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When California became Mexican territory in 1821 this area, then known as Rancho Niguel, was formed into one of the many rancheros in the area. Local San Juan Capistrano resident, Juan Avila first obtained this land through a Mexican land grant in 1842, who then re-established his title to the land after California's statehood. Juan Avila retained ownership of the land until 1865.

It was 1890 when wealthy land owner Lewis Moulton purchased 8,000 acres called Niguel Ranch. Part of that ranch was turned into Laguna Niguel.

Originally built as a master planned community this fairly new city became incorporated in 1989 as Orange County's 29th city.



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