There wasn’t a single commercial orange grove here in 1871 when the name was first proposed. Oranges were exotic curiosities to most Americans, who were lucky to get one a year in their Christmas stocking. The orange evoked thoughts of the climes of semitropical Spain—an image that successfully marketed Orange County to potential residents from “Back East.” It was just lucky that our climate and soil actually were perfect for citrus. Today’s faux-Tuscan architecture serves the same purpose the name Orange once did: drawing prospective newcomers’ attention to our sunny climate through association with a Mediterranean garden spot.
Chris Jepsen is the Answer Man. Have a question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.