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The Way We Learned
A History of Education in Orange County

Santa Ana Historical Society's 19th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour
to be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016


Santa Ana Polytechnic High School">





This Year's Award-Winning Cemetery Tour Looks at
History of Education in Early Orange County


The history of education in Orange County includes more than traditional classrooms. Our citizens also learned through lectures at clubs and social organizations, research in agriculture, art programs, entertainments, and more.

Meet the family of Ralph Smedley who, in 1924, began the first Toastmasters Club in the Santa Ana YMCA to teach the fine art of public speaking. During a chance meeting at an Armistice Day celebration, former Santa Ana High classmates Jewell Hickox Keech and Milburn Harvey share stories of the sacrifices of fellow students and teachers during the years of World War I.

Listen in as aspiring Santa Ana physician Willella Howe chats about the challenges of women in medical studies, and motherhood, while attending Hahnemann Medical College in 1880s Chicago. In an overgrown Anaheim field, learn how Walter Knott and a persistent horticulturalist uncover the 1930s mystery of the berry that was almost lost to the ages.

Docents will guide visitors through scenes that showcase the history of education in the County, culminating in a presentation in Fairhaven's beautiful 1916 mausoleum. Small groups, a lovely outdoor setting, and close access to the actors make the tour an entertaining outing for the whole family.

Comfortable shoes and a hat or sunshade are recommended for the hour-and-a-half long walking tour. Visitors will want to allow extra time before or after their tour to shop for treasures at the gift and boutique booths. The event is presented by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society and will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fairhaven Memorial Park, 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and Members, and $16 for students and children 10 and over. (Children 9 and under are free.)

Our annual historic cemetery tour is an exciting and fun glimpse into the past! Small groups, a lovely outdoor setting, and close access to the actors make the tour an entertaining outing for the whole family.

The unique cemetery tour has won a prestigious California State Governors Award for Historic Preservation. This is the Society's 19th annual Living History tour, with proceeds benefiting the organization's educational programs and two museums, The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum, and the Santa Ana Fire Museum. The event is produced in partnership with local writers, and actors from the Thespian Club at Orange County School of the Arts. The tour is generously co-sponsored by Fairhaven Memorial Park.


Buy discounted advance sale tickets by clicking here.


Click here for a flyer offering more information and advanced-sale discounted tickets

Click here to see a wonderful illustration by OC Register artist Sharon Henry about our tour.


Click here to see a video of our 2009 tour on YouTube.


Click here to see a 3 minute video explaining about our historic cemetery tour and how we make history fun!


Click here to see several videos regarding past cemetery tours


Photos from Previous Tours:


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