Museum Lobby

Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Exhibit 31

There Once Was a Sound

"... and the pebbles, with their almost satiny polish, under the rushing receding waters, present an opaline glow, and the friction of their myriads with the splashing breaker is much like the rippling music of a stream."

- George Wharton James, describing the Redondo waterfront in his 1895 Tourist Guide to Southern California.


1887 photograph by I. W. Taber. Looking north. Taber labeled this photo "Redondo Beach (The Pebbles). The location currently is known as about the intersection Beryl Street and Harbor Drive in the City of Redondo Beach. The shoreline in Taber's 1887 photo no longer exists - it is a harbor right there.

Play sound 1 (.mp3, 243 KB), 20 seconds.

Play sound 2 (.mp3, 490 KB), 25 seconds.

Above links will open an additional web page and open the media player and start the recorded sound.

_____

Detail of a 1854 survey by George Hanson shows the same place Taber photographed 1887. The 1854 survey is titled "Tract of land surveyed for the Salt Work Co." This detail of Hanson's survey has markup added highlighting where Hanson noted the location of a "Pebble Beach":

SR_Box_24(06).16, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, Digitized by Galen Hunter

_____

1895, B. R. Baumgardt & Co's Tourists Guide to Southern California by G. Wharton James, page 366, first paragraph:

_____

Photograph of rare instance of beach pebbles today in the waterfront study area - 2016, Feb. 24 early evening, Torrance Beach, some 2.5 miles south of where the original pebble beach was.

_____

Sound captured of the pebbles still appearing at Torrance Beach, 2016, Feb. 25 early morning:

Play sound 1 (.mp3, 243 KB), 20 seconds.

Play sound 2 (.mp3, 490 KB), 25 seconds.

Above links will open an additional web page and open the media player and start the recorded sound.

This recorded sound of the pebbles at Torrance Beach on Feb. 25 would be similar to the sound George Wharton James noted about the sound produced by the original pebble beach to the north - except, the sound the original pebble beach produced probably would have been much deeper in tone as the water rushed over it because of the much larger mounds of larger pebbles - as can be seen in the above 1887 Taber photograph.