Anaheim Landing, the first settlement of Seal Beach, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
Funded by Anaheim wine-growers seeking an easier way to ship than by going through Wilmington, the Anaheim Lighter Company established its first wharvf in 1864 on Alamitos Bay (near Island Village). After floods in 1866 and 1867 blocked ocean access, the company built a new wharf on a new site a mile and a half over Landing Hill on Anaheim Bay where it remained for 76 years until the Navy took it over in 1944.
For its first seven-to eight years Anaheim Landing was very busy, and there was talk of expanding the wharf, even adding a second one and even another one with a 1700 foot pier extending out from “Bolso Chico,” a nile and a half south of the Landing. (This would be at present Sunset Beach.) But as Phineas Banning completed the dredging of the sloughs at his New San Pedro (later Wilmington) port — allowing ocean-going ships to come all the way to his docks — Anaheim Landing’s decline began, further cemented by the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in Amaheim in 1875.
This article in a December 1873 issue of the LA Herald, shows how busy the Landing was.
Shipments to New York.
The shipments from San Pedro to New York for the year 1873, foot up as follows:
95,717 gallons wine; 140 tons wool; i2 tons bullion, Ac.; 4,357 dry hides; in all about 68o tons weight, exclusive of the hides. This freight was ail sent by the coast steamers to San Diego, and there transferred to the New York steamer. If our harbor was made accessible to these vessels, the New York steamers would stop at San Pedro, and our freights would need but one handling. As it is they go to swell the exports of San Diego.
There was shipped from Anaheim Landing to New York during I873, 52,442 gallons of wine and two tons of wool, or 414 tons in weight, making from the two points over 1,000 tons of freight.
This amount would be largely and steadily increased if the facilities for handling were better, but as long as freight for New York must be first sent by rail to Wilmington, then transferred by lighter to a coast steamer, taken to San Diego, and again transferred to the New York boat, it can be readily understood that we are laboring under disadvantages, that must be removed before we can hope to enjoy an independent trade. Given a railroad to deep water, and the New York steamers instead of passing by, would gladly call for our freight, and we would save a large sum annually In lighterage and freights.