Talega Post Office

(February 12, 1895 – March 14, 1896)

“Orange County has another new post office, the papers having passed through the mails yesterday from Washington establishing an office at San Juan Hot Springs, its name to be Talega, with Marietta [sic] Morris as postmistress. An application was made for the office to be given the same name as the settlement of San Juan Hot Springs, but on account of a general rule of the government in giving no new office more than one single name, the application was rejected and instructions were sent back to select a new name. ‘Talega’ was then chosen. The name is of Spanish origin and there is, at the present time, a small mountain stream or creek running near by the site of the new office. The route is already established so that parties desiring mail to go to San Juan Hot Springs should direct it to Talega, Orange County, Cal.” (L.A. Times, 4-29-1895) But it would seem there was not enough business to justify a post office here (especially over the winter) and the Talega Post Office closed after barely a year in operation.


Murietta Morris, 1894-1896

“Dr.” Murietta Morris and her husband, George W. Harris, had a homestead above San Juan Hot Springs which they turned into a resort they called Arbovale. “The ranch is situated about two miles above the San Juan Hot Springs. Title to it was gained through homesteading. Mrs. Morris and her husband lived on the ranch for twenty years. It is a beauty spot that is well known to many fishermen of this county, the stream above the ranch being a favorite trout stream. For years Mrs. Morris has rented cottages and furnished meals at the ranch, which she converted into a small mountain resort.” (Santa Ana Register, 7-10-1916) The Talega Post Office was probably her attempt to provide amenities the hot springs resort did not offer. Morris was still running the resort in 1923 and lived on into the 1930s when she was past 90. 

(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)

Murietta Morris’ official appointment as postmaster of Talega, 1895.

Murietta Morris’ official appointment as postmaster of Talega, 1895.