Orange County History

In the process of working on writing a history of Fullerton, I have also done broader research on the history of Orange County.  Here are some things I've written, based on my research in this area.  This is, of course, a work in progress.  Click on the title to read more.

What Do You Know About Orange County History?

Prehistoric Orange County

Every Town Has a History Worth Telling

The Dark Legacy of Father Junipero Serra

Orange County History at The Bowers Museum

Toypurina: The Joan of Arc of California

Meeting the Kizh (the local tribe)

A Brief History of the Kizh

Learning About Orange County's Native Inhabitants

Chinigchinich by Friar Gernonimo Boscana

Mission San Juan Capistrano

West Coast Slavery: The Missions of Southern California

Helen Hunt Jackson's Southern California

Ramona: a book report

Factories in the Field: a History of Migratory Farm Labor in California

Orange Empire: a History of the Citrus Industry in California

"Americanization" Programs in the Citrus Industry

The Lost Mexicans of The Bastanchury Ranch

The Death of the Red Cars (or, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

The Zoot Suit Riots and Pachucos

The Big Orange: A History of Republican Politics in Orange County

A Brief History of The Irvine Company

California's History of Discriminatory Ballot Measures

Cesar Chavez and The Struggle in the Fields

Local Civil Rights Mural at CSUF

Murals as Windows to the Past

Remembering Ruben Salazar

Local LGBT History

Orange County LGBT Historical Timeline

The Briggs Initiative

Art, Marriage Equality, and Dialogue

Celebrating Harvey Milk Day in Orange County

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Orange County

The Barbarian Nurseries: a book report

How to Build an Art Community in Orange County

The Real Housewives of Orange County: a cultural analysis

With Measure W Defeated, What's Next for Coyote Hills?

The Proposed (and Rejected) Fullerton Homeless Shelter

Reflections on the Kelly Thomas Verdict

The Kelly Thomas Verdict Protest

History and Loss

Fullerton Art History: a Timeline

The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk


  1. How will people be researching local history in the future? Many old reliable resources are no longer providing historical information -- for instance, old city directories which often included great biographical info for each entry no longer are published -- over the years, less and less has been included, and now most people are on cell phones and not in a book at all. And good old personal letters have given way to email and worse -- or nothing. Newspapers are disappearing -- or changing. So what will researchers do fifty years from now when they want to know what happened in our time? Speakers at the Orange County History Exposition, sponsored by the Costa Mesa Historical Society on May 22, 2016, will discuss this problem and offer some solutions. The event will be held at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue, Costa Mesa, from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Please RSVP to 949-631-5918 or Admission is free.

  2. This year is the 150th anniversary of the first interment at Anaheim Cemetery and the Cemetery is commemorating this milestone with a special Candlelight Historical Tour on Sunday evening, July 9, 2017 at 8:00 PM at the Cemetery (1400 East Sycamore in Anaheim).

    This event is free to the public and will feature actors in period costumes portraying interesting personalities from Anaheim and Orange County history who are interred in the Cemetery. Sean Oliu will be featured at the event as well. His is an internationally-known mariachi star who is a direct descendant of Petra Ontiveros Langenberger and her infant son, the first two interments at Anaheim Cemetery in 1867.

    The Tour is filled with interesting stories of colorful people and is appropriate for all ages.

    For more information, call Jim McComb at (909) 374-4738.