Orizaba Avenue

Orizaba Avenue was born Ojai Avenue in 1888. It was rechristened in 1905 but locals knew it by both names until 1910. So what’s an “Orizaba”? It’s the tallest mountain in Mexico: Pico de Orizaba, an inactive volcano. Surveyors borrowed the name for the highest peak on Santa Catalina Island – Mount Orizaba – and I have a hunch that the Alamitos Land Co. upgraded this street’s name to Orizaba because its beachside terminus affords views of Catalina. In fact a 1905 article for the company’s Long Beach Park tract promoted this very view. Nautical note: In the late 19th century, the Orizaba was a popular passenger steamship that sailed up and down the West Coast.