The Hermosa Beach Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and chronicling the history of Hermosa Beach. Established in 1987, its offices and the museum are located in the Hermosa Beach Community Center. Their mission is to acquire, preserve, and interpret historical memorabilia and other materials pertaining to the history of the City of Hermosa Beach. This collection shall be extended to the public as a source of delight, illumination, and lifelong learning.
Hermosa Beach Museum
The Museum’s collection of approximately 3500 items includes photographs, postcards, newspapers, prints, ephemera and three dimensional artifacts. The Museum uses its collection for exhibitions, educational programs, study and research, loans and reproduction. Features include a Chinese anchor left behind in 1421 by an exhibition, early Gabriellino Indian fish hooks, Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame and a collection of surfboards from the earliest wooden design to the current state of the art surfboard. The Museum is also home to several paddle boards, an aquaplane board, an early Strand cruiser and describes the extensive history of surfing in Hermosa Beach with its Surfer’s Walk of Fame display.
History of Hermosa Beach
The Museum’s exhibits feature objects related to the city’s history, including cornerstones from several former Hermosa landmarks. Displays focus on the early real estate promotion of the city: including Shakespeare Beach; the Pacific Electric Red cars and the Sante Fe Railroad; the city’s government, police, fire and its schools and clubs.
Other displays represent local entertainment icons such as the sprawling Either / Or Bookstore, the Lighthouse Jazz cafe, the Insomniac Coffee House and Art gallery, the Metropolitan Theater, the Comedy and Magic Club and the rise of Punk Music in Hermosa Beach.
The Music Scene in Hermosa
One day after World War II, Rumsey, a tall black-haired chap, was strolling the town. He was tired of playing in big band groups and could get nowhere with his own big group. He walked into the Lighthouse. It was virtually empty. Developed that Owner John Levine had bought it, sight unseen, on the basis of its huge wartime business.
Along with the jazz scene that took place in and around the Lighthouse in the 50s and 60s, a Punk Rock scene in the 1970s was just as influential. As an underground scene, it took off when Greg Ginn and a few of his friends formed a band called Black Flag in 1976-77.
Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame Museum
The Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame & Museum are a joint venture between the CBVA (California Beach Volleyball Association) and the HBHS.
An induction ceremony and celebration is held annually to honor members of the HOF. The public is welcome and tickets go on sale just prior to the event as well as at the door.
Beach Culture: Surfing, Skating and More
Skateboards were developed in the 1950’s by California surfers as a way to recreate the feeling of riding a wave. The first boards were wooden planks with steel roller skate wheels nailed to their front and back ends. Roller Derby mass-produced the first skateboards in 1959. Completely lacking features which nowadays are common for skateboards, the Roller Derby had no concave, kicktail, or grip tape -steel wheels offered little to no traction.
For upcoming events at the Hermosa Beach Historical Society and Museum, check the South Bay Calendar.
Hermosa Beach Historical Society and Museum
Hermosa Beach Community Center
710 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Saturday & Sunday: 2pm to 4pm
Wednesday: 10am to 12pm
(Also by appointment)