Ladera Ranch has been around for nearly a century now. It has a rich history that has shaped the community to be what it is today. At Peters Dental, we always like to look back at our past and see how the community developed. Here’s a brief look at Ladera Ranch and how it came into being.
Dating Back 125 Years
Ladera Ranch can trace its origins back to 1882 when the first settlers decided to build something on the land. Today, the ranch spans around 4,000 acres and is located near the communities of Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, and Rancho Santa Margarita. It is made from portions of land that is owned by O’Neill, Avery, & Moiso families, which spans 23,000 acres. It is still the largest working cattle ranch in Orange County.
However, its history is grand and showcases the true entrepreneurial spirit of the people.
Striking a Deal
James Flood and Richard O’Neill become very good friends. Richard started to provide meat to Flood’s Saloon. The latter was a wealthy miner with control of the profitable Comstock Lode’s Silver Deposits. He and O’Neill become equal partners and owned several ranchos in the Orange County area, including Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores, Rancho Trabuco, and Rancho Mission Viejo. All of these ranches combined to span over 200,000 and were considered some of the greatest ranchos of their time.
Flood provided the finances needed to purchase the land while O’Neill provided the labor and expertise required to run the establishment effectively. O’Neill was a highly capable manager and rancher, quickly bringing in profits. He upgraded the cattle, sowed new crops, and transformed the property into the largest wheat farms in Orange County.
Generations of Upheaval
Flood and O’Neill’s children followed in their footsteps. O’Neill’s son Jerome expanded the ranch and maintained a good relationship with the Floods. Unfortunately, the families split apart after a few decades, and the 200,000-acre property continued to shrink over time. Urbanization and migration from other parts of the country led to more demand for residential properties.
This led the families to start their own development company. Their first project was Mission Viejo, which was followed by several other ranches, including Ladera Ranch.
Want to see a Ladera Ranch Family Dentist? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Peters Dental. You can call one of our clinics or use our contact us pages.