Wednesday, February 24, 2021

How Santa Ana's Lyon Street got its name

It seems like Lyon St., being near the Santa Ana Zoo, might have something to do with lions.

Instead, it appears to be named for local pioneer George B. Lyon (1806-1890), who owned most of the land through which the street now runs. His land was east of Santa Ana in an area which was, in the early 1880s, often considered part of Tustin. 

Lyon arrived to make his home "in the Tustin district" around 1871 or 1872, according to pioneer C.E. Utt who spoke about Tustin's history at a 1931 Orange County Historical Society meeting. A mention of Lyon building a two-story home in Tustin appears in the newspapers in 1882. 

Like many landowners, he took it on the chin when the big railroad boom of the 1880s went bust. All his carefully subdivided land went back to farm acreage which is how it remained for many decades.

Today, an impressive monument marks Lyon’s grave at Fairhaven Memorial Park.

By the way, another zoo-adjacent street, Elk Lane, has nothing to do with animals either. It's a reference to the fact that the Santa Ana Elk's Lodge was located there.

No comments: