August 6th in Seal Beach History

 On this date in 1904, the Pacific Electric Railway ran this advertisement in the Los Angeles Times. This was only the second PE ad to mention the newly named Bay City and Anaheim Landing as destinations (The first ad was a holiday spread for Independence Day that ran in the July 3rd Los Angeles Times.)

Transportation to Bay City and Alamitos Bay via Red Car was not even two months old at this point. The first passenger run to Anaheim Landing was on June 12th when the Long Beach to Newport line only continued to the Bolsa Chica Gun Club. On July 1st, service was extended to Huntington Beach. Easy and affordable beach holidays had become possible for thousands of inlanders.

August_6_1904_PE_ad– Michael Dobkins

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6 Responses to August 6th in Seal Beach History

  1. Lonnie Brownell says:

    Where is — or was — Seaside Park? End of the line then.


    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Seaside Park was actually a beachfront tract in Long Beach to the west of the Pier and Pavilion in Long Beach. It seems like an afterthought; all the other destinations listed were stops on the way to Huntington Beach on the Newport line that cut through Long Beach from Willow Street. To get to Seaside Park, you’d have ride into downtown Long Beach and then west on the new extension to Seaside Park.


      • Lonnie Brownell says:

        Ah, indeed, an afterthought. Although it wouldn’t have surprised me to find out that some well-known place in OC was formerly known as Seaside Park either.



        • Michael Dobkins says:

          That was my assumption until I looked into it a little deeper.

          Another thing to keep in mind is that most of these destinations were planned real estate tracts, not cities that developed naturally and then were linked later by rail. If you take the marketing for these tracts separately, each one sounds singular and exciting. Once you see the real estate ads from the surrounding area, you’ll start to see how much competition there was and how desperate everyone was to stand out from the competition. The real estate market far exceeded the demand in those days, and it becomes easier to understand why Bay City and later Seal Beach never took off the way its founders wanted. Just too much competition (plus a lot of bad luck).


  2. Camille Beteag Thomsen says:

    I love these history tidbits of Seal Beach. So many amazing events that happened long before the years I grew up there. I look forward to each new story… Thanks Michael


    • Michael Dobkins says:

      My pleasure, Camille. Just imagine — the whole project was originally conceived as a one or two sentence twitter feed, but it’s grown far beyond anything I’ve intended.


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