Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Surf City, May 1914

 The original wooden municipal pier, circa 1904.

   Construction on a new concrete pier was completed and dedicated in 1914 (a 1912 storm washed away part of the original 1902 rough pine pier).  The Huntington Beach News reported the new pier was "now one of the longest concrete piers on the Pacific Coast, and according to many high authorities, who have viewed this magnificent structure, is actually the most splendidly designed pier ever built."  Referred to as the "Pride of the Pacific," the new, $70,000 pier was 1316 feet, "being only four feet short of a quarter of a mile.  The design of the pier is entirely different from any similar structure in existence."

 The "new" concrete pier, circa 1920, proved popular with visitors.
   The Huntington Beach Board of Trustees (predecessor to the city council) passed ordinances regarding business and professional licenses.  Sadly, "the popcorn wagon will no longer be seen along any of the public streets or alleys of Huntington Beach, as under the provisions of this ordinance this line of business is eliminated from public thoroughfares" (May 22, 1914, Huntington Beach News).

   On the same night, the Trustees agonized over municipal dancing, an idea proposed by T.B. Talbert & Company to encourage "some amusements be furnished if visitors continue to come to this beach."  Talbert & Company suggested dancing was "one of the greatest and most inexpensive attractions that the city could offer pleasure seekers."  A worried city clerk wondered "what the churches would say if the city endorsed dancing?"  The trustees took no action that night, but in case you're wondering, dancing eventually won (and the churches gained new members).

Vernon and Irene Castle, Modern Dancing, 1914.

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