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Tom Marshall

By Tom Marshall

For those looking to give something special this troubled holiday season, the San Clemente Historical Society offers some unique gift suggestions. To raise money for our continued preservation efforts and student scholarships, we offer several items celebrating San Clemente’s unique history.

A new book, Orange County Memories, will go on sale on Dec. 4.

Published by Pediment Publishing in conjunction with the Orange County Register and several historical societies, the slick coffee table book offers pictures dating from the 1800s through the 1930s, including a dozen from the San Clemente Historical Society archives. 

It covers not only the momentous events, but also the everyday life of Orange County and its residents. The price is $35 when purchased from the Historical Society.

We also still have a limited number of copies of our classic children’s history book From Fishcarts to Fiestas. The creation of former Historical Society president Blythe Welton, with illustrations by Mary Lou Nicolai, has been used by local schools to teach third grade local history and is now in its third printing. 

Volunteers from the San Clemente Historical Society and the Junior Women’s Club hand-produce the first printing of the 1974 children’s history book From Fishcarts to Fiestas. Photo: Courtesy of the San Clemente Historical Society

Funded and put together by Historical Society and Junior Women’s Club members in the 1970s, the first issue was hand-silkscreened with each page hung on a clothesline to dry. 

“It was a very primitive method even for those times. We were basically rubbing two sticks together to make a fire,” Nicolai recently explained to the Historical Society.

The newest editions were professionally produced and included updated information with additional illustrations by local artist Lisa Spinelli of Lisa B. Designs. The cost is $25.

Another picture-laden book, Images of America—San Clemente, was authored by Jennifer A. Garey, with more than 100 photos from the Historical Society and published by Arcadia Press. It is a comprehensive history of our Spanish Village by the Sea. The cost is $25. 

Pictures from the historical society archives, including all those in the Arcadia Press book, are also available for purchase. Suitable for framing in several sizes, they are perfect for home or office. Prices vary based on size. Check our website at for information and ordering. Also look for our ad in next week’s SC Times.

And, of course, we are always looking for new members to join our cause of protecting the historic heritage of our splendid town. Gift memberships for as low as $25 per year make a great stocking stuffer.

Finally, the board of directors and members of the Historical Society wish all of you a safe and memorable holiday season as we put the year 2020 in the rearview mirror.

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

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