I Heart Old Towne Orange Storytime

Happy Thursday! It has been bitter cold in Old Towne Orange this week so I think it is about time to spread some warm love. And I love doing so by storytelling. The City of Orange was founded in 1869 by Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell (hence, the Plaza being intersected by Chapman Ave and Glassell Street). Since then, so many people have moved in and out of Old Towne Orange to explore its treasures and wonders. I moved to Old Towne Orange in 2016 for college and quickly fell in love with my new home. That is why this week, for our blog post, we wanted to hear why YOU heart Old Towne Orange. I asked everyone on our Facebook and Instagram to send me their OTO stories so I could share them this week. The history lives on in Old Towne by the people who share their stories.

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Julie (1990 - forever) - Old Town Orange reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Northern California that had a similar downtown area that everyone shopped at.  It was before the era of malls so it was always the go-to place for clothing, shoes, the deli, the pharmacy and restaurants.  OTO is a comfort place for me to spend a few hours to myself, a mini shopping spree with my daughter, a nice dinner out with my husband and the annual Orange International Street Fair.  We love living near OTO and never plan to move!

@johndoukas - Reminds me of a simple place to go, be, run into old friends and new!

@tita_70 - I heart that it is family friendly and the small town feeling!!! I love the Plaza. It reminds me of the plaza in my hometown in Mexico.

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Megan (1978 - present) - I was born here in Orange and my daughters were born here in Orange too! I love this community! I am one of the founders of the Orange Home Grown Farmer’s and Artisans Market. There are so many great things to share about Orange like the Persimmon Party, Treats in the Street and the Annual Tree Lighting. The OTPA Walking Tour, the OHG Chicken Coop Tour, the CFO’s Foundation Games and the Field of Valor! The OHG Farmer’s and Artisans Market, Street Fair, Hart Park Concerts in the Park… Winterfest at Chapman! There is so much going on! The Plaza is so vibrant now with a great variety of shops, boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and a little night life. Love our sweet City of Orange!

@hit_the_mark_fitness - I ❤️ OTO because of the wonderful people, friends and clients I've met, worked with and befriended over the last 9 years I've been here. ❤️

Nicole - Hi my name is is Nicole and I work at @salon9 in the Orange Circle. We provide hair services to a lot of locals and Chapman students. We strive to always make them feel beautiful and great about themselves!! We always give back to our community and love love Old Towne Orange so much.

Michael - Hi! My name is Micheal and I live in Orange with my wife and son. We love Orange especially Old Towne. We currently live on the Orange/Villa Park border. My wife’s family has been in Orange since the late 1800’s (around 1884 I believe). My son is 7 months old and he was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Old Towne Orange. He is the 6th generation to live in the city Orange as well as 6th generation to be baptized at St. John’s. The city of Orange is an amazing place to raise a family. It is also exciting to hear all the different stories from my father in law who tells about where things use to be or what they were before. The history is alive in my wife’s family as we continue to grow our family of 6 generations of Orange family. My wife’s family name is Fitschen and they have been rooted in Orange for over 100 years. I don’t know if you hear of these types of families still living in the same city like they do for such a long time. It’s so special and we really enjoy Old Town. It is amazing to take our son out and show him the rich history that exists today. He is a part of that Orange legacy through his family who made their mark on the city. I hope I explained myself well enough.

(Don’t worry, you did Michael. Thank you for the story!)

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@ncleveland22 - I used to walk my twins when they were itty bitty with my 5 yr to Starbucks and sit in the circle and get some fresh air ?

Leticia - My name is Leticia McQuillen. My maiden name is Perez. I heart Old Town Orange because it is where I was born and raised and where my children were born and I am raising them and continuing my family legacy. My father and my family have been invested and involved in the community for years. My father was on the city council and became mayor and served the community with great pride. I carry that pride with me and so affectionately speak of this great town almost daily.

