Connecting the Past and Present in Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda is a city of 68,000 people located on the northeastern boundary of Orange County. It is an affluent suburban community known for family-friendly neighborhoods and peaceful, quiet living. Compared to other parts of Southern California, the pace of life is a little more relaxed here. In fact, looking out over present day Yorba Linda, it is easy to imagine the region as it once was – farmland lined with citrus and avocado trees as far as the eye could see.

That is not to say local residents miss out on all the excitement Southern California has to offer. Yorba Linda lies along the Riverside Freeway (SR 91). From there, motorists have easy access south to the beach on SR 55, west to downtown L.A. on I-5, or north to the mountains on SR 57. A century ago, the logistical difficulty of traveling these routes kept Yorba Linda sparsely populated farm country. Now, thanks to the network of highways and interstates crisscrossing the region, the city has become one of the most desirable places to live in the entire United States.

At Neale & Fhima, access to reliable transportation is an issue we deal with every day on behalf of our clients. Our Yorba Linda personal injury lawyers help those who are seriously injured in accidents caused by neglectful actions of others. We enjoy helping the people of Yorba Linda with these cases. We also enjoy discussing the fascinating history of this community. Here are some of our favorite historical facts and anecdotes about Yorba Linda:

  • Yorba Linda is Orange County’s 25th city. It was a “late bloomer” compared to other cities in the county. Prior to 1912 (when the Pacific Electric Railroad began servicing the area), fewer than 50 people lived here year-round. Population growth continued on a modest trajectory for a half century until it exploded in the 1960s. By 1970, three years after the city was incorporated, the population was 11,850. By 1980, it had doubled. By 1990, it had nearly doubled again.
  • The Yorba Cemetery is located on Parkwood Court on the south side of town. Early residents began using this plot of land as a burial ground as long as 200 years ago. According to the Legend of the Pink Lady, the old cemetery is haunted by the ghost of Alvina Yorba de Los Reyes. The young woman is believed to have died in 1910 when she was thrown from a buggy on her way home from a dance at Valencia High School. Still donning her pink gown, Alvina is rumored to appear at the cemetery at midnight on June 15th of each even-numbered year. Crowds gather at the cemetery on these occasions in hopes of observing the ghost.
  • Luxury homes are nothing new in Yorba Linda. In 1835, Bernardo Yorba (after whom the city is named) began construction on the finest hacienda of the era. The giant adobe home was a sprawling, horseshoe-shaped complex with at least 50 rooms. With the nearest city of Los Angeles an arduous 35-mile journey away, the hacienda served as a focal point for commercial and social activity. The structure fell into decay following Bernardo’s death in 1858 and was later demolished. Local architecture – including the new signage at Yorba Linda’s largest shopping center – still pays homage to the original Spanish haciendas once found here.

Did you know that there are currently 213 miles of streets and 49 traffic signals within the city limits of Yorba Linda? A lot has changed in our community over the years. But, regardless of what the future brings, car owners can always count on Neale & Fhima to protect their rights in a personal injury case when the need arises.

Yorba Linda’s Roots Run Deep

The small suburb of Yorba Linda offers a different living experience than you will find in the crowded neighborhoods of nearby Los Angeles. It offers a family-centered environment that dates back many years. For example, all early landowners in the community took their property subject to a deed restriction prohibiting the sale of alcohol. Later, as the surrounding cities in Orange County boomed, Yorba Linda remained a quiet agricultural community of citrus farmers. All this history is reflected in the quality of life enjoyed by the thousands of families who now call Yorba Linda home.

Neale & Fhima is honored to serve Yorba Linda. It truly is “the land of gracious living,” as the city motto proclaims. Unfortunately, in our line of work, we have witnessed how tragic accidents can tear at the roots of a grieving family or even an entire community. If someone you love was hurt or killed in an accident, please know you can turn to us for help.

We hope you enjoy reading more about the history of Yorba Linda, one of the finest cities we know.

José Yorba and Family

Don José Antonio Yorba I was a Spanish soldier born in 1743. As a young man, he volunteered to take part in an expedition to establish strongholds along the present-day California coast. He retired from the army in 1797 and later received a 62,500-acre land grant from the King. This land, known as Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, now sits within the borders of Orange County.

José Yorba and his wife, Maria Josefa Grijalva, had 14 children. Their third child, Bernardo Antonio Yorba, was born in 1801. Don Bernardo would end up building the most famous hacienda in all of Alta California on what is now the northeast corner of Esperanza Road and Echo Hill Lane in Yorba Linda.

Bernardo Yorba was married three times and had 20 children. His first wife, Maria de Jesus Alvarado, had four children prior to her death. His second wife, Felipa Dominguez, had 12 children. His third wife, Andrea Elizalde, had four. Don Bernardo left behind an enormous family when he passed away in 1858. He lived to see many changes to this part of the country, including California’s admittance as the 31st state in 1850.

Boyhood Home of America’s 37th President

On January 9, 1913, Frank Nixon and his wife Hanna Milhouse Nixon gave birth to their second child, Richard. About that same time, Richard’s father built the Nixon family home in Yorba Linda using a building kit from a mail order catalogue. Richard’s parents belonged to the Quaker faith, and they did not permit drinking, dancing, or cursing in the home. When the family’s lemon grove failed in 1922, the family left Yorba Linda and moved about 30 miles northwest to Whittier. President Nixon would later acknowledge that his upbringing was anything but easy. It did, however, instill in him a fortitude that would carry him to the highest office in the land.

Yorba Linda Continues to Grow

In 1907, real estate in this community sold for $150 an acre. Today, homes here sell for more than double that amount per square foot. Yorba Linda is growing just like it always has, and for the same reason – it is a wonderful place for families.