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Tom Marshall

By Tom Marshall

Starting this week, the official holiday shopping season will open for business. The San Clemente Historical Society has some new (a word historical societies rarely use) gift items for those who want to celebrate the heritage of our splendid Spanish Village by the Sea.

For the first time, we are offering environmentally friendly cloth tote bags with historic photos embossed on their sides. They are perfect for grocery shopping or other activities.

Also new this year by popular demand are Historical Society coffee mugs, which are great for coffee and toasting to San Clemente. They, too, contain classic scenes of either beach fun or landmarks from our past. 

We also have an array of books for sale dealing with local history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some third-graders did not get to study local history the past two years. The Historical Society publishes the textbook for that class, Fishcarts to Fiestas. Edited and written by Blythe Welton and others, the book is lavishly illustrated to capture the third-grade imagination. This is an especially timely gift for kids and adults alike.

This past year also saw the publishing of Orange County Memories, a photographic history of our county from the 1800s through the 1930s. This hardback coffee table book includes a dozen pictures of San Clemente, in addition to other South County cities. It was published in conjunction with the Orange County Register.  

The Historical Society’s classic softcover book Images of America, San Clemente, from Arcadia Publishing, contains most of the photos from our archives along with descriptions. 

A nice stocking stuffer is The San Clemente Story, a short history in words and pictures of Ole Hanson’s vision of our town. It includes a biography of Hanson’s life before arriving in Southern California.

You can also hang a piece of San Clemente history on your walls at home or workplace. Most of the historic photographs in our collection are available for purchase in several sizes. 

Beyond these physical items, give the gift that keeps on giving. No, not a historic cat. Yearly and lifetime memberships are available for those who want to join the fight to keep and restore San Clemente’s iconic vibe.

A donation to our college scholarship fund is not only a great gift, but an investment in our future, as we provide $1,000 scholarships for two college-bound San Clemente High School graduating seniors.

Once-in-a-lifetime gift ideas include sponsorship of historic tiles at the rest benches on Avenida Del Mar. 

Information is available about all these suggestions on our official website, Or, drop by our booth at “Puttin’ on the Glitz” on Dec. 4, from 5-9 p.m. on Del Mar, or the Village Art Faire on Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., next to the library. Our board members will be there to help you. 

Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season, and a COVID-free 2022.

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

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