Archive for the 'Local History' Category

Irvine Then and Now: Frances Packing House

In 1916, the orange groves were so bountiful on the Irvine Ranch that a 48,000 square foot packing house was built to process the fruit. The facility was located on the Santa Fe Railroad’s Venta Spur at Shop Road ( now Yale Ave.)    

Christmas Greetings from James H. Irvine

James H. Irvine (1867-1947) liked to be in charge of things. Very little left the Irvine Ranch without his fingerprints; including the annual Irvine Family Christmas cards. So poetry wasn’t his strong suit. 

San Juan Capistrano: Los Rios Historic District

this piece was first published in Orange County Register Travel   San Juan Capistrano is the birthplace of Orange County history. Just ask any fourth grader who has visited the Mission on a school field trip. Since the city is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, it’s the perfect time for a day trip to this […]

Katie Wheeler Library Book Signing, November 5, 2011

It’s kind of a scary thing…writing a book. You spend a lot of time on your own, rifling through books, old newspaper clippings and grainy, black and white photos. You write down what your learning and fill note cards full of  historical tidbits and interesting anecdotes. You spend hours scanning old pictures until your eyes […]

Irvine-The Katie Wheeler Library

The last time you were shopping at the Irvine Marketplace, you probably didn’t even know it was there. If you were speeding down Jamboree westbound towards the 5 freeway, you might have missed it altogether.  But tucked away behind old eucalyptus and pine trees, on the corner of Irvine Blvd and Jamboree, sits the Irvine […]

Irvine: Then and Now Blacksmith Shop; built 1909

The Blacksmith Shop, built 1909 In 1909, local farmer Frederick Culver asked James Irvine for permission to build a blacksmith shop on Central Avenue near the bean and grain warehouse. Culver’s brother, Willard, ran the operation, repairing farm machinery, making wagon wheels and fitting horseshoes. In 1928, the blacksmith shop was bought by Gene Thomas who […]

Friday Foto….Two days early: Village of Woodbridge, Sept. 1976


Friday Foto…Irvine Aerial Culver and Walnut

Who’s Who in Irvine:

This flamboyant ranchero once owned the land that is now Irvine and Newport Beach as well as parts of Tustin, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach. Do you know his name? Don Jose Andres Sepulveda (1801-1875) Sepulveda owned the Rancho San Joaquin, the 50,000 acres of land granted by the Mexican government in 1842. His legendary equestrian […]

What’s in A Name?: Culver Drive

Frederick and Agnes Culver     Culver Drive is named for farmer Frederick Culver who, in 1902, planted lima beans on an Irvine Ranch lease. He became one of the most successful farmers in Orange County. One of the smallest men on the ranch, Culver was a hunchback who was given the name “Humpy” by […]