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Costa Mesa, California

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History of Orange Couny/John Wayne Airport

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that Jeff Rountree, Manager of Airside Operations, will be our speaker on Sunday June 24, 2018 . as he presents a history of, Orange County Airport, AKA John Wayne Airport!


Jeff Rountree is the Manager of Airside Operations at John Wayne Airport.  For the past 22 years he has been responsible for ensuring the safety of day to day airfield and terminal operations at Orange County’s sole air carrier airport which serves approximately 10.4 million passengers annually.  Mr. Rountree is responsible for ensuring the airfield is operated in compliance with federal regulations that govern airports serving commercial air carriers.  He previously worked at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, Oxnard and Camarillo airports and served at a police officer. Jeff earned a pilot's license in 1984.


Beginning with Eddie Martin’s Airport in 1923, there have be several distinct airfield configurations that have made up the “Orange County Airport” as it was known from 1941 until the addition of John Wayne’s name in 1979.  During that time, the Airport was transformed into an army airfield providing coastal air defense and military access to the Santa Ana Army Air Base during WWII to becoming an airline “stop” in the 1950s and 1960s to becoming a thriving General Aviation airport - the nation’s third busiest airport operationally in the early 1970s.  It has grown into current role as a medium-hub commercial service airport serving some 10.4 million passengers while still accommodating all types of General Aviation activities.

So bring a friend and trip down memory lane as we discover what role SNA has played and what made it special!


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.

Note: Due to construction, entry to parking lot must be made from Park Ave.



Important information on how to access our parking lot when visting:

The Anaheim Ave. entrance is closed. Enter from Park Ave. near the fire station.


We wanted you to be among the first to be aware that the Historical Society has released its second book on Costa Mesa History, covering the years 1940-2003.  The book tells the story of Costa Mesa’s growth from infancy to its coming of age.
The book is available at the Costa Mesa Historical Society, 1870 Anaheim Ave, 949-631-5918,
From the back Cover: Perhaps no one could have foreseen the amazing transformation of Costa Mesa from a sleepy rancho to today’s bustling “City of the Arts.”  Along with other Orange County cities, Costa Mesa experienced explosive growth, redevelopment, county bankruptcy, traffic, and environmental issues.  While navigating these events, Costa Mesa emerged with its own brand of Southern California cityhood


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


Also still available is our first 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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