Dana and Ginger Lamb: Orange County’s Enchanted Vagabonds

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Dana and Ginger Lamb: Orange County’s Enchanted Vagabonds

On February 19, 1933 when Dana Lamb and Virgina “Ginger” Bishop married, Orange County was a quiet place compared to today. The couple had grown up in Orange County, both having graduated from Santa Ana High School.  But for Dana and Ginger Lamb, civilization had encroached too far into Orange County.  They yearned for adventure… Read More »

Merle’s Drive-in

Merle’s Drive-in at MacArthur and Coast Highway, May 9th, 1952. Beckner Collection, Sherman Library. Merle’s Coffee shop opened in 1951 at the corner of Coast Highway and MacArthur Blvd., a space now occupied by the Corona del Mar Plaza. Merle’s, which billed itself as a drive-in, offered a typical menu of coffee shop staples.  In… Read More »

Kay Finch: Corona del Mar Artist

For more than twenty years, the ceramicist Kay Finch produced artful porcelain figurines in a studio near the corner of Coast Highway and Hazel Ave.  Kay, along with her staff, created whimsical figurines glazed in pastel colors.    She employed a meticulous, multiple-step process, which included multiple firings and hand decorating. She was best known… Read More »

Corona del Mar’s Motels

Affordable Motels in Corona del Mar? Can you believe Corona del Mar used to have motels along Coast Highway?  The first motel in Corona del Mar, the Bay-Ocean Motel, is listed in a 1941 local city directory.  By 1955, six more motels sprung up along coast highway:  Crown of the Sea Motel, Del Mar Hotel,… Read More »

Big Corona Beach – Then and Now

On March 18, 1914 someone stood on the Corona del Mar bluffs to snap a picture of the beach, now known as Big Corona. This photograph is interesting, both for what it includes and what it does not include. There are no people and no homes. The only sign that the beach was ever used… Read More »