Stranded in Ghost Town (April 1956)

Posted: January 21, 2011 in NuPike, roads and streets

Unlike the NuPike and Pierpoint Landing, the ill-fated Ghost Town neighborhood was totally lost to the harbor area history of Long Beach directly west of the Jungle over the mouth of the L.A. River.   If this area had a more attractive name, as with the Jungle, it’s been lost to historians.

The area was dotted with beach cabins and nearby luxury cottages for the resort bather crowd frequenting the oceanfront.  When the area was active, there was a cleaners with the sign, “suits pressed while you wait,” the Old Curiosity Shop, a blacksmith and a drugstore at 1241 W. Ocean Blvd.

Street names mirrored those of Belmont Shore:  Ontario and Riverside from like-named Inland Empire towns and Santa Cruz from the central coast; it was roughly bordered by extensions of Broadway, Third St, Seaside and Ocean Blvd. where the 710 Freeway currently breaks off to the north.

It was for this contemplated freeway interchange and because of “subsidence” fears that demolition of Ghost Town, which began in 1952 turned serious in April 1956 when bids were put out to destroy the rest.

Main routes in this area south of the channels and north of the piers were Water and Pico, reflecting both history and harbor and oil development.  More than a thousand people lived or worked for a good 30 years, which meant little because of its key location.

It all gave way to a $10,000,000 Ocean Blvd. Bridge, however land costs were a mere $6,694,000, including legal expenses, appraisers’ fees and other costs.  People and families that lived here went elsewhere.

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