Representatives of the Juaneno/Luiseno and Tongva nation for a great period of time populated this region of Tustin. Subsequent to the crusade by Gaspar de Portola, a European safari led by priest Junipero Serra christened the vicinity Vallejo de Santa Ana (or Valley of Saint Anne). In 1776 San Juan Capistrano became the regions initial enduring Spanish encampment in Alta California. In the early 1800’s the Spanish government allocated over 62,000 acres to Yorba, which he called Rancho San Antonio. Yorba’s immense rancho incorporated the real estate where the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana are situated today. Lesser ranchos emerged from his massive rancho including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
Following the Mexican American war, Alta California was established as a segment of the U.S. and American pilgrims appeared in the region. Columbus Tustin, a freight maker from California, established the city in the 1870’s on less than 1,400 acres of real estate from the previous Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. The city of Tustin was established in 1927 with a population of less than 1000. The initial downtown area was encompassed by Costa Mesa, First Street, Newport Avenue and Camino Real. While World War II was occurring, a Navy anti-submarine airship base (which eventually became to be known as Marine Corps helicopter station) was settled in a rural area south of Tustin: the two dirigible hangars are among the biggest wooden complexes ever constructed and are earmarked on the National Register of Historic Places and ASCE List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. Provincial expansion following the war led to increased population, appropriation of close incorporated real estate including the base and establishment of orchards and countryside into Tustin housing tracts and shopping malls.