June 9th in Seal Beach History (4 of 8)

On this date in 1916, this article and these ads ran on the fourth page of a Seal Beach promotional section in the Santa Ana Register. This was on the Friday of the first opening summer weekend under the Seal Beach name, and this was the newly incorporated city at its most ambitious and confident.

The copy, ads, and illustrations are formatted below for easier reading and a larger view of the graphics.


One of the conspicuous achievements at Seal Beach is the new building at Anaheim Landing, erected by H. W. Wilcox, the entire two floors of which are given over to Mr. Wilcox’s Casino.

The opening of the Wilcox Casino which occurred recently and was announced in flaring type, attracted many visitors. Mr. Wilcox, himself an experienced amusement manager, introduced a number of surprises to pleasure seekers. But the biggest of them was the Cafe itself, which is probably the most imposing building of its kind in Southern California; that is, a building devoted entirely to an eating and dancing place.

The exterior is of red brick, harmoniously trimmed in yellow, and architecturally very pleasing. Upon first appearances one wonders at the man’s nerve in putting up such a structure at Anaheim Landing, which is fully four blocks from the amusement features at Seal Beach. But this Wilcox fellow seems to have ideas of his own. Anaheim Landing, he points out, has always been a popular picnic resort, well-known and much advertised as such. It was on the “market” years before Seal Beach was even thought of. Then there is another reason — it is quiet at Anaheim Landing.

Interior Is Unique

The interior contains features not found in any Cafe and Dancing Cabaret in Los Angeles or San Francisco, it is claimed. Beginning at the kitchen, Mr. Wilcox pointed out some of the original things:

“In the first place,” he said, “no waiter passes another going out or coming in. See how these isles are constructed?” We took note of what looked a good deal like a cafeteria arrangement, with a glad feeling that waiters, likewise, were now compelled to stand in line and carry a heavy tray — “That’s for speed,” broke in Mr. j Wilcox. “We can serve you twice as fast; besides, it eliminates accidents, which always mean delay, inconvenience.”

The Whitest Kitchen

We have been through sanitary kitchens before, but the whiteness of the Wilcox Casino kitchen; the sanitary layout; the terra-cotta brick ovens; the shining nickel-plated lids and the cleanest floor we ever saw made us feel like going back and wash up.

“That in the corner is our refrigerating plant,” again interrupted Wilcox, “not just an ice box or a cooler ¡but an ice manufacturing plant, capable of turning out 1000 pounds of ice daily.

“And the high-powered fans you see above are part of our ventilating system, which keeps away all kitchen odors from the main dining room and dance floor. Come out and smell for yourself,” he challenged.


The Main Cafe

We had noticed the lack of kitchen “fragrance” when we entered. There were other things which attracted our attention. The first that struck us was the architectural harmony. There was a large fire place; the lighting fixtures were beauties; the tables and chairs were of pleasing design and the arrangement of them around the dance floor showed excellent taste.

Upstairs, in the balcony, are abundant conveniences for those who do not care so much about dancing and prefer music from a distance.


Manager and Chef Well Known

Bob Ritchie, formerly manager at the Portola at Los Angeles, has been installed as floor manager at the Wilcox Casino. The Chef, also, is an individual of reputation.

Upon leaving it was evident that if Mr. Wilcox had set up his Casino a lonesome island 100 miles from civilization, he could not keep the crowds away.

Big Change Planned

Among other amusements planned at Anaheim Landing are those of the Anaheim Amusement Company, who propose to erect a moving picture theater, high-grade restaurant, from 100 to 200 additional cottages, and various other attractions.

These new pleasure places are to replace the present buildings known as Richardson’s Bowling Alleys and Bath Houses. The contemplated exhibits are directly opposite the Wilcox Casino. The men behind the new undertaking are A. D. Baker, who was connected with Fred Thompson and built the Midway at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo and Toyland at San Francisco, and Mr. Dyckman, a business man of Anaheim.

A hydroplane on the bay and water boat races are features planned by Dyckman and Baker this summer. Particular attention is called to the still water bathing at Anaheim Bay and the present bath house with room for six hundred.

Launches can also be had and the general store is still there at the service of picnic parties. The past few weeks have brought out the picnickers in large numbers and still-water bathing is the main sport.


Handsome School Building

Although but three years old, Seal Beach has a handsome school building erected at a cost of $12,000 and employing two teachers. The growth of the city has increased the attendance rapidly, and the red brick structure will soon be filled to capacity.

The building is a monument to the progressive spirit of Seal Beach. It is centrally located.




Check out the other seven June 9th This Date in Seal Beach history post. There are more ads, photos, and illustrations to enjoy.

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

Page Five

Page Six

Page Seven

Page Eight

– Michael Dobkins

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7 Responses to June 9th in Seal Beach History (4 of 8)

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