roller coaster and gambling parlors of Seal Beach's
rough and tumble 1920s have given way to sand
castles and the charm of an old-fashioned downtown
as Bay City, the town made its official debut
with a population of 250 on October 25, 1915,
during a night full of music, food and fireworks.
The festivities seemed appropriate for a town
with beaches covered with picnic tables, plenty
of surf, and amusement zone crowned with a scream-generating
roller coaster and the longest pier south of San
the town was rechristened Seal Beach after the
seals that used to frequent the coast there. Its
good times and Henry Huntington's Pacific Electric
Railway brought it more year-round residents.
tents of the earliest settlers were replaced with
bungalows and by the twilight of the 1920s, Seal
Beach's roads sported permanent homes, according
to "A Story of Seal Beach," by Jean
Depression years brought a change of pace. Low-cost
amusements were the order of the day. Some of
the town's 2,000 residents started the Seal Beach
Civic Choir while others enjoyed the little Seal
Beach Airport on the corner of Bay Boulevard,
now Seal Beach Boulevard, and Highway 101, where
they could watch biplanes take off. During World
War II, homes at Anaheim Landing in the city gave
way to a US Navy ammunition and submarine net
loss of Anaheim Landing marked a big change in
Seal Beach. Already gone or about to disappear
were the roller coaster, which burned in the late
'20s; the Jewel Cafe, site of the town's inaugural
celebration; and the dance pavilion next to the
the loss of Anaheim Landing also marked the beginning
of the city's expansion, as the population grew
after World War II.
erosion, oil drilling, a new subdivision, professional
gambling and other issues were debated. At least
one gambling parlor had been around before, but
by the end of the decade professional gambling
the same time, the old electric railroad tracks
were ripped up, public recreation facilities were
expanded, and the city arrange to get a small
share of royalties from a newly built, privately
owned offshore oil rig.
1960, Seal Beach had a population of 6,994. But
new subdivisions and annexations soon added to
of the walled retirement community, Leisure World,
began in 1962 with enough apartments for almost
10,000 new residents. Surfside, originally a summertime
beach community, joined the city in 1968.
Seal Beach is becoming a haven for those in search
of a quiet, hometown atmosphere. With its old
buildings, the downtown Old Town beach is filled
with small reminders of Bay City and its lively
little colony by the beach.
LANDING - Location: NE corner of Seal Beach
Blvd and Electric Ave, Seal Beach
Soon after the founding of the Mother Colony at
Anaheim in 1857, the Anaheim Landing Company established
Anaheim Landing as a port for the Santa Ana Valley.
Despite treacherous entrance conditions that caused
several disasters, regular coastwise trade was
carried on here for about 15 years.