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Tent City precedes incorporation of Seal Beach, soon to celebrate 95th anniversary Charles Kelly | Fri, Jul 16 2010 10:54 AM

During the 1800s, after the California Gold Rush, the German Burghers began the village of Anaheim. They soon desired a port for their their goods. They utilized Anaheim Landing, near the site of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station.

By the 1870s the Burghers began using the coast as a pleasant place to spend summer days. Before long the spot caught onas one of the most popular summer vacation spots. They enjoyed the still water of the bay in which children could swim and be safe. Anaheim Landing’s popularity as a shipping port died with the influx of the Pacific Electric Red Car. But its use as a recreation spot continued to grow.

Soon a “tent city” began with spaces carved out as 25 square feet. This pattern can still be seen today in Old Town Seal Beach with its small lots. The Burghers called the place Bay City. However it was too often confused with San Francisco and the Post Office asked for the city fathers to come up with a new name.

Norma Pranter Phipps

“The Tent City in what is now Seal Beach had about 40 cottages on Ocean Ave. between 13th and 14th Street and got its name because canvas was used on a portion of the buildings which were really one room beach structures with gas plates for cooking,” said Norma Pranter Phipps.  “People from all around this area: Anaheim, Los Angeles, Fullerton —the inland towns that are hot in summer—rented these places and brought their families.

“The Reeds made their own home on the Tent City grounds, which were all leased from the Bayside Land Company, the original developer of Seal Beach. Lynne Pranter was born in Seal Beach, Norma and Lewis’ only child. Lynne Pranter Phipps’ grandmother, Jessie Reed, was not only the first woman mayor of Seal Beach, but probably one of rhe only women mayors at that time in the entire country.”

The following is from Libby Appelgate Founder’s Day publicity chair:

Seal Beach will commemorate its 95th birthday and will celebrate all of the month of October. Our population has grown far beyond the original 250 but today’s locals will have a chance to experience the same excitement as in 1915. Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Surfside and Huntington Beach residents are invited to help us celebrate. Especially we want our Leisure World neighbors involved.

The first event will have dining, dancing and great music by the Emperor band; a Southern California Classic Rock Band. They play very exciting songs including The Beatles, The Who, Doobie Brothers, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Beach Boys, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Styx, Lynard Skynard plus many original songs of their own.

Guests are encouraged to wear clothing representative of your favorite Seal Beach era.

Meet us at the Old Ranch Country Club, 3001 Lampson Ave. on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 6 PM.

$75 advance ticket sales. Call Gwen and Riley Forsythe and Reserve your table today, they are selling fast! 562 598-9044 or 562 598-9294

website: www.sealbeachfoundersday.com

Proceeds from silent auction will go to Save Our Pool Fund for the community pool at J. H. McGaugh Elementary School.

Our sincere gratitude to the following for their support of Founders Day:

Silver Sponsors: Consolidated Disposal Service

Bronze Sponsors: Sea Air Federal Credit Union & Seal Beach Family Medical Group

Patron Sponsors: Woman’s Club of Seal Beach

Apparel sales & sponsorships help fund the culminating event of the Seal Beach Founders Day Celebration, the Parade & Family Festival on Sunday, October 10. All other events are supported through ticket sales.

Sponsors will receive the following benefits leading up to and during Founders Day: recognition in event programs, press releases, web site, Cable TV- 3, and the City’s Community Services Recreation Guide, as well as special recognition at events, festival, and parade.

Sponsorship levels are as follows:

Platinum Sponsor – $5,000 or above (includes name on Main Street banner)

Gold Sponsor – $2,500

Silver Sponsor – $1,000

Bronze Sponsor – $500

Patron Sponsor – $499 or under (event program listing only)

All donations are tax-deductible. For more information, contact Carla Watson at 562/598-9294.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for the Festival called the JOY ZONE for a day. For information on sponsoring a carnival attraction or a musical guest for the Festival, contact Tim Kelsey, 562-431-2527, ext. 1341

Web site: www.sealbeachfoundersday.com.

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