Remember the human remains that were found by a construction crew last week as they worked on the O.C. Streetcar project at 2008 W. 5th St.?
Turns out the bones belonged to an indigenous person, though unknown if male or female, and would be turned over to a Native American organization, according to the O.C. Register.
The two major groups of American Indians in Orange County were thought to originate from the Shoshonean family. They came to be known as the Gabrieleños and the Juaneños because of their proximity to the San Gabriel and San Juan Capistrano Missions, according to Legends of America.
In 1810, year of the commencement of the war of Mexican Independence (1810–1821), Jose Antonio Yorba, a sergeant of the Spanish army, was granted land that he called Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Yorba’s rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Irvine, Yorba Linda, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and unincorporated El Modena, and Santa Ana Heights, are today. This rancho was the only land grant in Orange County granted under Spanish Rule, according to Wikipedia.
The land that became Santa Ana was covered with tall yellow mustard when William H. Spurgeon from Kentucky rode through on horseback October 10, 1869. So high was the wild growth that he climbed a sycamore tree to view the land. He liked what he saw and paid Jacob Ross, Sr., $595 for 74.2 acres. Here he built his city, according to Santa Ana History.
The city grew to become a farming community that fed the area. Many of the original settlers used the area for crops while a small portion raised cattle. As more people came to the area in the early 1860s, it was determined that there would need to be a plan for the city’s layout. The community was officially laid out in 1869, and the plans for the city’s development went into effect. Following implementation of the plan, the city was renamed Santa Ana, according to U-S-History.com.
Today you would be far pressed to find much information about the Native Americans who lived in Santa Ana years ago. If you visit the Bowers Museum you will find that their Native American collection is the largest department in the museum and is comprised of more than 24,000 objects. The collection is strongest in the cultures of the west and southwest but does represent native cultures from across the US.