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Following the Huntington Beach Oil Trails, a Tale of Two Photos

View of the Oil Wells from the Huntington Beach Pier, late 1950s / early 1960s View from the Huntington Beach Pier, June 2010

On the Left: 1950s/1960s photo from the Huntington Beach archives, On the Right: 2010 photo taken today by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.

Sun. 06.13.10 – Yesterday while researching my blog post on the century of oil wells & pumping in Seal Beach & Huntington Beach, California, I found the above left photo of oil wells as seen from the Huntington Beach Pier taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Today, I decided to drive down the pier before sunset and try to find the place the photo was taken and take another photo, on the right. The original must have been taken from the mid-pier lifeguard tower due to the angle, and I did not have access to the tower, so I took it from the place the ladies the in the original stood.
I wanted to have the photos show how much HB has appeared to change in the last 50 years, although underneath not as much. There is still oil being pumped in between and around the million dollar ocean view homes.
As I drove out of the parking lot just north of the pier, I decided to take a video, see below, as I drove north up Pacific Coast Highway to narrate both as a visual and verbal history what I know of the land between the Huntington Beach Pier and the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
There is still some visible oil pumping and drilling, but much of it is now hidden or expensive homes have been built over the capped wells. As one drives north on PCH from the HB Pier towards Bolsa Chica the oil rigs, wells, pipes, and tanks along the roadside become more visible to the watchful eye. Then as the road descends into the Bolsa Chica wetlands, the oil wells and pipes become highly visible on three of the four sides of the wetlands.
Please do read yesterday’s blog post, On Offshore Oil, if you are wondering what I am talking about.



Video taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86 while driving north on Pacific Coast Highway from the Huntington Beach Pier.

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