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Maag house and water tower

The Maag House was built by John
Anton Maag in 1899.  For a family
with ten children, the house had seven
bedrooms and two parlors and, of
course a kitchen and pantry - but
only one bathroom.  The house and
other buildings were moved to the
Museum from Fairhaven cemetary in
1981.  The house is currently
undergoing restoration to become a
regional history museum for this area.  
The water tower, minus its water
tank, is now our museum gift shop.

Maag carriage barn
Maag carriage barn sketch

A drawing of the the
Carriage House shows
its appearance before

The  Maag Carriage
Barn has been restored
to become Museum


German born in Westphalia, John Maag, with his mother and brother, migrated to the
United States in 1865 at the end of our Civil War.  The family moved first to Michigan
and then to Nebraska where in 1884 he married Catherine Steffes.  He moved his
family to Southern California in 1891.

Purchasing a horse and buggy in Los Angeles, the family toured areas in Orange
County looking for the ideal location for a farm.  He bought 31 acres of farmland in
what is now Santa Ana and became another orange grower.

Oranges at the time were in a buyer’s market and the farmers could not earn enough to
make a profit.  Maag organized the orange growers between Santa Ana and Redlands
and they together former the Santiago Orange Growers Association.  As a group, they
established fair prices for the oranges.  This association under Maag’s directorship and
others formed Sunkist.

He also helped in the creation and became director of the Central Lemon Growers
Association, the Olive Heights Orange Growers Association, the Richland Walnut
Growers Association and the Orange County Fumigating AssociationThese groups
again were organized with Maag’s help to control their destinies by establishing fair
market prices.

With a passage of time, Maag bought more ranches.  He helped organize the Citizens
Commercial and Savings Bank of Santa Ana, now known as the California National
Bank.  John Maag became a prosperous man.

Between Nebraska and California, the Maag’s had eight sons (two of whom died at a
very early age) and two daughters.Maag had a twelve room home built for his large
family.He was adedicated member of St. Joseph’e Catholic Church in Santa Ana and
a staunch family man.

Maag is remembered by his granddaughter, Lucinda Maag Considine, as a German
authoritarian, firm but fair.  The children had duties to perform:  the girls cooked and
cleaned with their mother and the boys worked the ranches with their father.  Coming
of age, the girls received a piano.  The boys received land and a team of horses.

Maag is a significant name in the creation and organization of the Orange County

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