Let’s Celebrate Joseph E. Pleasants’ Birthday Together!

Judge Pleasants — from UC Irvine, Orange County Regional History Collection (date unknown)

 Rescheduled for JULY 27th See below! Those who signed up for original  March 30th will be contacted for first opportunity to register for the July 27th date.

Who, you may ask?

Judge J. E. Pleasants – farmer, rancher, homesteader, beekeeper, and the original property owner of what is now known as Arden. Moreover, Pleasants was one of the founders of the Orange County Historical Society.

In honor of his 185th birthday, please join us as we celebrate him with a presentation about his life, provided by OCHS president Chris Jepsen, tours of the property, including his original pioneer cottage, Arden—as envisioned and built by Madame Modjeska and her husband, Count Bozenta—birthday cake, and a group photograph of our attending membership, recreating the well-known 1921 OCHS photo seen below.

Orange County Historical Society at Arden, May 1921
“At the historic home of Helena Modjeska in what is now called Modjeska Canyon.
  • Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. (gates open at 9:45 a.m., program begins at 10:30 a.m.) – 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: Arden, Modjeska Canyon
  • Cost: FREE Complimentary shuttle bus between parking lot and Arden for OCHS members. There will be a $15 charge for non-member riders on the shuttle.

You MUST be registered to attend and must check-in at the parking lot on the day of the event.

Confirmation emails will include all pertinent information (location of parking lot, etc.) and will be mailed after reservations (and payment) have been received.

For more information, please contact: activities@orangecountyhistory.org

Everyone who plans on attending should register individually via the link below.

To register:  Click Here For Pleasants Registeration

Richard Henry Dana

Richard Henry Dana, Jr in 1842

“The Life and Times of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.” will be the subject of local historian Bob Minty’s presentation at the February 8, 2024 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society (OCHS), 7:30p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., Orange.


Locals know Richard Henry Dana as the namesake of Dana Point and the author of Two Years Before the Mast — a treatise on the harsh life of sailors, which happened to also describe his 1835 visit to what’s now Dana Point. But Dana was far more a merchant seaman and memoirist. He was a lawyer, a politician, a student of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a friend of Herman Melville, a prominent abolitionist, and a champion of the downtrodden. As U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts during the Civil War, he even went before the U.S. Supreme Court, defending President Lincoln’s blockade of Confederate ports.

The Brig Pilgrim, photo from 1989

Bob Minty has been the program chair of the Dana Point City Historical Society for several years, is a Life Member of OCHS, and has been portraying Richard Henry Dana, Jr. as a reenactor for the Pilgram Program at the Ocean Institute since the 1980s. He is the go-to person for anything relating to Richard Henry Dana and has given presentations to members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and numerous professional organizations. Some OCHS members will also recall Bob’s memorable presentation before the Society in 2017 regarding the whaling industry that once existed off the coast of Orange County.