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Had the water tasted better and a railroad materialized, Yorba Linda would have followed a different path.

In 1888, a group of promoters attempted to found the town of Carlton on 400 acres in what is now northern Yorba Linda. They advertised nationwide, hoping to lure entrepreneurs seeking land near a railroad and a water supply for agriculture. Not one knows exactly how many people gambled on the new township, but one thing is sure: It didn't last long. When the water turned brackish and the railroad lines were not built. People fled. Some reports had the town deserted by 1896. Some people lost all they had.

So instead of a center of agriculture and industry called Carlton, the area that became Yorba Linda grew as a peaceful area for families - families such as the first landholders, the Yorbas, and those moving to the city today.

The land on which the city sprung originally belonged to Bernardo Yorba who was granted the land by the Mexican government in the 1830s. Yorba was a farmer who worked the land and raised his 20 children in the area.

The land eventually passed on to other family members, and Porfirio Yorba sold it in 1907. After changing hands another three times, the Yorba land turned over to the Janss Investment Co. of Los Angeles, which completed plans for development in 1909. The original town was smaller than today; much of the eastern portion of Yorba Linda has been annexed through the years.

The Janss Co. developed Yorba Linda as a family community. Indeed, every property deed contained a condition prohibiting owners from selling alcoholic beverages on the property. If they did, the land would revert to the Janss Co. That rule remained until a 1933 US constitutional amendment repealed Prohibition.

Yorba Linda has had a development boom since residents voted to incorporate as Orange County's 25th city in 1967.

One of the early families was the Nixons. Frank and Hannah Nixon and their son, Harold, settled in a Yorba Linda Boulevard home in 1912. On Jan. 9, 1913, their second son, Richard, was born. The Yorba Linda Boulevard home is marked by a sign in tribute to Richard M. Nixon, the 37th US president.

The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace opened its doors on July 19, 1990 with celebration, fanfare and more than 50,000 friends and well wishers including Presidents Nixon, Bush, Reagan and Ford and their First Ladies for this event.

Historical Sites:

Susanna Bixby Bryant Ranch House and Museum
- 5700 Susanna Bryant Drive

One of the last remaining examples of early California Ranch houses dating back to the 1800s. This building now serves as the site for the Yorba Linda Heritage Museum where visitors can glimpse some of Yorba Linda's unique heritage.
Open Sunday: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Yorba Cemetery
- 6749 Parkwood Ct.

The Yorbas were pioneers in Orange County when California was first settled by the Spanish. Many of the family members and other county pioneers are buried in the cemetery.

- NE corner of Esperanza Rd and Echo Hill Ln, Yorba Linda

Here Don Bernardo Yorba created the greatest rancho of California's Golden Age, combining the Santa Ana Grant awarded to his father by the King of Spain in 1810 and lands granted to him by Governor José Figueroa in 1834. He was the third son of José Antonio Yorba, who came with Don Gaspar de Portolá in 1769 to establish California's first family.

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