Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County California.
Members of the Gabrieleño/Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations long inhabited the area including whats now known as Costa Mesa. After the 1769 Spanish expedition the area was named Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba’s great rancho included the communities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach .
After the Mexican-American war, California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area and formed the town of Fairview in the 1880s near the modern intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue.
To the south, meanwhile, the community of Harper had arisen on a siding of the Santa Ana and Newport Railroad, named after a local rancher. This town prospered on its agricultural goods. On May 11, 1920, Harper changed its name to Costa Mesa, which means “coast table(land)” in Spanish. This is a reference to the city’s geography as being a plateau by the coast.
Costa Mesa surged in population during and after World War II, as thousands trained at Santa Ana Army Air Base and returned after the war with their families. Within three decades of incorporation, the city’s population had nearly quintupled.