Alison Burns Presents Her Second Book – This One About Orinda

(Jeff Heyman, Photographer)
Local author Alison Burns holds her new book Orinda outside the Orinda Community Center. The book features Orinda’s history.

    Do most residents know how Orinda came to be the city it is today? Author Alison Burns created a book titled Orinda, which includes an abundance of photos capturing Orinda’s history.
    It informs readers how the town came to be, and the significance behind its birth and history.
    Orinda highlights facts about the discovery of the town. With over 200 photos dating all the way back to the 1800s, it tells stories of local landmarks and details that may not have been heard before.
    “There is a lot of Orinda that we do not know about because it has been taken away, and this book guides you through what used to be in Orinda, and what is now,” said Burns, who moved to Orinda in 2015 from San Diego. “You can see the history as you drive by and spot what used to be once you know the history behind it.”
    Burns shares how it was most interesting finding out much of what was first built decades ago is still standing today.
    “Edward Ignacio de Laveaga in 1923 laid out this whole blueprint of what he wanted in this town. He did much in six years, but then the depression hit in 1929, and everything stopped. Much, however, of what he built in the early ‘20s is still here,” said Burns. “On Orinda Way, he decided he would have a firehouse, a garage and the first building, all things he wanted that are still here.”
    Burns is also author of the book, Legendary Locals of Encinitas. She has lived in places all around the world, from Singapore (for 10 years) to the Netherlands and experienced many cultures. She is currently president of the Orinda Historical Society.
    Burns has worked tirelessly to revamp and rebuild the Orinda Historical Society, which reopens Dec 1, located at 26 Orinda Way next door to The Orinda Association office.
    “We want children to know their history. Then they can take that home and tell their parents all about it, and people will be so much more aware of Orinda’s history,” said Burns. “It’s not just knowing where you’re going – you need to know where you’re coming from as well.”
    Orinda is available for purchase for $23.99 at the Orinda Historical Society, Orinda Books, The Orinda Association and online at Arcadia Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Annabella Booth can be reached at

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