Huntington Beach, California (Images of America)
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Incorporated in 1909, Huntington Beach remained a sleepy seaside town until the city's legendary oil boom in the 1920s. Wells sprang up overnight, and in less than a month, the city's population more than doubled. As the area developed culturally through the decades, the once tiny farming community increased its size with 25 miles of annexations to become one of Southern California's major tourist destinations. Pictured here in nearly 200 vintage photographs is the evolution of this small seaside village into a classic, Southern California beach city, known as Surf City to nearly a million tourists a year. Showcased here are images acquired from city records, including shots of the famous Huntington Beach Pier as it evolved over the century, rare amateur photos of one of the largest gushers in city history, vintage beach scenes, rarely seen historic aerial views, images of the turn of the century "Tent City," the infamous flood of 1938, and nostalgic shots of the Saltwater Plunge.
before our eyes that I felt the urge to document what is here today. Soon, as more and more development strips away the past, very little of the original city will be left. As it is today, scant evidence of the laid-back beach city remains at all. I have always loved the idea of then and now photography, and it’s something I practice all over the United Sates. For me, there’s just something magical about standing in the footsteps of a previous photographer. What were they thinking back then? Was
Villa Sweden smorgasbord restaurant at 552 Main Street was famous for their wholesome food at reasonable prices. Local historian Chris Jepsen fondly recalls eating here as a child, enjoying the Swedish meatballs, dark limpa bread, and Jell-O desserts. The restaurant closed down in the mid-1980s, and today the same building is home to the Shore House Café. The International Surfing Museum at 411 Olive Avenue is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. Over the years, the building has
photographs and great stories about his family history in Huntington Beach and to Marvin Carlberg for the use of his sensational postcard images. All of the “then” images in this book are courtesy of the Orange County Archives , the generous donations the aforementioned contributors, or the author; the “now” images are all courtesy of the author. To Shirley Shaver, Billie Kennedy, Jerry Person, and every other local who helped me sort through facts, details, and remembrances, thank you. To the
mid-1960s. The AES power plant is visible off to the far left, but beyond that, Huntington Beach is still a fairly wide-open place. In the recent photograph, many neighborhoods have filled in the farmland and other open spaces. The ocean is located to the far left of the photographs. Originally built in the 1960s as the Huntington Beach Center, the property languished for years before renovation began in 2004. Today it has been transformed into what has been described as a “Tuscan
staff at the Huntington Beach Independent newspaper, thanks for the support. To Jerry Roberts, Devon E. E. Weston, and the rest of the Arcadia Publishing staff, thank you for the tireless efforts in helping to document our nation’s history. And to each one of you holding this book right now, thank you so much for your interest. “THEN” IMAGE SOURCES Orange County Archives, 11, 15, 17, 20, 22, 25, 30, 47, 67, 77, 79, 85, 87, 88, 96, and 99 Jack Clapp, 18, 48, 50, 51–54, 56, 57, 72, 76, and 91