and Orange County History
2 of 2
Hansen, representing a group of German settlers,
bought the land along the Santa Ana River that
was to become Anaheim. Hansen planted 400,000
grape vines, turning the area into a major wine
and brandy producer. A century later, Anaheim
would become known as the home of Disneyland and
rich soil in northern and central Orange County
produced barley wheat, grapes, walnuts, oranges
and lemons. Dairy farms prospered in what would
become Cypress and La Palma.
the south, Dana Point and Newport Beach became
busy harbors. Cattle and sheep roamed the wide-open
ranchos of inland south county.
the early 1900s, Huntington Beach landowners discovered
oil, and films stars discovered Laguna Beach,
first as a film locale and then as a convenient
real boom in Orange County population followed
World War II. After the war, farmland was replaced
by houses in the county's northern, central and
western areas, giving rise to the cities of Fountain
Valley, Costa Mesa and Los Alamitoes.
Growth eventually spread south, transforming still-rugged
ranch land and productive farmland into housing
tracts in the late 1960s. Now, the county's newest
cities are forming in the maturing communities
of the south county.