New and Upcoming Museum Exhibits

Many more museum artifacts are coming out of storage, being restored and on display in the community. The barber shop has been in storage since 1971. Visit local businesses to view these treasures. See the complete list of these exhibits.

New! Vintage 1915 Iowa Barber Shop

Marshall barber
Marshall Pumphrey with barber shop relics

Original leather chairs & accessories

Esquire Barber Shop
4240 Atlantic Avenue

Coming soon

Harriman Jones Soda Fountain

Soda fountain
Soda fountain

Handsome, Handmade & Historic 1930 Harriman Jones Soda Fountain & Back Bar. Coming Soon in Bixby Knolls

Original LBFD Call Box, Circa 1950. 

LBFD call box
LBFD call box

Donated by the LB Fire Fighter’s Museum. Burke’s Auto Body is restoring it, Anderson’s Paint & Hardware will be displaying it.

1942 Model of the Roosevelt Naval Base 

Naval Base model
Naval Base model

Designed by Paul Revere Williams. New home to be announced soon

A Cut of History in Bixby Knolls

By Douglas R. Pricer

BarberThe clearest view of history is often provided by looking at the people and their ordinary tasks of daily life. How people lived, bought or grew their food, traveled, and even where they got their hair cut offers interesting insight into the past.

In our fair town, one interesting establishment was the Iowa Barber Shop founded by Walter G. Osborn. Around 1900, Walter, a widower, moved from Iowa (like so many early Long Beach residents) with his young son Frank. By 1902, he had established the Iowa Barber Shop at 144 Pine Avenue where he was joined by barbers James Duty and Oliver M. Moore.

Walter’s shop became a hub of social activity, offering a place for people to Continue reading A Cut of History in Bixby Knolls

Museum Exhibits Coming Soon

Original LBFD Call Box, Circa 1950.

Donated by the LB Fire Fighter’s Museum
Burke’s Auto Body is restoring it,
Anderson’s Paint & Hardware will be displaying it.

Naval Base model1942 Model of the Roosevelt Naval Base
Designed by Paul Revere Williams

Port of Long Beach Administration Office

Three Men that Left Their Mark on Long Beach

Mike Cincola July 18, 1943 – July 22, 2015

Mike CincolaFor Michele (Mike) Cincola every day was a stroll down the brightest boulevard in town, the fabled Long Beach Pike!

Mike, a local lad and graduate of Millikan High School, started his journey down the “walk of a thousand lights” when he married his wife Pamela 51 years ago and found himself a member of one of our city’s most historic families – the Looffs.

Pamela’s grandfather was none other than Charles I.D. Looff, the famous carver of carousel horses who came to Long Beach in 1910 with his family and built a carousel on the Pike. Upon his death in 1918, Charles’ son Arthur took over the business and, in 1941, invented a fascination game called Lite-A-Line, also located near the Pike. After Arthur Looff Lite a Linepassed away in 1970, Mike assumed the operation of Lite-A-Line which he eventually moved to 2500 Long Beach Blvd.

To visit Mike amid the bells and clatter of Lite-A-Line was to step back into history. The game itself still features and uses all of the original equipment, plus Mike curated a wonderful collection of Pike memorabilia. Visitors can see an original Looff hand-carved carousel horse and a number of historic signs and, most impressively, the last extant Red Car from the Cyclone Racer. The car, which is on loan from the Long Beach Heritage Museum, is from the massive roller coaster from the Pike that was judged by many who rode it as the “World’s Greatest Ride.”

The dapper, handsome, and friendly Mike Cincola will be missed. We thank him for his love of our city and for leaving us with a nostalgic collection of our city’s history.

Henry Meyer September 30, 1925 – July 22, 2015

Henry MeyerHenry Meyer, the founder and longtime owner of iconic Hamburger Henry’s, came as close as anyone to elevating the favorite American meal of “hamburger, fries and a Coke” to haute cuisine. An era was lost when he closed the doors of his famous eatery in Belmont Shore in 1996.

Opened in 1966, Hamburger Henry’s, the diner on Second Street in Belmont Shore, was a haven for both the privileged and the plebian. California Governor George Deukmejian, Congressman and CSULB Past President Steve Horn, and basketball’s Jerry “Tark the Shark” Tarkanian all ate at Henry’s, as did thousands of ordinary people, many after a blurry nighttime carouse in the Shore.

Henry also gave back to the community by dedicating his time and resources to many civic and charitable causes including Operation Jump Start, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Committee of 300, Long Beach Symphony, International City Bank, the Water Commission and many others.

Henry, a refugee from the terrors of Nazi Germany, lost 16 family members in the holocaust and spent WWII in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai, China. After the war, he started a new life in America with 10 dollars in his pocket and finished that life as the creator of an iconic eatery, a community of family and friends, and a city full of fond memories that will never die.

George Johnson, 1929 – 2015 

George JohnsonFor George Johnson, who passed away last June at 86 years of age, Long Beach is a depository of more than fifty years of his achievements.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1929, George quickly grew up when his father died and, at 11 years old, he became the man of the house. He earned a degree in engineering from the University of New Mexico. Then in 1954, he moved to Long Beach to work in the Department of Public Works.

