The historic town of Olinda (now part of Brea) and some of its forgotten pioneers will be the subject of at the Orange County Historical Society’s Oct. 14th, 2021 meeting, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., Orange. Guest speaker and Olinda native, Chris Farren, was raised on the Santa Fe oil lease. He is a fourth generation Olinda oil worker, and is a docent at Olinda Oil Museum.
The Olinda Ranch (a.k.a. the Olinda Tract) was laid out in 1887, north of Yorba Linda and east of Brea. In 1897, oil was found in Carbon Canyon on the north side of the tract, and the boom Town of Olinda was born. In 1899, the town added its own school district and railroad spur. Like most boom towns, most of Olinda faded away, but a handful of buildings have been preserved at the Olinda Oil Museum and Park.
Farren will discuss the not just Olinda’s best-known residents and stories, but also tales of other locals who contributed to the birth and growth, and those whose work influenced the county and oil industry on a grander scale.
Farren’s family have been oil workers “since the 1860’s when the industry began back in Oil City, Pennsylvania.” They came to Olinda in the 1900s, like many Pennsylvania families in search of opportunity and a better life.
“Like all my family before me,” writes Farren, “I was educated on the oil field operation, while going to school at Olinda Elementary School: the ‘Little Green Schoolhouse’. My 40-year engineering career started in the oil industry, working for pioneer companies like Shaffer, Chiksan, Hughes, Baker and Hydril until the 1980s and the decline of the industry in California. I changed to the Aerospace industry to complete my career… After retiring, I came home to Olinda as a docent at the Olinda Oil Museum.”
Join OCHS and Chris Farren for a look back at one of Orange County’s lost boom towns.
Our program will be held this Thursday, October 14th, at 7:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., Orange. As always, members and the general public are cordially invited to attend. (Doors open at 7:00 pm.)
COVID Precautions: Masks are requested for those as yet unvaccinated. All others are invited to wear masks if you prefer.