Surrounded by freeways, condos and strip malls, it’s easy to forget that Orange County was once part of the Wild West, complete with bandits and horse thieves, tough lawmen, Indians, cathouses, rough-and-tumble saloons, false-front stores, blacksmiths, shoot-outs, cattle round-ups, prospectors, and nearly any other “Old West” cliché you’d care to conjure up. Los Alamitos was such a stereotypically tough and rugged Western town that movie directors would later use it as a location set for their “oaters.” (The movie still above is not actually from Los Alamitos, but you get the idea.)
|Rustic downtown Los Alamitos, 1910. Note the sugar factory in the background.|
Brigandi, a longtime local historian, has written more than 20 books, thousands of articles, and a website: So Cal Historyland. His resume of historical bona fides is too long to list here, but I'll point out that I was lucky enough to work with him and learn from him for five years while he was Orange County's Archivist. His new book, Orange County Chronicles should be available later this autumn.
This will be the first time Brigandi has spoken about the story of Deputy Constable Orosco. An article about his research on this subject appeared in the May 28, 2013 issue of the Orange County Register. The OCHS program is free to the public.