The Way It Was

The Way It Was

A photo of the Dana Point harbor taken in December of 1960 has been donated to the Historical Society by the Honorable Bruce W. Sumner. The photo, a view from the Headlands looking east toward Doheny State Beach, provides a perspective no longer available.

At the time of the photo, Judge Sumner was serving in the Assembly of the California Legislature (74th District). He commissioned this photo to help carry the bill that he introduced to allow the State of California to transfer title of the 400 acres of coastal tidelands to Orange County. This was the beginning of the development of the Dana Point Harbor.

In April 1961, Governor Brown signed the bill. Sumner also led the efforts to obtain approval of the Small Craft Harbor Commission for a one million dollar state loan for the project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was at the time planning to include in its 1961-62 budget a 4.1 million dollar item for construction of the breakwater. After the federal project was assured, county officials moved for a 2.9 million dollar bond issue to complete financing.

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