Yorba Linda, California was incorporated in 1967, but has a little bit of history. It more or less got its start as part of a land grant by the King of Spain in 1769, then called Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Later on (much later), the Janss corporation took it over and subdivided it, naming the northeasternmost portion Yorba Linda. Shortly after this latter event happened, Richard Nixon was born in a house that still stands, roughly off of Yorba Linda Blvd. and Imperial Highway, amidst the Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace.

Up until the 1960s, the town was primarily farms - many oranges and other citrus, and avocados. In fact, there were two stops for the Pacific Electric Railroad in Yorba Linda, which allowed the old Yorba Linda Packing house and H&H Avocado to load their wares up onto the train conveniently.

When the PE was pulled out of town in the early 1960s, things kind of changed. The produce started to fade out of town, and it became a halfway decent place to live and do business.

Today, the farms are pretty much gone. Like the rest of Orange County, all that's left are a few clusters of not-very-well-cared-for citrus and avocado trees that produce a fruit with an incredibly thin skin, but taste moderately OK. (The oranges juice well, and the avocados make a halfway decent guacamole.)

The packing house still stands, but exists now as an office building, housing also a health spa, and also existing as the centerpoint to a large shopping center. This was once the Stern station on the PE, of which there is no trace these days - they razed the property to install this strip mall with its underground parking back in the late 1980s, but preserved and refurbished the packing house.

The Yorba Linda station now has a namesake stripmall where the Richard Nixon Park once stood and has been there since 1983; therein, at the northernmost point in the lot, is the old building (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) that was actually the Yorba Linda station, and aside from having a few bits of memorabilia inside of the PERW, is at last check a Polly's Pies restaurant. Oddly, the old avocado packing plant is still around, and I think it might even operate occasionally - it is situated amongst old Craftsman houses off of Lemon St., across from the post office and about 20 feet from the aforementioned Polly's. There is a small bit of the park (complete with a cast-iron open-air grill) still remaining - right in front of Mimi's Cafe. I don't think that bbq has really gotten any use since 1983.

Having grown up there, I think YL is unique because, while there is a bad part of town (north of the library on Plumosa), it's not really that bad; you can by all means go out at night, but your bicycle will probably get stolen if you leave it unlocked. But unlike other "rich" parts of the county (YL has far more than its fair share of homes that exceed $750,000 in value), it still has a kind of relaxed feel about it. Oh, sure, they have the homeowners associations (just go into East Lake Village, a well-advertised tract-home community that also houses a lot of rich types), but people in general aren't too concerned about whether you put a TV aerial on your roof to get better reception, and more or less are fairly relaxed about the homes. I think it partly owes to that YL still has a sort of "country" feel to it - there is horse property scattered about the city, mostly concentrated near the "center" of town (not so central though these days, as the city sprawls in a generally east direction from Main Street), and horse trails wind throughout the city - in fact, it's not all that uncommon to see equestrians just out for a ride.

The city's website can be found at http://www.ci.yorba-linda.ca.us/

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