Before the invention of the printing press, much of history was an oral tradition. Books were sacred and rare, so the average person learned their history through storytelling. Orange County is rich with history. Rather than read about it in a book, why not learn about it the old fashioned way? Take a historical walking tour and receive an oral history lesson related to Orange County.
Haunted Orange County
Take the Old Towne Orange Haunted History Ghost Walk, and you’ll get a 90 minute tour. Along with a general history lesson about the area, there will be plenty of tales of hauntings. Appropriately, the tour starts at spooky Royer Mansion, which used to be a mortuary. The tour advertises that it will show you “the darker side of the historic Old Towne district.” Tourists are advised to show up on Royer front lawn (the meeting place) ten minutes before the tour starts.
Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630
On a little over four acres of land are four historic buildings, fully restored and furnished, dating as far back as 1863 and as recent as 1908. This is Heritage Hills Park, and the buildings are the Serrano Adobe, El Toro Grammar School, St. George’s Episcopal Mission and Harvey Bennett Ranch House. For the continued preservation of the buildings, visitors may only enter them while part of a guided tour. Using the buildings as a historical timeline, the “artifacts, events and people associated with each building” become part of the tour guide’s narrative.
OC Ghosts And Legends
San Juan Capistrano has what OC Ghosts and Legends refers to as “the oldest occupied neighborhood in California.” The neighborhood is on Los Rios Street, and reports of hauntings abound. Some of the things the tour claims have been reported in the neighborhood are “people hearing objects moving, knocks on the door and disembodied voices inside the 1790s Montanez Adobe.” The smell of tobacco, even when none is to be found in the area, supposedly comes from a ghost called Tobacco Tom. This tour is considered a Level 1 tour that can accommodate kids who are 12 and under.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Among other walking tours at Mission San Juan Capistrano is the Mission Art Walk. A docent leads this guided tour of the mission’s collection of art. The paintings are referred to as being Spanish Colonial and Plein Air. The tour explains the mission’s conservation of these very old paintings. The tour is 45 minutes long and free with paid admission to the mission.
Related: Best Outdoor Art In Orange County
Mother Nature Walking Tours
631 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92869
At Mother Nature Walking Tours, you can choose from two different walking tours that offer a lot of historical details about Laguna Beach. Spend 90 minutes learning about the Tongva people on the Native American Indian/Natural History Tour. About 4,000 years ago, the Tongva migrated to Southern California. They’ve been here ever since, though their numbers have greatly dwindled. On another tour, the Points of Interest Historic Tour, you’ll learn about a slew of peoples (‘prehistoric Oak Grove People, the Tongva, Spanish colonials, Mexican Dons, pioneers, ‘Right-Brainers,’ hippies and entrepreneurs’). Yo’ll also be shown historic areas and buildings.
Leilani Allmon writes for fun and enjoys sharing her thoughts on the internet. She resides in Murrieta, CA. More of her writings can be found on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/everyday-people-in-anaheim/leilani-allmon