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Namesakes Of The Not-so-famous

July 28, 1988|Clipboard researched by Nancy Reed / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Most folks in Orange County know that Modjeska was named for famed actress Helene Modjeska or that Dana Point got its name from author Richard Henry Dana. But Orange County is also rich in its variety of places named for the less grand. Here's a selection of some of those spots and the people for whom they are named:

Atwood: W.J. Atwood, purchasing agent for the Chanslor-Canfield Midway Oil Co., which was once active in the area.

Baker Canyon (aka Hall Canyon): Charles Baker kept bees in the canyon around the turn of the century.

Barber City: Henry Barber, a Long Beach realtor who subdivided a plot of land on Westminster Boulevard.

Barton Mound: Sheriff James Barton was killed there by desperado Juan Flores and his gang.

Bastanchury: Basque sheepherder Domingo Bastanchury migrated to Southern California in 1860 and subsequently acquired 6,000 acres of land north of Fullerton.

Borremeo: Caroline Borremeo Polhemus was given the land on the north side of Palm Drive between Carolina Street and Valencia Drive, north of Placentia, by her father during the land boom of 1888.

Browning: Frank Browning leased 160 acres of nearby land from the Irvine Company.

Burruel Point: Desiderio Burruel lived there with his family.

Bushard: Farmer John Bushard worked the land surrounding this stop on the old Santa Ana-Huntington Beach line of Pacific Electric Railroad where it crossed Adams Avenue and Bushard Street in Huntington Beach.

Collins Island: W. S. Collins, creator of Balboa Island.

Cook's Corner: Earl Cook and his wife opened a store in the 1920s at the junction of Aliso Canyon and Live Oak Canyon roads. It's now a bar and grill.

Courreges Hill: Home of the Courreges family, a mile west of Bushard Street on Talbert Avenue.

Culver's Corner: A bend in the old state highway near the home of farmer Fred Culver.

Doheny State Beach: Oil man E.L. Doheny once owned what is now Capistrano Beach.

Esperanza: The daughter of Prudencio Yorba, who owned property near the site.

Flores Peak: Cliff from which bandit Juan Flores jumped to avoid capture by a band of vigilantes.

Fox Canyon: Homesteader Samuel Fox made his home on a ridge in this branch of Bell Canyon.

French Hill: C.E. French, first superintendent of the Irvine Ranch.

Gilman Peak: Early settler Richard Gilman.

Goff Island: The Goff brothers, who owned land south of Laguna Beach.

Hall Canyon: W.H. Hall kept bees there before the turn of the century.

Hansen: Charles and Peter Hansen raised wheat in the 1880s near the intersection of Ball Road and Knott Avenue (Knott Avenue was once called Hansen Street).

Harding Canyon: Homesteader Isaac Harding worked 160 acres of land in this canyon that enters Santiago Canyon near the Modjeska home.

Hargrave's Corner: R.M. Hargrave owned 20 acres of land on the southeast corner of La Veta Avenue and Main Street in Orange.

Hewes Park: Landowner David Hewes. This residential area at the northwest corner of La Veta Avenue and the Esplanade in Orange was a true park until 1928.

Hickey Canyon: Miner Jim Hickey operated an apiary there before the turn of the century.

Holy Jim Canyon: Teetotaler James Smith kept bees during the 1880s and 1890s in the lower part of this canyon that runs from Santiago Peak to Trabuco Creek.

Huntington Beach: Henry Huntington, owner of the Pacific Electric Railroad, bought controlling interest in the project that was to become the city.

Irvine: After moving to California in 1849, James Irvine acquired interest in three Mexican land grants covering about 100,000 acres.

Ladd Canyon: A group including H.C. Ladd kept 150 stands of bees there in the 1870s.

Lambert Reservoir: Ray Lambert once owned a nearby citrus grove.

Linda Isle: The granddaughter of James Irvine Jr.

Morrow Trail: Walter Morrow owned the mines in upper Santiago Canyon.

Moulton Ranch: Lewis F. Moulton owned the 26,000-acre ranch. Laguna Niguel and Leisure World now occupy part of the property.

Munger Creek: Sam Munger and his family settled along the creek in the 1880s.

O'Neill Park: Bears the name of the family that owned Rancho Trabuco and donated the land.

Ortega Highway: Jose Francisco Ortega, a sergeant with the Portola expedition of 1769 and the first European to enter San Juan Canyon, pathway of the highway.

Paularino Avenue: Derived from Eduardo Polloreno, who owned a large portion of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.

Peters Canyon: James Peters farmed the upper part of the canyon.

Pleasants Peak: Fourth highest peak in the county and named for Judge J.E. Pleasants, a 49er who for almost 70 years lived in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Scully's Hill and Point: Schoolteacher Thomas J. Scully lived in the area north of the Santa Ana River, near the San Bernardino County line.

Shrewsbury Spring: Sam Shrewsbury, an early resident of Silverado Canyon.

Smeltzer: D.E. Smeltzer, who introduced growing celery into the county.

Springs of Father Gomez (now Tomato Springs): Padre Francisco Gomez, who found them.

Stanton: Philip A. Stanton, a developer and politician.

Stearn: Jacob Stearn, Fullerton businessman and landowner.

Stewart: W.L. Stewart, vice president and general manager of Union Oil Co.

Talbert: The Talbert family of Long Beach.

Tustin: Columbus Tustin bought 680 acres of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana and laid out the city.

Verdugo Canyon: The Verdugo family lived there.

Williams Canyon: Settler Marshall Williams.

Yaeger Mesa: Miner Jacob Yaeger operated the Yaeger mines and lived nearby.

Yorba: Place name associated with Don Bernardo Yorba, who lived near the present Yorba Linda.

Source: "Historic Place Names in Orange County" by Don Meadows

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