The wooden pier, tree-lined Main Street and ocean views, coupled with a prosperous and happy community, led Forbes magazine to name Seal Beach one of the five friendliest towns in America. Getting there, however, was a bumpy adventure. Starting in the 1860s as Anaheim Landing, the first seaport in what would become Orange County, it soon became a summer retreat for squatters and illegal saloons. Despite the efforts of real estate developers to turn the town into an amusement resort and an early center for aviation and motion pictures, Seal Beach became neighboring Long Beach’s tavern, brothel and gambling destination. But order and prosperity eventually prevailed to create today’s quiet residential city. Join author Larry Strawther as he tracks Seal Beach’s evolution from raucous port to cherished community.
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