Oral Histories

Florence Tyler – Life on Hellman Ranch. For many years, Florence Tyler’s husband was the foreman of the Hellman Ranch which occupied almost 90% of the land that now comprises Seal Beach.

Paul Calvo – Former Seal Beach Councilman

Willard Hanzlik – Visited Seal Beach in 1928 and recalls that rails ran down Main Street to a turnaround at Ocean Avenue. Except for 1962-1967, he has been a resident since 1950, and had an electrical contracting business here from 1946 until 1962.

Earl Shea – Early Seal Beach Lifeguard; life at Anaheim Landing

Joan Stegman – Seal Beach in the 1930s and 40s; Joan’s grandparents owned a hotel in Seal Beach and she originally came down here for summers for many years, enjoying the summer life at Anaheim Bay. As an adult she moved here and became very instrumental in the founding of the original Seal Beach Historical Society, as well as being a key part of purchasing the Red Car.

Larry Howard

Marge Ordway

Norma Pranter – Tent City and Seal Beach politics in the 1940s. Norma Pranter’s mother, Jessie Reed came to Seal Beach during the Joy Zone days and purchased and managed the Tent City on the beach between 12th and 14th. Later, disgusted with the powerful gambling elements in town, Jessie and in 1942 ran for Mayor and became the first woman mayor in Orange County.

Lloyd Murray – Seal Beach Lifeguards in the late 1940s and 1950s.

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