TUSTIN — “THE GEM OF THE VALLEY”
The old saying that “the choicest articles are put up in small packages,” may not inaptly be applied to Tustin. While the village proper is small, and the surrounding country directly tributary to it is not of large area, the location is one early selected in the development of Southern California as being especially desirable. In confirmation of the wisdom of its founders, the settlement has for years had a more than local celebrity for its luxuriant tree growth, the variety and quality of its productions, and the extent of its shaded avenues; as well as for the excellence of its society, and the many beautiful homes of its residents.
Favored with a soil unsurpassed in the State, and being, even in this unusually dry year, amply supplied with water for irrigation, horticulture and intensive farming have naturally become the leading pursuits. While almost everything that mother earth can produce is grown in some measure, from apples to bananas, and from oranges to corn and barley; still for commercial purposes the orange, walnut, apricot, olive, lemon and peach may be named as the principal orchard products, and barley, corn, alfalfa, potatoes and peanuts as farming crops.
The orange is seen in every stage, from the tender seed bud shoot, a few inches high, to the twenty years old seedling tree, which has borne well nigh a ton of fruit in a single season. In favorable years the apricot approaches the orange in profit, and the acreage planted has been increasing.
The English or Persian walnut thrives in the climate of these coast valleys far better than in the interior, and is a favorite with orchardists, being easily cared for and paying well when grown in the deep loam soils which best suit it.
The town has the usual facilities afforded by a bank, a number of stores and other places of business; has three church organizations and edifices; the public school is not excelled in the county, either in its standing or in the accommodation enjoyed by the more than two hundred pupils. The Tustin Hotel reopened in October for the winter season, and furnishes an agreeable sojourning place for tourists and homeseekers. With railroad stations of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe systems within our limits. we are readily accessible to and from all outside points. A horse-car line connects with Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange county, three miles distant, and excellent roads, for either driving or cycling, lead in all directions.
The pleasure-seeker can reach the sea-beach within a few miles, or the shaded picnic grounds and running stream of a mountain canon as readily in another direction. In winter, looking across fields green with growing barley, and orange groves laden with ripening fruit, over the hills covered with clover and wild oats, and still on across the hidden valley beyond, the eye finally rests on lines of snow clad mountains, forty miles away, the dazzling whiteness of their summits presenting a sharp contrast in the soft sunlight to the verdure of the foreground. In summer, the days are rarely hot or oppressive, and the nights are delightfully cool.
E. D. Buss
(Land of Sunshine, November 1894)