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Olinda (now called Brea) was first visited by the Spanish on 29 July 1769 and the party camped at the Brea Canyon. Olinda was found in the 19th century and many people came here in search of black gold. The owner of the land, Abel Steams, sold 1,200 acres of land to the Union Oil Company of California in 1894. By 1898 a lot of wooden oil drilling towers started to rise on the newly found Brea Olinda oil field. In 1908 just south of Brea Canyon the city of Randolph was found for the oil workers and their families. The communities of Brea and Olinda grew and merged and in 1911 the towns name was changed to Brea. The name Brea means “oil” or “tar” in Spanish and Brea was incorporated on 23 February 1917 and it was the eighth official city in the Orange County. When the oil industry started to decline some agricultural development started. Lemon and Orange groves started up and in the 1920’s the cities slogan was “Oil, Oranges and Opportunity”. The lemon and orange groves later gave way to residential developments and industrial parks. The openings of the Brea Mall and the Freeway in the 1970’s helped Brea to grow and expand. To date Brea, CA has an estimated population of 42, 471 people in the city.

Education and Real Estate

The city of Brea, CA is served by the Brea Olinda Unified School District and there are six elementary schools, one junior high school and one high school. Other schools in the community are the Brea United Methodist Pre-School, the Brea Congregational Pre-School, the Brea Olinda Friends School, the Christ Lutheran School and the Montessori of Brea. There are also the Southern California College of Business and Law situated in Brea, CA. Some of the schools in Brea, CA have worn some awards for outstanding education. These schools are the Brea Olinda High School and the Olinda Elementary School which won the Blue Ribbon Schools award. Schools that won the California Distinguished Schools award were the Brea Junior High and the Brea Olinda High Schools, the Mariposa Elementary and the Fanning Elementary.

When moving to Brea, CA you can be assured that you will find quality homes for everyone. House prices start from $ 400,000 and can go up to $1,000,000, depending on the type of house that you are looking at and the area where you want to live in. Houses are two, three and four bedroom houses with all the other rooms that all houses have. There are more than one real estate company in Brea, CA and they will help you to find the right home. If you are a first time buyer they will give you tips on what to look for and what you can afford. The community of Brea, CA always welcome new residents with a warm and friendly heart.

Places of Interest/Things to Do

Olinda Oil Museum and Trail

At the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail you will have the chance to take a walking tour back to history. The museum is a 12 acre historical park where you will experience the history of Brea, CA with sounds, smells and sights of how it was in the 19th century. You will see the first Olinda Oil Well that was drilled in 1897 and it is still pumping, there are the Jackline Pump and its surrounding building which was the power source for multiple wells that were active in the area. The field office that was also the head quarters of the Olinda Oil Operation where you will experience the vault, photos and the warehouse. There is a records vault where they store all the historical documentation of the Olinda Oil Operations and then there is the growing exhibit where you will be taken back to time with photos and records of how the people lived and how they survived during those times.

Brea Museum and Historical Society

At the Brea Museum and Historical Society you will be taken back in time exploring photos historical documents of how the oil companies worked at the houses that was once build in the area. Some of the building does not exist anymore but at the museum you will learn about them through photos. The museum is home to more than 15,000 artefacts, photos, ephemera and articles about the history of Brea, CA. The museum is open for research and you can even book the museum for an event. You can make your contribution by showing others how Brea, CA came to live in the 19th Century. The museum is definitely a place to visit when you want to learn more about the history of Brea.

The Brea Art Gallery

If you love art and have an eye for detail then you would want to visit The Brea Art Gallery. The gallery have 6,300 square foot space and here you will experience art from all over the world. There are also a children’s section where children can learn more about art and express their own creativity through hands on activities and displays. There are also a gift shop for you to visit where you can purchase art from local artists and in this way you can contribute to the history of art and where it might go. This visit will be worth your while and it will be a learning experience for your children.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park

If you want to have a day outdoors then you need to visit the Carbon Canyon regional Park. The park is 124 acres and there is a 4 acre lake with two fishing piers. You can participate in a guided hiking trail through the Redwood grove where you will be amazed by the nature scenes, bird life and the sounds surrounding it. You can also register for a night walk where you can experience night life in the park. At the park you will find picnic tables, grass lands, lighted tennis courts and more. This will be the perfect place to spend time outdoors with friends and family and have the time of your life.