Huntington Beach /
Main Photo Gallery
In 1895, the
Southern Pacific Railroad built a line to
Huntington Beach, connecting the farming
area to the Holly Sugar Plant which had
relocated to Santa Ana.
In 1901, Philip
A. Stanton and Col. H.S. Finley visited the
area and recognized its potential as a west
coast resort rivaling Atlantic City, New
Jersey. They formed a syndicate called the
West Coast Land and Water Co. They acquired
1,500 acres for $100,000 and began dividing
the area around Main Street into lots and
streets. They named their new development
later, they sold out to another group of
investors, including Henry E. Huntington.
Hence the city's new name. One of the first
things the new Huntington Beach Company did
was construct a wooden pier. The Pacific
Electric Railway also now connected the city
to Long Beach. The city's first telephone
system was installed. It operated from 6
a.m. to 9 p.m.
incorporated on Feb. 17, 1909. The first
mayor was Ed Manning. The city saw its first
school built the same year.
In 1920, oil was
discovered, and the small village quickly
mushroomed into a full-fledged boomtown.
Pacific Coast Highway was constructed in
1925, opening up access to 8-1/2 miles of
virgin beach and ushering in the city's
gradual transition to "Surf City." By the
50's and 60's, Huntington Beach had become
the fastest growing city in the nation.
Today a population of approximately 200,000,
the city is world renowned for its surfing
and is becoming a destination attraction.
The Pier is one
of Huntington Beach's focal points. The
first pier, a 1,000 foot. long timber
structure, was built in 1904, five years
before the city's incorporation. In 1912,
winter storms nearly destroyed the pier, and
a $70,000 bond issue was approved by the
voters to build a new one. The new 1,350 ft.
pier was the longest, highest, and only
solid concrete pleasure pier in the United
States at that time. In 1930, the pier was
lengthened by 500 ft. with a café at the
end. In 1939, a storm destroyed the end of
the pier and the café. After reconstruction,
it was re-opened in 1940. In 1941, the Navy
commandeered the pier for submarine watch
during World War II. In March of 1983,
storms severely damaged the end of the pier
and the café, necessitating demolition and
closure of the end of the pier. In September
1985, the rehabilitated pier reopened with a
new two story "End Café," only to be washed
away again on January 17, 1988. The pier was
declared unsafe and closed on July 12, 1988.
In July 1990, the construction bid for the
new pier was given to Reidel International.
The new pier replicated the historic
architectural style of the original 1914
concrete pier, complete with arched bents.
The pier was built to withstand not only
wave impact and uplift, but also
earthquakes. Today, thousands of visitors
stroll along the pier and enjoy a meal at
Ruby's Restaurant at the end of the pier.
is rich in history with its beginning as an
oil town. Today, the Newland House still
stands proud at Beach Boulevard and Adams, a
reminder of the architecture as well as
furnishings of the early 1900's. Also of
great historic value is the City Gym & Pool
located next to Dwyer Middle School on Palm
Avenue. The building was constructed in 1931
and survived the 1933 earthquake, while
other buildings did not. In the 1960's, many
buildings were destroyed because they failed
to meet new earthquake standards. The School
Board chose to donate the facility to the
City of Huntington Beach. The city made
structural upgrades and it has since served
as a recreation center that has served the
community with a variety of programs and
recreational opportunities. The City Gym &
Pool was renovated using the original wood
in the gymnasium, and most of the fixtures
and windows were restored. The building was
rededicated on October 12, 2000.