A glass plate photo of Santa Monica beach, c. 1880s or 1890s.
The Santa Monica Bath House, circa 1877, located at the end of Utah Avenue, which is better known today as Broadway. The building was constructed by Baker & Jones and was owned by J. W. Scott. (LAPL: 00067797)
Santa Monica Beach in 1885. Men on horseback are playing a game called, “catch the ring on the beach,” which is similar to grabbing the brass ring on a Merry-Go-Round.
Santa Monica Beach in 1887. Note the mountains, palisades and bicyclists. (LAPL: 00082038)
A boardwalk in Santa Monica. 1890. (LAPL)
Republican Senator John P. Jones’ residence on Ocean Ave. in 1890. Jones was a co-founder of the City of Santa Monica. In 1921 (almost a decade after his death in 1912), it became a residential hotel before being demolished to make room for a newer Miramar Hotel in 1938.
Beach goers in 1890.
Camping on the beach in 1890 (LAPL).
The beach crowd at Ocean Park. Judging from the Ingersol roller coaster in back, this postcard is circa 1904 – 1910.
The Scenic Railway Roller Coaster at Ocean Park around 1906.
Ocean Park around 1907.
A postcard image of Santa Monica, circa 1910.
July at Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica, circa 1914. (LAPL 00049473)
“Reflections on the Beach,” a postcard sold in the Los Angeles area in the early 1910s.
Mack Sennett’s Keystone Bathing Beauties pose for a photo at Santa Monica Beach on June 10, 1917.
A visit to the park in the 1920s.
In the early part of the 20th Century, Santa Monica Beach was segregated and the “Ink Well” was obviously not the city designated beach for white people. In this 1925 photo, we see three adults and two children at the border of Bay Street and Pico.
A tranquil view in 1927. (LAPL 00043630).
Chorus girls partying at the Santa Monica beach house of Hollywood composer Harry Carroll in 1929. Note the bottles and loosened swimsuit straps on the girls. (USC Archive)
MGM contract players playing on the beach, circa 1929.
Participants in the Santa Monica Pioneer Days celebration in 1930. (LAPL 00030699)
Ride ’em Cowboy! A 1930 participant in the Santa Monica Pioneer Days Festival showing how to rope a steer on a Harley-Davidson. (LAPL: 00030692)
Another fun photo from the 1930 Santa Monica Pioneer Days festival. (LAPL 00030700)
The Roosevelt Highway (Pacific Coast Highway) running alongside Santa Monica Beach. The picture was possibly taken around 1936. (LAPL)
A raging fire in Santa Monica Canyon threatens to consume the Will Rogers homestead in 1938. The house (pictured) was saved, but the flames came close enough to set stables on fire. Fortunately, the stables were saved, and it took hundreds of firefighters to put out the wildfire and save the historic property. (LAPL)
A young woman balances on top of a man’s head at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, c. 1940s. The Purser Apartment building, now called the Ocean Front Lodge, is in the background.
A man poses next to a couple of signs for the Aragon Ballroom, which was located on Lick Pier in Santa Monica. Photo, circa 1947.
An event at Muscle Beach in 1951.
Newspaper boys for the Valley Times being treated to a night of fun at the Ocean Park Pier in 1956. (LAPL 00113972)
The end of the Ocean Park rollercoaster in 1957. Norman Bailey, a member of Lawrence Welk’s Orchestra, plays taps shortly before the light are turned off. (LAPL)
A souvenir postcard depicting Fisherman’s Cove, a restaurant and dining area that was once a part of Santa Monica’s Pacific Ocean Park. The ocean-side theme park existed from 1958 to 1967.
Here’s what “Life” was like at Ocean Park in 1958. (LAPL 00077809)
A close-up look at the King Neptune statue that was once part of Santa Monica’s Pacific Ocean Park’s undersea diaorama. The man posing with the statue was its creator, Maurice Ayers, a Hollywood special effects artist who worked on The Pride and the Passion (1957). Photo: 1958. (LAPL 00096930)
Neptune’s Kingdom at Pacific Ocean Park in 1958. (LAPL 00096923)
Bimbo, Jr., a star of the De Wayne Bros. Circus at Pacific Ocean Park, poses on water-skis at Santa Monica Beach on April 28, 1962. The elephant was trained to surf. (LAPL)
Taken at the Santa Monica Pier in 1964. (Photographer: Steve Young / 00117800)
In this photo dated July 2, 1972, two young ladies tested the nudity law in Santa Monica by going topless. The protest drew a spectator crowd of 250 people who kept their distance. Police were also present but no arrests were made.