THE DAWN OF THEIRVINE RANCH
The Irvine Ranch History Irvine, California
The Irvine Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the rich
heritage of the Irvine Ranch, once one of the largest private
ranches in the United States
Diversifying From Sheep
Irvine - a Land and a Family
A Fascinating Transformation
of Irvine — Preservation
of Its Rich Heritage
Discover Irvine's rich history started when James Irvine I
and two partners bought Mexican and Spanish land
grants in 1864.
History nurtures personal and collective identity in a diverse world. History teaches vital critical thinking skills. History is the foundation for strong, vibrant communities.
We are dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of the Irvine Ranch, once one of the largest private ranches in the United States.
The information is from the files of the Irvine Historical Society, Judy Liebeck Gauntt, and Ellen Bell. Judy's research produced the book Irvine, A history of Innovation and Growth, Pioneer Publications Inc 1990, Library of Congress Catalog Card number 90-62011. Ellen Bell wrote the "Images of America IRVINE" published by Arcadia Publishing Company.
All through its history, people have shaped the transformation of Irvine. Whether it was the Native Americans, the flamboyant dons of the rancho era, or the determined members of a first-generation Irish American family, the fingerprints of former residents are everywhere. The street names tell the story — Portola, Culver, Michelson, Jeffrey, and Jamboree. Everywhere you look in the modern city of Irvine, there are markers from its past.
Irvine has always reaped the benefits of sound planning. James H. Irvine saw great potential in the land. In his 55 years as owner of the Irvine Ranch, the 100,000 acres landholding went from undeveloped grazing pastures to one of the premier agricultural producers in the world. It did not happen by accident. Irvine meticulously managed his ranch.
The ranch that James Irvine purchased in 1876 has remained intact and in private ownership. Rich in history, The Irvine Ranch land is considered a precious and nonrenewable resource, an asset not to be sold or squandered for short-term gain, but to be held onto and used in carefully planned to benefit those who choose to live and work here.