Costa Mesa, CA Apple Industry

Apple orchards are the last thing anyone thinks of when you say “Costa Mesa”.  They usually think of the nearby Newport Harbor, with yachts and sunny beaches, or maybe Disneyland in nearby Anaheim.  But in the 1920’s there were 400 acres of apple trees producing the finest quality crops, and even a packing house to process all the apples.  You can read more from the Orange County Historical Society at http://www.orangecountyhistory.org/newsletters/09-02Courier.pdf

In the book “Early Orange County” the story of one of the first apple planters, Donald J. Dodge states that he moved there from St. Louis to escape the hay fever he suffered in the summer, and had never farmed a day in his life.  His neighbors chuckled at this greenhorn who was attempting to grow a crop that was unheard of in the area.  He had the last laugh.

Skyrocketing land values and drought pushed farming out of the area, erasing any trace of the former apple industry.  I’m glad there’s photos and documentation, or nobody would ever believe it existed, or could exist again in other warm areas.  The below orchard was in the Newport Mesa area.

newport-mesa-06_apple-orchards-pg61

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