Monday, June 08, 2015

Cow Punching in Old Orange County

Roundup at the Forster Ranch, San Juan Capistrano, 1900
I just wrote a short article on the history of cattle in Orange County for the June 2015 County Connection (county employee) newsletter. (Link.) You'll notice I give somewhat short shrift to the Rancho Era, but that story will be covered in the next installment of the series. Meanwhile, here's something to think about:

Mission San Juan Capistrano ran about 14,000 head of cattle during peak years and Mission San Gabriel had around 16,000. The ranchos covered the hills and plains of O.C. with cattle. And in the decades prior to World War II, Orange County was home to about 30,000 head.

Today, lawyers outnumber cattle by more than thirty to one in Orange County. (Insert your own joke involving "a lotta bull" here.) We have more freeway call boxes -- even in this age of mobile phones -- than cattle. And despite efforts to stamp out both carbon emissions and fun, Orange County has more beach fire rings than bovines.

In fact, there are more dogs at “Corgi Day” at Huntington Beach’s Dog Beach than there are cattle remaining in the hills of O.C.

Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little doggies.


David McIntosh said...

I like your article on diminishing herds of cattle. I spent 20 years of my life on the ranch in Fountain Valley, (formerly known as
Santa Ana). We supplied slaughter cattle to the Alpha Beta Food Markets in Ocean View Ca. David McIntosh.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are still also cows in the hills between Brea and Diamond Bar along the 57 freeway.