After only three years as a state, California experienced the beginning of its gold rush.
Although the California Gold Rush brought many people racing to Northern California in hopes of making a fortune by striking a gold mine, it had effects on Southern California as well.
The cattle that had previously been raised in Southern California mostly for leather hides to create clothing and shoes were suddenly more in demand for their meat by those who came to Northern California in search of their dreams.
As a result, the vaqueros who raised their cattle in Costa Mesa began cattle drives to San Francisco, making the cattle business big business.
During this same period of time, many of the ranchos were divided into smaller pieces. By 1880, the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, which encompassed Costa Mesa and other modern cities, had been divided into 73 parcels.
Can you just imagine cattle roaming the streets of Costa Mesa? They did last year when there was an old fashioned cattle drive to celebrate the Orange County Fair.