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Old Town Tustin - Historic Highlights

Tustin Old Town is an area centered around a group of historic buildings located on Main Street and El Camino Real which date back to the 1880s. Among the early businesses and structures in Tustin were a blacksmith shop, a combined grocery store/meat market, a business and feed store building, churches and school buildings. The present day museum is located in a historic old building which has housed many businesses over the decades.

Main Street runs from Williams Street on the west to just past Newport Avenue on the east. Today, its one-and-a-half miles reveal over twelve decades of Tustin's past. Tourists are advised to park their cars and follow a map to "Take Main Street to Tustin History." This sidewalk tour has three short side trips to expand the study. The total walking distance is just over two miles, but in that distance Southern California's past is illuminated in a special way.

The Tustin Area Historical Society

Museum and office is located at 395 El Camino Real (at Main Street) Map - The museum contains a wealth of information and photographs about the history and growth of Tustin. The museum is open the first and third Saturday of every month from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the history of Tustin please visit www.tustinhistory.com and our Blogs at www.tustinhistory.blogspot.com Annual Event: Old Town Promenade - Features historic home and garden tours with guided tree and architectural walks. 

Some Old Town Highlights

The Stevens House: Pioneer Sherman Stevens' home was built in 1887 of redwood shipped from Eureka. A classic Queen Anne Victorian with many interesting architectural features, it remained in the Stevens family until 1980. Avocado groves which surrounded it were replaced with office buildings in 1982.

The Pankey Residence: Built in 1928 in the California Monterey style, some of the walls are 18 inches thick. The tree seen over the roof in the rear is one of the massive native sycamores which were already growing when Columbus Tustin first bought the land from the Spanish Land Grant in the 1860s.

The Leihy House: Built around 1915, this home is an interesting example of a California Craftsman bungalow with its front-facing gable, exposed rafters, front door lights, heavy posts, and large, horizontal beams.

The Vance House: Built of redwood in 1887. This Queen Anne Victorian exhibits the typical variety of patterns, gabled roof with widow's walk and cresting, saw work, decorative bands, carved brackets, fish scale siding and spindle balusters.

The Leinburger House: This Victorian cottage was built in 1888.

The Rock House: Built in 1950 by a Civil Engineer using his rock collection gathered while on jobs in the Rocky Mountain states.

The Hewes House: Built in 1881, it was added to in 1920. This house combines a variety of styles; Victorian Eastlake, Italianate, and Greek revival features.

Tustin Presbyterian Church: Organized in 1882, the Tustin Presbyterian Church replaced their Victorian chapel in 1928 with this Spanish colonial revival.

Knights of Pythias Building: This Italian Romanesque building became the center of much social, fraternal and commercial activity. Tustin's first City Hall was located in one of the rear stores.

Shop Buildings at 130-140 West Main Street: These shop buildings date back to about 1914 when they housed the post office, drug store and barbershop. This was the site of the Wells Fargo Express Office, as well. And there are many other buildings as well, all carefully preserved to keep a part of Southern California history alive in Tustin.

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