FOUNTAIN VALLEY The city will celebrate its 60th birthday over the weekend with a fireworks show and parade, all coinciding with the popular Summerfest, which runs Thursday, June 20, to Sunday, June 25 at the Sports and Recreation Park.
The city has come a long way since June 13, 1957, when a group of farmers stood up against the wave of annexations and land-grabs that were going on around them and created their own identity.
Ron Courreges, whose father Joseph and mother Hazel helped make up the pioneer families that first farmed the land and helped lead the way to cityhood, remembers the late ’50s as contentious times.
“Those were pretty dark days,” Courreges said, recalling that the land disputes literally set neighbors in opposition.
According to Courreges, a farmer on a neighboring property stopped talking to him, even though he was just a 14-year-old at the time.
Historian Dann Gibb says the story of Fountain Valley is “basically the story of North County during the annexation wars.”
Courreges said he and his father whipped up emotions while the debate raged over whether to incorporate by going through town and planting signs that read “Santa Ana City Limits.”
Townships such as Wintersburg, Springdale, and Smeltzer were swallowed by Huntington Beach, while Talbert, Colonia Juarez and Newhope were absorbed by Fountain Valley.
Gibb said the frenzy of the time is partially responsible for the odd city limit lines along streets like Edinger Avenue, and the overlapping of cities and school districts and parks.
At one time, Fountain Valley seemed destined to extend…