Timeline of Early Cypress History
1565: Cypress area was inhabited by the Gabrieleno/Tongva Indians.
October 1542: Rodriguez Cabrillo expedition reached what today is known as San Pedro.
July 1769: Gaspar de Portola led an exploratory party into what now is Orange County.
After Portola exploration: 300,000 acres were part of a land grant given to Manuel Nieto.
1965: 400-year-old skeleton of Chumash tribe member discovered at Cypress Library site. 1967: Cypress Library relocated to area near City Hall. Old library became Boys & Girls Club.
1833-1840: Manuel Nieto’s sons asked Governor Jose Figueroa to partition lands to heirs. Eldest son, Juan Jose Nieto, received ranchos of Los Alamitos and Los Coyotes, including Cypress area. Immediately, Rancho Los Alamitos (Little Cottonwoods) was sold to Governor Figueroa for $5,009 (approx. 2-cents an acre). After Governor’s death, land and stock sold to Abel Stearns, for $6,000. Los Coyotes was sold to Juan Baptiste Leandry in 1840.
1848: California land rush.
1850: California statehood.
1861: Great flood drowned cattle, reduced property values; drought followed. Properties lost to mortgage and tax debts. Investors organized Robinson Trust, controlling Stearns’ land empire.
1869: Completion of the transcontinental railroad.
1871: With the influx of people into the state by the completion of the transcontinental railroad, Stearns created subdivisions, which was a huge success. Stearns dies.
1873: The first California boom was slowed by panic.
1878: John Bixby and family, who originally had settled in the central part of the state and once were part owners of the Irvine Ranch, brought sheep to the area and leased Los Alamitos Ranch.
1880s: The great boom picked up where the last one left off.
1888: The famed rancho divided in three ways as the Bixby’s had seen the success of the Robinson Trust in disposing of the real estate accumulated by Abel Stearns.
1890: Charles Lee Damron donated land for the first Cypress School.
1899: George Miller, known as the “Father of Cypress,” and family moved to the area, bringing his livestock to settle on an 80-acre ranch. In 1907 he opened his own milk depot, and 1910 founded the Southern California Dairy Association. Notable names of the time, as listed in the Orange County Directory, were Mr. & Mrs. S.O. Walker (well borer), Mr. & Mrs. H. LaRue (general store) and Mr. & Mrs. J.P. Moody (local rancher).
1915: A group of businessmen got together to get a road built between Cypress and Los Alamitos. That produced the organization known as the Cypress Chamber of Commerce.
1927: The town had its first post office and enrollment at the Cypress school surpassed 100.
1933: Major earthquake hits Orange County and Long Beach. Recovery took many years.
March 3, 1938: Severe storms put most of the Cypress area was under 2-3 feet of water.
September 27, 1948: Chamber of Commerce officially incorporated.
July 24, 1956: Cypress was incorporated and renamed from Waterville to Dairy City. The first City Council consisted of Mayor Jacob VanDyke, Mayor Pro Tem Alfred Arnold and Council members Walter Arrowwood, Thomas Bardoli and Jacob Van Leeuweer.
1957: Residents change city name from Dairy City to Cypress
Stater Bros' Complex - Ball & Valley (1960)
Stater Bros' Complex - Ball & Valley View (2020)
Lincoln & Walker (1960s)
Lincoln & Walker (2020)