe house and outbuilding built in the 1840s by José Serrano, whose Rancho Cañada de los Alisos stretched to the north. Within a short distance were the two adobes of Juan Avila's Rancho Niguel, which extended to the south. The stage road,
following the old Spanish "El Camino Real," passed between the two haciendas. This glen was a welcome stop for travelers.

1087 E. Rancho Santiago Blvd., Orange
Juan Pablo Grijalva, a Spanish soldier, came to California with the Anza Expedition in 1776. On this hill he built one of the first adobes in what is now Orange County. In 1801 he petitioned for use of the land that became the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. He died in 1806. His soninlaw José Antonio Yorba and grandson Juan Pablo Peralta repetitioned and were given use of the rancho in 1810.

3651 Sausalito, Los Alamitos
The first sugar beet processing plant in Orange County was built here in 1897 on land donated by the Bixby Land Company. The industry brought jobs and development that created the new town of Los Alamitos. Although nematode infestation of the sugar beets and changes in the economy forced the plant to close in 1926, the town continued to grow.

(Location to be determined)
This site is one of the northern edge of the West Coyote Oil Field, one of the largest fields in the Los Angeles Basin. Oil was discovered nearby in 1904, after being predicted by Murphy Oil Company geologist, William Plotts. Standard Oil Company began acquiring property in the area in 1912. The field produced about 250 million barrels of oil from sandstone at a depth of about 3,000 feet until abandonment in 1996. West Coyote was one of the foundations of the oil industry in Southern California, playing a significant role in the early history of Orange County, the City of La Habra, and the Chevron Corporation.
Near this site, Chevron operated its La Habra Research Laboratory for 1947-1999. The personnel who worked here made a number of important contributions to mankind’s knowledge of geophysics, oil recovery processes, geology, and engineering, and they brought international scientific recognition to La Habra.
This monument’s base is a diatomaceous shale from the Miocene Monterey Formation, one of the most important geologic formations to California’s petroleum industry. It is rich in organic material and therefore a source of petroleum, and, where fractured (as in this example), is a good reservoir for the collection of oil. Oil and gas fields associated with this formation occur both onshore and offshore in California.

Anaheim Museum 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA
Anaheim’s first building constructed exclusively for library use was erected in 1908 with a grant of $10,000 for philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The site was purchased with funds raised by popular subscription. The building was designed by Los Angeles architect John C. Austin. Of the five
Carnegie-funded libraries in Orange County, only this one remains. It served as a public library until 1962.

1400 E. Sycamore Street, Anaheim, CA
In 1866, German colonists established the Anaheim Cemetery as the first public cemetery in Orange County. Many of the early leaders of Anaheim and Orange County are interred here. The Community Mausoleum was built in 1914 as the first mausoleum on the West Coast. The Pioneer Memorial Archway, donated by F.A. Hartman, was erected in 1917.
Pulled from The Orange County Archives