Welcome to the Orange County Historical Society
The Orange County Historical Society (OCHS) is a non-profit group which collects, preserves and shares the history of Orange County, California for the benefit of its members and the general public. To navigate the OCHS Website, use the menus and links in the top and left panels, or click Site Map. Check back often to find the latest Society news.

It's Membership Renewal Time!

It’s membership renewal time. If you haven’t renewed your membership, you’ll miss out on receiving your free copy of the newest Orange Countiana – published this fall, as well was our newsletter and other membership benefits. Not to mention, we’ll miss your support of all the work we do to preserve and celebrate Orange County history. Please click “Become a Member” to pay online or print out a mail-in form.


October 2016 Meeting Program: 

Costa Mesa, Coming of Age: 1940-2003

Speaker: Art Goddard

7:30 pm on Thursday, October 13th - Trinity Episcopal Church


Author Art Goddard will discuss Costa Mesa’s most dynamic period – from 1940 into the 2000s – at the Oct. 13th, 2016 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. This event is open to the public at no charge.

Once known for its row crops and Santa Ana Army Air Base, Costa Mesa has, in a relatively short period of time, become home to the O.C. Fairgrounds, South Coast Plaza, Orange Coast College, the O.C. Performing Arts Center, Vanguard University, the Pacific Symphony, South Coast Repertory Theater, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, about 112,000 residents, and much, much more.

Perhaps no one could have foreseen the amazing transformation of Costa Mesa from an unincorporated village along Newport Boulevard to today's bustling "City of the Arts". Together with other Orange County cities, Costa Mesa experienced explosive growth, redevelopment, county bankruptcy, and traffic.

While navigating these challenges, Costa Mesa emerged with its own brand of Southern California cityhood. Located at the confluence of three freeways and nearby John Wayne-Orange County Airport, Costa Mesa faces the future at the center of the South Coast Metro complex.

Our speaker is Art Goddard, who with his wife Mary Ellen Goddard co-authored the Costa Mesa Historical Society's latest book, Costa Mesa: 1940-2003. Art is a retired aerospace executive known for entertaining and informative presentations on Costa Mesa history and for leading the Costa Mesa Historical Society's foray into digital preservation and cataloging.

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization formed in 1966 to operate the restored Diego Sepulveda Adobe as a museum. Today, the Society operates two museums, a research library and archive. The Society actively reaches out to the public via monthly programs and annual events such as Early California Days.



We’re proud to announce that the society has a new office/archive/research center on the grounds of the historic Heritage Museum of OC in Santa Ana.  The photo above shows the full two-story building.  (We’re currently only in the first floor space.)

The office will serve as our new headquarters and safely store all our various Orange County books, historical papers, images, and artifacts. Once we establish a trained volunteer staff for the office, the facility will enable members and historians to view and research our collection.

General and board meetings will continue to be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church on Canal Street in Orange.

If you need more information or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact us at info@orangecountyhistory.org.


Past Meetings & Events

List of Past Meetings and Events
from 1919 to 2015


Followup on
Recent OCHS Activities

Calico Trip photos and videos

Blue Light Mine History Hike photos


Orange Countiana I - XI


Jim Sleeper's
Orange County Almanac of Historical Oddities

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