If all our the posts on Seal Beach’s past have whetted your appetite for more local history, boy, are you in for a treat. History Press just released local historian and author Larry Strawther’s latest book, Seal Beach: A Brief History and it is a must-read for anyone interested in Seal Beach’s past.
Now some of you may be saying, “Slick, aren’t there already two books on Seal Beach history? Some cities get along just fine with only one history book. Why the heck do we need another one?”
This is just the opinion of one aquatic mammal, but what makes this new book so special and unique is the depth of the research. Strawther has uncovered information that no one has seen before. Within 208 pages, Seal Beach: A Brief History provides a comprehensive look at Anaheim Landing, Philip Stanton, The Joy Zone, gambling on Main Street and much more. Even if you fancy yourself a Seal Beach expert, you will discover colorful tidbits about the city you never knew.
You can buy Seal Beach: A Brief History directly from the author at historysb.com (His earlier book, A Brief History of Los Alamitos & Rossmoor is also available.)
You can also join the Facebook page for the book at facebook.com/sealbeachhistory where Larry has been posting some great photos and historical tidbits. Tell Larry Slick sent you.
The Seal Beach Lions Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The Lions are seeking images from their early years or of the much-beloved Dr. Homer DeSadeleer, who was a Lions member for forty-eight years. If you have any old Lions pictures, they would appreciate you’re sharing them with the club.
While The Lions will gladly welcome any scanned historical Lion images or photographs throughout the year, they especially need some for the next meeting by March 7th.
Please e-mail email@example.com with scanned images and/or information on leads for more photos. We’ll forward them to the Lions Club.
We’re busy working on the historical slide show for Sunday night, but if you’re jonesing for more local history right now, there are a couple blogs that will sate your appetite for more about the bygone days of Seal Beach.
The first link we want to share is to a fantastic new historical blog, The “Sealing” of Seal Beach by local historian and writer, Claudia Burnett. The blog focuses on the promotional push to build up interest in replacing the generic Bay City moniker with a more romantic and fun “Seal Beach” to enhance its image as an exciting resort city. The most delightful highlight of The “Sealing” of Seal Beach is all the wonderful Seal Beach ads featuring cartoon seals and over-top ad copy marketing Seal Beach as “Where Your Dreams Come True.”
Click here if you want some great insights into the efforts that lead up to the official incorporation of Seal Beach as a new city in October 1915, you couldn’t find a better place to start.
Click here to see a July 2013 post about Anaheim Landing by Natalie Sanchez on her Sunshine Grove blog. Her post includes some contemporary and historical photos of Anaheim Landing.
That’s all for now. Hope to see you on Sunday!
Photos by Libby Appelgate. Enjoy!
It’s the quintessential American story.
A young boy discovers and pursues a passion that most people would consider a mere side hobby or summertime recreation, and creates, almost by accident, his own destiny.
Rich Harbour’s story is probably familiar to many Seal Beach locals. Back in the fifties a fifteen year old Rich was bitten by the surfing bug, so his father generously gave him his first surfboard. This surfboard was soon stolen from the side of his house (probably by some lowlife Gidget-crazed inlander.) After much pleading and begging, Rich discovered that his father’s generosity would not extend to buying a replacement board. Not one to let a minor setback to keep him from the waves, Rich built a new surfboard to replace the stolen one and resumed surfing. For most people, that would be the happy ending to the story, but not for Rich.
Stung by older surfers making fun of his crudely shaped but functional new board, Rich decided to do better. He crafted two new boards (one for himself and one for his brother) that were so well made that they inspired not ridicule from the other surfers, but offers of cash if Rich would build them similar boards.
Soon Rich had a profitable side business building surfboards for locals. As his reputation grew beyond local surfers, the business expanded from part of his parent’s garage to various garages around town. After a few years, Rich is presented with a choice. He can continue studying at the Orange Coast College of Architecture or commit completely to building surfboards as a full time career.
It’s clear what choice Rich made. Ultimately, he opens Harbour Surfboards at 329 Main Street. As his business grows, surfing grows with it, transforming itself from a hobby into a multi-million dollar industry. Over the five decades, Rich Harbour have remained at the same Main Street address, creating innovative new board designs and offering new surfing merchandise and accessories. The core business remains the same. 329 Main Street has been used for shaping surfboards since 1962.
But Rich’s story isn’t just an American story, it’s also a Seal Beach story. He may have an international reputation, but he has lived here all his life and been influenced by the Seal Beach landscape, its people, and its surf. There are many surfing legends, and maybe some of them have had streets named after them, but only Rich Harbour has actually named a street in Seal Beach (Silver Shoals Avenue. Please ask Rich for the full story).
This has just been some of the highlights of Rich Harbour’s life and career. For a fuller unabridged and uncensored version, Rich is offering a new revised version of his book, The Harbour Chronicles.
One can’t help wonder what Rich’s life would have been like if that lowlife inlander hadn’t stolen his first surfboard years ago, but with a name like Rich Harbour, his life must have been destined to be successful and probably have something to with water sports.
Historical Slideshow and Mixer
Sunday, October 27, 2013
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Marina Community Center
151 Marina Drive Seal Beach, CA
Celebrate our city’s birthday on the actual 98th anniversary of the founding of Seal Beach with a slideshow rare photos of Seal Beach landmarks, people, and events from the city’s past.
Two exciting projects will be announced for the Seal Beach centennial year celebration in 2015.
This is no charge for this event, but seating is limited. Free refreshments will also be served, so save room for snacks.
The evening will start at 7:00 p.m with a slide show of historical Seal Beach photographs. If you’ve enjoyed this blog, you’ll definitely enjoy this night of rare photos. You’ll see some images from this blog mixed in with some photos we’ve been holding back for the event, including:
- The Steamship Senator, a once familiar sight off our shores in the 1870s
- Construction of the roller coaster and the pavilion
- Silent film star Douglas Fairbanks filming a stunt in Alamitos Bay
- Anda few surprises
The slide show will take approximately an hour.
After the slide show stick around to help us finish off the refreshments, , get reacquainted with old Seal Beach friends, make some new Seal Beach friends, and share your ideas on how we should celebrate the 100th founders day in 2015.