June 20th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1966, the Seal Beach McGaugh Pool officially opened. A joint venture between J. H. McGaugh Intermediate School and the City of Seal Beach, the pool cost $118,000.

Students had used the pool during the school year, but June 20th was the official opening for the entire community. The first schedule for recreational swimming  was offer in two sessions on weekdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m and then 2:45 to 4:15 p.m.  The weekend schedule had three sessions from noon to 1:30 p.m., 1:45 to 3:15 p.m, and 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Swimming instruction was also offered.

– Michael Dobkins


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9 Responses to June 20th in Seal Beach History

  1. Lonnie Brownell says:

    Oh man that was a big deal! I was in 6th grade when it opened. The pool was cool, but most (all?) of us boys were NOT fans of the red speedos we had to wear. There was a wooden cart with bins sorted by size. You’d reach in and grab one, which seemed a bit…er…impersonal. We trusted/hoped they’d been properly laundered.

    Were the handball courts built at the same time? In the suspect calendar of my mind, it seems like they might’ve been.

    Like

    • Michael Dobkins says:

      I think the handball courts were built around 1971.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michael Collins says:

      I remember that summer, the beach or the new pool? Mike Collins

      Like

      • Lonnie Brownell says:

        Mike Collins, how you doing?!? Assuming you’re the Mike Collins in my grade all thru Zoeter, McGaugh and HBHS.

        This was about the pool and PE. At the beach I was in shorts. Did the swim team do rough water workouts?

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        • Mike Collins says:

          Hi Lonnie, it’s me from 205Surf Place. I’m living in Farmington, N.H. I was talking about when the City opened the pool up for us during the summer. Oh yeah… I remember having to swim in those nasty speedos! I ended up lifeguarding in town from 73 through 76 ,then spending the next fifteen years working on Maui. What are you up to? Good to hear from you. Mike😎

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          • Lonnie Brownell says:

            I’m living in Encinitas with Mrs B and our dog, Cody, and some times the boys when they come home from college. Maui no ka oi! Plan to retire at the end of this year then downsize to a smaller place, in this area. That’s the plan, anyway…

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            • Mike Collins says:

              Sounds great, I’m retired now too, just the Misses and myself in the boonies enjoying New England. Say Hi to our classmates back there for me… and take it easy. M.C.✌

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  2. Cindy Baker Nodson says:

    We lived close to McGaugh at the time. It seems to me that we already used the side of the gym for handball or practicing with our tennis rackets. The tennis courts (with basketball courts) were replaced by the pool. Pool was well-used by the kids in town.

    Like

    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Cindy, I’m looking at a 1963 aerial of Seal Beach, and it looks like all of the lot west of the gym was playground with no tennis or basketball courts. I think the existing tennis/basketball courts were either built at the same time as the pool or shortly thereafter. Are you remembering different courts from the ones that are still there next to the pool?


      And I think you’re right about the side of the gym being used for racquetball and handball. I was at McGaugh when the handball courts were built, and I remember one of the reasons for building them was that handball/racquetball playing on the gym interfered too much with other recreational and athletic activities there.

      Liked by 2 people

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