Along the way he married a pretty girl named Polly Harnett. Polly’s grandfather, Ernest Harnett, an 1890 emigrant from England, was a prosperous farmer. Polly grew up in a sprawling Tudor Craftsman home on Sunrise Boulevard that the family built in 1917. George and Polly raised their kids across the street from the home and eventually purchased it from the family estate. Polly now resides in the vintage home that is virtually unchanged and is, indeed, to step into a unique window to the past.

During his long career as a civil engineer, George Johnson left his mark on scores of projects including: Rainbow Pier, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Millers Children’s Hospital, Shoreline Village, and countless public works projects.

“Wherever George and I lived or worked we felt that our role was to try and make things a little better,” said Polly. “George sincerely wanted to serve our town and our neighborhood. He and I were involved with our kids schools and we served on the Poly High School Community Inter-racial Committee. He once told me that civil engineering made it possible for people to live in community. And he was right.”

Long Beach will miss George Johnson. His love for his community is showcased throughout our town. And so is his wonderful marriage to the lady he loved.

History Abounds Around Town


Doug PricerDoug Pricer, who has a wealth of knowledge about Long Beach and its history, has generously agreed to write the headline article for our newsletter. His first article gives you insight into his connection to the Long Beach Heritage Museum and its founder, Ken Larkey.

History Abounds Around Town 

Douglas R. Pricer

I love Long Beach. It’s where I grew up and came of age and now, with a well-traveled lifetime of comparative experience, I’ve come to deeply appreciate its rich history. It was thus with a sense of delight that I accepted a commission in 2007 from the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Long Beach to write a book celebrating F&M’s centennial. It was a wonderful experience, one that brought me back to my roots and allowed me entrée to one of Long Beach’s oldest and most distinguished businesses.  Continue reading History Abounds Around Town

Long Beach Heritage Museum’s Cyclone Racer Car at Looff’s Lite-A-Line

Restored Cyclone Racer car
Restored Cyclone Racer car

While most of the museum’s collection is in storage awaiting a home, at least one significant item is now on public display. See the only remaining Cyclone Racer car from the Long Beach Pike at Looff’s Lite-A-Line. A sign at the exhibit says, “Looff’s Lite-A-Line has completely restored and proudly presents the last remaining of the original Cyclone Racer Rollercoaster cars built in 1930. All the other cars were destroyed in September of 1968 along with the great ride itself at the Long Beach Pike. The late Ken Larkey and the Long Beach Heritage Museum have saved this car from destruction.

“The track underneath the car and the pilot dolley in front of it are exact replicas that have been masterfully built in original design by Larry Osterhoudt, the premiuer authority on the Cyclone Race. Larry has spent fifteen years recreating all the blue prints in minute detail to rebuild this fabulous ride.”

A message from Museum President and Curator Marshall Pumphrey

Ken Larkey, right, and Marshall Pumphrey, second from right, with other volunteers and the Cyclone Racer car

I am honored that Ken Larkey appointed me to manage the Long Beach Heritage Museum collection after his death. With your help, I will continue to carry on Ken’s historical work on behalf of the people and history of Long Beach.

I am proud to be considered one of his close friends and I am inspired by my memories of him. Ken was born and raised in Long Beach, a city he truly loved. A graduate of Poly High School, Ken began collecting historical memorabilia at the age of 9 when he rescued a 1906 panorama of Long Beach from a garbage can.

Continue reading A message from Museum President and Curator Marshall Pumphrey

Past Events: 2007 Jergins Tunnel opening

Tunnel Sees The Light and LB Heritage Museum Gets A Boost

Sunday October 28, 2007 was a great day for Long Beach history and the Long Beach Heritage Museum. The historic Jergins Tunnel was opened to the public for the first time since its closing 40 years earlier on June 7th, 1967. Some of the day’s events included a film festival shown inside the tunnel, divided into sessions, which ran well into the evening. Two of those film sessions, “Earl Daugherty: First Flights,” and “Long Beach Home Movies: 1920’s-1960’s” where provided by the Long Beach Heritage Museum. According to the Press Telegram, more than 1,000 people lined up for a chance to be inside the tunnel which means … Great Event! And LBHM volunteers were on hand just outside the tunnel’s entrance/exit engaging the crowds who stopped by our display tables hungry for another historical fix.

The Jergins Tunnel Film Festival drew the Continue reading Past Events: 2007 Jergins Tunnel opening

Past Events: 2006 Belmont Shore Classic Car Show

Museum Artifact Was the Star Attraction at the Belmont Shore Classic Car Show

elvisThousands attended the 17th Annual Belmont Shore Classic Car Show on Sunday, September 10th, 2006 on Second Street. The Long Beach Heritage Museum had a display space in front of Panama Joe’s restaurant and bar at the corner of Second Street and Granada. The Museum artifact was the Long Beach Pike’s famous Cyclone Racer Car and was on display as part of the car show. Spectators were invited to have their picture taken while seated in the roller coaster car for a ten dollar donation to the Heritage Museum’s building fund. Three minutes after their picture was taken they were presented with that picture in a nice custom photo holder. The roller coaster car exhibit and museum display raised Continue reading Past Events: 2006 Belmont Shore Classic Car Show