@halfapint330 - Old Towne takes me back to a simpler time; One of my favorite movies of all time is That Thing You Do! It came out when I was in high school in Cerritos, which was a time when life wasn't complicated and I didn't have to worry about all that there is to worry about as an adult. I know that some scenes were shot in Old Towne. When I visit Old Towne, I feel like I'm in my favorite movie and I'm Liv Tyler placing a stamp on an envelope running down the street into The Bass Player hearing the best news I've heard in my entire life. I'm now an Orange resident.

Jackie (2004-2007, 2008-now) - I ❤️ Orange because I was born here at Chapman hospital so when I actually moved here for college, it was a great full circle moment. Old Town is a slice of small town and of history in Orange County. There’s really no other city like it in Southern California. It has a warmth about it, a deep-seated, homey feel. To be able to walk to restaurants and shops in SoCal is almost unheard of. I’m proud to be a part of the Orange community!

@missdubbs - Met my future hubby at The District. Doesn’t get better than that!

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Erica (1977 - present) - I was brought home from the hospital to the cute little blue house on Almond St across the street from the fire station in Old Towne. My great grandparents used to own and live on the property where the fire station is currently. My grandfather was the youngest man to become an Elks Club member at 17 or 18 years old in the late 1940’s. I have a picture of the news clipping somewhere. He went to Orange High when it was still at what is now Chapman University. He and his high school buddies met at Watson’s every Tues until he passed away about 5 years ago.  Scott - the previous owner of Watson’s - was our neighbor until a couple years ago when he retired and sold Watson’s and moved to Dana Point. He was a great friend of my grandparents. My husband and I have owned a home in Elizabeth Park (a unique, one of a kind, neighborhood off of Shaffer) for the past 7 1/2 years. We have two-year-old twin boys and we love taking walks to Old Towne and eating at our favorite restaurants and playing by the fountain. My husband is a local realtor with Seven Gables and works out of the Old Towne office next door to the Filling Station.  We love our little town and are so happy to be raising the 5th generation of our family here.

Marshall (2016 - present) - When I got my Chapman University acceptance letter, I was elated. However, I had no idea that I would fall in love with my college town and would so easily be able to call this place home. Moreover, I had no idea I would soon be interning for I Heart Old Towne Orange and be granted the opportunity to share my college town with thousands of people every week. I heart Old Towne Orange because it breathes with every generation. It gives me an opportunity to discover my creativity, explore human nature, and gain an education. Oh, and the vegan doughnuts from The Perfect Circle Cupcakery are basically the best thing I have ever tasted.

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Thank you to everyone who wrote in! Reading your stories brought a huge smile to my face and we couldn't agree more with everything you said! Remember to keep sharing your stories so that the traditions, love, and history will live on. Spread why YOU heart Old Towne Orange.

Have a great weekend everyone and we will see you in Old Towne!

1 comment

  1. It’s fun to look back……I remember when the Street fair was a parade that left Hart Park and all the Social organizations put a float in the parade with the members of the organizations sitting on the float. The float was more likely a flat bed truck. High school bands and cheer leaders entertained all of us. Mayor and council sat in a convertable, or one of the OLD CARS belonging to the McCandless family. Pancakes were made in different locations in Hart Park or in parking lots of the City. AND THEN THE GRAND FINALLY ……..HART PARK WAS TURNED INTO A AMUSEMENT PARK. EVERY RIDE KNOWN WAS DISPLAYED AND ENJOYED BY THE RESIDENTS OF ORANGE AND FROM ALL OF ORANGE COUNTY. THOSE WERE THE DAYS. YOU WALKED DOWN THE STREET AND KNEW EVERYONE. YOU NEEDED A PAIR OF SHOES, you went to Penny’s or the shoe shop. The drug stores knew your name when you walked in. CHILDRENS SHOP dressed our children. First National Bank and Orange Savings and Loan took care of our pocket books. Snack Shop took care of our dining out needs. Our doctors and dentists were our friends. I remember the past with fondness but i am enjoying our future. I live in Old TOWNE and walk the streets with delight and a ice cream in my hand as I sit in the circle enjoying the fountain and the children playing and throwing pennies into the water. This is indeed is the best of the best.