On September 9, 2011, the anniversary of California’s Admission Day, The History Press releases its first book in California’s Orange County: A Brief History of Orange, California: The Plaza City by Phil Brigandi.
Orange, California, is a city that started small but grew big on the promise, sweat and toil of agriculture. Born from the breakup of the old Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, its early days were filled with horse races, gambling and fiestas. Citrus was the backbone of the economy for more than half a century, though postwar development eventually replaced the orange groves. Historian and Orange native Phil Brigandi traces the roots of the city back to its small-town origins: the steam whistle of the Peanut Roaster, the citrus packers tissue-wrapping oranges for transport, Miss Orange leading the May Festival parade and the students of Orange Union High painting the O and celebrating Dutch-Irish Days. In doing so, he captures what makes Orange distinct.