Recently, both Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz have claimed the moniker, Surf City, USA. While today nobody considers Corona del Mar the center of surf culture in California, in 1928 it might well have claimed the title Surf City, USA. In that year, Corona del Mar had the only surf club on the Pacific Coast (with twelve members) and was the site of the first Pacific Coast Surf Board Championship. One of the most popular photographs in Sherman Library’s collection shows contestants in this race posing next to their redwood longboards.
At first glance, this photograph may seem uninteresting. It is after all, a shot of a nearly empty street with a few buildings. If you look closely, you will see a number of clues to the location and date. To the left, you can see the Goldenrod footbridge and to the right a grocery store, which also served as a post office. The store was Scott’s Grocery, which city directories indicate was on the corner of Coast Highway and Marigold Ave. In the distance toward the center of the photo, you will notice two additional buildings. The nearer of the two, on the left, was Brigg’s Service Station, and the smaller building in the distance was the K. I. Fulton real estate office.
With the arrival of summer and the end of the school year, the beaches are filling with people, in a tradition that goes back far more than a century. Beach culture always been central to Newport Beach’s identity. Long before the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce issued its first promotional brochure in 1924 depicting a woman preparing to dive into the water, the beach drew people to Newport.
Sometimes as the small bungalows that once dominated the area around Sherman Library are replaced by large residences it seems nothing of “old” Corona del Mar survives. Yet amid the new homes are some elements of the past. One of these is the iconic Goldenrod footbridge, which is nearly 90 years old. The bridge over Bayside Drive, connects two segments of Goldenrod Avenue. It is not only quaint, but it represents a different time, when Newport Beach city leaders sought new ways to attract people to Corona del Mar.
In the 1920s, silent movie production companies often used Newport Beach and the surrounding coastline as backdrops. Unlike the bustling port of Los Angeles, Newport Bay and Catalina had few… Read More »
The oldest structure at Sherman Library & Gardens is a single-room adobe house built by Lawrence and Pauline Lushbaugh in the late 1930s. The Lushbaugh’s story is interesting: the young couple bought a plot of land, and taught themselves how to make fired-adobe brinks to build their own home. Yet if a single element of the story fascinates people, it is this: the Lushbaughs bought the land for their house from the City of Newport Beach for $600.00, an amount that would not cover the cost of a square foot of a typical house today.