(credit: Bahia Hotel)

(credit: Bahia Hotel)


When you look around Orange County, a lot of it looks pretty new. In fact, if you’re new to the area, you might think that it’s all beige condos. Furthermore, you might wonder if a place that looks this new could have any real history behind it. In fact, plenty of history can be found in Orange County. Here are some historical facts about Orange County that you might not find in a textbook.
The Writer Of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” Is Buried In Anaheim

It’s a rare feat for a songwriter to write a song that spans generations, class and race. Jack Norworth wrote the lyrics to “Take Me out to the Ballgame” — a song that is familiar to anyone who has ever been to a Major League Baseball game. Strangely, he wrote the lyrics some three decades before he ever attended a game. He didn’t grow up in Orange County, but he died in Laguna Beach and is buried in Melrose Abbey Memorial Park, not far from Angels Stadium.

Orange County Holds 34 Incorporated Cities

34 incorporated cities are located in the county with the newest being Aliso Viejo, which was incorporated in 2001. Anaheim became the first city incorporated in this famous citrus grove county in 1870, when the region was still part of neighboring Los Angeles County. And, while most big population centers in the US tend to be known by a major city as its hub, Orange County does not have that. Instead, it’s mostly suburban communities except for some more urban areas like Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, Santa Ana and Fullerton.

The Golden Bear In Huntington Beach Hosted Musicians Like Janis Joplin And Neil Young

Live music venues are becoming more scarce in Orange County. It’s reached the point where only a handful of live music venues remain. However, that has not always been the case. In fact, The Golden Bear was a hotbed and a destination for bands from the 60s to the 80s until the place closed in 1986. Janis Joplin and Neil Young performed there, as did the Ramones and Muddy Waters. 

Related:  Best Bars With History In Orange County

Some Of The World’s Top Theme Parks Are Located In Orange County

From the famed Disneyland to Knott’s Berry Farm, some of the world’s top attractions and theme parks had their beginnings. Disneyland’s beginnings which occured on July 17, 1955 were thanks to the known infamous Walt Disney. Knott’s Berry Farm, which also holds it’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm on the parks grounds during the Halloween season, is located in Buena Park and is a 160-acre (65 ha) amusement park that opened almost 100 years ago in 1920.

The World Of Music Owes A Debt To An Orange County Native

If you’ve ever been to any concert, the chances are pretty good that you have seen the name Fender on a guitar. Well, those guitars were designed by Leo Fender, who was born in Anaheim and died in Fullerton. The Telecaster model was created in 1950, and it was the first solid-body guitar that was mass produced. It was also the preferred model of blues guitarist Albert Collins, who was known as “the Master of the Telecaster.” Even though Leo Fender sold the company in 1965, his name lives on. If you want to pay your respects, he is buried in Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana. 

Related: Best Historical Sites In Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.