Countdown to 2000: 1920s Lifestyles

November 09, 1999

Elise Gee

As the rest of the country experienced the Roaring '20s, the Newport-Mesa

area was roaring as well.

Residents began to enjoy the luxuries that usually accompany prosperity.

Costa Mesa services expanded at an exponential rate.

A branch of the Bank of Balboa opened in Costa Mesa with 300 depositors.

Modern conveniences -- sidewalks, gas for heating and cooking, the first


electric lights, gasoline pumps, and a post office -- emerged during this


The area was moving gradually away from farming and more toward

urbanization. Residents had more leisure time, as demonstrated by the

formation of the Friday Afternoon Clubhouse and the Women's Clubhouse.

On any given day, residents could be found at the Wayside Market on

Newport Boulevard. There was a counter at each end of the store with

chairs for serving watermelon, fruit and ice cream.

In Newport Beach, residents weren't allowed to legally drink alcohol

until 1933, but that was the only aspect in which the city was "dry."

Surfing and yachting were emerging as major hobbies.

Duke Kahanamoku introduced surfing to the United States in Newport Beach

during this decade. Balboa became a bustling center for social

activities. Shops such as Madame Larue, The Green Dragon and Soto's

flourished there.

The Balboa Yacht Club was founded in Newport during this decade. In 1922,

the first Newport Yacht Regatta was held, followed by the first

Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii in 1928.


"Newport Beach: The First Century, 1888-1988," James Felton, Ed., 1988.

"A Slice of Orange: The History of Costa Mesa," Edrick J. Miller, 1970.

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