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Slick The Seal Recommends A Beach Read

April 19, 2014

 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.

HistPr - Seal Beach front cover
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 (His earlier book, A Brief History of Los Alamitos & Rossmoor is also available.)

You can also join the Facebook page for the book at where Larry has been posting some great photos and historical tidbits. Tell Larry Slick sent you.








Seal Beach Lions Images Needed!

March 2, 2014


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 with scanned images and/or information on leads for more photos. We’ll forward them to the Lions Club.

Volunteers Needed for 2015 City Centennial Celebration

February 7, 2014
ImageFebruary 3, 2014
In 2015 the City of Seal Beach will celebrate its Centennial. The City will incorporate designated ongoing annual events and unique special events into its celebration, in partnership with community organizations, businesses, schools, and more. The City will also be developing history projects that will share Seal Beach’s story over the last 100 years. This is a great opportunity for you to become involved in the planning of our City’s 100-year birthday, and to be an active participant in the festivities!
Be a part of the team helping to plan Centennial events and history projects, raise community awareness, and seek financial support. Join one of the following committees and bring your ideas and talents to the team!
  • Celebrations – help plan our special events
  • History – plan our history projects
  • Marketing – help promote and publicize the Centennial
  • Merchandise – help design and sell merchandise
  • Fundraising – raise funds and solicit sponsors for Centennial events
Those interested are asked to contact Administrative Manager Patrick Gallegos at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1308 or email at no later than February 14, 2014.

A New Seal Beach History Blog And More

October 21, 2013

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.

#69 - 8/19/1914

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.

SG Bio photo

Natalie & Jeremy of The Sunshine Grove

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!

98th Founders Concert Photos – 10/6/13

October 19, 2013

Photos by Libby Appelgate. Enjoy!

Rich Harbour

Rich Harbour

Hank Barto Quartet

Hank Barto Quartet

Los Alamitos High School Marching Band

Los Alamitos High School Marching Band

Los Alamitos High School Marching Band

Los Alamitos High School Marching Band

Los Alamitos High School Jazz One

Los Alamitos High School Jazz One

Los Alamitos High School Jazz One

Los Alamitos High School Jazz One

Oak Middle School Showstoppers

Oak Middle School Showstoppers

Oak Middle Schoo Showmen

Oak Middle Schoo Showmen

Oak Middle School Showstoppers

Oak Middle School Showstoppers

Rich Harbour & Nancy Shook

Rich Harbour & Nancy Shook

Rich Harbour

October 5, 2013

Rich-Harbour_2-1Here’s a few words and photos about the honoree for this year’s Seal Beach Founders concert on October 6th 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Seal Beach Pier:

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 at San Onofre 1975

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.

Stringer glued - ready to shape # 1 harbour

Stringer Glued, Ready To Shape #1 Harbour

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.

Shaping # 1 Harbour

Shaping #1 Harbour

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.

About 1965

About 1965

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.

Christmas card 1969

Christmas Card 1969 (The Family-Safe Version)

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).

Workers at the cCosta Mesa Sattelite shape facility

Workers at The Costa Mesa Satellite Shape Facility

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.

Taking an order_1962

Taking An Order 1962

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.

1st Banana Model

First Banana Model

Take A Photographic Journey Through Seal Beach’s Past

September 18, 2013

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.

Bay Bridge Demolition

Bay Bridge Demolition

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.


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