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Mission Viejo Library
100 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
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Phone: (949) 830-7100
Open: 10-9 M-Th, 1-5 F, 10-5 Sat, 12-5 Sun
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Local History

Contact Us With Your Local History Questions

Have a question about the history of Mission Viejo, or need help with some research? Contact us via email at localhistory@cityofmissionviejo.org or give us a call at (949) 830-7100, extension 5110.

New!  Online Index to Announcements in the Saddleback Valley News

Birth, death and marriage announcements in the Saddleback Valley News from 1969 – 1989 have been indexed by the South Orange County California Genealogical Society.  The indexes are searchable by year or surname. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casoccgs/svnvitals.html

Oral History Interviews and Transcripts

Mission Viejo Library staff and the Mission Viejo Heritage Committee have completed a year-long grant project capturing oral history interviews from key members of the Mission Viejo Company. These interviews describe the unique history of Mission Viejo and provide an inside look at what it took to build one of the first planned communities in the nation. 

The following interviews were filmed in the MVTV studio and full transcripts were created from these interviews. 

Thomas C. Blum and
W.W. "Bill" Knitz
Video: Part 1 of 1
Transcript

Robert T. Bunyan
Video: Part 1 of 3
Video: Part 2 of 3
Video: Part 3 of 3
Transcript

David Celestin
Video: Part 1 of 2
Video: Part 2 of 2
Transcript

Arthur S. Cook
Video: Part 1 of 3
Video: Part 2 of 3
Video: Part 3 of 3
Transcript

Wendy Wetzel Harder
Video: Part 1 of 2
Video: Part 2 of 2
Transcript

John T. Martin
Video: Part 1 of 4
Video: Part 2 of 4
Video: Part 3 of 4
Video: Part 4 of 4
Transcript

Wayne E. Peterson
Video: Part 1 of 2
Video: Part 2 of 2
Transcript

Harvey Stearn
Video: Part 1 of 3
Video: Part 2 of 3
Video: Part 3 of 3
Transcript

James G. Toepfer
Video: Part 1 of 2
Video: Part 2 of 2
Transcript

The following history specials were produced by MVTV and the Mission Viejo Library.
Mission Viejo: A Living Legacy, Part 1
Mission Viejo: A Living Legacy, Part 2 

This oral history project was made possible by funding from a Library Service and Technology Act grant, administered through the California State Library.

Images from the Early Days of Mission Viejo

Take a visual tour of the creation of Mission Viejo from its earliest days to the incorporation of the City of Mission Viejo! Over 400 images from community activities, Mission Viejo Company brochures, and more have been digitized from the original archival items.

Browse or search the Heritage Committee Local History Digital Collection.

The digitization of these images was made possible by funding from a Library Service and Technology Act grant, administered through the California State Library.

An Overview of Mission Viejo History

Presentation of Rancho Mission Viejo Brand, circa 1976Did you know that Mission Viejo, California, was one of the first successful master planned communities in the United States?

A Mission Viejo Timeline, 1963-2013

Take a look at this handy timeline of early Mission Viejo milestones.

More About Mission Viejo History

Browse through the following selection of articles for an overview of the history and progress of Mission Viejo as a community.

Makers of the Promise: Rancho Mission Viejo (PDF)

The California Promise Fulfilled: Beautiful Mission Viejo (PDF)

'Goofy Hats Day', 1968Keepers of the Promise: Mission Viejo Company (PDF)

Community Identity: Preserving the Legacy (PDF)

Community Pride: Enhancing the Quality of Life (PDF)

Community Spirit: Creating That Home-Town Feeling (PDF)

Community Recognition: Awards and Accolades (PDF)

Community Distinction: Marketing the Mission Viejo Miracle (PDF)

Olympic Memories in Mission Viejo (PDF)

A special thanks to Judy Deeter, Robert D. Breton, Micky Schulte and all the members of the City of Mission Viejo Heritage Committee for their input, research, and cooperation.