Why Did Orange County Split from Los Angeles County?

On June 4, 1889, residents of the southernmost tip of Los Angeles County went to the polls and voted to form their own county. It was the culmination of two decades of struggles, setbacks and political maneuvers everywhere. Orange County, although a separate county south of Los Angeles, is considered part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Officially, the Los Angeles MSA includes Los Angeles and Orange Counties (the official designation is Los-Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim) with a population of 13.3 million people.

But what is there between these two counties? To answer this question, we must analyze the differences between them. Orange County is richer, whiter and has far fewer violent crimes than Los Angeles. The first counties in the state were Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquín, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Juba. The first two failed but the last one succeeded and in 1893 Riverside County was divided from San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The proposed name Orange County was prophetic as Valencia's orange groves would later cover vast swaths of Orange County.

Its failure paved the way for a nearly 20-year struggle — profusely narrated here by Phil Brigandi former Orange County Archivist — to create a new county. Originally from the utopian agricultural colony of Anaheim and headed by the city's mayor Max Strobel the proposal would have created a county that would include the current Whittier Norwalk and Downey as well as the communities of today's Orange County. Orange County residents attend live theater which includes theatrical dinners more than Angelenos and more symphonic plays operas and concerts. Poor Republican Assemblyman Dennis Brown must satisfy voters in a district that crosses both counties. Every county looks the same as it does in part because huge Spanish land concessions gave Orange County something L.

A. didn't have: land. During the 1960s wealthy Orange County businessmen wouldn't give money to Republican political consultant Stu Spencer until he got him out of Los Angeles first. On the other hand Angelenos seem more unhappy; 42% of Los Angeles residents weren't satisfied with Southern California in general compared to 30% in Orange County. As the two countries evolve rapidly sometimes following parallel paths sometimes at oblique angles sometimes in accordance with their own clichés and sometimes in violation of them they embody two designs for living (and dreaming).

But to be fair Frio adds Orange County's reputation for white bread is “one of the things I don't like. The secession of Orange County inspired new attempts to draw new county lines on the map of Southern California. The planned community is probably Orange County's main cultural contribution despite regulations that govern decisions such as the color with which the house can be painted.