Artscapes: New Book Highlights History of Corona del Mar

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xPier Panorama 1916

By Haylee Barber | NB Indy 

If you’re not from Orange County, you might miss the little town of Corona Del Mar when passing through on your way down Pacific Coast Highway from Newport to Laguna Beach.

You might not be privy to the term “CDM,” often tossed around from time to time by OC natives. These simple three letters, however, refer to one of the nation’s perfect slices of small town America: idyllic houses, beautiful people, Cliffside beach views, and sailboats.

xChina Cove 1946Orange County native or not, many people don’t take the time to appreciate Corona del Mar for its hometown glory, and few acknowledge its historic past.

In a world where most photographs have been converted to digital form, it is rare and refreshing to find an old box of black and whites, and colors, for that matter.

That’s just what happened to Michael Sheppard, a Corona del Mar resident who stumbled upon a large pile of boxed photos that practically cataloged the history of Corona del Mar.

He contacted Sherman Library & Gardens and met with historian and writer Douglas Westfall. Together they turned the boxes of photos into a book almost as picturesque as CDM itself.

“Corona Del Mar: My Kind of Town” was recently released and is a piece of Orange County keepsake to be enjoyed by the masses. It chronicles the Irvine family Original Pier 1910legacy, from the Irvine Ranch to what is now the Irvine Company. It briefly synopsizes an otherwise complex history of all things Orange County.

And while the writing flows like an easy yet historical read, the book’s true standout is its historical and current pictures of the beautiful town of Corona del Mar and surrounding areas of Orange County.

The book’s photos, which are a combination of panoramas, postcards, and unpublished pictures that fill much of the books 150 pages, date from 1900 to 1950.

The process of collecting the photos was collaborative, and was primarily led by Westfall, with contributions from local residents as well as help from the Sherman Library and Gardens.

Westfall’s book is a vivid history of a beloved Orange County town. The book comes complete with a real estate brochure from 1937, sure to make any homeowner in Southern California relish in the prices of yesteryear.

The book is $75, and available at Sherman Library & Gardens (10 percent of proceeds benefit Sherman Library), or online at specialbooks.com.

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