/ The Orange County Guide
Orange County — By Abbie Mood on April 26, 2010 at 10:12 am
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Journey Through Early California at the Irvine Museum

Starting with the earliest habitation of Native Americans in the Western Hemisphere 20,000 years ago to the Gold Rush of 1849, El Camino de Oro:  A Journey Through Early California tells the story of the Golden State with a collection of historic paintings.  From February 24th through June 5th, 2010, view paintings from talented artists while learning about California’s history at the Irvine Museum.

El Camino de Oro: A Journey Through Early California contains paintings that illustrate the timeline of major events throughout California’s history.

1542 - Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot in California when he landed in what is now San Diego Bay.

1769 - The story of Gaspar de Portola and Father Junipero Serra, who established the first mission in California in San Diego in 1769, is demonstrated with beautiful paintings of the 21 missions along El Camino Real. The paintings then recount Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, followed by the Golden Age, a time of the rancheros and vaqueros.

Around this time, foreigners started moving to California as trappers and traders. The principal product of the rancheros was leather hides, that would be shipped and sold throughout the country.

1848 - California officially became a part of the United States as a result ofthe war between the United States and Mexico.

1849 - The Gold Rush! That brought thousands of people from other parts of America, as well as Europe and Asia.

1850 - California became the 31st state of the Union in 1850.

End of the 19th century – The era of ranches and the growth of large agricultural empires, such as the Irvine Ranch, which at its height included over 115,000 acres of Orange County land. This time is illustrated by gorgeous landscape paintings, showing the region before the growth and development that took place following World War II.

The Irvine Museum is located at 18881 Von Karman Avenue, Ste. 100, in Irvine (map).

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission and parking are both free.

For more information, call the museum at (949) 476-2565.

Photo Credit: ToOliver2 on Flickr

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