There is nothing more synonymous with the month of October than pumpkins and a good ghost story. If you think about it, ghost stories are just histories that capture the imagination and excite the listener. And a ghost is just a memory that has taken on a life of its own.
I was looking out the window from the historical archives on the sixth floor of the municipal building when it dawned on me that I was looking out at the biggest ghost in all of San Pedro. There is no greater specter in all of the town’s history than that of Old Beacon Street, ‘the most dangerous four blocks in the whole world’ according to Walter Winchell, a street with a reputation and a legend so large that it continues to haunt the land it stood on far beyond its very existence. Any ghost would die for that kind of fame.
I’m very excited to be giving the ghost of Beacon Street its due this month with a proper tour, as well as a tour of some not so famous haunts with ghosts of their own.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of San Pedro history; it’s kind of my thing. Apparently, it’s a lot of people’s thing these days and there are more opportunities than ever for you to get a taste of it.
The historical society has become a powerhouse of programming in the last year. I find myself looking forward to their First Sunday series every month. And have you seen the fabulous window displays that they’ve created downtown as part of their Windows Into the Past project? There is a window at Williams’ Bookstore, the upholstery shop, the Grand Vision Foundation and the USS Iowa Welcome Center.
Beautiful exhibits in an outdoor museum in honor of San Pedro’s 125th anniversary next year. They’re turning the windows out so fast that they’re nearly unveiling one every First Thursday. If you haven’t been down to see them, I highly recommend you make a point of going down there soon.
While walking tours of San Pedro are definitely my business, I don’t hold the patent on them. There have been a couple of really interesting tours and groups that have gone through town lately. Last month, Robert Inman, author of A Guide to the Public Stairways of Los Angeles led a four-hour trek through San Pedro, stating that San Pedro was his favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles. On the same day, the Black Rose Society also led a tour of some of the important sites in labor history located in town.
There are so many different ways to see San Pedro and even more perspectives to see them through. I have dozens of ideas for tours rolling around in my head and I’m going to keep rolling them out as I get them together. I’ve decided to feature a different themed tour in addition to my normal six tours every month. I have also planned a very special food tasting tour of five eateries in downtown on October 6.
It is my mission to give you every opportunity to truly experience all that San Pedro has to offer. For more information on my tours, please visit my website at www.towneetours.com. spt