About

Pioneers of Orange County

Before Orange County annexed from the Los Angeles county in August 1889, families resided here and developed a rich ecosystem of agriculture and commerce. Lewis F. Moulton arrived in 1874 at twenty years old.

PAST: Who is the Moulton Family

The family was established in 1908 when Lewis married Nellie. The had two daughters, Charlotte and Louise. Charlotte married Glenn and had three children. These are the decendants of these pioneers.

PRESENT: Moulton Museum

The museum's vast collection of personal papers, maps, photographs, slides, fine art, household furniture, home decor, to ranch equipment showcase daily life during the 19th and 20th century.

FUTURE: Partners and Expansion

Our community partnerships continue to expand our collections and interpretive plan. We hope to move into a larger facility to serve a larger audience and influence our interpretive plan.

Our Mission

Moulton Museum actively archives, restores, and preserves Orange County historical artifacts. We are committed to sharing the collection with the public through exhibitions and events.

Our Vision

We are expanding the collective understanding of the ranching era and its lasting impact on the economic, social, architectural, and cultural fabric of Orange County

Mission Statement

Our core values of heritage, community, and philanthropy are reflected in our archives, exhibits, educational programs, and partnerships.

Mission Statement:

The Moulton Museum actively archives, restores, and preserves Orange County historical artifacts. We are committed to sharing the collection with the public through exhibition and events. We are expanding the collective understanding of the ranching era and its lasting impact on the economic, social, architectural, and cultural fabric of Orange County.

We are working to keep the history of Orange County and its ranching era alive. The Moulton Museum will be opening summer 2021. It will have rotating exhibits that feature Lewis F. Moulton’s ranching legacy, Nellie Gail Moulton’s artwork, daily life, business culture, and local history. The museum actively archives, restores and preserves Orange County historical artifacts from farm implements and buggies to documents, artwork and images of the period. The archive contains family photos, maps, furniture, ephemera, personal papers, and corporate history.
 
The Moulton Museum is committed to sharing its collection with the public. Expanding the collective understanding of the ranching era and its lasting impact on the economic, social, architectural and cultural fabric of Orange County is at the core of the Moulton Museum’s mission. Support us by becoming a partner with your charitable donation. We are a 501c3 non-profit.
 

If you are interested in helping the Moulton Museum pursue its goals, please contact Jared Mathis at 949-450-6285.

We are supported by The Moulton Company. Visit their site to learn more about the history.

Corporate Sponsors

About Rancho Niguel

Development of Moulton Ranch

November 1, 1776

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded by Father Junípero Serra, a priest in the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church on behalf of Spain. “California’s cattle industry began in 1769 when Captain Gaspar de Portola and his group of missionaries and soldiers brought 200 head of cattle to the area, and by 1863, approximately three million cattle were grazing on the hills of California.”

November 1, 1776

1821

Rancho Era

Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. California became Mexican territory and many rancheros were formed in Southern California, including Rancho Niguel.

1821

1848-1850

California Formed

In 1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed with Mexican government that ended the war. The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill. California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850

1848-1850

1874

Lewis Fenno Moulton

Lewis Fenno Moulton (1854-1938) arrives at Rancho San Joaquin (Irvine Ranch) at twenty years old. Louise Moulton Hanson shared, “He got a job on the San Joaquin ranch working under Charles French. He and Mr. French bought a flock of sheep, and my father eventually bought out Mr. French. He ran his sheep on rented land from Oceanside to Wilmington.” 

1874

1895

L. F. Moulton & Co.

Lewis forms the L. F. Moulton and Co.  with Basque partner, Jean Pierre Daguerre to run the 21,723 acres. Lewis bought out his partner and renamed this operation Moulton Ranch. This encompasses what is now Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Laguna Hills.

1895
error: All images are copyright of the Moulton Museum.

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