The History of Santa Anna

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano

    After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portola out of Mexico City, then capitol of New Spain,Friar Junipero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana. On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano was established within this valley. This Santa Ana Valley comprised most of what is now called Orange County.
  • Mexican Independance

    Jose Antonio Yorba, a sergeant of the Spanish army, was granted land that he called Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Yorba´s rancho included the lands of many cities.This rancho was the only land grant in Orange County granted under Spanish Rule.
  • Santa Anna as a city

    Claimed in 1869 by Kentuckian William H. Spurgeon on land obtained from the descendents of Jose Antonio Yorba, Santa Anna was incorporated as a city in 1886 and in 1889 became the seat of the Orange County.
  • Pacific Electric Railway

    The Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles was extended to Santa Anna, running along Fourth Street downtown. The red cars made travel to Los Angeles easier and helped continue Santa Anna's population boom. The route was abandoned by the 1950´s and the tracks were removed along with the rest of the Pacific Electric system. The closing was because the opening of the Santa Ana Freeway.
  • During World War 2...

    During World War 2, the Santa Anna Army Air Base was built as a training center for the United States Army Air Forces. The base was responsible for continued population growth in Santa Anna and the rest of the Orange County as many veterans moved to the area to raise families after the end of the war.
  • The Downtown Area

    Since the 1980´s, Santa Ana has been characterized by an effort to revitalize the downtown area. The Santa Ana Artist´s Village was created around Cal State Fullerton´s Grand Central Art Center to attract artists and young professionals to live-work lofts and new businesses.
  • The Election of the Mayor

    Having been a Charter City since November 11, 1952, the citizens of Santa Ana amended the Charter November 1988 to provide for the direct election of the Mayor who until that point had been an appointee of the Council.