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Celebrate! : Orange County's First 100 Years : Creating A County

May 22, 1988

Even before Orange County became an entity on Aug. 1, 1889 the area had a long history, dating to Don Gaspar de Portola's 1769 expedition from Baja California to Alta California. It was Portola's soldiers who named much of the local geography--from Trabuco Canyon to the Santa Ana River--and it was one of his soldiers, who returned and took title to more than 62,000 acres along the Santa Ana River. Those who followed shared a sense of independence that fueled a 20-year movement to establish the county.

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