The first residents of the area known as Coto De Caza were Shoshonean Native Americans called Acagchemen. This area was purchased in 1843 by Juan Forster who renamed it “La Victoria.”
In 1864 Forster added Rancho Santa Margarita to his already vast land holdings. The cost of managing so much land left Forster in debt, and when he died, his heirs sold much of the land that he had worked so hard to acquire.
The land was sold to James C. Flood and Richard O’Neill, Sr. After aquiring all the property ‘on a handshake’, O’Neill deeded his land holdings to his son, Jerome, under whose leadership the ranch grew to 230,000 acres and spanned three counties. These holdings were incorporated under the name of Rancho Santa Margarity Company. After O’Neill’s death in 1926, the land was left to heirs who incorporated the land into developed communities, including Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and Coto De Caza.
Coto De Caza is a unique private gated community in the Saddleback Valley. As of the 2000 census, Coto de Caza had a total population of 13,057. This rural community consists of about 4000 homes, it is one of Orange County’s oldest planned communities
Demographics and Statistics
Population (year 2000): 13,057
Males: 6,514 (49.9%), Females: 6,543 (50.1%)
Median resident age: 34.9 years
Median household income: $136,726 (year 2000)
Median house value: $513,300 (year 2000)