June 8th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1962, the first residents of Leisure World moved in. According to a story in the next day’s Long Beach Independent, the first moving trucks began arriving at 9 a.m.

Among the first forty-eight families waiting for their keys were 75 year-old John E. Burr, I trucking business retiree, and his 72 year-old wife, Lena. The two were downsizing from a 3,000 square foot Corona home to a one-bedroom apartment because, Burr joked, there was “too much yard work.”

Their 55 year-old son, Frank sold his house and party shop in Covina to take a unit 100 feet away from his parents. He was attracted to the medical benefits and recreational activities offered by Leisure World.

Robert and Ethel Earl, both 70, downsized from their Santa Monica home to a trailer the previous year, but decided Leisure World was “a perfect setup for us.”

A spokesman said that another 48 apartments would be occupied by June 14th and that all 844 units of the first development would be full by August 1st.

The following full page ad was run in Southland Newspapers throughout June of 1962.

– Michael Dobkins

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