Irvine, California

Irvine, California

Irvine is a city located in Orange County, California. This is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company in the sixties of the twentieth century. It was formally incorporated in 1971. The city of Irvine is located on the territory of one hundred seventy-two square kilometres and has a population of over two hundred and twelve thousand.

According to estimates the city's population will probably increase to over two hundred and twenty thousand in the year.

Two thousand years ago, the place where today the city of Irvine is, was inhabited by a group of people known as the Gabrielino. In 1769 in the area arrived the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola. After his arrival the area is completely changed - several missions were based here and people who dealt with cattle began to appear.

The King of Spain allocated the land in the area to be used for missions and plots which can be used for private purposes.

In 1821 was proclaimed the independence of Mexico from Spain. That was the period of Mexican control over these lands. The territory of today’s city housed Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Rancho San Joaquin and Rancho Lomas de Santiago. At a later stage, this land became the Irvine Ranch.

University of California at Irvine

In 1864, the owner of the San Joaquin ranch sold two hundred square kilometres of land to Benjamin and Thomas Flint, Llewellyn Bixby and James Irvine. The deal for the sale was conducted against the eighteen thousand dollars.

In 1866 Irvine, Flint and Bixby bought one hundred and ninety square miles of Rancho Lomas de Santiago for the amount of seven thousand dollars. In 1868, the four buyers were able to divide the ranch and the land of Santiago de Santa Ana. The whole area was given to cattle to graze on it - they were mostly sheep.

In 1878 James Irvine bought the shares of its partners against one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He received a total of four hundred and fifty square kilometres, which is located about thirty kilometres from the Pacific Ocean.

James Irvine died in 1886. The vast ranch was received as an inheritance for his son, James Irvine Jr., who started the Irvine Company. He turned the ranch into agricultural plantations and planted many olive and citrus trees.

In 1888, a railway station was built, which was named after James Irvine. Around it gradually emerged a city that was called Myford, the name of the son of Irvine Junior. In 1914, the town was renamed Irvine.

James Irvine, Jr. died in 1947. His son inherited presidency of his father’s company. Myford died in 1959. In the same year, the company sold Irvine against the symbolic sum of one dollar per four square kilometres of land, to build on its campus the University of California.

University expansion occurred around the city, which initially foresaw a population of not more than fifty thousand people. In 1999, however, Irvine's population reached one hundred thirty-four thousand people, living on the territory of one hundred and eleven square kilometres.



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