Laguna Beach Timeline compiled by Gene Felder (continually edited)

1492 Columbus explores America

1769 Portola Expedition - Gaspar de Portolà Spain explores Alta California

1776 Founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano

18061812 San Juan Capistrano Great Church, finished and destroyed by earthquake

1821 Mexico Independence from Spain

1834-36 Richard Henry Dana – "Two Years Before the Mast" book published in 1840

183742 Don Jose Andres Sepulveda Rancho San Joaquin Mexican Land Grant (Irvine)

1842 Juan Avila Rancho Niguel Mexican Land Grant (later Moulton Ranch)

1846 Mexican War ends

1850 California admitted to USA; Orange County part of Los Angeles County

1852 Sarko (Pio Pico) vs Black Swan (Jose Andres Sepulveda) horse race in Los Angeles

1861 Dec 24th started raining and rained for almost 4 weeks; river course changed

186263 Great Drought

1864 Benjamin and Thomas Flint, Llewellyn Bixby, and James Irvine buy Rancho San Joaquin

1870 Eugene Salter Aliso Canyon- Laguna Beach's 1st homestead

1871 George Thurston takes over Aliso Canyon homestead

1876 William Brooks homesteads in Laguna Beach; also Nate Brooks

1876 Andrew Wesley Thompson Spring Ranch homestead Laguna Canyon Road at El Toro

1879 George Rogers builds 1st school for his 8 children - Old Ranch House now where City Hall

1878 John Damron homestead above Arch Beach; also homesteaded Temple Hills and “Rogers Addition”

18881893 Mormon school house

1893 Brooks Hotel built (where now Isch building); burnt down in 60 days

1886 Laguna Beach Wharf and Improvement Co. formed

1886 Arch Beach Hotel built by Hubbard Goff

1886 Alpha Hotel built by Henry Goff, later becoming the Gray Gables

1887 Laguna Beach granted post office as Lagona

1888 Arch Beach Pier built by Hubbard Goff and Nate Brooks (destroyed 1912)

1888 Train reaches Aliso City; stage to Laguna Beach 1st driven by William Brooks

1888 Joseph and Kate Isch Yoch come to Laguna Beach

1889 Arch Beach (separate town) granted a post office-Oliver Brooks 1st Postmaster

1889 Orange County separates from Los Angeles County

1890 Economic bust

1890 Andrew Wesley Thompson and Mormons move to Aliso City (Lake Forest)

1893 Mormon school house abandoned, moved to Canyon Acres Drive as Laguna Beach public school

1896 Laguna Beach Hotel (30 bedrooms and 2 baths) created by Joseph Yoch from Arch Beach and Alpha hotels

1896 Main Beach Pier built off of Heisler point (last until 1916)

1900 Pavilion built (later Art Gallery)

190_ Madame Helena Modjeska in Laguna Beach

1902 Norman St. Clair visits Laguna Beach

1903 Artist Gardner Symons purchases property in Arch Beach des

1904 Elmer Jahraus comes to Laguna 

1904 Post master Nick Isch gets Lagona changed to Laguna Beach

1905 William Swift Daniell comes to Laguna

1905 Elmer Jahraus Cigar Factory

1905 North Laguna purchased from the Irvine Company by Howard G. Heisler

1906 Laguna Cliffs developed (North Laguna) – Howard G. Heisler, L.C. McKnight, & Thumb Brothers

1906 Norman St. Clair exhibition in Hotel Laguna Beach

1906 William Swift Daniell exhibition at Breakers boarding house on Main Beach

1908 One room schoolhouse sold to Catholic Church - St. Joseph's becoming St. Catherine's on Aliso Street (now Catalina Street)

1908 Two-Room Schoolhouse (now Legion Hall)built on Park Avenue (where now High School)

1910 Sayles Dance Hall on Main Beach

1910 Old Joe Lucas dies (1st Greeter)

1910 Two Room Schoolhouse

1912 Laguna Lumberyard Co founded by Elmer and Joseph Jahraus

1912 Artist Frank Cuprien comes to Laguna des

1914 Louis Betts paints "The Girl Of The Golden West" Josie Derkum and her horse "Hondo"

1914 1st Radio Broadcast by Lynn Aufdenkamp

1916 Street lights installed

1917 Edgar Payne moves to Laguna with wife Elsie

1917 Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association formed; Elmer E. Jahraus presided

