Home » Biography & Memoir » Chris Epting » Legendary Locals of Huntington Beach

March 09 , 2011

Legendary Locals of Huntington Beach


For over 100 years, Huntington Beach, a.k.a. "Surf City, USA," has come to represent the true beach culture of Southern California. Originally called Pacific City, it was when railroad magnate Henry Huntington first ran his train line down in 1904 from Los Angeles, approximately 40 miles north, that the then-quaint beach town took on the name that made it famous around the state and around the world. In 1914, the legendary George Freeth put on a surfing exhibition the day the city's vaunted concrete pier was opened, which christened Huntington Beach as a soon-to-be surfing mecca. It became a boomtown after oil was discovered in 1920 and, several decades later, morphed once again into a cradle of aerospace engineering when companies such as Boeing arrived. Throughout its tumultuous and dramatic history, Huntington Beach has always boasted a cast of colorful and profound characters. From the first mayor, Ed Manning, to Medal of Honor-recipient Chris Carr, from the Zamboni family (who invented the ice-cleaning machine) to baseball star Jeff Kent: the list is almost endless. But it is not just professional athletes, actors, and rock stars; it is the teachers, crossing guards, merchants, and activists that give Huntington Beach its well-earned reputation as one of the most interesting and charismatic cities in the state.
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