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Cool Picture: Here's What Santa Monica Looked Like In 1877

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Remember when Santa Monica was just a quiet little "Sea Port and pleasure resort"? No, like, real quiet and real little?This engraving from 1877 shared on /r/LosAngeles last night shows what Santa Monica was all about before the Third Street Promenade, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts moved in and ruined it forever.

Cool things you can see in the nearly-150-year old engraving (click here for hi-res):


  • All (but one) of the streets retain their same name. Squint hard enough, and you can make out the names of Ocean Avenue, the numbered streets (Second, Third, Fourth, etc.) and the state-named avenues (Montana, Utah, Oregon, etc.). There's an Eighth Street, which is where Lincoln Boulevard is now.
  • It looks as if the pier actually served the purpose as a dock back then. You can see a ship moored at the end of it.
  • Bergamot Station is an active trainyard in this picture, of course. It only opened two years before this engraving was made, and closed in 1953.
  • Santa Monica is divided into three sections: Santa Monica, "South Santa Monica," and the "Central Addition."
  • Is that an oil derrick at the very far left edge of this picture? We're not up to snuff on our oil drilling technologies at LAist.
  • The best part? Los Angeles was an equally small town at this point. Santa Monica is "Seventeen miles from Los Angeles."

Want a copy all for yourself? It's part of an engraving along with views of Los Angeles and Wilmington that you can get on eBay. Pretty decent price, too!

What else do you see in the picture? Let us know in the comments!