Remember When is a series of photos and stories of South Orange County; what it was like growing up here and the stories that shaped our lives. There is much history and individual stories that make up the fabric of the communities we live in. We welcome new stories and pictures from any of you that were fortunate enough to have grown up in an area where there was open space at the end of every street and an adventure just around the corner.
Dana Point (Almost San Clemente) Harbor,

The Dana Point Harbor was dedicated in 1971, with space for 2,500 yachts.

The once great
Dana Point Pier became a stub in the new pleasure boat harbor, and all the local teenagers and surfers up and down the coast complained bitterly about the loss of the "best surfing beach on the West Coast." It could be heard throughout the halls of Dana Hills High School in the middle 1970s.

The original plan for the harbor was south of its current location, as the diagram above shows. The following article is from the 1949 edition of the South Coast Area Directory put out by the Chamber of Commerce, when the Harbor was just a civil engineer's dream.

In February, 1947, the (
San Clemente) Chamber of Commerce launched a program seeking to establish a yacht harbor under the Federal Small Harbors Act. It proposed to use the natural cove formed by Dana Point and the San Clemente shoreline. There is a natural chain of reefs extending from Dana Point to the rocks visible at low tide at a point about one mile off shore, on a line southwest from the municipally owned beach club and fresh water swimming pool.

The (Orange) County Board of Supervisors appropriated the money in the general budget for the fiscal year 1948-49 to make a preliminary study of the feasibility of the proposed harbor. It is expected that this survey will be started in late February, 1949. After completion of the preliminary study, it will be necessary to prepare a complete engineering study. It is expected the proposed harbor will provide moorings for some two thousand or more pleasure craft and space for sport and commercial fishing, a coast guard area, trailer park, a concession area, complete facilities for small boat wharfage, oil and gasoline storage, small boat repair and commercial and business areas. All of this will be located within the city limits of
San Clemente, and in addition there probably will be additional facilities in the Capistrano Beach and Dana Point sections of the harbor.

If, as, and when completed, the
San Clemente-Dana Point Harbor would be the only one directly served by railway (Santa Fe mainline to San Diego) between the Los Angeles-Long Beach area and San Diego. The San Clemente City Council, the City Planning Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Realtors Association of San Clemente are all uniting their efforts in an endeavor to speed up the plans for building the harbor.

Other stories on the harbor area:

If you have a story you would like to share with our readers please send the story to with a picture if you have one. Thanks goes to those that have documented this magical place.

South Laguna History Dana Cove/Capistrano Bay/Stillwater Bay
Del Mar 1958 San Clemente Pier 1927

Coming Soon, stories of (you can add to any of these stories click here):