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Costa Mesa, California

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The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that Cemetery Angels Ann Nepsa and Melanie Goss  will be our speakers on Sunday February 21, 2016 . with a presentation on their involvement with and history of

the Yorba Cemetery.

Located in the neighborhood Woodgate Park, the Yorba Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Orange County.  The cemetery was established on land originally part of Bernardo Yorba’s 13,000 acre Rancho Cañon de Santa Ana, the Canyon of Saint Anne, granted to him in 1834. After his death in 1858, Bernardo’s will deeded property to the Catholic Church containing the San Antonio Chapel and the cemetery.  Residents of the Santa Ana Canyon, many of them descendants of pioneering rancho-era families, were buried at this cemetery from 1860 till the cemetery’s closure in 1939. Today, the Yorba Cemetery is a historical site operated by Orange County Parks.  

The mother and daughter team of Ann Nepsa and Melanie Goss became involved with the Yorba Cemetery about 15 years ago. At that time there were no tours of the cemetery and it was almost impossible to get into it. They had worked at the Anaheim Cemetery doing restoration work, taking care of the old family mausoleums and transcribing all the headstones. When a new ranger took over the Yorba cemetery they volunteered to help him out. Since that time they have mapped the cemetery, painted and installed crosses to designate unmarked graves, studied the history and genealogies of the families buried there and given tours on the first Saturday of every month for 15 years..

Please call (714) 973-3190 for more information. or visit

So bring a friend and learn about this fascinating part of Orange County history!

Seating is limited, for RESERVATIONS call (949) 631-5918.    Doors open at 2:00, program at 2:30. Free admission and refreshments. We are located at 1870 Anaheim Ave. northwest corner of the Lions Park complex.

Visit   or go to facebook/costa mesa historical society for more information.



Come enjoy the Denwar Exhibit and also check out our gift shop for Denwar and other Costa Mesa related items!

Give the gift of history and help support the CMHS at the same time!

Lots of books and memorabilia to select from including commemorative plates, paperweights and SAAAB items, note paper, postcards and out of print items.

And we have many historic photos to choose from for your home, office or gift!



"Costa Mesa My Sweet Home" video


Order form for the book Early Costa Mesa: more info

The Costa Mesa Historical Society welcomes you to its online home.  The Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit group whose mission is to collect, preserve and promote the history of the Costa Mesa area.

We encourage anyone interested in Costa Mesa history to explore our website.  Also, we extend an open invitation to interested individuals, families, students, professionals, businesses and organizations to become members of the Society.

This website contains but a tiny sampling of the many resources available to you.  Please contact us should you need more information.



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