Modjeska Canyon, California

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Modjeska Canyon, California
The Modjeska House, a historical landmark in the community
The Modjeska House, a historical landmark in the community
Modjeska Canyon, California is located in California
Modjeska Canyon, California
Modjeska Canyon, California
Coordinates: 33°42′39″N 117°38′32″W / 33.7108528°N 117.6422719°W / 33.7108528; -117.6422719
CountryUnited States
1,230 ft (370 m)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)714

Modjeska Canyon is an unincorporated community on the western slope of the Santa Ana Mountains in eastern Orange County, California. It is a suburban community of several hundred residents, with a small park and a volunteer fire station. The ZIP Code is 92676, and the community is inside area code 714.[citation needed]

The canyon is also the location of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Most of the canyon is bordered by the Cleveland National Forest. The community of Modjeska is very tight knit, hosting several in-canyon events, such as pot lucks, dance lessons, movie nights at the park, Fourth of July parades, as well as Christmas and Halloween parties.[1] The parties are usually held in the Modjeska Community Center and the Fire Station. They also hold events for non-residents to come and enjoy, such as an arts and crafts fair held in early spring at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.[2][3]


Modjeska is named after the 19th-century Polish stage actress, mother of the famous bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski, Helena Modjeska, who settled in the canyon in the late 19th century.[4] Her home from 1888 to 1906, "Arden," is a National Historic Landmark. The house and gardens are private; therefore, reservations are required for a tour of the property. The house is typically open only once or twice a month.[5][6]

Mary Teegarden Clark, an early resident of nearby Orange, described a late 1800s community picnic in Modjeska in her memoirs, Pioneer Ranch Life in Orange.[7]

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love was incorporated as a non-profit organization in Modjeska on Oct 26, 1966 — a few months before John Griggs and other founding members relocated to the Woodland Drive neighborhood of Laguna Beach, CA (later known as 'Dodge City').[8]


The canyon was affected by the Santiago Fire. About 14 homes in Modjeska were destroyed by the fire and another 8 homes were damaged (out of a total of roughly 220 homes in the canyon).[according to whom?] Mandatory evacuations were issued prior to President George W. Bush declaring the site an emergency.[citation needed]

During the Bond Fire, Modjeska Canyon was one of the first communities to be evacuated due to their proximity to Silverado Canyon, where the wildfire originated.[9]



  1. ^ "Upcoming Canyon Events". Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  2. ^ "Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary". Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  3. ^ "Modjeska Canyon & Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary". Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  4. ^ Meyers, Talya (2006-06-18). "Modjeska Canyon is just as they like it". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  5. ^ "Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House & Gardens". Orange County, California Parks. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  6. ^ "Arden Mainpage". Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  7. ^ Clark, Mary Teegarden (2013). Pioneer ranch life in Orange: a Victorian woman in Southern California. Charleston, SC: The History Press. ISBN 9781626190740.
  8. ^ Schou, Nick (2010). Orange Sunshine: the Brotherhood of Eternal Love and its quest to spread peace, love, and acid to the world. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 9780312551834.
  9. ^ Cota-Robles, Marc (December 4, 2020). "6,400-acre Bond Fire in OC's Silverado Canyon prompts mandatory evacuations, leaves 2 firefighters injured". ABC 7. Retrieved December 31, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Payne, Theodore (1962). Life on the Modjeska Ranch in the gay nineties. Los Angeles. LCCN 63000170.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°42′39″N 117°38′29″W / 33.71083°N 117.64139°W / 33.71083; -117.64139