Moulton Museum at

John Wayne Airport

Between Terminal B and C, the 2nd Floor Walkway (Arrivals)
Before Security Pre-Check untill the end of August.

What is Moulton Museum?

Keeping Orange County’s History and Ranching Era Alive

Moulton Museum is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to keeping the history of Orange County and its ranching era alive. We bring history to life and honor the pioneer spirit by actively archiving, restoring, and preserving Orange County historical artifacts.

Building Community

A Lasting Legacy of 150 Years

We strive to keep our community at the forefront of everything we do. Nellie Gail Moulton built and grew many prominent institutions that play a significant role in Orange County to this day, including but not limited to, Chapman University, Hoag Hospital, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD), and Laguna Museum. We continue to partner with local organizations who value community and demonstrate a true pioneer spirit.

Honoring the Land

Have you visited the Historic Moulton Ranch?

If you haven’t visited the historic Moulton Ranch, now is the perfect time! The original 21,723 acres is comprised of what is now known as Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, and parts of Dana Point. Do you live in Orange County? Check out our map to see if your property was a part of the original Moulton Ranch!


Learn about his Journey to California

In 1874, Lewis Fenno Moulton was an eligible bachelor who arrived in Southern California as a strappy twenty-year-old seeking his own enterprise starting at Rancho San Joaquin (Irvine Ranch). His strong work ethic and perseverance came from years of hard work. Years later, he established his ranch by purchasing land for sheep herding, consisting of 21,723 acres of land. Keep reading to learn more about the true pioneer spirit of Lewis Fenno Moulton and how he shaped Orange County history.

Meet Nellie Gail Moulton

Learn about Nellie's art and life

Nellie Gail Moulton was a teacher, mother, wife, rancher, philanthropist, artist, and true model of the pioneer spirit. An avid en plein air artist, Nellie painted most of her travels and life. Her works reflect the rich beauty of California landscapes. Moulton Museum is proud to have a collection of her preserved original works on exhibit at Nellie’s Gallery.

Visit Nellie's Gallery

Back to the Ranch by Jeff Sewell

Moulton Museum is proud to celebrate the pioneer spirit with our local community. We couldn’t think of a better way to transport you back in time than to enlist the creative talents of local plein air artist, Jeff Sewell, as he preserves the living history found in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

We are fortunate to work with such creative individuals who have the ability to capture the natural beauty of the land that has comprised Moulton Ranch for all these years. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into the past of Orange County history by viewing Jeff Sewell’s creations from March 9 – June 29, 2023 at Nellie’s Gallery. 

Currently on Exhibit

1874: Into the West

At Moulton Museum, we believe looking back to the past is an important way for us to broaden our understanding of the past struggles and triumphs of those who came before us. In 1874, at the young age of twenty years old, Lewis Fenno Moulton decided to journey from Boston to California where he eventually established 21,723 acres of land that comprised Moulton Ranch.

1874 was not only a significant year for the Moulton Family, but a historic year for our nation and a statewide year for Orange County history. To learn more about the changing landscape of southern California and the influence Lewis Moulton had on the ranching community, visit our exhibit.

we support education

We are proud to support local schools

At Moulton Museum, we are all about building connections between the past, present, and future. What better way to pass on the pioneer spirit than to share our rich history with the young pioneers of Orange County?

In honor of Nellie Gail Moulton, a former school teacher and principal, we are proud to serve a community who values the history and ranching heritage of Orange County. We work hard to provide an inspiring educational experience for local students, bring art to our communities, and make history come to life for all of our museum visitors.

Experience History

Murals at Moulton Ranch Center in Laguna Hills

Get ready to experience the spirit of Orange County’s history with our larger-than-life murals at The Moulton Ranch Center (formerly the Cabot Town Center). This property has been owned by the Moulton Family since 1895 and is proud to display Laguna Hill’s first mural, completed by LCAD graduate and instructor Timothy Robert Smith.

Do you have the Pioneer Spirit?

Visit Moulton Museum online or book a tour to learn more about the
Moulton Family and the rich history of Orange County.