OCHS History Hike to Weir Canyon

Weir Canyon is visible in the lower-center right, indicated by the line of oaks leading to the right. The highest ridges of the Santa Ana Mountains are visible on the horizon, including Sierra Peak (3,045 ft.) on the ridge to the left. Pleasants Peak (4,007 ft.) is in the shadow of the clouds on the horizon in the center. Old Saddleback (highest point being Santiago Peak, 5,087 ft.) is in the clouds to the right. The whitish cliffs in the lower center-left were a source of material for ceremonial body paints and hair hygiene for a Kizh (Tongva) village that was located in the canyon. Recent research suggests that the village inhabitants entered into the mission system in the years 1808-1812, probably as result of the nearby Yorba and Peralta Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana being established about this time. The Orange County Historical Society held a history hike on April 23, 2022 that visited Weir Canyon. I was fortunate to lead the group on a tour of the canyon's rich history. Below

The Trabuco Adobe - The Oldest Adobe Outside of Capistrano in OC?

  The Trabuco Adobe was likely one of the earliest outposts of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Notice the oak along the creek to the left, and “Old Saddleback” faintly visible above the right side of the adobe. Notice, too, the far left portion of the adobe that was added later, with the original front triangular entrance still visible just to the right of the tree. The Trabuco Adobe The Oldest Adobe Outside of Capistrano in OC? Mission San Juan Capistrano is the most famous historical site in Orange County. For tourists, the mission is seemingly confined to the mission’s extant buildings in the city of San Juan Capistrano, which are also the oldest in the county. But during the mission era, the mission had dominion over territory throughout Orange County. County wanderers sometimes run across sites far from the mission that were once connected to it. One of the best known are the ruins of the Trabuco Adobe in O’Neill Park. The Trabuco Adobe was one of Mission San Juan Capistrano’s prim

The Otter Trade and the First U.S. Citizens in Orange County

The German artist Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff made this sketch of California seals along the coast sometime in between 1803-1807. Unlike seals, the otter were usually swimming along the coast on their backs. Otter skins were the first lure that brought people from the United States to California. This image of the California coast is one of the few contemporary to the earliest visits of U.S. Americans to today’s Orange County. (Honeyman Collection) The Otter Trade and the First U.S. Citizens in Orange County In the year 1776 the opposite coasts of what would become the continental United States represented two very different stories in European colonialism. On the east coast that year, the American Colonies formally declared their independence from the colonial rule of King George III of Great Britain. That same year, on the west coast, in what would later become Orange County, St. Junípero Serra led the Spanish colonial government in the establishment of Mission San Juan Capistran