Oranges became the big cash crop in Southern California in the 1870s. Civic leaders rushed to name cities, school districts, even the county after the popular fruit. But what about Orangethorpe? Phil Brigandi says, "Thorp is an English word that means a village."
Brigandi wrote the book "Orange County Place Names A-Z."
He says, "In the early 1920s, the city of Orangethorpe incorporated between Anaheim and Fullerton because Fullerton wanted to put their – well, what we called a sewer farm in those days, out there in the ranchlands in Orangethorpe. And by incorporating, they could keep the sewer farm out. And once that project had passed, after two or three years, they disincorporated and the city went away."
And that sewer? Brigandi says the sewer got put someplace else.
Orangethorpe the city is gone, but the street remains.