History of Orange County
Orange County began to populate thousands of years ago. The first people to live there survived by hunting, fishing, and gathering seeds and plants. Shoshonean speakers later arrived.
California was under Spain’s control for more than 200 years, and no one made any efforts to colonize the area until 1769. In 1769, Don Gaspar de Portola took lead in the first overland expedition in Orange Country, and then two years later Mission San Gabriel was founded by Father Junipero Serra. On November 1, 1776, mission San Juan Capistrano was founded. These missions claimed what is now known as Orange County, they grazed cattle, horses, and sheep until the 1830s.
All lands were own by the King while under Spanish rule, but there were a few retired soldiers were given grazing permits. Manuel Nieto was one of the first allowed to occupy the land between the Santa Ana river and the San Grabriel River in 1874. At a later date, some of his lands would be separated into five ranchos and given to his heirs.
Mexico separated themselves from Spain in 1821, and they took ownership of California. The Mexican government allowed land grants to the Mexican citizens that would occupy the land, ranging up to 44 thousand acres. By 1846, almost all of Orange County became a part of at least one rancho.
Cattle ranching was the spine of local economy. The trading vessels from the U.S. and other countries flowed through the California coast, they collected cattle hides in return for any manufactured goods.
California became a state in 1850, after it was ceded to the U.S. by Mexico in 1848. Orange County became a part of Los Angeles County. Thousands of new settlers traveled to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Rancheros were then given a new market; the sold their cattle as beef to hard-working miners. The local economy in California began to soar, but at the same time, droughts, floods, and diseases spread. Rancheros also dealt with having to defend their ownership of their lands in the courts. All of this soon ruined the rancheros. Many old ranchos were sold to American owners like Bixby, Irvine, and Stearns.
Sheep ranching became the new thing that replaced cattle ranching, because cotton production was disrupted by the Civil War.
The first American town in Orange County was Anaheim. In 1857, some German immigrant that lived in San Francisco purchased a portion of Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana to begin a new community that would be built on wine-making. Vineyard were planter before the colonists began moving to Anaheim in 1859.
In 1868, areas surround the Santa Ana River were place for sell. Towns of Tustin, Orange, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Westminster we founded.
Until the 1950s, agriculture was a very important part of Orange County’s economy. Citrus took popularity as other crops began to disappear.
In the middle of the 1950s, farms in Orange County were replaced by tract housing. New cities were coming in every direction almost every year. In 1963, the county population was at a high one million. Then, tourism, service, and manufacturing began to take over the local economy. Disneyland, which opened in 1955, helped Orange County to become a popular tourist destination.
Orange County is now home to more than 2 million residents, with over 30 incorporated cities.
Geography of Orange County
Orange County, California is a total of 948 square miles (791 square miles of land and 157 square miles of water). Orange County is the smallest county in Southern California. The southwest is border by the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles County borders the north, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties border the northeast, and San Diego County borders the southeast.
The southeastern side of Orange County rises in the hills of Santa Ana Mountains, while the northwestern side of the county rests on the Los Angeles Basin coastal plain.
Flowing from northeast to southwest in the middle of the county is the county’s main watercourse, the Santa Ana River. Aliso Creek, Horsethief Creek, and San Juan Creek are the other watercourse that flow throughout the county. Home to the county’s only natural lakes is Laguna Beach. Laguna Lakes form only from water rising against an underground fault.
Economy of Orange County
Orange County is home to various Fortune 500 companies. Fortune 500 is a list that is compiled annually that publishes the top 500 largest U.S. companies by total revenue for their own budgetary years. The list is published by Fortune magazine every year. Irvine holds many start-up companies and is home to Fortune 1000 headquarters for many companies.
Orange County employs about 156 million people. Their economy specializes in Real Estate, Manufacturing, Rental and Leasing, and Wholesale trade.
Tourism is a major aspect of their economy. Disneyland is the second most visited theme park in the world, which makes Anaheim a very popular tourist attraction. Orange County has many remarkable shopping malls. South Coast Plaza, is known to be the 3rd largest mall in America, and the largest in the state of California. South Coast Plaza, along with other malls, like Main Place Santa Ana, the Irvin Spectrum Center, and Fashion Island, make Orange County a popular place to shop.
Demographics of Orange County
Orange County currently has a population of 3.17 million people. In Orange County, about 46 percent of the population speak a language other than English, and about 84 percent are citizens of the U.S. Orange County holds 3rd place for the most populated county in California. Orange County makes up about 60 percent Caucasian, 2 percent African American, 1 percent Native American, 18 percent Asian, 15 percent from other races, and 5 percent of people with two or more races.
The average income per household in Orange County lies between $61,000 and $75,000.
Cities of Orange County
Orange County is made up of 34 cities. Out of all these cities, Irvine is ranked as one of the safest cities. It is also the 3rd largest city in Orange County. City Aliso Viefo is ranked as the most affordable city in Orange County. It is also the newest city. All of the cities in Orange County are lovable due to the nice weather, beautiful beaches, all of the theaters and museums, and fun, family attractions that take over the County.
Here is a list of the cities of Orange County:
- Aliso Viejo
- Buena Park
- Costa Mesa
- Dana Point
- Fountain Valley
- Garden Grove
- Huntington Beach
- La Habra
- La Palma
- Laguna Beach
- Laguna Niguel
- Laguna Woods
- Lake Forest
- Los Alamitos
- Mission Viejo
- Newport Beach
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- San Clemente
- San Juan Capistrano
- Santa Ana
- Seal Beach
- Villa Park
- Yorba Linda
Orange County Seat Covers
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