Orange Community Historical Society

Mission :

The mission of OCHS is to commemorate the rich heritage of our community. Our purpose is to collect photographs, written materials and related ephemera, promote research, events, activities and programs celebrating Orange history, sponsor local history endeavors, and remain self-supporting through memberships, donation bequests and special projects. We welcome everyone.

About Us :
Founded in 1973 to serve as the focal point for those interested in the history of Orange and its surrounding area, the Orange Community Historical Society (OCHS) and its members contribute to many community activities by providing information about our heritage and by supplying a written and photographic resource for those wishing to learn more about our legacy.

In honor of Florence Flippen Smiley, an esteemed pioneer and founder of the Society, OCHS established the Florence Flippen Smiley Memorial Archives to encourage citizens to collect and preserve history, and to make available materials that document our area’s rich heritage. As the collection grew, Orange National Bank agreed to house this valuable collection in their new Plaza office. In 1988 OCHS and the City of Orange collaborated to place the collection at the Orange Public Library’s Main Library and increase the accessibility to the public (101 North Center, Orange, California).

Today, the combined collections of OCHS and the Orange Public Library contains books, manuscripts, local newspapers, city and county directories, oral histories, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Orange, and thousands of historical photographs. There are also topical files containing material on subjects such as early pioneers, family biographies, architecture, schools, civic organizations, religious organizations and businesses. (For more information, go to the library’s web pages at The collection is available to the public for use in the library during library hours. We welcome donations of additional materials that enrich our knowledge of the community. The Main Library is in the planning process for expansion, and one of the results will be a local history room, opening 2005.
The Orange Community Historical Society is a nonprofit organization (501 © 3), with a volunteer board of directors that coordinates our ongoing activities. Besides presenting programs on historic topics, OCHS has hosted historic home tours, and participated in various community anniversary celebrations. Each year the Society presents the William T. Glassell Award to an individual or group that has contributed to preserving our local heritage. Over the years, OCHS has published historic post cards, posters, booklets and two collections of pioneer recollections. A beautiful historic afghan was introduced in 1996 and continues to be in constant demand