This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
From Horse-Drawn Buggies to Hybrids: 100 Years of Lifeguards
Believe it or not, the beaches of Southern California weren't always a big draw. In the early 20th century, not many people knew how to swim and the heavy wool bathing suits didn't make swimming any easier. Drownings were pretty common. But like everything else in Southern California, real estate developers changed everything.
Developers created a big push to draw tourists to the coast, and promote new coastal developments in Venice, Redondo Beach and Long Beach. They began hiring "lifesavers" to reassure tourists and lure residents from inland who would take the Red Line out to the beach (Subway to the Sea, indeed).
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website has a post about how the lifesavers' vehicles evolved over the last century. It started with George Freeth's motorcycle that had a buoy attached to it that would allow one lifesaver to reel in another. In later years, lifeguards had full cars that allowed them to ride on the boardwalk to a rescue, but eventually the cars were equipped with 4-wheel drive that would allow them to actually drive on the sand. 100 years after Freeth's motorcycle lifeguards have hybrid vehicles.
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.