The Orange County Archives is in the midst of processing a collection of materials by early local surveyor H. Clay Kellogg. The map above is one of many wonderful surprises that have come to light during this process. This map is from 1897 and shows the Willows Drainage District, which encompassed parts of what is now southeast Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, and southeast Westminster. (Click map to enlarge.) The district was formed to drain the rich, marshy land and make it available for farming.
For purposes of clarity, I've added modern street names and place names to the digital image in red and I've colored the ocean blue and Mile Square Park green. Note how one of the Santa Ana River's old alternate courses - just below the bluffs of Huntington Beach - has water flowing in it. Also notice that only a few buildings are shown, and only in Talbert (at Talbert Ave. and Bushard St.) and near the corner of Bolsa Ave. and Brookhurst St.
The photo below is contemporary to the map, and shows the digging of one of the District's ditches, near the modern intersection of Altanta Ave. and Magnolia St. The ditch remains today - much improved - near the Ida Jean Haxton Post Office on Atlanta.
Many thanks to author Chris Epting for his very kind words about me on tonight's episode of Real Orange on KOCE-TV. I also appreciated the plug for the Orange County Archives (my day job). As if that weren't enough, Chris also posted about my blog on his own blog. Thanks, man!