Jose Antonio Yorba was a member of the Gaspar de Portolà expedition—the first Europeans to enter what's now Orange County—and earned a Spanish land grant for his efforts. Eventually, his descendants ended up owning a huge swath of the area, from the Santa Ana Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, with beautiful haciendas throughout—but their holdings disappeared once the gabachos took California from the Mexicans. Today, the only non-thoroughfare, non-city-or-school-name physical indicator of OC's original family is the Yorba Cemetery, where dozens of Yorbas rest until the Resurrection. It's a small plot of land, open only once a month and in understandably run-down shape, but its gorgeous tombstones, cenotaphs and shrines endure, much like the Yorbas themselves.

Location Details

Woodgate Park
Yorba Linda CA 92886


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