April 2nd in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1928, the 4:45 pm Pacific Electric trolley coming down Main Street  jumped the track instead of making the curve on to Ocean Avenue and tore through the cement platform at the Bayside Land Co.. This trolley was on the Red Car line that went over the Ocean Avenue bridge that connected to the Long Beach Peninsula.

1917 Red Car Main S Detail

 This photo was taken in 1917 when Main Street was unpaved. In the background, a Pacific Electric Red Car travels along Main Street.  If you look closely, you can see the track start to curve in front of the Seal Beach Pharmacy (now Clancy’s). The track continues to curve in front of the strolling couple at the left of the photo and then off camera.

1917 Main Street PharmacyAnother view of the track curving in front of the Seal Beach Pharmacy in 1917.


This aerial view shows Seal Beach from 1931, three years after the accident.

1931-05-23-Bayside Land Detail

 Here’s a closer view of the corner of the accident from the same photo. Notice that Main Street is now paved.

1931-05-23-Bayside Land Detail LabeledAnd here’s a labeled version of the same image.

And that’s more than enough information about a minor Main Street accident from more than ninety years ago.  Please report any sightings of a phantom runaway Pacific Electric Red Car speeding down Main Street and plowing through the Seaside Grill, Tropical Juice, and the Tropical Juice before vanishing into a poof of ectoplasm. We will call the Ghostbusters immediately.

– Michael Dobkins

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2 Responses to April 2nd in Seal Beach History

  1. Karla says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely pictorial missive about my beloved Seal Beach!

    In the photo with labels, the Bayside Land Co. is where I remember going to an Art museum in 1964. The shape of the building is the same, too. Have 50 years warped my memory?



    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Nope, your memory remains unwarped, Karla. The Artist’s League of Seal Beach used the Bayside Land Co. building for exhibits throughout the sixties and into the early seventies.


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