The hills in Laguna Niguel may be dotted with homes now, but way back when, they were home to cattle and sheep that grazed freely. And the area had the perfect climate for certain crops. Here are five things you might not have known about Laguna Niguel.
1. Even while modern Laguna Niguel was undergoing development and change, cattle and sheep remained on the hillsides. Until early 1900, residents could see horses at the junction of Sulphur and Aliso creeks until road widening and improvements forced the removal of their grazing area and stables.
2. Along a few undeveloped hillsides and in the preserved areas of Chapparosa Park and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, old fence posts tip toward the ground, and pieces of barbed wire remain, a reminder of days gone by.
3. In Aliso and Wood canyons, hikers pass by old corrals and loading ramps, relics once used for cattle and sheep.
4. Cattle and sheep and lima beans and barley could be found on Old Rancho Niguel.
5. Lima beans thrived well near the coast, where ocean mists helped their growth. Sugar beets were also grown, but barley was the most widespread crop.
Source: Laguna Niguel: The Legacy and the Promise.