"Orinda"

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Orinda is a small city in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and it was originally settled in the latter days of a Spanish land grant, mid 1800's. There is a small debate about the meaning of the word Orinda. Local historians have said that a developer subdivided many acres of a section of the land grant in the late 19th century. His wife, Alice Marsh (daughter of John Marsh), is said to have named the subdivision "Orinda" after a 17th century poet, Katherine Phillips. However, some people feel that this is just a whitewash, and the actual word "orinda" comes from Old Spanish, meaning possibly "edge", "cliff", a topographic reference, or someting else. We cannot find a reference to this word anywhere. Who is right'

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updated FEB 15, 2008
posted by bluejay