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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Happy Birthday, Mission Viejo!

On this day in 1987, the City of Mission Viejo votes to incorporate as a City.

Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in Orange County

Two years ago, we counted down our nominees for the top ten most haunted locations in Orange County. It was by far our most popular article — especially the article about #2: Black Star Canyon. Not long thereafter, one of those ghost hunter reality shows did an episode on the ghosts of the Mission San [...]

Is Orange County Vulnerable to a Hurricane?

Californians have a number of cynical sayings about the weather here. It never rains in Southern California, for one. Or how about this one: California has four seasons – earthquake, fire, flood and drought. One thing you don’t hear about is a hurricane (or equivalent tropical storm) striking Southern California. We typically associate hurricane weather [...]

Happy Birthday, Orange County!

All year, Orange County has been celebrating its 125th birthday. Today is the day — Happy Birthday, Orange County! On June 4, 1889, residents voted 1,505 to 499 to separate themselves from Los Angeles County and form Orange County. On August 1, 1889 Orange County comes into existence. The first birthday party, however, would have [...]

El Viaje de Portolá Named Honoree for Mission Preservation Foundation Benefit Gala and Broadway Star David Burnham is Featured Artist

Readers of this blog know that we are big fans of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. From its founding by Father Junipero Serra in 1776, to the tragedy of the Great Stone Church to the iconic annual return of the swallows, our beloved Mission is the heart of Orange County history and a fixture of [...]

San Juan Capistrano Hosts Forster Family Reunion

A family reunion is typically not news-worthy. When the family is one of the oldest and most influential families in Southern California, however, the rules change. Thus the Capistrano Dispatch reports on a recent weekend reunion of member of the Forster family, descendants of the smartly named John “Don Juan” Forster.

According to the article, [...]

Orange County’s Citrus War of 1936

The 1930s were a time of labor unrest across the country, and Southern California was no exception. Indeed, strikes and other disruptions affected California’s agriculture industry as workers demanded better working conditions and higher wages. There were over 125 recognized strikes affecting more than 178,000 agricultural workers in California. July 1936, however, marks the anniversary [...]

Happy Birthday, Dana Point!

On June 7, 1988, Dana Point votes to incorporate as a city. Originally, the community considered naming itself “Serra” in honor of Father Junipero Serra, but shifted that honor to pioneering sailor Richard Henry Dana Jr.

Capistrano Post Office Opens in 1867

On this date in 1867, the Capistrano Post Office is established. (The San Juan Capistrano Post Office, however, was not established until 1905.)

On This Day in Orange County History: El Toro Post Office is Founded

On May 29, 1888, the El Toro Post Office is established in modern day Lake Forest – although old timers like Don Juan still think of it as El Toro!