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Celebrate! : Orange County's First 100 Years : The Growth Years : Alta Vista To Wintersburg: The Towns That Didn't Survive

May 22, 1988|Jim Sleeper

Orange County has witnessed an astonishing number of land promotions, many of which led to the development of the cities we know today, but several towns vanished as quickly as they appeared--or never made it past the idea stage. The boom of the 1880s was a particularly fertile period for unscrupulous developers who zealously promoted new towns but couldn't live up to their promises. Among the ventures that didn't survive:

Alta Vista (1905)--Inaccessible mountain community just south of Santa Ana Canyon at Riverside County line.

Anaheim Landing (1864)--Area's first seaport and beach resort just south of Seal Beach, now occupied by a Navy ammunition dump.

Arch Beach (1887)--Short-lived tourist hotel and tract south of Laguna.

Barber City (1924)--Clapboard residential development just west of Westminster.

Berrydale (1905)--Lost strawberry capital, immediately west of 17th Street bridge across Santa Ana River at the western edge of Santa Ana.

Bolsa (1870)--Farm village at Bolsa Avenue and Brookhurst Street, now part of Westminster.

Borremeo (1895)--Development catering to Easterners, just north of Placentia.

Carbondale (1881)--Coal mining town above Silverado Community Church in Silverado Canyon.

Carleton (1888)--Short-lived boom town northwest of Yorba Linda.

Clair (1895)--Proposed town site at Magnolia Street and Cerritos Avenue, now part of Stanton.

Coast Royal (1906)--Ill-fated millionaire's resort near Aliso Canyon, below Arch Beach.

Crestline (1887)--Town site in Bolsa peat lands.

Earlham (1886)--Quaker name for now-defunct settlement of El Modena at foot of Irvine Park grade in Orange.

Fairhaven (1874)--Episcopal colony near Hewes Avenue, south of El Modena, now commemorated by a cemetery.

Fairview Colony (1868)--School district and brewery at Katella Avenue and West Street, west of Anaheim.

Fairview (1887)--Briefly a hot springs resort and farm community, now site of Orange Coast College.

Fruitland (1887)--Town site southwest of Santa Ana at Greenville Street and Warner Avenue.

Liberty Park (1933)--Residential tract and Western museum north of Huntington Beach.

Lindbergh (1927)--Proposed post office and tract that became Cypress.

Loara (1899)--Unexplained name for Southern Pacific depot town in west Anaheim.

McPherson (1872)--Raisin-producing settlement between Orange and El Modena.

Melrose Mesa (1914)--Religious colony on bluff now occupied by Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, north of Pacific Coast Highway.

Miraflores (1890)--Stunted development and railroad siding southeast of Anaheim.

Modjeska (1889)--Paper town just north of El Toro, marked by a Santa Fe Railroad sign.

Modjeska Mineral Springs (1909)--Upper Williams Canyon mountain spa that went dry.

Newhope (1879)--School and two-store village centered at Newhope Street and Edinger Avenue, southwest of Santa Ana.

Ocean View (1874)--Inland school settlement midway between Westminster and Huntington Beach.

Olinda (1887)--Early ranch name and oil-boom town, now part of Carbon Canyon Regional Park.

Orana (1913)--Coined name for scruffy business district between Orange and Santa Ana, where North Main Street meets Chapman Avenue.

Orangethorpe (1872)--Unrealized community between Anaheim and Fullerton.

Port Orange (1907)--Defunct harbor promotion on site of McFadden's Landing, Upper Newport Bay.

Randolph (1902)--Town site that became Brea.

Richfield (1888)--Rail and oil town south of Placentia that became Atwood.

Rockledge By-the-Sea (1886)--Discarded tract plan for Arch Beach.

St. James (1887)--Vaguely located town site just south of former community of Olive.

San Juan By-the-Sea (1887)--Summer resort perched on cliffs above Capistrano Beach.

Santa Ana Gardens (1923)--Well-irrigated residential tract northwest of Greenville on banks of Santa Ana River.

Santa Catalina On-the-Main (1888)--Undeveloped subdivision between Arch Beach and Aliso Canyon.

Santiago City (1875)--Unbuilt mining town and mill site in Harding Canyon, now occupied by a dry reservoir.

Savanna (1869)--Proposed town site on northwest side of Coyote Creek, now part of Buena Park.

Smeltzer (1894)--Rail siding in peat lands where Southern Pacific Railroad tracks cross Edinger Street, now the southeast corner of Golden West College in Huntington Beach.

Wallula (1870)--Drawing-board town on west bluff of Upper Newport Bay, now Castaways Point.

Wintersburg (1897)--Farm settlement and former rail siding at Golden West Street and Warner Avenue in Huntington Beach.

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