|Yorba Linda History|
|Home | Donations | Digital Collections | Map of Yorba Linda Historical Sites | Reproduction Policy | Timeline | Links to local historical societies | Yorba Linda Star index|
Chapter 16 - Yorba Linda - What Now?
Ten years ago the first edition of the book, Yorba Linda Its History, was being written. The author, March Butz, predicted change for our city through industrialization and development. She further predicted the resumption of service on the old electric car line would enhance the industrialization.
Change indeed has come to our city, but industry has not been a part of the change. Many of the early business owners have retired; commercial ventures and new businesses have been started. Many have survived and are doing well in serving the community. The industrial picture is one of service to the residents for their needs rather than supplying employment to many. Most residents are still employed in other localities.
The Pacific Electric tracks have been removed and that era of use has truly become past history. The depot, which has been standing beside those tracks since 1911, is now embroiled in a historical controversy. The building has seen a great deal of service, including the Pacific Electric, Wells Fargo Agency, and now a combination of Real Estate Office and Retail Nursery.
The land on which the station stands is part of a strip owned by Southern Pacific Railway. The company has offered the strip for a shopping center to a developer. On the strip of land stands the station, an early packing house, Troop 99 Scout house, a building materials company, and Richard Nixon Park. 
In August of 1915 an excavation of a building of 70 by 106 feet was made along Imperial Highway. Three months later the cement was poured to complete the foundation, and so the packing house had its beginnings. The building rose rapidly, and under the management of E. L. Oilman operated so efficiently it could receive, store, or ship as many as 75 railroad cars of lemons in a day.
It was through Mr. Oilman's efforts that the organization grew so rapidly. An interesting highlight of his management was the use of motorcycle exhaust gas for processing lemons. This was first tried in Yorba Linda and proved to be so successful a special gas engine was installed to accomplish the same results. Shades of the energy crisis in 1915!
Mr. Oilman guided the destiny of this packing house in 1915. What will be its destiny today?
Many Yorba Lindans — old-timers and newcomers alike — have looked with disfavor on the project and have spent many hours urging the preservation of these historic buildings. The decision is before the Planning Commission and City Council at the present time.
The question: will the depot and the scout house and the packing house be incorporated into a new commercial venture; will they be removed to another site; or will they be demolished as were many of the early ranches?
Only time will tell! Within a few short weeks we will know the answer. This writer will not predict what the next generation will see along the south side of Imperial Highway in Yorba Linda — 1980.
Directly across Imperial Highway is the Yorba Linda District Library. From its inception in 1913 the library has been in continuous service to the community of Yorba Linda. In twenty-two years this scribe and librarian has seen the building grow from 800 square feet to 24,000 square feet.
After the move in 1959 the community of Yorba Linda began to experience the growth which continues today. By 1968 it was apparent we were outgrowing our capacity. A great deal of study was made by the Board of Trustees before the decision was made to remain on the same site and enlarge the building.
With architects and staff working together, the plan was 
devised to add a three story building to the existing structure. The voters again showed their support by approving the bonds for building. In 1970 the present structure of 24,625 square feet was completed.
The multi-purpose room has become a community meeting place with the City Council and Planning Commission using the room for several years before transferring to the School Administration Building. The room has been used for Adult Education classes, for Baby Exercise classes, and for many varieties of activities, probably as many and as varied as "Heinz 57."
The quality and quantity of library services has taken a slight cutback through the advent of California Proposition 13, but still the Board of Trustees and Library Staff have a vision and a dream for the future — the very near future. As the community of Yorba Linda moves eastward so must library service. A branch library to serve the new developments to the east and their residents and families of Yorba Linda is the dream.
Can you picture a branch library with a Spanish Mission architectural style? This is the vision! And who knows? At the end of a Mission-type covered walkway may stand the Yorba Linda Historical Museum! Librarians and Museum Curators are working together to preserve Yorba Linda's history. It's a natural!
Dr. Sterling Fox is administrator of the Yorba Linda School District — a district which continues to grow with the community of Yorba Linda.
A new elementary school has been built in the southeastern section. It has been named the Linda Vista School, and has been the site of many meetings of parents, community representatives, teachers, and administrators working together on curriculum and school policy to insure that the Yorba Linda Elementary School District remains in the upper brackets of educational values.
