O.C. Answer Man: Is the City of Santa Ana named for General Santa Anna of Alamo fame?

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Sorry, no, but the real story is just as interesting. O.C.’s Santa Ana moniker began when our local mountains were “discovered” by the Portolá Expedition on the Feast Day of St. Anne in 1769. The friars in the party named them the Santa Ana Mountains. The friars then named the Santa Ana River after the mountains from which it seemed to flow. Later, the name was applied to Santa Ana Canyon and Santa Ana Valley. In California’s Mexican era, three local ranchos also incorporated the name: Cañón de Santa Ana, San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, and Santiago de Santa Ana. William Spurgeon attached it to the place we now know as the City of Santa Ana. Aren’t you glad Portolá didn’t come across those mountains on the Feast Day of St. Chrysogonus?

Chris Jepsen is the Answer Man. Have a question? Send it to cjepsen@socal.rr.com.

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