Jan 15

Oceano, Atlantic City of the West, Gateway to the Dunes



The following release is from Vivian Krug with the South County Historical Society.

Local author Norm Hammond will open the South County Historical Society’s newest exhibit about Oceano in the early 1900s on Saturday, January 17th at 2 PM.  Mr. Hammond will talk about the exhibit theme, “Oceano, Atlantic City of the West, Gateway to the Dunes.” The exhibit is at the IOOF Hall, 128 Bridge Street, Arroyo Grande.

This is the second of three exhibits about the beach town of Oceano and its nearby surroundings. This exhibit focuses on the initial impact of the Southern Pacific Railroad in creating a thriving business hub for local farmers and pipe dreams for a handful of real estate developers, according to Craig Rock, exhibit director for the South County Historical Society.  “The Oceano train depot is still an operating museum and it has preserved many maps, photos, land development brochures, and other artifacts that will be on display in Arroyo Grande,” Rock said. A special three-dimensional photo display created by Bay Area architects Evan Jones and Margaret Ikeda will help re-create the hustle-bustle atmosphere of men working at the Depot in the early 1900s.

Segments of the first exhibit, including the early documentary photographs of Virgil Hodges and the more artistic dune photos of Santa Barbara photographer Bob Werling, will also be featured.  Visitors will also be able to send and receive messages on a working telegraph model set up by Norm Hammond.  Signed copies of Hammond’s two books on Oceano and the Dunites will be available for sale.
The third exhibit will open March 21 and will focus on the Halcyon Community and the Dunite artists, writers, and others who lived on the Oceano beaches before, after, and during the Great Depression.

For more information contact South County Historical Society 805-489-8282

Photo by Virgil Hodges, Courtesy of the Oceano Depot Association.

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