Modjeska Canyon is an unincorporated area on the western slope of the Santa Ana Mountains in eastern Orange County, California. It is a rural community of several hundred residents, with a small park and a volunteer fire station.
The canyon is also the location of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Most of the canyon is surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest. The community of Modjeska Canyon is very tight knit, hosting several in-canyon events such as pot lucks, dance lessons, movie nights at the park, Fourth of July parades, as well as Christmas and Halloween parties. The parties are usually held in the Modjeska Community Center and the Fire Station. They also hold events for non-residents to come and enjoy, such as an arts and crafts fair held in early spring at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mary Teegarden Clark, an early resident of nearby Orange, described a late 1800s community picnic in Modjeska Canyon in her memoirs, Pioneer ranch life in Orange.
Modjeska Canyon is named after the 19th-century Polish stage actress, Helena Modjeska, who settled in the canyon in the late 19th century. Her home from 1888 to 1906, “Arden”, is a National Historic Landmark. The house and gardens are fenced in, so if you are looking to see the house you must make a reservation for the tour. The house is typically only open once or twice a month, so it is important to make reservations in advance.
The Brotherhood of Eternal Love was incorporated as a non-profit organization in Modjeska Canyon on Oct 26, 1966 — a few months before John Griggs and other founding members relocated to the Woodland Drive neighborhood of Laguna Beach, CA (later known as ‘Dodge City’).
The canyon was the home to one of the many California wildfires of October 2007. About 14 homes in Modjeska Canyon were destroyed by the fire and another 8 homes were damaged (out of a total of roughly 220 homes in the canyon). Mandatory evacuations were issued prior to President George W. Bush declaring the site an emergency.
[Content taken from a Wikipedia entry]