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.
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.
Concert By The Pier
Sunday, October 6, 2013
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Please join us by the Seal Beach Pier for a musical celebration commemorating the 98th anniversary of the founding of Seal Beach. This year’s theme is “Surf, Sand and Song,” and the 2013 founders celebration honoree is local businessman and surfing pioneer, Rich Harbour.
The featured performers on the program are:
The Hank Barto Quartet
The ShowStoppers & Showmen choirs from Oak Middle School (Rachelle Randeen, director)
Los Alamitos High School Jazz One (John Rush, director)
The Los Alamitos High School Marching Band (Tom Plunkett, director)
The City of Seal Beach was incorporated on October 27th, 1915. Each October, Seal Beach celebrates the city’s founding with an event open to the entire community and interested visitors. In 2015, Seal Beach will launch a schedule of special events and activities to commemorate Seal Beach’s centennial anniversary. Anyone seeking to volunteer for this or future founders events, please contact the Seal Beach Community Services Department at (562) 431-2527 ext. 1306.
This morning the Seal Beach Founders blog had its 30,000th view since it went live on 1/1/10. Even if these views are all from a single obsessive guy surfing the internet while living in his mother’s basement, it’s impressive that our little burg has received so much interest.
Check back soon for news about this year’s Founder’s Concert and a historical slide show in October.
Some of our most popular posts have featured historical photographs of Seal Beach police officers. These have come to us through the generosity of Stan Berry, a local expert on the Seal Beach Police Department and The Seal Beach Fire Department. The photo below was too good not to share. It show Stan at the 41st anniversary celebration of The Seal Beach Historical & Cultural Society’s Red Car Museum.
The Red Car Museum is open the second and fourth saturday of every month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. One of Seal Beach’s landmarks, the museum is housed in Pacific Electric Car #1734, a tower car that once served as a portable machine shop that performed repairs on Pacific Electric streetcar lines for decades until it was retired in 1950. Today, the museum features exhibits of Seal Beach and Pacific Electric history and gift shop of local history merchandise. You can find the Red Car Museum on Electric Avenue between Main Street and the library on the greenbelt that was once the Pacific Electric right of way through Seal Beach.