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CultureCorner: Step Back in Time at Irvine Historical Museum


Take an enjoyable step back in time…with a visit to the Irvine Historical Museum, located next to the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course.

From the moment you enter the Historical Museum, you’ll find yourself surrounded by photos and mementos from the early days of the Irvine Ranch. A docent will be there to guide you on your trip back into the history of Irvine.

The Irvine Historical Museum, originally built as a house in 1869, is the oldest structure on the Irvine Ranch. Although James Irvine lived in San Francisco, he needed a place to stay when he visited his real estate holdings in Southern California. At that time, the Irvine Ranch consisted of 110,000 acres, and its principal inhabitants were 40,000 Merino sheep! From 1876 to 1878, the house was the headquarters of a sheep ranch, as well as a guest house. Flash forward another 100 years to 1980 — that’s when the house became headquarters for the Irvine Historical Society Museum.

The museum includes exhibits of agriculture and farm equipment, wonderful photos of orchards and row crops, displays of Native American artifacts, and Ranch memorabilia, including many home kitchen items from the early Ranch days.

The museum is open 1:00pm – 4:00pm on Tuesdays and Sundays but call (949) 786-4112 to reserve time with a volunteer docent.

Trust me: A trip to the Irvine Historical Museum makes for a great family outing!  To learn more about the Irvine Historical Society, go to: www.irvineranchhistory.com.

Marilyn Vassos



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