The Land of Orland dates from the pre-Gold Rush 1840s when Granville Perry Swift selected the area for the adobe headquarters of his vast cattle operation. The naming of the town took place in 1875 when three men--who could not agree on a name--put their choices on slips of paper and the name "Orland" was drawn from the hat. Orland saw a great influx of development in the 1910s with the completion of the Orland Irrigation Project" the first federally funded irrigation project on the West Coast. With water available at reasonable prices, small dairies and orchards sprang up around the town. Promotional efforts brought new families into the community. Vintage photographs from these "good old days" give a lasting picture of Orland's agricultural heritage.
About the Author
Dr. Gene Russell is the current president of the Orland Historical and Cultural Society, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007. A native resident of the Land of Orland, Russell has selected the best images from the Alta Schmidt House Museum and local collections for this visual voyage into the community's roots. He has also produced the Orland's Colorful . . . series of books on the town's unique history.