Seal Beach Lions Club volunteers refurbish Historic Red Car

Photo by Chris MacDonald Volunteers Scott Weir, Bruce and Renee Gormley, Laura Ellsworth, Nate Krandes, Rick Foster, Sherri Aiken and Harry Schmidt, at the Red Car.

Rick Foster of the Seal Beach Lion’s Club recently organized a volunteer refurbishing of the Red Car Museum and Blue House near Electric Avenue and Main Street. Among those helping in the effort were Sherri Aiken, Laura Ellsworth, Harry Schmidt, Bruce and Renee Gormley, Scott Weir, Nate Krandes and Greg Felders.

“Their hard work, which included replacing the decayed Railroad Crossing Sign and painting as well as repairing the historic car and house, has gained international attention from Sun Newspaper readers as far away as England,” Foster said.

“Through the relationship we’ve developed with California wine producers, Sonoma’s Red Car Winery founder Richard Cowell has shown an interest in being part of the future of the Red Car. Cowell said he’d love to be associated with anything ‘Red Car.’”

Actually, the Lions Club Red Car wasn’t always a red car. As previously reported, in the 1970s the late Virginia Hadley, mother of Sun contributor Karen Hadley, rescued a Pacific Electric tower repair car from being turned into a reef.

Earlier this year, the Lions issued a statement announcing the purchase of the Red Car.

“The Red Car is historic and it’s safe to say that without the Red Car System, communities such as Seal Beach and Huntington Beach would have developed very differently. We owe a lot to the service of the Red Car that transported early tourists from Los Angeles to the beach communities. In addition we are looking for memorabilia and artifacts that could be displayed as part of the new Red Car Exhibit, once it’s open again to the public.”

Foster is organizing another cleanup at the Red Car and Blue House on Sept. 24 at 5 p.m., and invites all those who wish to become involved to come out in support. He may be reached at

“The city has just formed a Historical Foundation to care for such items as the car, little house on the greenbelt next to it, and our 1929 American La France fire engine,” said Seal Beach District One City Councilman and Mayor Joe Kalmick.

“We hope to discuss the possibility of the Lions donating the Red Car to the Foundation,” Kalmick said.

It would be managed by an independent board with support from the City,” Kalmick said.

In August, the city government issued a statement that it was looking for board members for the Foundation.

The city at the time anticipated appointing the board members at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.