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Doris Walker-Smith

Doris Walker is co-founder of the Dana Point Historical Society.

Her books are now available for sale at the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, and sales of her books benefit the Historical Society!

Doris Walker is experiencing a year to remember!

She was just named the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year. “She is our very own award-winning historian, our connection to the past and our bridge to our future,” Jim Miller said in summarizing her accomplishments at the awards banquet last month.

Walker’s newest book, appropriately named Dana Point (cover shown below), has been released nationally in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. In the pictorial history, she describes this “romantic spot” from the days of its first visitors and residents through the arrival of Dana Point Harbor and the city’s subsequent development into a destination resort port.

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The publisher’s back cover text states: “Award-winning author Doris I. Walker has been a resident of Dana Point since 1963. Through photographs she has taken and collected through the years, Dana Point’s acknowledged historian creates in this volume the definitive tour of her infinitely photogenic home port.”

Several of her books have been named Best Historical Book of the Year by Southern California Media Professionals. One contest judge called the author’s published works “informative, entertaining writing that shows a thorough understanding of our local hidden treasures. Detailed and also easy to understand, they inspire us to think again about our environment.”

Walker is best known, of course, for her definitive illustrated history book, Dana Point Harbor / Capistrano Bay: Home Port for Romance, still available in its 25th year and fourth edition. Her book, Sections of Orange, Orange County’s official centennial edition, took a national first place in 1989. A copy is sealed within a centennial time capsule at the Old County Courthouse.

Doris has been an Orange County Historical Commissioner since 1994. Another of her books released nationally within the past year, Orange County Then and Now, tells the history of the entire county through vintage photos. Dana Point earned several spreads.

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Doris Walker: Official Historian of Dana Point & Orange County

  • Doris Walker is a writer/photographer based in Dana Point, California.
  • She has been a resident of Orange County, California since 1963.
  • She has been an appointee to the Orange County Historical Commission since 1994 and has been a director of the Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and Orange County Historical Societies.
  • She is the co-founder, director and honorary life member of the Dana Point Historical Society.
  • She taught California History for the South Coast Community College District for seven years, and she has been nationally honored for her Orange County Centennial history.
  • Doris Walker is a prolific writer with the following books without limitation to her credit:
  • Orange County Then & Now, August 2006
  • Dana Point Harbor Capistrano Bay: Home Port for Romance
  • Dana Point, Images of America, August 2007
  • Adventurer’s Guide to Dana Point, June 1992
  • Orange County Adventures With Children
  • Mission Viejo: The Ageless Land
  • Coastal Reflections (History of Coastal Municipal Water District)
  • Orange County: A Centennial Celebration – Sections of Orange
  • The Whales of Capistrano Bay: Habits and History of California Gray Whales
  • The Heritage of San Clemente: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Spanish Village by the Sea, 1925-2000

From the land, the sea, the shore, the farm fields. Everywhere imaginable. And, sometimes, you have to use a little imagination, as historian Doris Walker wrote, to see that a town like “Dana Point, now a modern American city, still has a romantic ghost.” Quote courtesy of Robert Ourlian, Times Staff Writer.

The following pages are taken from Doris Walker’s book, Adventurer’s Guide to Dana Point, and are excellent glimpses into the history of Dana Point:

Introduction: What Does Dana Point, California, Mean to You?
Dana Point ~ Landmark With a Native Face
Dana Cove ~ Shelter for Otters and Smugglers
Dana Point Harbor ~ A Singular Anchorage
Brig Pilgrim ~ Replica of Dana’s Ship (Please note that the “Marine Institute” is now known as the “Ocean Institute”.)
Dana Statue ~ Namesake Visited in 1835

Here is an unusual photo of Doris and her husband, Jack Smith, recently aboard a C-17 across the country! Notice their bag is the only bag on board.

D&J ON C-17