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City of Cypress

The City of Cypress is a small city in Orange County that became well-known in the 1990s as the home town of Tiger Woods who first achieved golf-stardom as the youngest #1 player in history on the golf circuit. Cypress is a bedroom community comprised mostly of residential neighborhoods with pockets of office and industrial businesses and shopping plazas. The City of Cypress profile includes city history and information for residential services, shopping, dining, and points of interest throughout the city.

City of Cypress, California
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About Cypress

City Of Cypress

The City of Cypress is located in Orange County approximately 25 miles from Los Angeles. Cypress is bordered by Anaheim, Stanton, Los Alamitos, Garden Grove, and La Palma.

The City of Cypress has several well groomed community parks including Veterans Park and Oak Knoll Park. There are no major attractions within the city limits, but Cypress is located just a short drive from several major Southern California attractions including Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Angel Stadium, and the Pacific Ocean.

Cypress hosts several annual events including a Winter Festival, Halloween Festival, Movies on the Green, Summer Concert Series, and The Cypress Community Festival, which takes place on the last Saturday in July every year. The Community Festival is known as one of the largest one-day festival events in Southern California. The Festival includes a 5K/10K Run/Walk, a pancake breakfast, a business expo, crafts, food vendors, information booths, a salsa competition and chili cook-off, a car show, and a beer garden. There is also plenty of entertainment with rides and games, police and fire personnel, K-9 demonstrations from Cypress Police, baseball and softball, and stages with with live performers.

There are many options for dining and shopping at local shopping areas such as Cypress Plaza and Cypress Plaza East. There is also a Costco with several other shopping and dining options nearby. For larger shopping centers or traditional shopping malls, residents will need to travel to surrounding communities.

While most residents commute out of the city for work, several major employers within the city include United Health Group, Cypress College, Siemens, Los Alamitos Race Course, and Vans. The median household income in the city of Cypress is approximately $70,000.

Cypress History

Native Americans originally inhabited the land, but the first property owner of the land now known as the city of Cypress was Manuel Nieto. Nieto died in 1804 as the wealthiest man in California. In 1833, Nietos four sons distributed the land to their heirs. Nieto’s son Juan Jose sold the area known as Rancho Los Alamitos, which at that time included Cypress, to Governor Figueroa. After the Governor’s death, Able Stearns picked up the land and livestock for $6,000. Ranching was a profitable enterprise in the 1800s and cattle were sold for tallow, beef, and hides. With 200,000 acres, Stearns operated the largest cattle empire in Southern California and he became the wealthiest rancher in the area.

Many cattle were drowned by the floods of 1861, and a period of severe drought followed, leading to a devastating blow to the value of the the Rancho land. Stearns went into debt and mortgaged portions of his land, and sold parcels to settlers looking for land of their own creating the first subdivision boom. Farmers who settled on the land in Cypress tended crops of sweet and white potatoes, and sugar beets. Some raised cattle for dairying, and some tried their hand at sorghum.

The land was mostly flat with very few trees. As the population grew, Cypress trees were planted to serve as windbreaks around places like the schoolyard, and they named the school district after the trees. When the rail station began operations in 1906, they named it Cypress, after the school district to avoid confusion, rather than “Waterville”, the name the small town had been going by up to that point. The people of the city officially voted to change the name to Cypress in 1957.

The community of Cypress, like other surrounding communities, suffered from natural disasters during the 1930s including the 1933 earthquake. In 1938, floods buried the city of Cypress under two feet of water, which prompted the construction of the Prado Dam. World War II brought an influx of people to the area, many settling in Cypress and surrounding communities.

Cypress was the third largest dairy district in the U.S by the 1940s and many referred to the area as “Moo Valley” and Dairy City. In 1947, Frank Vessels held a race at his farm on Katella where 2,000 people paid to watch six races with $50 and $100 purses. Vessels’ races would later lead to the development of the Los Alamitos Race Course, one of the cities largest income producers even today. While most of the farms are gone, elements of the city’s history are still evident within the area, and today, Cypress is a thriving residential community.

Cypress Statistics

Size: Approximately 6.62 Square Miles
Population: 49,064 (2017)

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Heidi Deal
Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights. When she's not writing you can find her solo hiking and going on new adventures with her kids and pup.