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Best Museum (Non-Art) Orange County 2010 - Heritage Museum of Orange County

Heritage Museum of Orange County

Heritage Museum of Orange County

3101 W. Harvard St.

Santa Ana, CA 92704


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Readers' Choice: Bowers Museum

Walking through the grounds of this 1-acre historical plaza is like taking a trip back to the late 19th Century, when Orange County was basically just Santa Ana and a lot of orange groves. The centerpiece of the museum's well-preserved grounds is the Kellogg House, named after Hiram Clay Kellogg, a civil engineer who helped to create the footprint of modern Orange County by surveying orange groves and carving the land into the oversized squares that have now been filled with boundless surburban tracts. Thankfully, the sprawl Kellogg helped spawn hasn't swallowed up his former Victorian-era abode and the beautiful gardens, trails and native habitat that surround it. His house is now used for teaching kids the mechanics of old-timey OC life, such as handicrafts, blacksmithing and butter-making. There are also interactive adventures that provide children with the opportunity to see how gold-rush-era migrants, as well as the indigenous people they displaced, lived.

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