1918 Pavilion converted to Art Gallery opened July 27th

1918 Laguna Beach Art Association founded August 22nd by Edgar Payne (150 charter members of which 35 artists)

1919 Laguna Lumber Co. Lumberyard office building built on Forest Avenue - architect Yuan Egasse

1919 Old Ranch House sold to Joseph S. Thurston

1919 Joseph S. Thurston bought Temple Hills for $24,000

1921 Peace Pageant Kitshi Manido performed written by Isaac Frazee

1922 Gavy Cravath retired from baseball (24 home runs in 1915), real estate & Justice of the Peace

1922 Artist Anna Hills Laguna Beach Art Association President

19__ Café Raven burns down

1924 Laguna Playhouse built at 319 Ocean Avenue. 

1926 Coast Highway opens; Mary Pickford & Douglas Fairbanks at opening

1926 Cabrillo Dance Hall built on Main Beach

1926 $600,000 Laguna Beach County Water District bonds passed

1926 Longer Main Beach Pier built off Heisler Point by Tony Derkum

1926 Two-Room School House moved to become Legion Hall on Legion Street

1926 Nick Isch's "The Paint Box" burns down

1927 City incorporates June 29, 1927

1927 Peace Pipe Pageant Kitshi Manido performed written by Isaac Frazee

1927 South Coast News - Eschbach Building built; architect 

1928 Presbyterian Church built Forest Ave and 2nd Street

1929 Art Gallery built on Cliff Drive February 16th

1929 High School built, 

1929 La Casa Del Camino Hotel at So. Coast and Cress Street

1929 Fire Station on Forest Avenue built - Aubrey St. Clair architect

1929 Water District Building built - Aubrey St. Clair architect, Roy Ropp builder

1929 Coast Inn built

1930 Hotel Laguna built on site of Hotel Laguna Beach

1931 Heisler Building built corner of So. Coast and Laguna Avenue site of Isch Store & Post Office

1931 - Former Mormon school house was bought and moved to 588 Through Street by artist Joseph and Edna Kleitsch to be used as a painting academy

1932 Festival of the Arts – Living Pictures

1932 Coast Boulevard paves two lanes each direction

1933 Isch Building (pre 1934) built Aubrey St. Clair architect, now Greeter’s Corner So Coast Hwy, near Main Beach

1933 Three Arches (South Laguna) opened a post office in 1933 “Three Arches” with Mrs. Grace Powers as postmistress

1925 Old Ranch House leased to Woman's Club purchased by them in 1927

1950 City purchases Old Ranch House from Women's Club for $27,297.75.

19__ John Steinbeck who wrote Tortilla Flats (1935) while living at 504 Park Avenue

1934 Three Arches becomes “South Laguna” (was not one of the choices on the ballot but won by a write-in vote)

1935 Laguna Federal Building built at 222 Ocean Ave, Aubrey St. Clair architect

1935 Pageant of the Masters

1937 Life Guard Stand moved to Main Beach in March

1938 Greeter Eiler Larsen comes to Laguna Beach - plays Judas in Pageant of the Masters

1939 Main Beach damaged by hurricane. Pier (Heisler Point) damaged and later removed

1948 Frank Cuprien dies, Viking Studio estate was bequeathed to the Laguna Beach Art Association

1951 City Hall built on site of the Old Ranch House

1955 $600,000 Laguna Beach County Water District bonds paid off - District debt free

1961 Laguna Federal Savings built at 260 Ocean Ave, Aubrey St. Clair and W. Verity architects; David Young builder (now Wells Fargo)

1968 Main Beach Park 1,000 feet of oceanfront purchased by City

1969 The Playhouse demolished at 319 Ocean Avenue 

1974 Opening of Main Beach Park

1975 Greeter Eiler Larsen dies

1978 Bluebird Canyon slide

1989 May 1st "The Tell" photographic mural created by Jerry Burchfield and Mark Chamberlain

1989 Nov 11th, Walk in the Canyon - organized by Harry Huggins

1990 Measure J environmental bond measure passed 79% of vote 

1993 Laguna Wildfire October 27, 1993

2003 Montage Resort and Spa opens (former Treasure Island Trailer Park)

2005 Bluebird Canyon slide June 2005