What was at the fairgrounds before the OC Fair arrived?

The Orange County Fair has been kicking around in one form or another since 1890. But it didn’t have a permanent home until the closure of the Santa Ana Army Air Base, a World War II ground training facility for pilots. When the war ended, the 1,337-acre base was briefly used to process returning veterans. But soon the land was vacant. The Fair was held there for the first time in 1949 and never left, and you can still find a couple air base buildings on site. Orange Coast College, Vanguard University, TeWinkle Park, the Costa Mesa Civic Center, and numerous housing tracts also are built on the former base.

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

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