February 24th in Seal Beach History

Los Angeles Wine Society

On this date in 1857, the Los Angeles Vineyard Society was formed and held its first recorded meeting in San Francisco.  The society was comprised of German immigrants from a variety of professions interested in establishing a grape-growing cooperative in Southern California to serve the lucrative and expanding market for California wines. 

Seven months later the society purchased land twenty-seven miles southeast of Los Angeles and called their colony Anaheim.  In October 1864, Anaheim set up its own part twelve miles away in Alamitos Bay and named it Anaheim Landing. The landing was moved to its present location in what is now known as Anaheim Bay after silt from a massive flood made the original location impractical.

Anaheim Landing was a successful port for years before the railroad provided faster and more efficient shipping. Before Anaheim Landing’s glory days as a busy port faded, thousands of local people had experienced the pleasures of its beachside location — especially as an alternative to spending hot summers inland. This lead to Anaheim Landing’s second life as a vacation spot, the establishment of Bay City in land adjacent to Anaheim Bay, and ultimately the entire area becoming Seal Beach. 

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 23rd in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1938, two Seal Beach women were saved from gas asphyxiation by their friend, Mary Eckberg. Elizabeth White, 79, and her cousin, Mary Hide, were overcome by gas fumes at Mrs. White’s house at 225 17th Street. Mrs. Eckberg has observed the two women earlier apparently taking a nap and choose not to disturb them. Luckily, she returned later and, observing her friends in exactly the same positions as earlier, Mrs. Eckberg contacted the police. Mrs. Hide was well enough to recover at home, but Mrs. White stayed overnight at Community Hospital.

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 17th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1938, the Seal Beach City Council discussed a petition from the Seal Beach Improvement Association asking the council to support efforts to build a new bridge over the entrance to Anaheim Bay. The petition requested that a telegram be sent to Congressman Harry Sheppard for help obtaining government funding for the proposal and that the city engineer work with county engineer to make a survey of the project. Ultimately, the council decided to send a wire to Congressman Sheppard in spite of City Attorney Burr Brown’s objections.

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 10th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1954, the Long Beach Independent reported that three young ladies drew straws hoping for some omen of which one of them would be crowned Queen of the Seal Beach Youth Center Sweetheart Hop. The three finalists (left to right) were Sandra Anderson, 15; Patricia Bayer, 17, and Donna Wagner, 15.

Feb_10_1954_Sweetheart_Hop_Finaiists

Sure, it may be an honor just to be a finalist, but history records that Donna Wagner was the one crowned Valentine Queen of the Sweetheart Hop on Saturday, February 13, 1954.

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 9th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1962, fans of international music could trot down Main Street to the Rouge et Noir, Seal Beach’s own folk club, and enjoy some Spanish folk dancing from Los Flamencos with Benito Palacio on the guitar and Pepe Segundo providing the vocals.

Feb_9_Los_Flamencos_at_Rouge_et_Noir-3

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 8th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1947, the Navy announced that Captain R. J. Townsend, commandant of the Navy’s amphibious base in Little Creek, VA, would be transferred to Seal Beach to serve as the ammunition depot’s new commandant.

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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February 7th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1954, the Lakewood Park Corporation, a developer of a major share of the Lakewood residential area, announced the purchase of one hundred eighty-three acres of the Hellman Ranch. The land was north of Pacific Coast Highway and bordered by Bolsa Avenue, Bay Boulevard (now Seal Beach Boulevard, and Landing Hill. The purchase price was $4,000 an acre for a total of $732,00.

- Marilyn Van Dyke and Michael Dobkins

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