Diego Sepulveda Adobe - Costa
photo courtesy of Costa
Mesa Historical Society
history and development of Costa Mesa mirrors
that of the county.
first no more than a way station built by Spanish
missionaries for cattle herders, the city developed,
as others did from the ashes of a failed land-development
boom in the 1880's. Later it was to become an
agricultural center, known for both apples and
lima beans that in turn gave way to residential
and commercial development.
the city is a focal point in the county, with
the Orange County Performing Arts Center, South
Coast Repertory Theater and the South Coast Plaza
regional shopping mall and numerous nearby office
land under what is now Costa Mesa has been known
by several names over the years.
first two, Fairvew and Paularino, were communities
that came and pretty much vanished before the
turn of this century, according to "A Slice
of Orange," by Ed Miller.
Costa Mesa really began to form during the years
before and after World War I, when the area was
known as Harper, according to Miller.
springing up around what are now Newport and Harbor
boulevards, developed a solid commercial and agricultural
base that allowed it to continue until 1920, when,
through a contest among its residents, it was
renamed Costa Mesa (Spanish for coastal hill).
Mesa got a post-Depression shot in the arm with
World War II and the establishment of the Santa
Ana Air Base, a training center for Air Force
personnel bound for the war's Pacific theater,
1,283-acre base was located at the center of today's
Costa Mesa. That land later became part of Orange
Coast College, Costa Mesa High School, the Orange
County Fairgrounds, Southern California College,
City Hall and several housing tracts.
1953, when Costa Mesa incorporated, it had been
nicknamed "Goat Hill" for its rural
the 1960s, that began to change. The
Segerstrom family, area residents since 1898,
began developing shopping centers and office complexes.
family partnership built South Coast Plaza which
opened in 1967 on land that was once the world's
most productive lima-bean farm. Today, it is one
of the world's most famous shopping malls and
a tourist stop for many.
Town Center office complex followed in the 1970s,
including the county's tallest building, Center
Tower. And in 1986, the county's Performing Arts
Center opened on Segerstrom-donated land.
Sepulveda Adobe - Estancia Park, 1900 W. Adams
The Adobe was a stopover station for priests traveling
between Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission
San Gabriel between 1820 and 1823. Farm families
later built a farmhouse around it. It now has
been restored to the original adobe.
to the public on the first and third Saturdays
of each month, between 12 Noon and 4 pm.