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Tom Marshall

By Tom Marshall

With the pandemic hopefully easing up, the San Clemente Historical Society is planning several new projects, as well as completing some longtime goals for preserving our city’s unique culture and history.

We are currently looking for any pictures you might have of San Clemente in the 1940s through the 1980s. We would like to scan any photos or slides you might have depicting the people, events and especially holiday celebrations during those times. Any images that depict what life was like here back then are important to telling the story of San Clemente’s growth.

Also, anyone who can recall events in your neighborhood or the city at large are important firsthand accounts of happenings large and small. What were the popular activities, places to shop or challenges here back in the day? 

You can email me your thoughts at or set up an appointment to scan your family pictures. San Clemente’s 100th birthday is fast approaching, and we’d like to include these items in future publications celebrating the city’s centennial.

As COVID-19 restrictions are eased, we will also be resuming our Oral History project. We would like to get some of these firsthand accounts on video for future generations. 

Coming soon to our website is an interactive map of all historic San Clemente structures, including pictures and brief histories of the buildings.

Carolyn Kipper and Kristen Ealy, an intern with the city’s Planning Department, are working on versions of this project, and the finished product will be of great aid to anyone who would like to drive around town to see these magnificent structures. 

Hopefully, later this year, we will resume our free quarterly programs at the community center. We are always looking for suggestions of topics you would like to hear more about and potential speakers. 

You don’t have to be a Historical Society member to attend these events. But, of course, we encourage everyone to become a member of the Historical Society for as little as $25 per year, tax-deductible.

We are now offering lifetime memberships for $500. To join, go to our secure website, Your dues are used to continue our struggle to maintain San Clemente’s unique lifestyle based on Ole Hanson’s vision for a small-town vibe by the sea.

We also will again award two college scholarships to graduating seniors from San Clemente High School. It has been a rough year for students everywhere due to the pandemic, so we have upped the amount to $750 per scholarship. 

Our Scholarship Committee chair, Suzi Klickstein, advises interested students to fill out the application form on the high school’s website by March 30. The virtual awards ceremony is scheduled for May 20. 

We look forward to seeing everyone in person again soon.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Tom Marshall is a member of the San Clemente Historical Society and a retired journalist.

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