Welcome to This Date in Seal Beach History

This blog project is devoted to exploring Seal Beach’s past one day at a time.  It is individually run and maintained and is not affiliated with the City of Seal Beach or the Seal Beach Historical Society.
If you want to share posts or images from This Date in Seal Beach, please credit the site and share a link back to us if possible. The writing is copyrighted and all rights are reserved, so please do not share the work done here as your own.
Each post has a comment section, but you can contact me directly at mike@sealbeachhistory.com
If you enjoy the posts, the vintage photos, and the research shared on this blog, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.
Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.
This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, totebags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.
Advertisements
Posted in Seal Beach History | Leave a comment

April 20th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1958, the Argo Gallery at 142 Main Street opened an exhibit of artist Ray White’s paintings and drawings with a reception from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m..  Naples resident White taught painting at Long Beach City College and Lindbergh Junior High School and had his poetry published in the Atlantic Monthly.

For every Main Street Seal Beach that lasted decades and became local institutions fondly remembered years later, there are scores of shops, restaurants, and businesses that barely lasted a season or two before closing forever. Sales inventories are drastically discounted until there are bare shelves. Decor and fixtures are either sold or tossed in a dumpster with the store sign. Whatever hopes, dreams, and ambitions were invested in that storefront evaporate as the owners move on with their lives and a new business moves in to start the cycle anew.

The Argo Gallery was one of those short-lived Main Street businesses. It was a product of owners Robert and Juanita Hare’s eclectic and bohemian tastes and provided a venue for the Long Beach arts community. It launched in late 1957 with a Christmas exhibit of local artists, many who were teachers and instructors at Long Beach State College.  In addition to the Ray White exhibit, 1958 saw exhibits of artist Jack Van Eden and a typographers exhibit of four local printers.

The Argo Gallery closed in late 1958, probably when the lease ended, but Robert and Juanita may have secured a tiny spot in Seal Beach history for themselves as owners of the first Seal Beach business on record as offering home model espresso machines for sale. One hopes hard core coffee aficionados can forgive the “expresso” misspelling in this one single ad I found for the Argo Gallery.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 19th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1924, the Santa Ana Register shared an odd little news item under the headline, “Seal Beach Not To Exhibit Seal At Orange Show.”  

Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy of Seal Beach had rescued and adopted a deserted orphaned seal pup, and the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce had suggested that the seal represent the city at the Orange show. An unnamed (at least in the article) citizen heard of the plan and condemned it “in no mild terms as against California game laws.”  The plans were dropped and the seal remained in the care of the Kennedys.

The Orange show in question was not the Orange Show that continues today as an annual tradition in San Bernardino, but most likely the 4th annual Valencia Orange Show that was to be held on May 16-25 in Anaheim. There were big plans for the event to be a massive celebration (and living advertisement) for Orange County’s agriculture, farming, real estate, industry, weather and so on. An Italian motif had been chosen for the design of the buildings on the show grounds, no doubt to evoke Southern California’s alleged resemblance to the Mediterranean, as extolled in thousands of colorful orange crate label illustrations.

Alas, the 4th annual Valencia Orange Show was not meant to be.  An epidemic outbreak of foot and mouth disease force the organizers to cancel the event for 1924 a bare month before the opening. The event resumed in 1925, and the show’s tradition of not exhibiting seals also continued.

A less happy continuing tradition is the issue of orphaned seal mammals, and over nine decades after Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy rescued theirs, it is probably a good idea to direct readers to the Pacific Marina Mammal Center’s page on Stranded Marine Mammals for tips on how to properly handle our aquatic pals in distress.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

April 18th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1965, the Long Beach Independent ran the follow ad for Phil Roth’s K & R Scandinavian Imports on Main Street.

April_18_1965_Scand_Imports_Ad-3Today you can’t find imported furniture, glassware, and high fidelity audio electronics at 322 Main Street, but you can eat at our local European inspired restaurant and bakery, Crema Cafe & Artisan Bakery.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 17th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1919, the Santa Ana Register reported that the Red Cross in Westminster finished its last batch of sewing and, having fulfilled its quota until further need arose, decided to celebrate with a picnic at Anaheim Landing. A picnic dinner was spread on the tables, celebrants indulged in conversation, and the more adventuresome waded in the waters. All in all, forty-two people attended, including children and two honorary members, Meessrs. R. E. Larter and C. C. Murdy.

World War I had ended in November 1918, but volunteer relief efforts continued in 1919 to bring food, clothing, and medical supplies to a Europe devastated by four years of unimaginable warfare. Like many people across the United States and Canada, the forty-two Red Cross volunteers sewing in Westminster were a part of the monumental push alleviate the suffering and needs of people halfway across the world. 

I hope they had a grand time in Anaheim Landing.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 16th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1971, the Long Independent ran the following ad for a popular new Seal Beach restaurant that had been open a scant six months at 201 Main Street.

April_16_1971_Walt Wharf Ad

Nearly fifty years later, Walt’s Wharf, now a Main Street institution in Seal Beach, still serves fresh fish to happy fans of fine seafood dining. (You can still call the same phone number above for reservations.)

