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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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A Busy San Juan Chamber Welcomes New Board, Announces Awards and Solicits New Members

We are big fans of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, and we think they do a great job promoting San Juan Capistrano and its unique local economy. Today we are giving a couple public shout-outs to the Chamber for its good work.

First, congratulations to the newly installed Board of Directors of the [...]

Mark your Calendars for San Juan Capistrano Historical Fiesta Day on May 17

Mark your calendars for San Juan Capistrano Historical Fiesta Day on May 17, presented by the Historical Society. From the announcement:

The San Juan Capistrano Historical Fiesta Day, presented by the Historical Society, returns this year on Saturday, May 17! Kids games and activities, Native American crafts, toy making, live interactive shows … all in [...]

Jan Siegel’s Biography of Father Junípero Serra

One of our favorite local columnists is the Capistrano Dispatch’s Jan Siegel and her Moments in Time column. This month, she has given us a detailed and well-written biography of Father Junípero Serra.

Father Junipero Serra (image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Fr. Junípero Serra, who [...]

San Juan Celebrates Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary

A welcome night of celebration saw San Juan Capistrano gather at the El Adobe restaurant to celebrate the Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary. The Capistrano Dispatch has the recap and some photos here.

Historical Society Presents the Ghosts and Legends of San Juan Capistrano

If you are looking for a fun and educational Halloween-themed activity the weekend before Halloween, make your reservations to participate in one of San Juan Capistrano Historical Society’s “Ghosts and Legends” tours. Make your reservations soon because spots go quickly for this popular event.


Save the Date for “An Evening of Conversation with Judge Richard Egan and Madame Helena Modjeska”

In what sounds like a unique and fascinating performance, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society is staging a dramatic conversation with local historical figures Judge Richard Egan and Madame Helena Modjeska. Egan will be portrayed by local resident Judge Warren Siegel and the actress Modjeska will be played by local actress Jessica Morrow. The interview [...]

San Juan Capistrano Historical Society Celebrates 50 Years of Preservation

The Capistrano Dispatch has a great article celebrating the 50th anniversary of the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society. From the article:

The Historical Society celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. What started as a subcommittee of the Chamber of Commerce has grown to become a collection of some of the city’s most definitive and enthusiastic [...]

Los Rios Historic Center Moves Closer to Completion

The OC Register has a nice article about the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society and its project to restore three early adobes that (combined with the O’Neill Museum) will become the Los Rios Historic Center.

The buildings are the 1918 Arley Leck bungalow, the 1890s Oyharzabal House and the 1794 Jose Maria Silvas Adobe. They [...]

Ghosts of Orange County: 3. Los Rios Street

To celebrate Halloween, Rancho Ortega Blog is counting down the ten most haunted locations in Orange County. If you missed any of our earlier installments, you can find them at the links below:

10. Katie Wheeler Library and the “Lady in Blue.”

9. John Wayne and the Wild Goose Yacht

8. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry [...]

Ghosts of Orange County: 10. Katie Wheeler Library and the “Lady in Blue”

In anticipation of Halloween, Rancho Ortega Blog will be counting down the ten most haunted locations in Orange County.

Ghost hunting in suburban Orange County is more difficult than searching for spooks in a historic city. After all, ghosts tend to accumulate over decades (if not centuries) of tragedy and sorrow – attaching themselves to [...]