From time to time the question arises, is Rossmoor an exclusive name?
The answer is Rossmoor is not exclusive to our community and appears in many areas in the U.S. and in England. One attribution for the origin of the name is that it was taken from the first name of “Ross” Cortese, developer of Rossmoor, and the flat “moor”-like terrain on which the community is located.
A search of names using “Rossmoor” gives us many interesting results.
Within the unincorporated community of Rossmoor in Orange County we have at least the following uses of “Rossmoor”:
- Rossmoor Homeowners Association
- Rossmoor Community Service District
- Rossmoor Predator Management Team
- Rossmoor Park
- Rossmoor Way
- Rossmoor Elementary School
- Rossmoor Carwash
- Rossmoor Village Square
- Rossmoor Women’s Club
Our neighbors in the city of Los Alamitos also use “Rossmoor.” Here are a few uses: Rossmoor Highlands; Rossmoor Appraisers; Rossmoor Play School; Rossmoor Neighbors; Rossmoor Animal Hospital and Rossmoor Way (a continuation of the same street in Rossmoor).
And , of course, we have the somewhat confusing use of “Rossmoor” in the city of Seal Beach where we find: the Rossmoor-Los Alamitos Branch of Orange County Library; The Shops at Rossmoor (formerly the Rossmoor Shopping Center); and Rossmoor Center Way in the Shops at Rossmoor.
A little further away we have Rossmoor Recycling in Garden Grove, California and Rossmoor Pastries, formerly in the Rossmoor Center and now in Signal Hill.
At one time Leisure World in Seal Beach, developed by Ross Cortese, was called Rossmoor Leisure World. It no longer uses that name but another Leisure World now incorporated as Laguna Woods still has “Rossmoor” towers. By the way for older area residents if you say you live in “Rossmoor” they are likely to think you are referring to Leisure World.
Ross Cortese also used the Rossmoor name in other developments. There is a community of Rossmoor in New Jersey similar to our Rossmoor with all sorts of “Rossmoor” uses. His development in Walnut Creek, California east of Oakland is also called “Rossmoor” and again the name Rossmoor is widely used there. There is even a Rossmoor Homeowners Association with whom we are sometimes confused. There is also a “Rossmoor” community in Maryland near Washington, D.C.
“Rossmoor” also pops up in other states with no known attribution to Ross Cortese. It occurs in Spokane, Washington; Boynton, Florida; Melbourne, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Columbus, Ohio; Rancho Cordova, California; and West Mifflin, Pennsylvania among other places.
Perhaps the Yorkshire, England area uses of “Rossmoor” are the most interesting. There we find Rossmoor Close (a street name), Rossmoor Garage, and Rossmoor Lodge built in 1816 for General James Wharton who was in the English Army during the Revolutionary War. Go to Google and you can find a description of Rossmoor Lodge. It may be that Rossmoor Lodge got its name from being situated near a moor with the name Ross; i.e., the Ross moor. And we are now back how we got the good old “Rossmoor” name in Orange County?
So you see, Rossmoor is not exclusive but it still sounds nice.
by Bill Gekler a resident of “Rossmoor” in OC for over 50 years.