Trees and wood were in short supply in the new colony, so the redwood used to build Anaheim’s earliest buildings was brought by ship to Southern California, transferred to a smaller boat to be brought through the shoals and breakers, carried ashore by Indians, and transferred by wagon over rugged dirt roads to the fledgling city of Anaheim.
Adobe was the common building material of the area, and continued to be used for years after the first wood frame houses were built. The availability of adobe materials and experienced workers resulted in an economical house which could be built quickly and adopted well to the terrain and climate.
Langenberger’s Store, a two story adobe building, was already here when the first families arrived in 1859 to occupy the new colony. Roads, irrigation ditches, and a town fence were completed, and grapevines were planted. The fifty acre plots and 64 town lots had been assigned to their new owners by the lottery method.
One adobe which was very important to the history of Anaheim was the Ontiveros adobe in Placentia. The original 1,165 acres on which Anaheim was laid out was purchased in 1857 (for $2,330) from the Juan Pacifico Ontiveros family. The Ontiveros adobe was recently torn down. However, Anaheim has an old adobe of its own waiting to be restored.
A few years ago, the Peralta adobe in Santa Ana was discovered hiding under the old Canyon Cafe and has been purchased by the County Historical Commission for future restoration. Rumors of other hidden adobes in Anaheim persist. Since adobe is perishable, it was often covered in later years with wood siding. Discovering an authentic old adobe would be a true historic coup!