Get to know the Farmhouse
For over 120 years, the Maag Farmhouse has stood as a symbol of Orange County's booming agriculture industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John A. Maag, a citrus and nut grower, was instrumental in organizing members of the citrus community into growers associations and cooperatives, so it's only fitting that his home become a present day community hub.
The Maag Farmhouse, completed in 1899, was the ranch house of citrus and nut grower John Anton Maag, his wife Catherine, and 10 of their 12 children. The size of the family and Maag’s success in his agriculture and business ventures are reflected in this nearly 6,000 square foot Colonial Revival house. Members of the Maag family lived in the house until Catherine died in 1955. The 31-acre ranch on which it stood was then purchased by the adjacent Fairhaven Cemetery, which put the house to use as a caretaker’s residence before selling the land to a mobile home developer in the 1970s. In 1981 it was moved to the Museum along with two of its original outbuildings. Exterior features of the house include a hipped roof with three gables, one on the front of the house and
one on each side. An L-shaped porch wraps around the corner between the
front and main side entries, with its roof supported on Tuscan columns. Pediments enhanced by frieze style scroll work accent these entries. The original floor plan of the house included six bedrooms, a grand paneled entry hall, a large parlour, a music room, a dining room capable of seating up to 24 people, a spacious kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and one and a half bathrooms.
There are few participatory spaces available within Orange County dedicated to preserving and sharing the narratives of community members. The restoration of the Maag Farmhouse will provide a platform to foster intercultural and intergenerational dialogue and understanding through community memory keeping.
A SPACE FOR STORYTELLING
At the heart of community memory keeping is the art of storytelling. Restoration plans include lecture, presentation, and meeting room space which will allow community members to share their research and personal stories with both large and small audiences. Additionally, a recording room will be available for museum staff to record oral histories and interviews with community members for digital preservation.
A PUBLIC RESEARCH CENTER
Private archives and collections are often viewed as exclusive and off-limits to those without official credentials. Through the restoration project and inclusion of a public research center, Heritage Museum will provide equitable access to the community history it preserves. Visitors will have the opportunity to browse the digital collection and seek consultation from the onsite archivist.
A PLATFORM FOR LOCAL VOICE AND VISION
In addition to exhibitions curated from Museum collections, space will be available for community members to share their work. Local creators will have the opportunity to install their content for display and lecture space will provide a stage for live presentations and community discussions.
Opportunity for Community
1n 1981, the Maag Farmhouse and two of its extant structures were disassembled and moved across town to their new home at Heritage Museum of Orange County (previously Discovery Museum of Orange County). The home was saved from demolition with the intention of providing the community with a space to connect the past, present and future. The restoration of the Maag Farmhouse will not only allow visitors to learn from, and engage with, one another, but will also make immersive, educational experiences available to students and community members.
Helping to develop the next generation of leaders, archivists, educators and supporters of the museum industry is high on the priority list at Heritage Museum. By providing internship and fieldwork opportunities, local high school, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on experience in archive work, exhibition design, program development, story telling and preservation, community engagement, and much more.
With the restoration of the Maag Farmhouse, Heritage Museum will be able to provide more opportunities like this for the community. With designated workstations, access to historical resources and museum collections, and guidance from industry professionals, students and interns will receive quality training and experience to apply in their future professional endeavors.
The first floor of the Maag Farmhouse will be multifunctional. Serving as exhibition, gallery, lecture, and meeting space, the four large rooms downstairs will be accessible to the public during regular museum public hours. The foyer of the home will serve as the reception area for visitors to purchase admission and learn about the current offerings at HMOC. Additionally, the gift shop will be relocated from the water tower to what was once the Maag family kitchen.
The layout of the first floor creates a nice flow of traffic for guests to view our unique offerings and encourages further support of the museum with purchases at the gift shop and space rental.
The second floor of the Maag Farmhouse will serve as the official archive and collection space of Heritage Museum. Two of the rooms will be utilized as office space for museum staff, two adjoining rooms will serve as the archive/collection space, one room will be setup to accommodate digital content development including recording videos and podcasts, and one room will serve as a public research space. As the second floor will house HMOC collections, it is essential that security of the area be considered. For this reason, the second floor of the home will be accessible to the public by appointment only.
Help Rebuild a Home for Community Memory Keeping
There are so many ways to help with the restoration of the Maag Farmhouse! From monetary gifts to specialized skills, Heritage Museum of Orange County needs your help to continue this important work for the community.
Donations of Material and/or Labor
Corporate Service Projects
Jamie Hiber, Executive Director
Heritage Museum of Orange County is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
Federal Tax ID No.: 95-3665050
Help HMOC with a
$2 Million Project
This year we are going to raise $2 million to begin the renovation of the beautiful Maag Farmhouse at Heritage Museum of Orange County! Join us as we preserve the history and protect the future of this local treasure.
In addition to being tax deductible, donations over $60 will qualify for an annual membership to HMOC!
Want to donate your time, talent, or goods instead? We'd love to talk! Click here to send us a message!
Have a friend, family member, or business that might like to get involved? Send along the link to the official Maag Farmhouse Restoration brochure !
Thank you for helping to rebuild the Maag Farmhouse!