The American Indians living in the region when the Spanish
first arrived spoke a dialect of the Shoshone language.
Much of the Indian culture is only today being pieced together
from archeological studies in the area. However, it is known
that there had been an Indian village or gathering place
around Red Hill.
Although the Indians of that time were nomadic, when the
Spanish came, they grouped the Indians according to which
mission district they were in at the time, and turned them
from fishermen and harvesters of seasonal nuts and berries
into farm workers. The Indians who lived in what is today
the Tustin area were called the "Gabrielino" Indians, for they
were under the jurisdiction of the San Gabriel Mission.
They were considered, according to the European standards
of the time, to be "somewhat more sophisticated" than the
"Juanenos" Indians, who were under the jurisdiction of
the San Juan Capistrano Mission.
Members of the Tongva and Juaneao Luiseno nations long
inhabited this area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolá,
a Spanish expedition led by Father Junipero Serra named the
area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne).
On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano
became the areas first permanent European settlement in
Alta California, New Spain.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres to
Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio.
Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the cities of
Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and
Newport Beach stand today. Smaller ranchos evolved from
this large rancho including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
Some important resources
Pechanga Band of Mission Indians,
Pala Band of Mission Indians,
Rincon Band of Mission Indians,
San Luis Rcy Band of Mission Indians,
Puama/Yuima Band of Mission Indians,
Juancno Band of Mission Indians of San Juan,
Juaneao Band of Mission Indians of Santa Ana,
Juaneno Band of Mission Indians-Acjachemen Nation of San Juan,
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians,
Gabrielino/Tongva Tribal Council of San Gabriel
La Jolla Band of Mission Indians