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Heritage Museum of Orange County

If you fancy a wonderful trip down memory lane to the innovative Victorian period, get yourself down to the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana. Spanning an impressive eleven point five acres, the site is a preservation of Victorian era American history from the mid 1800s and onwards.

The historical site is a popular school trip destination as the onsite staff actively promote learning and education with a variety of exhibitions and activities. It isn’t just for children, however, as the gardens are a popular attraction for weddings with outdoor seating able to accommodate over six hundred and fifty people. The site sees other functions as well from parties to seasonal events and corporate hire.

The primary landmark, Kellogg’s house, is a 19th century country manor surrounded by citrus groves and vibrant, well tended gardens. The house, once residing in a condemned neighborhood in Santa Ana, was built from the ground up by a civil engineer, Hiram Clay Kellogg, in 1898 and relocated to its current location in 1981.

The house is of Victorian design, atypical of the period, with a bay window facing onto the front of the land and a column flanked, risen entryway. Though the outside looks appealing with its whitewashed walls, it is the interior that revels in periodic atmosphere and Kellogg’s imagination.

Hiram was no stranger to putting his imagination to use as he helped develop a lot of areas within and across Orange County and the same applied to his home. Hiram, who had a fascination for ships, installed an authentic ship’s mast – scavenged from a ship in Florida – in the center where it reached from the first floor right up to the roof. The house rose up around it quite purposefully. Because of Kellogg’s vivid imagination and contributions to the development of Orange County, it is an exemplary inclusion and reminder of Victorian ingenuity when it comes to construction and development.

Restored in the 1980s once it was relocated by a volunteer fronted effort, Kellogg’s house first opened to the public in 1985, and it still remains a primary tourist attraction today. It is Kellogg’s house visitors first encounter when they enter the Heritage Museum of Orange Country, other than the grand gardens and what a majestic sight it makes. The Heritage Museum of Orange County also has other periodic buildings on site as a testament to and preservation of the Victorian period.

Another location of interest at the site is the Blacksmith shop. Until recently, the blacksmith shop ran exhibitions to demonstrate the methods and tools used in Victorian era metalworking and ran under the authority of the Orange County Blacksmith Guild. However and in a rather unfortunate event, the blacksmith shop burned down in its entirety in July 2019 and is currently awaiting being rebuilt.

Considering the rich history and vibrant beauty of the gardens, it would be a crime not to visit such a nostalgic location come whatever the season. It is a thoroughly enjoyable day out either with friends, family or on your lonesome since there is plenty to see and do.

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