The District is still part of the Fullerton Union High School District. Several efforts have been made to unify Yorba Linda into a total Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Unified District. The residents and parents have approved the concept, the Board of Trustees and Administration are in favor, and the Orange County Committee on Reorganization approved a Unification Plan, but  still we are not a Unified District. There is a problem and therein lies a tale.
The State Board of Education, after also approving the plan, set an election for the voters of Yorba Linda to vote on the issue. Because Fullerton Union High School District is loathe to lose all of the students from Yorba Linda and the accompanying State income, the Board of the Fullerton Union High School District filed an appeal with the Superior Court of Orange County. For various reasons the appeal was upheld and the election was set aside. The Board of Trustees of the Yorba Linda School District then asked for a hearing before the Appellate Court for this area. This hearing is set for September or October, 1979, and a final decision is to be handed down probably early in 1980.
This epistle will be "off the press" before that date, but whatever the verdict I believe that someday Yorba Linda will be a unified district. This writer was an advocate of such a proposal when serving on the Board, and just as the residents believed in and fought for incorporation of the city, so will they stand up to be counted for a cause in which they believe.
In February, 1978 the District Administrative and Maintenance offices were moved into beautiful new edifices built with a special Federal grant. Located on Yorba Linda Boulevard, the structures cover eight acres just south of the Yorba Linda Junior High School on Casa Loma.
The District has experienced phenomenal growth from those early Olinda days, but the Administration and Teaching Staff are dedicated to the highest standards of education for all students who pass through their doors.
The city of Yorba Linda will soon celebrate a twelfth birthday party. This is a tradition which is sponsored by the Yorba Linda Service League, and which is wholeheartedly supported by the community-at-large and its growing populace.
It is a festive day in which problems of a growing community are put aside, politics are forgotten, and all individuals and organizations unite to remember those who fought for, and supported cityhood. A parade is held in the morning with bands, floats, lots of children, and the inevitable beautiful horses participating. The  entire day is dedicated to fun and frolic with many former residents returning for open houses and remembering.
How many more birthday parties will be observed? This is that unknown factor, but it is a reality that Yorba Linda is becoming an important city in North Orange County.
The population of 12,000 at incorporation in 1967 has now become 26,000. Through several annexations the original 2,864 acres involved in the new city have grown to 10,240 acres. The city boundaries now extend to the Riverside County line on the East.
The early ranches are becoming home to many families through new development in the city. Community swimming pools, club houses, and "just good living" are all part of the plan.
The plan is the Master General Plan which was adopted by the City Council in April, 1972. The plan was authored by George Machado who served on both the Planning Commission and the City Council. Many hours of intensive study and planning, many hours of council study, and many nights of public hearings were expended before the plan was accepted and put into law. Many zone changes will no doubt be mulled over and considered as to advisability before the city of Yorba Linda is complete.
The city offices and staff have grown from one small room and two or three people to a total use of the two-story building plus two mobile units as annexes.
The city now employs a staff of 48 among whom are the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Planning Director.
At the time of incorporation Darrell Dalton became the first City Manager. As with all new "babes" there were problems and growing pains, but through adversity can come strength of purpose. Everyone wanted to be assured that Yorba Linda would remain the "land of gracious living."
The city solved many of its problems under Darrell Dalton's leadership before he resigned in 1971 to move to another position in the city of Cypress.
Arthur Simonian then took over the reins of city management in January, 1972. It has been under his administration that the city has experienced tremendous growth as newcomers have found Yorba Linda. 
With the increased demands on the city government, new departments were set up for proper control. The Planning Department was inundated with blue prints for building and building inspection came into being.
Police protection is a much needed service in any community, and after a great deal of study with the County of Orange, it was decided to contract with the city of Brea Police Department for these services. The first contract was made in October, 1970, and is reviewed every year. There is a police officer who maintains an office in Yorba Linda City Hall and who coordinates the service.
Our first city clerk, Dorothy Jones, started working a few hours a week when the city was born. It has become a full-time position, and Dorothy has contributed a great deal to our city. With her husband's transfer to Santa Barbara, she will be leaving Yorba Linda in September. Dianna Higdon will step into "Dorothy's shoes," and may the Good Fairy of Oz guide her!
