December 12th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1924, The Captain’s Inn opened in building where the scandalous Tower Cafe once operated in Anaheim Landing on Electric Avenue and Bay Boulevard.

The Captain was Captain James Edward Brink, who served under General Pershing in Mexico. His father, also named James Edward Brink owned and ran a legendary restaurant in downtown Los Angeles called the Saddlerock Cafe. The Captain’s Inn seems to be Captain Brink’s attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps.

For a few years, the restaurant prospered, and even hosted live performances on a Long Beach radio station.  The prosperity didn’t last, and by the late twenties, the restaurant was gone, but the Captain’s Inn building continued to host picnics and gathering until it was damaged in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

Dow Brink may have been related to the Captain, but I haven’t been able to confirm it. He started his career singing ballads in Oregon theater in 1909, and later worked the vaudeville circuit as half of a musical act,”Brink and Camp.”  His partner, Warren Camp, wrote the music, and Dow wrote the lyrics for a 1911 song, “Rag With No Name.”

Alma Salmon started young in show biz as a seventeen year-old chorus girl in 1913.  She didn’t stay in the chorus and developed her own act as a comedy singer. Her career lasted well into the thirties.

James Edward Brink died in 1970 at the age of eighty. He had risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel while serving in World War II.

– Michael Dobkins

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