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Other Interesting Tidbits
While researching Orange County History, I came across some very interesting facts that I will
put here. For instance, Did you know that... ?
- In the 1940's during the second World War, cars driving down Pacific Coast Highway were
not allowed to turn on their headlights at night. They were only permitted to have a slit
of light shine through. The theory was to make the American Coast hard to distinguish for the
Japanese, should they ever bomb us. However, this war precaution wasn't particularly safe,
to say the least, and it became to be known by the servicemen traveling to and from LA and San
Diego as "Blood Alley," because of the frequency of head-on collisions.
- Many of the streets in Orange County have been changed from their original names. Here is
a list of them from what old street maps tell me...
- Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley was called Wintersburg Ave.
prior to about 1965.
- Warner Ave. in Santa Ana was called Delhi Ave. during that time.
- Edinger Ave. in Huntington Beach and Westminster was called Smeltzer Ave., so named
because of the Smeltzer Celery Farm near present day Edinger and Beach. It changed its name
when it was connected with Edinger Ave. in Santa Ana in the mid-1960's.
- The full name of Highway 39 (Beach Blvd.) is Huntington Beach Blvd., and in the very
early days of Huntington Beach, the southern section of it was called Hampshire Ave.
- Euclid St. in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley was called Verano St. before
- Brookhurst St. south of Garden Grove Blvd. was called Wright St. before about 1955.
- McFadden Ave. in Huntington Beach and Westminster was called Sugar Ave. up until about 1965.
- Magnolia St. south of Garden Grove Blvd. was called Cannery St. until around 1963.
- Garden Grove Blvd. (Highway 22) was Ocean Blvd. before the 1940's.
- Beach Blvd. north of Garden Grove Blvd. was Stanton Ave. until Lincoln Ave., where
it became Grand Ave., and then in La Habra it became La Habra Ave. The names consolidated into Beach Blvd in the mid- to late-1960's.
- State College Ave. (formerly signed CA-250) was known as Placentia
Ave. south of the existing Placentia Ave. until about
the early 1960's. North of that, that State College was known as
- Harvard Ave. in Irvine was originally straight and called Como Rd.
- Jamboree Rd. in Corona del Mar and Irvine was named after the Boy Scout Jamboree that
took place there in the early 1950's. There is a memorial plaque at Fashion Island commemorating
- Sand Canyon Rd. in Irvine was called Central Ave., perhaps because that is where
Old Irvine was located.
- Goldenwest St. south of Yorktown in HB had always been 23rd St. until the late 1960's, and part of Goldenwest was called Westminster Ave. On the other hand, Westminster Ave. as we know it today was called West 17th St., after the street in
- Harbor Blvd. in Fullerton was known as Spadra Rd., and Euclid St. in Fullerton was called
- Some cities have changed their names since they were first incorporated. The three cities
that come to my mind are La Palma, Cypress, and Cerritos. Reflecting the industry that flourished in those
cities, La Palma incorporated as Dairyland, Cypress incorporated as Dairy City, and Cerritos incorporated as Dairy
Valley (even though Cerritios isn't in Orange Co., it reflects the dairy industry's power in that region). The cities changed their names to the present ones in around the early 70's.
* K. Pagel, 11/2004
** S. Budde, 2000?
Created by Kenneth Kao.