Every building has a story—a beginning, middle, and sometimes an end. The heart of that story is the neighborhood, the people, and that emotional foundation that supports the structure. A restaurant witnesses a marriage proposal. A parlor is home to a birth. A coffeehouse sparks an idea, leading a person down a new path. It’s more than a history of buildings. It’s a history of community.
Each season 1888 will document the past, present, and future of buildings around Old Towne, Orange. We’ll dig deep into archives, find inspiring images and facts, and we’ll interview community members to creatively color each story with memories.
Orange is a city of storytellers. And following the posting of each installment, the community will be invited to contribute their stories to the online archive.
Small Towne Short Stories
VILLA PARK ORCHARDS PACKINGHOUSE
Alyssa Duranty will write our autumn story. Alyssa graduated as an English major with an emphasis in journalism from Chapman University after serving as an editor at The Panther Newspaper. An Orange County Press Club scholarship winner and member, she quickly excelled at The Orange County Register where she commonly writes breaking news and articles on public safety. Her writing has also been featured in The Los Angeles Register and The Press-Enterprise. She has also been a guest on KFWB radio. Her knowledge of Orange County, its perks and quirks, is always growing and evolving to uncover new stories and culture.
The current Villa Park Orchards Packinghouse was originally owned and operated by the Santiago Orange Growers Association (SOGA). In 1918, the SOGA was the largest packing- house operating in Orange. By 1929, the SOGA had increased to 360 grower-members. During that same year, SOGA packed over 820,000 boxes of fruit (2,051 carloads), which brought in $2.8 million on the auction market. In the mid 1930’s the orange industry experienced periods of expansion and retrenchment before the SOGA finally went out of business in 1967.
The Villa Park Orchards Association (VPOA) was established in Villa Park in 1912 when 48 local fruit growers organized to harvest, pack, and market their fruit. In 1967 when the former SOGA packinghouse became available, VPOA moved into the facility. This Orange location handled their overflow fruit from their main location in Villa Park. In 1978, packing operations at the original site in Villa Park ceased and VPOA transferred all of their equipment to their new Orange location.
To launch this new program, 1888 and Orange Home Grown are presenting a live podcast discussion at the community based Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market with historian Phil Brigandi, Megan Penn, Executive Director of Orange Home Grown, Barbara Resnick of the Orange Community Historical Society, and moderated by journalist Alyssa Duranty. This program will be recorded and published on the weekly podcast,The How The Why.
Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market
304 North Cypress Street, Orange, CA 92866
Saturday, August 29