History Of Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, one of the fastest growing cites in the nation during the 1960s, has slowed down quite a bit
since it was transformed from a rough and tumble oil town into the third largest city in Orange County.The
community was founded in 1901 as Pacific City on the site of a former Spanish land-grant ranch. In 1904, the
townspeople changed the name to honor Pasadena developer Henry Huntington, who made the small city a
stop on his Pacific Electric “Red Car” Railway line.The city’s first boom occurred after Standard Oil Co. began
drilling for oil in 1920, and a forest of derricks lining the beaches led to the nickname “Oil City.”It gained the
unflattering nickname of “Tin Can Beach” early on from the debris found in the sand. Following is a first person
account from Ed Sweeny, who used to visit the area at the time:”During the years that we used to go to ‘Tin Can
Beach’ 1946-1956, it was not uncommon for people to go and stay for a week or two at a time…Ou families
20-30 members would go during the summer, when it was so hot in the inland valley, and pitch army tents and
stay for a couple of weeks at a time…The men would go off to work every day and come back to the beach
afterwards…The adults would sleep in the tents on cots and the kids would sleep out under the stars…we would
have camp fires every night…It was so much fun…When the Grunion were running we did the same thing…The
kids would end up with cuts all over their feet from all the tin can lids buried in the sand…and of course it was
free back then…”In 1961, the state cleaned up the tin cans and created Bolsa Chica State Beach.Oil drilling and
farming were the major sources of employment in the Huntington Beach area until the 1960s.. Information
Provided by Orangecounty.net) Click for link

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