July 25th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1965, the following ad for Rattanland By The Sea ran in the Long Beach Independent-Telegram.

There were other Rattanland shops during the fifties in Southern California, but it’s hard to tell whether any of all these stores were affiliated with each other based on newspaper advertising. Certainly all of these stores were united in the common goal of tapping into the increased demand for wicker, bamboo, and rattan furniture that the popular post-war Tiki culture craze created.

The only Rattanland that lasted longer than a couple years was an original tenant of the Lakewood Center when it opened in 1954. This store occupied a storefront at 5000 Faculty Drive in Lakewood for nine years before opening what was initially advertised as a second Interiors by Rattanland showroom in Seal Beach in August 1963. The Lakewood Center Rattanland then quietly closed a few months later.

This left Seal Beach’s newly renamed Rattanland by the Sea as the only Rattanland left. It stayed in business at 217 Main Street until the late seventies. By then, it was advertising itself as the “Oldest Rattan Shop in the Southland” and as being established in 1946.

I’m sure there’s a twisted path of Rattanland storefront addresses and ownership that reach all the way back to 1946 that supported this claim, but I never found anything conclusive. We’ll just have to take the claim on faith.

– Michael Dobkins


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