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

April 15th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1965, the Orange County district attorney’s office charged Larry Doyle Lyons, 20, and John Warren Hilliard, 18, of conspiracy to prevent Alan M. Lennot, 17, from going to combat duty in Viet Nam. Lennot, a paratrooper stationed at Ft. MacArthur, was scheduled to go to Viet Nam on April 21st.

Seal Beach police office Philip Bettencourt responded to a call reporting that two men were trying to murder a third man at the west end of Ocean Avenue. When Bettencourt arrived on the scene, the three men were in a car. The third man was unconscious, and the other two were trying to remove his boot.

The initial story was that the unconscious man was very drunk and injured his foot stumbling over a rock, but the story changed later when they were questioned further at the police station.

The new story was that Lennot did not want to go to Viet Nam, and Lyons and Hilliard decided to help him.  They considered shooting him in the leg, but instead choose to give him whiskey and a sleeping pill and then drop a fifty pound rock on his ankle. They insisted to Bettencourt that they acted out of friendship for the victim.

Lennot remain unconscious throughout the ordeal and was taken by ambulance to Ft. MacArthur and then transferred Camp Pendleton. Lyons and Hilliard were later released from Orange County Jail on $1,100 bail each with a hearing set for April 27.

Both Lyons and Hilliard have passed on, and I can find no trace of Alan M. Lennot beyond this story to confirm whether or not he went to Viet Nam or if he returned to live a fruitful life. There’s also some blunt doubt as to whether Philip Bettencourt was a police officer or a worker for the Seal Beach city administration, and I have a couple lines out to verify his position and see if more can be added to this story.

It’s possible that the original Long Beach Independent story was written by the city desk based on notes or a call from a field reporter, and that there were assumptions and errors made in name spellings and job positions. I’ll update if I get more information.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

April 14th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1953, Seal Beach citizens voted to ban gambling in the city by a narrow margin. The votes against gambling tallied at 848 against 811 for legalizing gambling.

The city had previously voted 761 to 661 in October 1952 to scrap an ordinance that allowed the Airport Club, a poker and bingo establishment to operate. The April 14th election had been initiated and funded by Airport Club owner William Robertson to prevent the club from closing on May 20.

Airport Club

This would not be William Robertson’s final attempt to keep the Airport Club from closing permanently. The Long Beach Independent estimated that the around-the-clock 24/7 gambling club was racking in a million dollars in revenues annually, a cash flow anyone would be reluctant to see go away forever. Many colorful strategies were concocted to revive the Airport Club, but local anti-gambling forces ultimately prevailed in keeping gambling dead in Seal Beach.

The Airport Club remained closed until Robertson revived the location as a teen dancing club in the sixties, The Marina Palace. 

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

April 13th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1916, the Santa Ana Register reported that the Anaheim Amusement Company had incorporated with a capital stock of $15,000. The new corporation was formed to put on a new concession at Seal Beach called, “Barrels of Fun and Racing Ponies.”  The directors of the Anaheim Amusement Company were Fred A. Dyckman, Leora E. Newcombe, E. H. Heying, George Bishop, and John Schumacher Jr..

In June of 1916, Santa Ana Register reported that the Anaheim Amusement Company planning to build a movie theater, a high-grade restaurant, 100 to 200 cottages, and various other attractions where Richardson’s Bowling Alleys and Bath Houses stood in Anaheim Landing. These ambitious plans were never fulfilled, and that was the final mention of the corporation in the newspaper. The directors all remained active in Anaheim commerce and real estate for years to come.

Tragically, modern readers and future generations will never get to experience the “Barrels of Fun and Racing Ponies.”

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 12th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1964, the Long Beach Independent ran the following ad for an advance Summer one-day only swimsuit sale at Les Girls at 220 Main Street:

April_12_1964_Les_Girls_Ad-3Shoppers looking for swimsuit bargains at the same address today will find themselves in Purple Galore and More. 

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 11th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1914, the Guy M. Rush Company hosted a special promotional excursion to Seal Beach. A special train left San Bernardino at 8 a.m. with seats reserved for the holders of fifty special $2.35 tickets for the excursion. Tickets were also allotted for purchasers in Riverside, Ontario, and Pomona, all cities with stops for boarding on the route to Los Angeles, then Long Beach, and finally Seal Beach. The price included a free lunch and free Saturday  band concert.

This was the second of two heavily promoted Seal Beach excursions from San Bernardino in early 1914. The first excursion on March 22 was covered in this post. Like the earlier excursion, the real purpose was to sell city lots.  Sales must have been disappointing because this was the last such excursion. The Guy M. Rush would continue marketing Seal Beach real estate to Los Angeles County, Long Beach, and Orange County, but these three ads from March and April 1914 featuring cartoonist Henri De Kruif’s seals were the last attempts to hook Riverside and San Bernardino County residents into buying lots in Seal Beach.

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

Posted in Seal Beach History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment