Santa Ana History Featuring Historical Information of Santa Ana - Orange County, California
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Santa Ana History
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Santa Ana History


Upcoming Events:


Sat., Sept 26

Smithsonian Magazine Open House Event

Santa Ana Fire Museum
& Dr. Howe-Waffle House
Open House


Sat., Oct 24

On the Road in Orange County: Our Transportation History,

18th annual cemetery tour


Take a photo tour
 of the House


Visit our new
Santa Ana Fire Museum


National Trust for Historic Preservation
California Historical Society The Great Seal of The State of California
Santa Ana History



To view a map showing
our location click here.



Contact us by email or by calling 714 547-9645.
(Please leave a message.)



Victorian House & Fire Museums Open Saturday Sept. 26th for
Smithsonian Museum Day Live!   


The Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society invites you to join us at our two museum locations for Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live, Saturday, September 26th from 12 noon until 4 pm. The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House, an 1889 Victorian gem, and the Santa Ana Fire Museum will both be open on this very special day.

Your tours are FREE as part of this nation-wide event, sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum. All you need to receive your free Museum Day Live! ticket for two people, is to register for an account at their website. Once registered, you can request a ticket to one participating venue. (Bring a second copy of the ticket if you’d like to visit both of our locations. 
Visit the Smithsonian' Magazine's Museum Day website
for your free tickets. 

Enjoy a tour of a beautifully restored Victorian home, once the residence and medical office of one of Orange County’s first female physicians. See Santa Ana’s fire department history in a working fire station, complete with a fully restored 1921 Seagrave fire truck. And be sure to visit gift shops at both locations to purchase interesting books on local history, and vintage gifts and ephemera.

As an added feature, explore the history and fabulous buildings of downtown Santa Ana with an expert guide on our Downtown Landmark Architectural Walking Tour, starting off at the Dr. Howe-Waffle House at 2:30. Tickets are just $8 per person. Order tickets online by clicking here or call to reserve a spot at 714/547-9645)

The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum is located at 120 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, California. (free parking available in our lot, or at the UCI Family Health Center at the NE corner of Sycamore and Civic Center Dr)

The Santa Ana Fire Museum is located at OCFA Station #75, 120 W Walnut St, Santa Ana, California. (free parking available in the lot at Sycamore and Pine, or across Walnut at Original Mike’s)


Save that date:


"On the Road In Orange County: Our Transportation History.”

Saturday October 24th 2015,

10:00 am-3:00 pm

Our 18th annual historic cemetery tour explores the history of travel to—and in—Orange County, from horses, wagons and carriages, to planes, trains and automobiles. Meet pioneers who made the long journey west by wagon train and sailing ship, Civil War veterans who packed their worldly possessions in train cars, and commuters traveling by bicycle, Model T, and the Red Car line. Tour guides lead guests to the final resting places of historic local figures, set in the beautiful greenery of Fairhaven Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery, where costumed actors play out scenes from Orange County history.

This event 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.


Save that date!  More information will be posted when available..




Help Us Preserve History 


Join the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society. For a small contribution, you can support the Dr. Howe-Waffle House, the new Santa Ana Fire Museum, and all the other historical and preservation activities we do.

As a member you receive special member-only discounts on Open House tickets at both of our museums (the 1889 Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum and our new Santa Ana Fire Museum,) as well as invitations and discounts to exciting events throughout the year, including our award-winning Cemetery Tour. And as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your membership dollars are tax deductible!

With a near 40-year legacy of historic preservation, the Society remains an all-volunteer, grassroots organization with no paid staff, and a reputation as an active, community-preservation oriented group. This is not your grandmother's historical society! We take historic preservation very seriously and are part of an exclusive, and increasingly rare, group of historical organizations. This is a distinction our members can take pride in.

Please join us today, or renew your membership at your current, or higher, level. And, please, give as generously as you can.

Click here to donate/join/renew online.


Update to the Civil War Veterans' Gravesites

The legacy of America's Civil War played a major role in the birth of Orange County. We support a great research effort to document the grave sites of Civil War veterans in our county. You can even use Google Earth to help you locate these locations. Click here to see more.

Orange County History Books

We have one of the widest collection of Santa Ana and Orange County history books around. If you would like to order any of them, visit our Store link for the books available online and for a copy of our latest mail-in book order form.  If there is a book you think we have that isn't listed, email us at

Old Society Newsletters Posted

It's fun to go through some of our newsletters and see what the Society was doing during the 1980s and 90s (and also who was preserving what home and received various awards).  We've posted most of the issues (including our first 4) on this site.  Some files are large (6 to 11 MB in size), but they're all easily viewable as PDF files.  Click here to view some of the old issues.


Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House on the National Trust "This Place Matters" program.

This Place Matters! -- The Dr. Howe-Waffle House has been included in a national online program to highlight "places that matter."  Thanks to Nicholas Ball for being our spokesmodel.

»  Other old News and Information from this Home Page.........

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Celebrating Forty One Years of
Preserving Our Fair City!

In 1974, the Society was formed to save the
Dr. Howe-Waffle House from imminent destruction during an urban renewal project. Today, the Society is stronger than ever thanks to our members and generous donors. We continue to create community programs such as the award-winning historical cemetery tour, salvage old-home building materials for reuse, develop local history coloring books & guide maps for children and adults, feature special seminars, and support preservation activities performed by others throughout the city and county. Of course, one of our main missions (and expense) is to preserve and maintain the Dr. Howe-Waffle House and we open the House on a regular basis. In addition, we also support Santa Ana and Early Orange County history by providing historical information and photos online 24 hours a day, continue to create new series of historical mini-books, and so much more.

Learn More
Santa Ana History

Time to Join the Society!

We can do the neat things we do in preserving and celebrating our history because we have members who support us. Please consider joining and helping us. No membership level is too low. But the more you give, the easier it is for us to continue our work and to do new things.

We urge you to help us either as a volunteer or as a member. Obviously donations are always appreciated and can be designated to help a program, provide care for the house, or just help with our normal expenses. Click here for information on membership and donations.

The house is located at 120 Civic Center Dr., West, corner of Sycamore and between Main and Broadway, in Historic Downtown Santa Ana. Call 714 547-9645 for more information.

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