The Irvine Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of the Irvine Ranch, once one of the largest private ranches in the United States. The Society is headquartered at the Irvine Historical Museum, the oldest standing structure within the original boundaries of the Ranch.
In 1868, James Irvine I commissioned a house to be built that would be suitable for him to stay when he visited the ranch to conduct business. The home was built with the intent of having a ranch manager installed. It was built for a cost of $1,300 and known as the San Joaquin Ranch house. It was the first wooden house to be erected between Anaheim and
The house featured a kitchen, dining room, parlor, four bedrooms, and a wrap-around porch.
The Ranch manager moved to the house in 1870 and his wife and daughter arrived within a few months. There were problems with coyotes, wildcats, fleas, and zero neighbors as far as the eye could see.
The Museum is shown to the left in the photo. It was originally used as the cooking wing for the cattle and sheep camp which was located onsite. The Irvine house was torn down in 1971 during the grading of the golf course.
The Irvine Historical Museum is located at 5 San Joaquin, Irvine, CA 92612. The building backs to the San Joaquin Golf Course [centered between University and Michelson Drives and Culver Drive and Harvard Road]
Phone (949) 786-4112. Standard hours of operation are Tuesday and Sunday from 1 to 4 ; closed holidays. Please call before you come to ensure the Museum is open. We are staffed entirely by volunteers, and sometimes the Museum is not able to be open during scheduled periods. Members are free; a $1.00 donation per non-member is appreciated. A research library and extensive photo collection of local historic information is available for students, researchers, and business use during open hours. Pricing sheet for photos, photo reprints, and b/w copying.
Front view of Museum
Rear view of Museum