A Brief History of Orange, CA
The small town was incorporated on April 6, 1888 under the general laws of the State of California. Orange was the only city in Orange County to be planned and built around a Plaza and it earned it the nickname the Plaza City. Orange was the first developed town site to be served by the California Southern Railroad when the nation's second transcontinental rail line reached Orange County.
Old Towne Orange Historic District, a one square-mile around the original plaza contains many of the original structures built in the period after the City's incorporation. It remains a vibrant commercial district, containing Orange County's oldest operating bank and the oldest operating soda fountain. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and is the largest National Register District in California. The Old Town Preservation Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the district. Orange is unique among the region and the state in that it has the second largest concentration of historic buildings. A list of all of the buildings and sites in Orange appear in the National Register of Historic Places.