On the cover of the announcement for the Art Exhibit celebrating Huntington Beach's Centennial in 2009 is the photo of a swim suit beauty lighting a sign, "HUNTINGTON BEACH, California's Finest Bathing Beach". This has long been one of our favorite old photographs of Huntington Beach because of its inclusion of oil derricks in the background. Huntington Beach as a modern city grew from its turn-of the 20th century roots with focus on tourism, first, then oil next, and back to tourism now in the 21st century.
Inside the exhibits presentation folder is a photo showing a huge wave that devastates the Huntington Beach Pier. Like so many cities along the California, the destruction and re-building of piers occurs decade to decade as large storms come ashore. It represents the title of the exhibit, Ebb & Flow.
Difficult to compile because of the large number of copies of photos and artifacts, according to an art center curator, the exhibit is a display of models, videos., photos, documents and artifacts from 100 years of the seaside city that blossomed, thanks to its namesake "Huntington" of oil fame, Henry E. Huntington. It would have grown eventually anyway, but the wealthy industrialist's decision (or agreement) to run the Red Car / Pacific Electric train through and stop in Huntington Beach, helped build its reputation around 1904 as a vacation spot.
During this exhibition event, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can take a docent led tour with members of the Historic Resources Board, who will discuss the exhibit in depth. Also available during the art display that runs between January 17 and February 22, 2009, are several lectures about Huntington Beach. For those seeking to connect with the past, may books have been written about its history. But this display may offer another dimension to your current understanding of life and transitions (ebb & flow) of Huntington Beach, California.