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March 19, 2007



Great post Chris...very interesting!


"In early May 1903, with about 35 cottages already built, the West Coast Land & Water Co. was succeeded by The Huntington Beach Co."
What is meant by "succeeded?"

Chris Jepsen

It means the H.B. Co. took over from WCL&W as the owners of the original townsite of Pacific City/Huntington Beach.

Philip A. Stanton, the lead partner in WCL&W, sold his interest in the company to the Vail & Gate Group of L.A. in 1902.

That was about the time Mr. Huntington was thinking about running a new rail line down the coast. So, under new leadership, the developers wisely decided to use the name "Huntington Beach" for both the town and their company.

It should be noted that Phil Stanton also founded the cities of Seal Beach (then called Bay City), and Stanton.


Would like to shed more light on HB's origin...
"In early May 1903, with about 35 cottages already built, the West Coast Land & Water Co. was succeeded by The Huntington Beach Co. Pacific City was renamed Huntington Beach, in honor of the company's primary shareholder, railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington."

Some reputable history books glorify the naming of HB "in honor" of H.E.H. during the 4th of July celebration commemorating the new railway. Pacific City officially changed to HB prior to July, 1904 as the name change was part of the sales package deal to get H.E.H. to build the railway to the area.

"1904... the townspeople changed the name to honor Pasadena developer Henry Huntington."

"On July 4, 1904, the first Red Cars of the Pacific Electric rolled in to the new city and its name was changed to Huntington Beach."

"He (H.E.H.) bought the town in 1903, renamed it and began running the Red Cars of his Pacific Electric Railway Co. into town."

"It was sold to a group who renamed the town Huntington Beach, hoping that by paying railroad magnate H. E. Huntington this nominal tribute he would extend his Pacific Electric Railroad to the young city. (He did.)"

"Although the site of Pacific City held great promise, it lacked easy access for prospective citizens and land speculators. The syndicate, headed by J. V. Vickers, approached Henry E. Huntington, owner of the massive interurban electric railway in southern California, and asked him to extend the Long Beach line to Pacific City. In return, Huntington was offered a large block of stock in the new company, free right-of-way along the ocean front, one-twelfth of all subdivided land lots and one-fifth interest in all ocean front bluff property. The company would be named The Huntington Beach Company and, the coup de grace, Pacific City would be renamed Huntington Beach. Huntington agreed to extend the Long Beach rail line."

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Who We Are

  • Greetings from Downtown Huntington Beach was created by Joe Shaw in 2006 to comment on downtown business, Huntington Beach happenings and politics. Author and cultural historian Chris Epting contributes his thoughts on Huntington Beach life. Local historian and Googie architecture expert Chris Jepsen comments on Huntington Beach and Orange County happenings. Andy Schmidt shares his pictures of Huntington Beach and surfing info.

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