Spanish explorers came upon a picturesque valley with a flowing river which they named Santa Ana. In 1769 a Spanish land grant encompassing much of what is now Orange County was issued to José Antonio Yorba, a youthful expedition soldier, and his nephew Juan Peralta and the area was developed as Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana for cattle grazing and productive farmland.
In 1869, William H. Spurgeon purchased 70 acres from the Yorba family and plotted a town site. The new town was given the name Santa Ana. In 1886, Santa Ana was incorporated as a city. The building of the Santa Ana Depot and the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad Los Angeles/Santa Ana branch line in 1877, along with Santa Ana being designated Orange County’s government seat galvanized Santa Ana’s future as Orange County’s civic, cultural, and economic core.
Downtown Santa Ana Today
Downtown Santa Ana today, although continually evolving, continues to be Orange County’s urban core. Historic architecture can be found amongst modern development. The area boasts offices of City, County, State and Federal government including the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Artists Village, East End and Historic Fourth Street draw families young and old for arts, entertainment, dining, and shopping. Events such as First Saturday Art Walk, Patchwork, OC Pride, Noche de Alteras, Fiestas Patrias, and many others draw a diverse, multi-cultural mix of Santa Ana locals and visitors from all over Orange County and beyond.