FIXING A DITCH WEIR
Huntington Beach Circa 1876
Once the Egypt of America, Gospel Swamp and Bolsa Chica area were a vast peat land containing rich soil. A factory was built on a mesa 2.5 miles north of Huntington Beach to manufacture an inexpensive fuel source in the form of bricks made from the peat. Containing swamp and marsh mud, as it was described during that time, horses kept sinking into the fields so someone came up with the idea of strapping large, flat plates made of wood to the horses' feet.
Peat never became a popular commodity in a land where oil rules, but foods were always sought out and celery grew exceptionally well in the region. The Santa Ana - Newport Railroad came into existence in 1902 and vastly improved opportunities to get the celery to market. Chinese, Japanese, Italians and American descendants all worked the fields together though cultural differences did cause minor conflicts from time to time.
While celery blight came along and
put an entire industry out of business, sugar beet used in sugar production
was succeeding. By 1911, there were over 30,000 acres of sugar beet grown
in Orange County, where Huntington Beach is located. Vegetables, strawberries,
mushrooms and orange groves have all run a course and you can now see a
field or two remaining for crops such as strawberries. But it's unlikely
they will be around much longer as land is developed for homes.
Peninsula Market is a new addition to the Huntington Seacliff scene. Situated on the southwest corner of Garfield and Golden West Streets, many cannot help but ponder the eye catching sculptures popping up from this wall seen above. What are the intriguing designs'