The City of Dana Point celebrates a milestone since its incorporation

By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the City of Dana Point celebrated its 30th birthday with cake after a closed city council session. Upon reconvening, it received recognition from the Dana Point Historical Society.

On Jan. 1, 1989, the first five councilmembers were sworn in onboard the brig Pilgrim, according to a Dana Point Historical Society release.

As the 28th city to incorporate in Orange County, Dana Point is a relatively new city, but the effort to incorporate dates back to 1959, as reported in 20 years Before the Mast: A History of the City of Dana Point. The book was written by Autumn Hayner and Carlos N. Olvera, former Dana Point mayor.

The first city council sent out a request for submissions for a city seal to reflect a nautical design and after 33 submissions, Rick Morgan’s design was selected in July 1989.

“The seal conveys our early history in a contemporary, yet timeliness way, connecting Dana’s 1835 visit to the present,” said Barbara Johannes, president of the Historical Society. “The sculpted likeness of our namesake surveys the stylized scene representing Capistrano Bay with the Pilgrim lying quietly at anchor. The sun shines above the headlands and breaking wave pays homage to ‘Killer Dana,’ the legendary surfing spot east of the Headlands until Dana Point Harbor was built in 1966.”

The gold rope surrounds the entire seal in accordance with the nautical theme required for submissions.

“To me, the rope symbolizes the incorporation of the three seaside communities of Capistrano Beach, Dana Point and Monarch Beach tied together into the sea coast city of Dana Point,” Johannes said.

The first attempt to develop a community named Dana Point dates back to the 1920s, when the San Juan Point Corporation advertised in a booklet entitled “Dana Point and Vicinity.” One of the officers associated with the corporation was Anna Walters, Executive Manager and Sales. Walters is the only original founding officer who remained in Dana Point, where she built a home in 1925 and a commercial building in 1927.

The San Juan Point Corporation developed the Scenic Inn and Dana Point’s first park, now the Bluff Top Park, in the early 1920s, according the Historical Society.

Johannes presented Dana Point City Council with a proclamation celebrating 30 years since the city’s incorporation on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

“I’d really like to thank the Historical Society for taking care of our history,” Mayor Joe Muller said. “I love seeing old photographs of the city and the Dana Point Harbor. It shows us where Dana Point started, how far we’ve come, and where we are today.”

While reflecting on the 30 years of incorporation, Dana Point City Manager Mark Denny says this city is a wonderful place to create childhood memories and family traditions.

“We have a rich history and while we are excited about the future, we are also careful to protect the character of our community and what makes Dana Point so special to so many,” Denny said.

The Dana Point Historical Society is located at 33282 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1-3 p.m. For more information, visit www.danapointhistorical.org.

The Orange County Historical Society will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year and will have special events planned throughout the year. More information can be found at www.orangecountyhistory.org.

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