The Orange County Historical Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1973 in response to requests by interested County residents. Orange County families, businesses, libraries, schools, churches, and other institutions have traditionally fostered interest in history since their beginnings.
Several cities have encouraged the identification, preservation, and adaptive reuses of their historic buildings, many of which date back to the turn of the century. With the formation of the Historical Commission, Orange County government became involved in the realm of local history.
The Commission is a citizen advisory group with fifteen members: three members are appointed from each of the five Supervisorial Districts. At monthly meetings, the Historical Commission reviews items related to historic places, archeological and paleontological sites, archives/historic records, publications, special events, etc. The Historical Commission’s role is to advise the Board of Supervisors’ and County agencies regarding these matters. Executive Officer and staff provide administrative assistance through the County’s OC Community Resources-OC Parks.
Duties & Objectives
Identify and promote the preservation and use of buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts of importance in Orange County.
Stimulate and encourage financial and partnership support for projects in the public and private sectors.
Coordinate countywide programs and act as a liaison among local organizations.
Advise and aid the public and private sectors in meeting museum needs.
Promote research, writing and publication of Orange County history and related subjects.
Develop and maintain a central file of Orange County historical resources for public use.
Encourage and facilitate cooperation among local historical societies and organizations.
Mutual effort with the Board and agencies of the County in the restoration and stewardship of the Old County Courthouse
Development of the Old Courthouse Museum Exhibits
Acquisition and planning of Orange County historical parks, including: Heritage Hill, Irvine Ranch Headquarters, Key Ranch, Modjeska House and Gardens, Peralta Adobe, and Yorba Cemetery.
Establishment and oversight of the Orange County Archives.
Publications: Visiting Orange County’s Past, a historic site guidebook; 100 Years of Yesterdays, Portrait from the Past
Establishment and administration the Orange County Historic Site Plaque Program.