Sunday, August 02, 2009

Yorba Linda / Santa Ana Canyon field trip, Part 3

This is the final installment in a series about my trek to see the remains of the Anaheim Union Water Co. canals and related historic sites in Yorba Linda. (See parts one and two.) Part of the canal is probably under this ditch along the side of the railroad tracks. Note the old RR signal foundation that's fallen into the ditch. Also notice how the insulation melted off the telephone lines during the wildfire last year.
Doug McIntosh kindly supplied the 1908 map below, which shows various waterways in Santa Ana Canyon. I wish I had a good way to overlay this map over a modern Thomas Guide.
In the photo below, Steve Faessel inspects and old bridge we stumbled across in the brush. It's hard to say anymore exactly what it once bridged.
This area isn't far from the site of the old Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (RSABG), which is shown in the two vintage photos below. In fact, our "base camp" for this field trip was in front of the ranch house of Susanna Bixby-Bryant who founded the gardens in 1927. She was the daughter of John Bixby, who purchased the ranch property from Bernardo Yorba's widow in the 1870s.
The RSABG spanned 200 acres and specialized in native flora. Its Assembly Hall featured a large mission-style tower. Around the time of Bixby-Bryant's death, in the early 1950s, the Gardens were moved to Claremont. The ranch itself stayed in the family until 1978. Eventually, much of it was turned into tract housing.
I believe you can see some of our hiking route in the lowlands shown on the right side of the photo above.
Once again, thanks to Don, Steve, Carl, Ron, and everyone else who made this a fascinating trek.


CoxPilot said...

Looking at google maps (terrain view) seems to show that Horseshoe bend looks just like the bend between N Weir Canyon Rd bridge and Featherly Park. You could use layers in photoshop to try to line it up. Maybe that's not the area. ???? Great posts. said...

I emailed Chris some photoshop overlay of the googlemaps... he might be able to put them online on his blog soon. said...

I am fairly familiar with that area of the rivers curves and turns because I ride the bike trail through there several times a week. ;-) Now I will be looking more for specific things on that map!