Fountain Valley: 60 Years as “A Nice Place to Live”

By Irma Livadic

Founded as the 21st city in the County of Orange, Fountain Valley is often referred to as Orange County’s best-planned community, with a reputation for being a pillar of prosperity, comfort, and diversity. Named after its artesian wells and its great supply of water, the city’s overall success can be attributed to its fascinating and complex history. This year on June 13th, Fountain Valley celebrates its 60th Anniversary as a thriving, forward-looking city bolstered by its mission to advance the quality of life for its citizens.

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Looking south on Bushard St. at Talbert Road about 1920. Photo from The Orange County Register.

In its early settlement, Fountain Valley was inundated by swamps, hence rendering the area and its surrounding communities the name of “Gospel Swamps.” In the late 1800s, a severe drought turned the marsh into lush farmland, filling the land with natural springs and artesian wells. The residents of the area used this opportunity to grow various field crops, including beans and sugar beets, and eventually moved towards growing truck crops, such as strawberries and cabbage. As the population continued to boom, particularly after World War II, neighboring cities began to incorporate at an overwhelming rate. The leaders of the town then realized it too had to become a city. Thus, on June 13, 1957 the city of Fountain Valley was officially created and a master plan was introduced to divide the land into separate zones for industrial or commercial use, business districts, and residential areas. Over the past 5 decades, this plan allowed the farmland to give way to housing, therefore, creating a flourishing bedroom community.

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North Bushard Street at the Talbert Avenue intersection on April 14, 2013. Photo from The Orange County Register.

Today, with a current population of 54,797, the city has grown immensely since its incorporation in 1957, emerging as a highly successful and suburban city. 91.9% of the population currently lives comfortably in terms of income, with business replacing agriculture as the main focus and way of life. For most of its residents, Fountain Valley is referred to as “A Nice Place to Live” due to its well-maintained streets, numerous parks, wide range of recreation programs, optimal weather throughout the year, and its overall quality of life. Located in the heart of Orange County, it is no surprise that the city has taken the lead in many different sectors.

Congratulations to the city of Fountain Valley for 60 years of development, success, and dedication to community! As the city marches into its next 60 years, its endless achievements will continue to encourage further growth, not only upholding stability in the lives of its citizens, but also maintaining this vision of prosperity and progress.

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