The Mystery of the meaning of "Loara"
From Dr. John S. Dahlem, former Principal and coach at Loara High School:
"The meaning of “Loara” is very important to the many students who have attended Loara High School…“Home of the Saxons.” The name is often mispronounced and in the 1960’s was often confused with Lowell High School located in Whittier. There are many unsubstantiated versions of the derivation of Loara:
• “Lost child”…an Indian word in the Gabrielino dialect which was used to call out for missing children in the tall mustard grass that grew on the land of the present day Loara High School. If a child rode off on an uncontrollable horse, “Loara-Loara” would go up for “lost child-lost child.”
• Named after Laura Conrad whose father owned and operated the California Brewery of Anaheim.”
• The Spanish language verb “loar” which means to praise, eulogize or approve. The word loara is a conjugation of the verb loar which is pronounced loh-AHR.
• Loara represents “Lower Artesia.”
• Loara is an anonym for Loftus Oil and Refining Associates.
• Los Angeles Railway Company.
• Contraction of the names Lola and Clara to Loara similar to Kate and Ella forming Katella. Lola was the daughter of John Duckworth who was first Post Master of the West End or Loara area in 1901.
So what is the real derivation of “Loara?” E. R. Mercereau came to Santa Ana, California in 1987, and bought land near where present day Broadway and Loara Streets meet. He built a store in that area as and was one of the first to realize the need of supplying a county store (grocery) for those that lived out on the country roads. The area became known as West Anaheim which was past the original boundary of West Street. Through the influence of Mercereau, the name of West Anaheim or Anaheim Junction, which was a continual source of misunderstanding in the shipping of goods, was changed to Loara in 1899. He also aided in securing a post-office for the place.
Mercereau was very proud of his Pilgrim stock (9th descendent of the Alden Family). It is believed that when he needed a new name for the West Anaheim area he chose the first name of Loara Standish, the daughter of the famous Mayflower Captain Myles Standish. Loara Standish, in 1653, made a very famous sampler which is the earliest know American-made sampler and the earliest know sampler with a verse around in (Duxbury, Maine.)
Loara Standish is my name
Lord guide my heart that I may do thy will
Also fill my hands with such convenient skill
As may conduce to virtue void of shame
and I will give the glory to thy name
According to the former Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent, Paul Cook, it became the custom to name the new high schools in the Anaheim District after the nearest elementary school district which was Loara (established in 1904). Loara High School opened on November 1, 1962.
You now know that Loara High School was named after Loara Standish, daughter of the famous Miles Standish. It is interesting to note that Loara is often pronounced Lo-are-ah or Lo-air-ah. The curator at the Pilgrim Hall Museum where Loara Standish’s sampler is housed, call it the Loara (pronounced like the name Lora) sampler."