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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Dana Point Historical Society will be hosting authors Phil Brigandi and Eric Plunkett on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in light of their new book, The Portola Expedition in Orange County.

The Portola expedition was the first Spanish overland exploration through what is now Orange County in 1769. The expedition provides first written descriptions of the area and its native inhabitants. The book includes brief biographies of Captain Gaspar de Portola and other associated leaders, a new translation of the diary of Lieutenant Miguel Constanso, the expedition’s military engineer, and details on the expedition’s encounter with indigenous people.

Brigandi has been researching and writing local history since 1975 and is the author of more than two dozen books and hundreds of articles on the history of Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. A native of Orange, California, he joined the board of directors of the Orange Community Historical Society at age 19 and became a member of the Orange County Historical Commission at age 23. He has served as Orange County Archivist, historian for the Ramona Pageant Association, and curator of the San Jacinto Museum.

Plunkett is a teacher and historian with a special interest in the Spanish and Mexican eras of California history. He has published several articles and maintains a history blog at He was previously a guest speaker at the Dana Point Historical Society in February 2018. A native of Placentia, he graduated with a degree in history from Cal State Fullerton in 2008.

For the event, the Dana Point Historical Society will meet in council chambers at Dana Point City Hall, 33282 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. A reception and book signing will be held in the museum on the first floor of city hall immediately following the program.

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