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  • Wednesday, April 02, 2008


    Orange celebrates 120 year Anniversary

    Orange celebrates 120 year Anniversary

    The City of Orange will celebrate the 120 year anniversary of its incorporation this weekend. On Saturday April 5th Orange will re-visit its historic beginnings as a passage on the Spanish road that connected California’s 21 colonial missions known as El Camino Real (The King’s Highway) with a ceremony dedicating California’s newest El Camino Real historic bell marker at the Orange Public Library.

    The City of Orange dates back to 1869 when lawyers Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell accepted 1,385 acres of land from the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana as legal fees. Chapman and Glassell laid out a one square mile town with ten-acre farm lots surrounding a forty-acre central town site. The center of the town site became known as the Plaza, the symbol of the community. Today, 120 years later the Plaza and the majority of the original one square mile town is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and is where many homes and buildings dating to the early days of the city still stand. Orange was officially incorporated as a city on April 6th, 1888 making this Sunday April 6th the official 120 anniversary.

    The El Camino Real historic bell marker being dedicated to commemorate the 120th anniversary will be unveiled on the History Walk outside the Orange Public Library & History Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5. A History Walk plaque at the library featuring original artwork by local watercolorist Judy Schroeder explains and commemorates the role of the El Camino Real bell. The historic bell is being donated by the George Key Chapter of the Questers. The Questers are collectors of antiques, collectibles, and history who dedicate time learning about their treasures from books, libraries, and friends. The organization is made up of over 900 chapters in 43 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The group helps to preserve and restore antiquities, buildings, and historic sites and the National Questers also help students gain a Master of Arts Degree in Historic Art Conservation by awarding a Fellowship at Winterthur/University of Delaware and a Master of Science Degree in Historic Preservation and Restoration with two Scholarships at Columbia University.

    Also at the dedication ceremony the library’s History Center (2nd floor) will feature a new display of a mission-era hand bell found in Orange decades ago and recently donated by former resident Bob Pargee. As a child, Mr. Pargee discovered the hand bell tangled in the roots of a tree in his family’s backyard on East Walnut Avenue in Orange.

    Two El Camino Real historic bell markers may be found west of the city’s central library, along Main Street and Chapman Avenue. A third is located south of the library, on Palmyra Avenue. Those three join the new bell at the library to commemorate the road’s passage through the land that became Orange a century later.
    For more information on the El Camino Real Bells CLICK ON: EL CAMINO REAL
    For more information on the Questers CLICK ON: Questers

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