Orange County

OC turns 125 … sort of


Oranges were once the local cash crop.

Oranges were once the local cash crop.

By Pete Zarustica

Orange County is (almost) officially 125 years old.

On June 4, 1889, residents of the southeastern wing of Los Angeles County (typically referred to as the Santa Ana Valley), voted by the tally of 2,509 to 500 to separate and form a new “Orange County.”

Although the county’s formal establishment had to wait until Aug. 1, 1889, most historians and history buffs consider the Fourth of June to be OC’s Fourth of July.

(For more about the process of how the county’s formation came about, see our post in this site:

The Orange County Historical Society, for example, is celebrating the anniversary of independence with a 125th birthday party at the historic Santa Ana Ebell Clubhouse on Friday, June 13.

The county has grown spectacularly over the past century and a quarter. When formed, it had three incorporated cities (Anaheim, Santa Ana and Orange) and a population estimated at about 15,000.

Now, there are 34 cities with an total estimated population of over 3.1 million people. It’s known world-wide for attractions such as the Disneyland Resort and the Christ Cathedral (formerly the Crystal Cathedral); locally-based professional sports teams have won “world” titles in baseball and ice hockey.

Other anniversaries coming up include the 100th birthday of Seal Beach (incorporated in 1915) and Brea (1917).

Sources: County of Orange, Orange County Historical Society, Wikipedia.

1 reply »

  1. Actually, the O.C. Historical Society’s annual dinner/125th Birthday Party is on Friday, June 13th. Not Saturday.

    Orange County has traditionally celebrated its birthday on Aug. 1.

    OCHS is holding their party in June because we traditionally take July and August off. We hold our big year-end event June.

    If anyone still wants to sign up to attend, the deadline has been moved up to the middle of this Wednesday. See

    Best wishes,

    Chris Jepsen
    President, Orange County Historical Society

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