In 1899, a group of sportsmen built Orange County’s first golf course near a bean field on The Irvine Ranch.
Leasing Irvine Company land in Peters Canyon, the Santiago Golf Club laid out a nine-hole course featuring oil-soaked sand for greens and native soil for fairways.
Golfers arrived by bicycle or buggy, dressed in knickers and ties, and often carrying their own lunch to eat at the bright red clubhouse atop the ridge that now extends into Upper Peters Canyon Reservoir. The club later moved and reorganized as the Santa Ana Country Club.
During World War II, the Army staged mock battles among the canyon’s eucalyptus groves. Later, the Boy Scouts used the grounds for weekend gatherings at “Camp Myford.”
In 1992, Irvine Company donated 340 acres of Peters Canyon to create Peters Canyon Regional Park, which features a small lake and 10 trails ranging from .2 miles to 5.7 miles.
The historic canyon is named after James Peters, who farmed barley and beans there in the 1800s.