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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.

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 [...]

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!

Happy Birthday to San Juan Capistrano!

Tomorrow is San Juan Capistrano’s birthday! On April 19, 1961, the City of San Juan Capistrano was incorporated. Although just half a century old as a city, San Juan Capistrano is one of the oldest continually populated communities in all of California.

Happy Birthday to Rancho Mission Viejo!

On this date (April 4) in 1845, the original land grant for Rancho Mission Viejo (then known as Rancho La Paz) is granted to Augustin Olvera by Mexican Governor Pío Pico. Later that year, the dapper-named Don Juan Forster acquired Rancho La Paz along with Mission San Juan Capistrano. Don Juan Forster would combine Rancho [...]

This Day in Orange County History: South County Municipal Birthdays

In anticipation of Orange County’s 125th anniversary, we are highlighting some milestone dates in Orange County’s history. Today’s date is significant to two South County cities, and tomorrow is significant for one more. On March 5, 1991 the City of Laguna Hills incorporated as a city, and on the same day, the City of Lake [...]

Happy Birthday, San Clemente

On February 27, 1928, the City of San Clemente was incorporated. Population: 650.