MOULTON MUSEUM

WE STRIVE TO GROW OUR
HERITAGE, COMMUNITY, & PHILANTHROPY.

Opening 2021

Our core values are reflected in our archives, exhibits, educational programs, and partnerships.

Our Partners and Sponsors

Exhibitions

We provide historical materials and fine art to our partners throughout California.

Now Open

Aliso Viejo Ranch

The Aliso Viejo Ranch is located at 100 Park Ave, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656.  Self-guided tours are available during regular business hours. They are Monday-Thursday 7:30am-5:30pm and Friday-Sunday 8am-3pm. If you are looking for a facility tour with staff, please schedule an appointment at (949) 425-2550 or avcity.org. The city, county, and state officials recognized this historically significant and monumental site for the community’s use. We hope you enjoy the OC Register article that highlighted the May 1, 2021 opening event.

The site will feature hands-on community educational programs on sustainable farming operations and will provide an opportunity for onsite STEM, biological science, horticultural and urban educational classes and community programs, farm-to-table dinners and special events. It will showcase Orange County’s development – from its agricultural roots to becoming the world’s 45th largest economy – and highlights the agricultural history of the United States.

The city of Aliso Viejo was incorporated on July 1, 2001. We celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Annual Events

Ranching and agriculture are central to the identity of the Moulton family to this day.

Maxwell, California

Moulton Roundup

In these times, family and friends are more important than ever. For over a century, the Moulton family has been gathering, working their cattle and building community just like they used to do on the Moulton Ranch during the ranching period of Orange County. At Moulton Museum we hope to tell the stories and share the traditions that bring us all together, connect us to our past and keep our community spirit alive into the future. Enjoy the video from our latest round-up held in Maxwell, CA in 2020.

Watch our 10 minute film about this historic event.

Pioneers of Orange County

Lewis Fenno Moulton & Nellie Gail Moulton

Lewis Fenno Moulton was a prestigious lawyer’s son. His father was a classmate and friend of President Lincoln. Lewis had worked at old Daniel Webster farm as an adolescent. As a part of Western expansion, many young men ventured West for opportunity. Lewis traveled to California at twenty years old by a boat around the Isthmus of Panama, train, and another boat to San Francisco before landing in soon to by Orange County. He learned to run a ranching operation by working at Rancho San Joaquin (Irvine Ranch) starting in 1874.

According to Louise Moulton Hanson, “In 1881 he bought Jonathan Bacon’s band of sheep and rented his 1,600 acres.” Lewis F. Moulton and Company was established with Jean Pierre Daguerre, a Basque sheepherder. The would developed a sheep and cattle enterprise along with agriculture.

On April 29, 1884 Lewis leased “17,000 acres, from Cyrus Rawson” (2018.43) which was a part of Rancho Niguel, a Mexican land grant once owned by Juan Avila. Throughout the years, Lewis purchased 21,723 acres which became known as the Moulton Ranch. 

Lewis and Nellie married in 1908. He built her a house on their homestead near the modern day Oakbrooke timeline near the 5 Freeway. They had two daughters, Charlotte and Louise.

Today, the land comprises much of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and Aliso Viejo. We aim to work with these cities to provide them with their heritage and preserve the past. Together we can educate the communities by exhibiting their history at the Moulton Museum.

Cities Incorporated from Moulton Ranch​

Laguna Niguel

Acquired: 1959 by the Laguna Niguel Corporation Incorporated‎: ‎December 1, 1989

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Laguna Woods

Acquired: 1963 by Ross Cortese as Leisure World Incorporated: March 24, 1999

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Laguna Hills

Subdivided in the early 1960s from the Moulton Ranch Incorporated: December 20, 1991

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Aliso Viejo

Acquired: 1976 by the Mission Viejo Company Incorporated: July 1, 2001

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Dana Point

Acquisition: Early 1960s by Avco Community Incorporated: January 1, 1989

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Laguna Beach

Incorporated: June 29, 1927

City's History

Visit the current city's website.
Learn More

Featured Collection

Laguna Hills, California

Moulton Ranch Center Mural

The Moulton Ranch Center mural depicts the history of Laguna Hills in a large, immersive mural painting that combines maps and photos from the Moulton Museum archives. These images are taken from the Moulton Ranch into an original artistic composition by Tim Smith, LCAD. View Orange County history through art in Laguna Hill’s first mural project! We hope you can experience the mural in person at 23272 Cabot Road in Laguna Hills. Please visit moultonmuseum.org/mural and follow us on social media for more content, details and upcoming events.

The newly released film provides historical information with on-site interviews.

MOULTON NEWS UPDATES

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  • Witness History

Aliso Viejo Ranch preserves city’s history and last parcel of Moulton family ranch

Visitors check out one of the historical displays in the New Barn following the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Aliso Viejo Ranch …

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Aliso Viejo Ranch Ribbon Cutting

You’re cordially invited to the highly-anticipated Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Aliso Viejo Ranch! Stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and noon for a self-guided …

Read More →

A Western Affair 2021: Celebrating Our Ranching Roots

California Rangeland Trust will gather on  October 1-2, 2021 at Rancho Mission Viejo to celebrate our ranching roots and the pivotal role ranching continues to …

Read More →

Moulton Museum

Get in Touch

CONTACT US

Questions

Please provide us with your research questions. We would be happy to provide you with information. 

Let us know if you’d like to schedule a visit. We will open our facility for tours in 2021.

949-257-2505
info@moultonmuseum.org

About

Moulton Museum works to keep the history of Orange County and its ranching era alive. The museum actively archives, restores, and preserves Orange County historical artifacts.

Features

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