ANAHEIM AND ITS SURROUNDINGS – THEN AND NOW
(Southern Californian, June 27, 1874)
It is almost impossible for one to take in the extent of the settlement, of which Anaheim is the centre, by the ordinary hurried visits of the correspondent or – tourist. Not quite six years ago the traveler, after leaving the settlement of Los Nietos, then too in its infancy, passed over an immense uninhabited plain and through a dense undergrowth of mustard and malva, seeing no sign of civilization until he had arrived at the oasis, created by a German colony, devoted to the cultivation of the wine-grape and known as Anaheim. At that time the voting precinct included within its area five government townships of land with hardly fifty voters. Then, there was no settlement east of the Santa Ana river from the Yorbas at the mouth of the Cañon to the Refugio ranch near the sea. In only six year’s time, and during six years, unexampled in the memory of the oldest citizen as years of drought, a most marvelous revolution has been effected. In a sold block around Anaheim, twenty thousand acres of land have been sold in small tracts, ranging from twenty to one hundred and sixty acres each, and at least three-fourths of this acreage has been placed under annual cultivation. The voting population of the precinct has increased from the small number mentioned above, until it is tallied by hundreds, and that too after making much smaller the exterior limits of the precinct. On the east side of the river there have been started three settlements, those of Orange, Santa Ana and Tustin City, each of which is growing with unexampled rapidity. Probably, however, a better idea of the increase in population and wealth can be given by a reference to the exports of last year from Anaheim Landing. The year was extremely disastrous to the farmer: with but a scant fall of rain, [and] late Spring frosts united to render futile his labors. Notwithstanding this, the number of tons of grain shipped from Anaheim Landing was 50 per cent of the entire crop of this county, and that of San Bernardino. This year it will largely exceed the above figure, there being a much larger area seeded and the yield being fully up to the capacity of the land. We doubt much if there is afforded in the history of any other newly settled locality an instance of such steady and constant growth as has been afforded by this section, and we believe that this is due to its unrivalled natural advantages, more than to any other cause.