Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Olinda, CA

Olinda is a neighborhood that is located in Brea, CA; which is located in Orange County.  Originally the village was founded in the 1890's in present day Carbon Canyon.  The area grew when "black gold", otherwise known as petroleum was discovered at the adjacent Brea-Olinda Oil Field.  The site is now registered as a California Historical Landmark.

In 1894, Abel Stearns, who was owner of the land, sold 1200 acres to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California and by 1898 many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil drilling towers.  In 1908, the village of Randolph, which was named for railway engineer, Epis Randolph was founded south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families.

On January 19, 1911, the town map, which included Olinda and Randolph was filed under Brea.  Brea comes from the Spanish word for "national asphalt".  On February 23, 1917, with a population of 752, Brea was incorporated as the eighth official city of Orange County.

The name Olinda was revived in 1964 for a quiet neighborhood built in the hills near the site of the original village.  The neighborhood has six streets and contains about 120 homes, of which many are horse properties.  There is also a condominium complex and a small elementary school in the area.

Brea began as a center of crude oil production, which later changed to citrus production.  Brea is currently an important retail center, due to Brea Mall and the recent redevelopment of downtown Brea.  Brea is also known for its extensive public art program, which began in 1975 and continues on with over 140 artworks in the collection that are placed throughout the city.  Brea's public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many Public Art Programs nationwide.

Sunset magazine named Brea one of the five best suburbs to live in the Western United States in early 2006.

The following pictures are from the historic area of Olinda.

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