Centennial House

The “Centennial House” was moved to the Green belt in 2016. The house and many others just like it were built to vacation for a week or so at a time at Anaheim Landing.  Most of these little cottages were built in the early 1900s.   Anaheim Landing was a very popular spot for getting away from the inland summer heat during the 1870s thru 1900. It was called Anaheim Landing because around 1864 a number of Anaheim businessmen, including the early wine growers, invested in the area as a port to deliver and ship products and materials. 

The coming of the railroad to Anaheim ended most of its business purposes, but residents found the bay and the soft beaches ideal spots to get away for a week or two.  The early vacationing was mainly in tents.But after 1900, when some land issues were resolved, the Hellman Company began selling and/or leasing lots.  Families put up these little beach cottages and in the photos from 1905-1930, you can see many of these cottages lined up just beyond the high tide line.  Of course, Anaheim Landing tried to piggyback on the expected popularity of the Seal Beach Joy Zone in 1916-1920, but neither really took off (WW I metal and rubber rationing and Prohibition didn’t help), so the Landing became a less-used vacation spot.  Still, those who came here loved it.  

Aerial photos from the 1930s show little cottages like the centennial cottage on all sides of the Anaheim Bay inlet, inside the PE tracks.  Homes on the west side of the Bay went all around from the railroad bridge to the current highway bridge, and on the south side (what was then called East Seal Beach) along what is now the Navy wharves and paralleling inside the PE tracks, up into Surfside (another failed development but built after a land dispute was settled in 1929).  After the Navy came in in 1944 the homes were removed.  Many were taken to be Granny flats in the backyards of local homes in Westminster, Midway City, Huntington Beach, and of course, Old Town Seal Beach.

The Centennial Cottage resided behind a house on 11th Street and was first spotted by former SB Historical Society President Barbara Roundtree.  In July 2015 it was “donated” to the city by the Melanie and Don Blayney family who gave the cottage to the city on the condition it be removed in 30 days. The Blayneys wanted to build a new home on 12th Street, where the cottage was currently located and had already obtained a permit from the Coastal Commission to demolish the building. They said the cottage was built in 1900.  It was very likely built before 1920.   The construction style of the cottage is called ‘board and batten’.

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