Rumors hear tell that through a lease arrangement new city offices may be based on the Community College land in the eastern part of Yorba Linda. It would seem that in the near future some decision will have to be made, for growing administrative responsibilities require space, and the offices on Main Street are bulging at the seams.
City Councils, Planning Commissions, Citizens' Committees, and many interested residents have formed our government. It would be remiss to leave this brief section without a tribute to the man who has been called the Father of the Master Plan. As has been mentioned, George Machado authored the plan, and labored long and hard over zoning and its multitudinous aspects of change. George became ill, and spent many months of confinement in his home before his death in 1976. He was always concerned about the city and its future. A memorial has been dedicated to him, and it stands along the Horse Trail on Casa Loma and Imperial. It seems appropriate that this should be so because George felt the Horse Trails and Country Living should be an important part of Yorba Linda. I predict it will remain so.
The natural resource of water is a commodity without which man cannot exist or communities expand. Such is the case with the  Yorba Linda County Water District. It served the early settlers as a Mutual Water Company, and is now serving the community of Yorba Linda with efficiency and planning for the future.
The District had used the old school house on Olinda for many years as its main office, but it was apparent that new quarters had to be obtained. Using the land which the Water District owned on Plumosa Drive, and which had been the site of one of their pump houses for many years, the Board of Directors moved out with confidence toward the future and urgency for the present needs in the building of a new headquarters for the District.
On June 6, 1972 the Yorba Linda County Water Company moved into its new offices on Plumosa Drive. The building is of Spanish motif, has a drive-up window for customers' convenience, and covers a total of 7,823 square feet in the two-story edifice.
In 1911 a reservoir was built which would hold 4,500,000 gallons of precious water. With the expansion of its service area to the Riverside County line which added 8,500 acres to the Water District, further expansion and water storage was necessary. In 1973 a new reservoir located at the end of Fairmont Blvd. in the eastern development was completed. Its capacity? 7,000,000 gallons of that precious commodity we call water.
Even with this increased capacity the Water District continues to plan for future residents. A new pipeline has been installed from the Diemer Plant to El Toro. Our Water Company through a project called Diemer Intertie will install a pipeline to the Bryant Ranch. At the same time another reservoir on the De Los Reyes Ranch is being constructed to store another 8,000,000 gallons of water. Yorba Linda is being watched over by our Water District.
During this past decade many young families have moved to Yorba Linda to raise their children and live in this beautiful area, but also during that decade has come to the front a group of citizens who have already raised their children, and who have helped make Yorba Linda what it is today. They call themselves Senior Citizens, and are part of that wonderful group across our country who have formed new lives and new interests.
They may be "Seniors" in age but they are the goingest, happiest, friendliest, and most interesting group this librarian has  encountered. There is always something "cooking on the back burner." If it isn't planning a trip or a cruise, it's volunteering for hospital work, or planning open house in the library multi-purpose room for Fiesta Days.
This is an important group for Yorba Linda's foundation. Without the experience and wisdom of those who have gone before, the foundation can be weakened with many cracks.
Before closing the book, I would like to pay tribute to March Butz who authored the first edition of this book. To work with her was a privilege, to know her as a friend was an honor. Her sense of humor and patience was a joy to experience.
I recall one day when we were working together in the small library a very young boy — barely able to see over the desk — came into the library and asked for a book on "the shocking worm." After many questions, discussions, searching the card catalog, and seemingly endless delays to him, we discovered he wanted a book about "the electric eel." It was a fun thing to share! I wonder where that little boy is now?
March Butz was involved in an automobile accident in 1975, and after several days of suffering, she joined the Saints who had gone before her. Her life was victorious and one of giving joy to others. Her memorial service was a victory with those attending walking behind her casket as the choir sang Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.
Yorba Linda has seen many wonderful people come and go from the early rancheros to this generation of today. Many more wonderful people will come to achieve a joy of living and a joy of loving of fellow Yorba Lindans. Our community will be strengthened by united effort, good planning, and understanding of each other. Our lives will be enriched if we, like the early rancheros, will say to each other "Vaya Con Dios."
Katherine T. Citizen 
YorbaLindaItsHistory.docPage 70 of 7011/22/2004
Top of page