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History of Santa Ana, California

The Santa Ana area was explored in 1769 by a Spanish expedition led by Gaspár de Portolá. The first people who came to the area named the newly founded settlement Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in honor of Saint Anne. It quickly became apparent that the ground was fertile for crops and cattle grazing. The city grew to become a farming community that fed the area. Many of the original settlers used the area for crops while a small portion raised cattle. As more people came to the area in the early 1860s, it was determined that there would need to be a plan for the city's layout. The community was officially laid out in 1869, and the plans for the city's development went into effect. Following implementation of the plan, the city was renamed Santa Ana. With major growth in new arrivals to the area, local industries continued to grow as well. Santa Ana was chosen to be the seat of Orange County. Santa Ana quickly became a center for commercial, financial, and manufacturing businesses that today produce numerous electronic parts, sporting goods, and aerospace equipment. The city has become a major hub for much of the economic activity in southern California. The city is home to numerous attractions. A sampler of places to visit might include the Artists Village, California State University - Fullerton, Grand Central Art Center, the Santa Ana Zoo, as well as a complex of artist residences, classrooms, and studios. Santa Ana also is home to some of the finest artwork in the country. Examples of galleries include the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, the Discovery Museum of Orange County, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.