September 8th General Meeting- Silent Auction and the Origins of the Ortega Highway!

Historian Steve Lech will tell the story of the Ortega Highway at the Orange County Historical Society’s season kick-off event, Thursday, September 8th, at Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar. Social hour, light refreshments, and silent auction begin at 6:00 p.m. Members and guests please do not bring any food items to share. Program begins at 7:30 p.m.

The creation of the Ortega Highway, linking Orange and Riverside Counties, was a hard-fought effort by residents on both sides of the Santa Ana Mountains. Many wanted it, but getting it was another story. Riverside County historian Steve Lech will discuss the thirty-year struggle that led to the eventual opening of this scenic road – a turning point in transportation history for both counties.

County and city officials following part of the planned route of the Ortega Highway in 1930

Steve Lech is a native Riversider who has been interested in the local history of Riverside County for more than forty years. He has written or co-written thirteen books on various topics related to Riverside County history, including Along the Old Roads – A History of the Portion of Southern California That Became Riverside County, 1772-1893, considered to be the definitive history of Riverside County.  He co-authors the weekly “Back in the Day” column for the Press-Enterprise newspaper in which he explores many aspects of local history throughout western Riverside County.  He has been a docent at the historic Mission Inn hotel for over 30 years, is currently the Director of Docent Training for the Mission Inn Foundation, and is the past chair of the Riverside County Historical Commission and the City of Riverside’s Cultural Heritage Board.

To our knowledge, no one had ever researched this story in depth prior Steve’s extensive work while putting together this program for us. We hope you’ll join us for what should be a fun and enlightening evening.

Parking is free at the Sherman and there are two available parking lots: Lot A located at Dahlia Ave at Pacific Coast Highway & Lot B located at Dahlia Ave at 3rd Avenue. Handicapped parking is located in Lot A.

For more information about the lovely Sherman Library & Gardens please click here.