March 21st in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1944, The U.S. Navy formally established an ordnance depot at Anaheim Landing.

The Orange County war housing commission chairman, Philip Norton (who also had a real estate office at 710 Ocean Ave), announced the seizure of thirty-five thousand acres of beach and tidelands in January of 1944 for the construction of the twenty million dollar ordnance depot. Real estate would be purchased, bridges would be demolished, Anaheim Bay would be dredged to a depth of fifteen feet, and the Pacific Electric line that crossed Anaheim Bay into Surfside would be rerouted.

The decision meant approximately 2,000 people living in Anaheim Landing would need to vacate by March 21st. The housing commission helped residents relocate, and many Anaheim Landing homes were moved to lots in Westminster and Seal Beach. The popular Glide ‘Er Inn would move a few blocks east to 14th Street. The Seal Beach Airport would be permanently abandoned.

The speed and urgency applied to the project is understandable considering that the United States military was engaged in a worldwide conflict. Today the outcome of World War II seems inevitable, but in 1944 the future was uncertain, and wartime efforts required full commitment. For most of 1944, the Navy would be transforming what had been a casual small boat harbor into an efficient first class naval installation.

And Anaheim Landing’s time as a civilian port and recreational attraction came to an ended. The seventy-five year history of what is now known as the Seal Beach Weapons Station was just beginning.

– 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.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Seal Beach History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to March 21st in Seal Beach History

  1. Candice Jackson says:

    There were only 108 cottages on original Anaheim landing peninsula. My grandmother is the only living person left from Anaheim landing and she turned 90 on the 21st. She lived in cottage #98!

    Candice Jackson
    714.299.0041
    Mscandicejackson@hotmail.com

    Like

    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Candice,
      I’m not sure where the 300 homes count came from, but the newspaper stories from early 1944 used that number. My guess, and it’s only a guess at this stage, is that more houses and structures had to be removed other than the Anaheim Landing buildings. Maybe there were more inland. More research is definitely required, but it’ll have to wait until I can really dig into it.

      Happy birthday to grandmother. So she turned fifteen that day before the navy turned everyone out.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s