Tustin History Articles

Most of these articles are from columns written by Tustin Historian Juanita Lovrett and come from older issues of the Tustin News (reprinted with permission courtesy of Southern California News Group/The Orange County Register). 

In many cases, these articles on Tustin history were written 10-20 years ago, so some of the date/business references may no longer be accurate. In some cases, our editors have commented on updates. The photos are from the collection of the Tustin Area Historical Society. Please contact the Society if you would like to reuse them.

Farnworth Jewelry Store on Main St., Tustin
Business

Old Town Tustin Ripe with Commercial History

For many years only essential businesses, several general stores, two blacksmith shops, a hardware store, a feed store, pool hall and at least one bar
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Cowan Heights, North Tustin, CA
Tustin History

How did Cowan Heights get its name?

Cowan Heights has lost little of its rural charm with development. A favorite neighborhood in unincorporated North Tustin, it is now the site of many
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Beach goers at Laguna Beach
People

Tustin Residents Flocked to Beaches in 1800s

During the hot summers in Tustin, residents spent July and August at the beach - Newport and Laguna Beach
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Children surrounding their snowman in 1949
Tustin History

Tustin seems to get snow every century

Recent pounding rain followed by a thick blanket of snow on Santiago Peak with temperatures that make you shiver. People wonder if it ever snowed
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Collage of UFO images taken by Rex Heflin in Tustin, CA
City Info

UFOs like the quality of life in Tustin

Tustin history has its own record of a UFO experience when on August 3, 1965, Rex Heflin saw disk-shaped craft near Tustin's Lighter-than-Air Base hangars.
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Tustin Unified High School on El Camino Real, c1940s. Was demolished and rebuilt in 1960s due to new earthquake standards.
Schools

First Tustin High School opened in 1922

Columbus Tustin established a grammar school in the 1870s, but 50 years passed before the city had their first Tustin High School.
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David Hewes Home, Tustin, c1895
People

David Hewes’ golden spike helped dedicate railroad connection

David Hewes is known for his work in reclaiming and restoring San Francisco in the 1850s and 1860s and then supporting the Transcontinental Railroad. But
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Rancho Santiago Partition Map (c1869), (Courtesy Paragon Agency)
City Info

Columbus Tustin, founder of Tustin

In 1868, Columbus Tustin and Nelson O. Stafford together purchased the land that was to become the future cities of Tustin and part of Santa
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View showing the citrus crops grown in the lush hills of Lemon Heights, c1925.
Agriculture

Tustin’s Agricultural Roots

The early residents of Tustin were sure that anything they planted would "yield golden returns."
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Aerial view drawing of Tustin's Red Hill mine
People

Early Red Hill was home to mercury mines and rattlesnakes

Red Hill has a long and colorful history, beginning with the Indians who called it Katuktu, signifying hill of prominence or place of refuge.
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Tustin's Red Hill (c1930s)
City Info

Tustin’s Red Hill

Red Hill is more than a street in Tustin. The street is named after a certain hill in the north part of town with a
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Emily Arvilla Utt, wife to Lysander Utt, c1902
Business

Tustin early pioneers included career women

Many Tustin wives and mothers were working outside their homes to augment the family income long before the term “Career Woman” was coined in the
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Evelyn Furtsch Ojeda , Olympic Gold Medalist
Collections

Tustin Sports Leaders

Be it Football, Baseball, Basketball, Aquatics, Track, and more, Tustin sports leaders grew from local to regional, national, and international prominence.
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View of the Early Pioneers Display
Collections

Tustin’s Early Pioneers

Tustin's early pioneers and their families played key roles in the development and growth of the new city of Tustin.
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View showing the citrus crops grown in the lush hills of Lemon Heights, c1925.
Agriculture

Early landowners valued North Tustin’s potential

Fine view of the valleys and plains, constituting the central and south portions of the county could be seen from the North Tustin heights (Samuel
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Men in front of Tustin Southern Pacific Railroad train station, built in 1889 along the west side of Newport, between Main and D Streets.
Business

The battle for the Southern Pacific

Tustin and Santa Ana have fought over many things, but one of the biggest battles was the fight for the Southern Pacific Railroad back in
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Owners Nick Gulick and William Huntley in front of their Tustin Garage, at D and Sixth Streets, c1920s
Tustin History

Tustin boasted a dozen filling stations on old 101

Tustin met the demand with almost a dozen "filling stations" and garages with gasoline pumps on the less-than-two-mile strip of Hwy 101 passing through the
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Chief John Stanton and Police Commissioner Charles Logan, c1930s
City Info

Tustin’s first City Council focused on safety

Hiring John Stanton as the first and only policeman to serve in the just-incorporated City of Tustin was the first action taken by the newly-elected
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