Orange County Historical Society to kick off season with The Origins of the Ortega Highway on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Historian Steve Lech will tell the story of the Ortega Highway at the Orange County Historical Society’s season kick-off event, September 8th, at Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona Del Mar. Social hour, light refreshments, and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. Program at 7:30 p.m.

The creation of the Ortega Highway, linking Orange and Riverside Counties, was a hard-fought effort by residents on both sides of the Santa Ana Mountains. Many wanted it, but getting it was another story. Riverside County historian Steve Lech will discuss the thirty-year struggle that led to the eventual opening of this scenic road – a turning point in transportation history for both counties.

Steve Lech is a native Riversider who has been interested in the local history of Riverside County for more than forty years. He has written or co-written thirteen books on various topics related to Riverside County history, including Along the Old Roads – A History of the Portion of Southern California That Became Riverside County, 1772-1893, considered to be the definitive history of Riverside County.

He co-authors the weekly “Back in the Day” column for the Press-Enterprise newspaper in which he explores many aspects of local history throughout western Riverside County. He has been a docent at the historic Mission Inn hotel for over 30 years, is currently the Director of Docent Training for the Mission Inn Foundation, and is the past chair of the Riverside County Historical Commission and the City of Riverside’s Cultural Heritage Board.

We hope you’ll join us for what should be a fun and enlightening evening.

Our program will be held Thursday, September 8th, at the Sherman Library, 2647 E. Coast Hwy, Corona del Mar. Parking is available in the lot behind the Library as well as on nearby surface streets.

As always, members and the general public are cordially invited to attend. (Doors open at 6:00 pm.) Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Please do not bring any food to share.

If you’re not a member, please consider becoming part of the OCHS family today. (Dues start at $30, $25 for seniors.) Membership support lets us host these meetings and funds our archives and all the other services we offer to document and celebrate Orange County history. Visit to join online. Thank you!

Please let us know of any questions. [email protected]

This article was released by the Orange County Historical Society.