Silverado, California

Last updated
Silverado, California
Silverado Canopy and Fence.JPG
Silverado Canyon Road, 2015
Country United States
State California
County Orange
1,211 ft (369 m)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 714
Reference no.202

Founded in 1878, Silverado, a California Historical Landmark, [1] is an unincorporated community in Silverado Canyon, which is located in the Santa Ana Mountains in eastern Orange County, California. Portions of the town sit on a former Mexican land grant Rancho Lomas de Santiago. Silverado is located at the boundaries of Cleveland National Forest. The area was mined for silver during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Remnants of mining operations such as the Blue Light Mine are still scattered in the area. Timber was harvested for use by the railroad. Coal was mined at the time in Carbondale. Ancient sea life fossils can be found within the sandstone cliffs in the area. During Spanish rule, the canyon was visited by Spanish explorers and was known by the name Cañada de la Madera (Timber Canyon). The town in Spain by that name bears a remarkable resemblance to Silverado. [2] (The name Silverado is a type of Spanglish indicating a place where silver is found; a parallel formation to El Dorado .) The area enjoyed a renaissance in popularity in the 1940s as a hot springs vacation retreat, during which time hotels and restaurants prospered. A large number of weekend cabins were also built at that time. Home to a number of artists and craftsmen, the town now consists of about 2000 residents, a general store, a cafe, a public library, a church, two fire stations, a community center, and a post office. It hosts summer concerts, an annual Country Fair, [3] and an Easter breakfast. A local landmark near Silverado is Cook's Corner, popular with motorcyclists.

California Historical Landmark buildings, structures, sites, or places in California determined to have historical significance

California Historical Landmarks (CHLs) are buildings, structures, sites, or places in the U.S. state of California that have been determined to have statewide historical landmark significance.

Unincorporated area region of land not governed by own local government

In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.

Silverado Canyon

Silverado Canyon is a roughly 2,500-foot-deep gorge in the Santa Ana Mountains, in the U.S. state of California. The small stream it is associated with, Silverado Creek, rises on the north slope of Modjeska Peak at the elevation of 3,980 feet (1,210 m) and flows north and west, past the town of Silverado to join Santiago Creek at 942 feet (287 m) after a journey of just under 5 miles (8.0 km). The main branch, Ladd Canyon, is just over 3 miles (4.8 km) long. Its stream arises on the east flank of Pleasants Peak at about 3,590 feet (1,090 m) and flows southwest into the main stem at about 1,178 feet (359 m) near Silverado. They are part of the Santa Ana River watershed. A hiking trail/fire road runs the entire length of the canyon.

Torrential rains from Pacific storms in 1939, and again in 1969, washed away homes and devastated roads and bridges. The latter storm resulted in a number of flood related casualties. [4] On October 26, 2007, the Orange County Fire Authority issued a mandatory evacuation [5] of the area due to the Santiago Fire. In September 2014, a fire burned approximately 1000 acres within the canyon. However, no structures were lost. [6] [7]

1939 California tropical storm Category 1 Pacific hurricane in 1939

The 1939 California tropical storm, also known as the 1939 Long Beach tropical storm, El Cordonazo, and The Lash of St. Francis, was a tropical cyclone that affected Southern California in September, 1939. Formerly a hurricane, it was the only tropical storm to make landfall in California in the twentieth century. The only other known tropical cyclone to directly affect California at tropical storm intensity or higher is the 1858 San Diego hurricane, and only three other eastern Pacific tropical cyclones have produced gale-force winds in the continental United States. The tropical storm caused heavy flooding, leaving many dead, mostly at sea.

Orange County Fire Authority

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for unincorporated areas of Orange County, California as well as 23 cities within the county that contract OCFA's services.

Today new homes and developments from nearby urban areas are encroaching on the canyons. The largest proposed projects are by the Irvine Company, which plans to build two developments stretching along Santiago Canyon Road from Jamboree Road past Irvine Lake. [8]

Irvine Company Real Estate company

The Irvine Company is an American private company focused on real estate development. It is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with a large portion of its operations centered in and around Irvine, California, a planned city of 250,000 people mainly designed by the Irvine Company. The company was founded by the Irvine family and is currently wholly owned by Donald Bren. Since the company is private, its financials are not released to the public. However, Donald Bren is the most wealthy real estate developer in the United States, valued at $15.2 billion.


  1. "Silverado". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  2. Cañada de la Madera Photos
  3. Saari, Laura (October 2015). "Homegrown Hillbillies". Orange Coast : 104, 106.
  4. LA Times 1969 Floods: Tragedy and Heroism Mix
  5. OCFA Archived 2007-10-27 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Silverado Fire
  7. Silverado Fire Slide Show
  8. Santiago Hills II and East Orange

Further reading

Coordinates: 33°44′46″N117°38′10″W / 33.74611°N 117.63611°W / 33.74611; -117.63611

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.