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Costa Mesa, California

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Charley: A True Story

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that author Craig MacDonald  will be our speaker on Sunday March 18, 2018 . as he revisits a favorite subject of his, Charley Parkhurst!

In celebration of 150th Anniversary of the First Woman to Vote in a US National Election, Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig MacDonald will tell the amazing story of "Charley," the person he wrote about 45 years ago in the first nationally-published book on this incredible California stagecoach driver, "Cockeyed Charley Parkhurst--The West's Most Unusual Stagewhip,"  It's a sensational, true story he pieced together. The historian lived on Charley's stage route and his father taught English near where Charley is buried today. He also will reveal new information about this largely unknown character. This is a talk you don't want to miss! This limited edition book will be available for sale.  

Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig MacDonald, a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, is the author of 23 books on the West. The historian speaks at national conferences and universities. His relatives came to California in the Gold Rush. To learn more about Craig and his books, go to 

So come bring a friend and join us in celebration of Women's voting! 

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 closing. 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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