Thursday, February 16, 2012
When Daysie Hall and her children reached Manhattan Beach in 1927, the area had just begun to come into its own as a popular resort. Much of the shoreline with its massive coastal sand dunes was still undeveloped and flyers eagerly promoted “the safest beach in America.” The 928 foot long pier had been a big attraction ever since its completion in 1920; a large neon sign that spelled out “Manhattan Beach” welcomed visitors after dark. As many as 360 people at a time could rent bathing suits and change in the large bathhouse available on the land end of the pier. Out on the ocean end they bought tackle and fished or enjoyed the restaurant in the lighted stucco octagonal pavilion. When the weather cooperated, men, women and children in modest bathing wear or fully dressed set up tents or umbrellas and shared picnics on the sand. And there were still rules of decorum. A sign proclaimed that no bathers were allowed on the streets without a robe."