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

Ed Bechler, in memory

Museum Loses its Generous Benefactor and Friend

Edwin Bechler and his son Richard, donated FREE warehouse space for the storage of the Long Beach Heritage Museum’s artifacts when the Museum lost its building and was about to be thrown out onto the street with no place to go. Both Ed and his son Richard have given FREE storage space for the Museum’s artifacts since 1996. Our grateful thanks go out to both Father and Son. Without them, there would be no Long Beach Heritage Museum. We were shocked upon hearing the sad news of the passing of Edwin. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy go out to the Bechler family at their loss and this time of sorrow in the passing of Edwin. We reprint the following Press-Telegram Continue reading Ed Bechler, in memory