Olive Through the Ages

Commerce: Olive Heights Hotel and Olive Motel

Brick Yard & Tile Co. | First Natl. Bank of Olive | Olive Garage | Olive Hotel and Motel | Olive Mill
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Olive (Heights) Hotel appeared on Main Street in 1887. The hotel was built as a residence for Olive Milling Co. workers and remained in operation a little after the mill closed in 1924.

About 1940, Olive Motel Apartments opened a few blocks away on Canyon Way (Orange-Olive Road) at Buena Vista Avenue. The motel closed some time in the early 1980s, but the structure remained at this site until the late 1990s.

My thanks to Tom Pulley for contributing content on the Olive Hotel, and to the Orange Public Library Collection and Orange County Archives for historical images of these buildings.

Click/tap the thumbnail images below to view larger images in a separate browser window or tab.

          

Olive Heights Hotel

Olive Hotel circa 1888  
Olive Hotel ca. 1888  
   
GH Business Complex, former site of Olive Hotel  
GH Business Complex at site of Olive Hotel  
   
GH Business Complex rear view, Olive Hotel site  
Side and rear view of bldg.  
   

Olive Heights Hotel, built by Louis Schorn about 1887, was located at 302 Main Street on the southeastern side of Orange Avenue (see image from about 1891). The two-story, white, wooden building stood a couple of short blocks west of the second Olive Milling Company flour mill built on the northeastern corner of Ocean View at Hope. The original mill, built in 1882 at the northwestern edge of present day Eisenhower Park, burned down in 1889.

The hotel was primarily constructed for the purpose of housing workers at the Olive Milling Company, of which Schorn was part owner and president for many years until he retired in 1906. Olive Milling Company was the first significant industry in Olive and in the Santa Ana Valley, before Orange County was formed. During the height of its success, the mill employed between 10 to 22 men, undoubtedly several of whom resided at the hotel. In 1892 the hotel was run by F. Cowlin, and 1913 and 1916 city directories list W.A. Campbell as proprietor. J.M. Harden is listed as proprietor by 1929.

After the Olive Milling Company was sold in 1924, the hotel continued to remain in operation until at least 1934, serving as housing for some of the workers at the packing houses. The hotel structure appears at this location in 1955 and 1959 aerial maps, but does not show up in a 1970 aerial map. In 1981, a two-story stucco office building was constructed on the approximate site of the hotel. This structure still stands today at 1107 E. Lincoln Avenue.

Sources: ProQuest Historical Newspaper Los Angeles Times articles; Tom Pulley; Orange Public Library Collection; Orange County Archives.

          

Olive Motel

Olive Motel, 1947  
Aerial view of Olive Motel, August 1947  
   
Gas station and Olive Motel, 1969  
Gas station and Olive Motel, May 1963  
   
Apartment bldg. under construction at Olive Apt. site, 2011  
Apartment building at the Olive Motel site  
   

Olive Motel first appeared in the phone directory in 1940. The single-story, U-shaped building stood on the northeastern corner of Canyon Way (Orange-Olive Road) and Buena Vista Street; the site that Clement Lumber Company occupied from the early 1920s until 1940. When the Canyon Way street name changed during the mid-1940s, the address for the motel was listed at 8582 Santa Ana Canyon Road in 1947, with operations under the management of J.C. Green.

By 1956, the address for Olive [Motel] Apartments was listed as 8620 Santa Ana Canyon Road due to changes made in addresses around that time. In 1961, Olive Motel and Apartments was run by R.I. and Mrs. E.P. Underwood.

Although the last listing I found for this business entity was in the 1963 directory, the building remained at this site until about the late 1990s, perhaps operating under a different name. Sometime thereafter, the structure was raised and the lot on which it sat still remained vacant until 2011.

As of 2011, apartment buildings now stand at this site.

Sources: Orange County Archives; Sherman Library; First American Title.

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