SBHR Foundation Scores 11 years of old Seal Beach newspapers; to digitize and index them

By Larry Strawther

One of our first goals for the Historic Resources Foundation was to acquire and make available to the community digitized copies of old Seal Beach newspapers. We are happy to announce progress on that front. 

In addition to digitizing some early issues of the Seal Beach Surf & Sun and The Mariner earlier this year, in July we secured 11 years worth of old Seal Beach Post & Waves (1942-1956 with a couple years missing). They were purchased from Bob Robertson who had them in storage up in Oregon, where they had been taken back in the early 1970s by Robertson’s father, the Post & Wave’s former owner and publisher, William L. Robertson (yes, the same man who was at the center of the gambling battles of the 1940s and 1950s). The elder Robertson was also the owner of the Airport Club which later became the Marina Palace, which many of you baby boomers may remember hosted bands from Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight and the Pips to The Seeds and early performances of The Emperors. 

The Post & Wave papers are a treasure trove of information, giving details of how the city reacted in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the arrival of the Navy in 1944. It also gives details and perspective on the political and gambling battles of the 1940s and 1950s, and the small city’s many social activities sponsored by the Lions, the VFW, the Masons, and various church groups.

Right now we have hard copies, but our plan is to have them digitized and indexed so they will be easily searchable through either or Members of the Seal Beach Historic resources Foundation will have free access to these pages.

We have also in discussions with new Sun publisher Linda Rosas to begin digitizing and indexing back issues of the Sun – which many of you know began its print life as the Seal Beach Journal back in 1969. The Sun is owned by Community Media which also owns many other local newspapers, including the Event-News-Enterprise which can trace its local roots back to a 1920s Los Alamitos newspaper. After some mergers and acquisitions, that paper emerged as The Enterprise which in 1946 began to cover Cypress and Los Alamitos. In the early 1960s it was bought by Paul and Gerry Erskine who merged it with their Rossmoor news and began three editions, one of which covered Seal Beach extensively. Their Seal Beach correspondent was Jean Dorr, who wrote a Seal Beach history in 1976 (the yellow one).

We have also secured many issues of some shorter-lived local newspapers circa 1955-1965, some of which were mentioned above: The Seal Beach Surf and Sun, the Marina News, and The Mariner

We are now looking for donations and grants to begin the digitizing process. One year (52 issues) of the Post & Wave (normally about 8 pages) costs about $350 to ship, scan and index. It’s around $550 to index a year of papers averaging around 16 pages. Issues of the Journal and Sun from the 1970s and 1980s (most of which were around 40 pages) cost just under $1,000 per year.

If you are interested in donating to have a specific year of issues digitized and indexed, click here.

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