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.
Stillwater Bay,

Those who walk out on the pier in Dana Point Harbor may not realize how the structure is related to a dream that was never fully realized. The first pier was built decades ago, long before the Harbor was constructed 30 years ago. In those days, the harbor was known as Stillwater Bay. The pier was the only structure that was actually completed by early Dana Point developer Sidney Woodruff.

Woodruff was famous for developing Hollywoodland. The last four letters were later dropped and the rest is, as they say, history. In Dana Point, Woodruff was developing homes based around the lantern theme for the streets along Santa Clara Boulevard. Above the harbor, however, was to be his masterpiece, the Dana Point Inn. The luxury hotel was to have such amenities as an elevator to bring guests to the beach below the cliffs. Once on the beach, Woodruff envisioned people enjoying aquaplaning, baths with a salt water plunge, a yacht club, boat moorings and the pleasure pier for fishing expeditions.

When the depression came, Woodruff was not able to complete his grand hotel. Only the pier was finished. Remnants of the partially constructed hotel are seen in the arches behind the Admiralty condominiums. (And in the cemented-up opening down at the bottom of the cliffs in the Harbor, where Woodruff's elevator was supposed to deliver his guests. Ironically, the hotel's bar - really a speakeasy - was designed to accommodate 1,500 patrons, while the hotel could only accommodate 200 over-night guests; at a time when alcohol was illegal, at the height of Prohibition.

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):