El Modena, California
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El Modena is an area around El Modena High School in the city of Orange, California. It is located near and east of the intersection of Hewes Street and Chapman Avenue. Much of the area was annexed by Orange in the 1960s and 1970s, but there is still an enclave of unincorporated county land to the east of the high school.
The town was historically a barrio  or colonia settled by Hispanics of Mexican heritage, as well some Californio and Spanish American settlers in the first half of the 19th century (1790-1850) before the annexation of California by the USA during the Mexican American War (1846-1848).
El Modena's agricultural days have had a rich cultural impact on the town's history. Between the time of its foundation in the 1880s to the suburban development boom in the late 1950s, El Modena was an area filled with citrus groves. It is now fully urbanized with the majority its residents being low to middle income families; the annexed areas of the city became upper income in the real estate booms of the 1990s and 2000s (decade).
Before the 1960s, El Modena and its people, most of which are of Mexican/Mexican American descent, were lacking proper political representation. This has greatly improved since the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.
Like the trailer parks of western Santa Ana facing the Santa Ana River, and Panorama Heights within Orange and facing Tustin, the town of El Modena is among the poorest parts of Orange County. By the 1970s, much of the older residential areas were poorly maintained: No paved streets, no gutters or sewer caps, poorly dimmed street lighting and mobile home parks without proper utilities. As time progressed, however, El Modena's living environment has gradually improved.
The Southern Pacific formerly had an El Modena Station, located off La Veta Avenue, just south of the present-day La Veta Park.
- Web Page: Old Town Is Gone, but Neighborhood Ties Remain
- Web Page: Cause for Celebration : With Gang Truce Holding, Life in El Modena Area Is More Livable
- Web Page: Pacific Edge: Three Californias (Three Californias Series)
- El Modena Branch Orange Public Library
- El Modena Park
- 1920's postcard of David Hewes Realty Corporation in El Modena
- 1952 AAA map showing the location of pre-annexation El Modena