Laguna Beach third graders experience local history firsthand

El Morro Elementary School third graders stopped in for their annual visit to the circa 1920 Murphy Smith Bungalow in June to learn about community and local history.

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Photos courtesy of LB Historical Society

Vernon Murphy opening trap door (Prohibition Years) and cistern to collect rain prior to indoor plumbing in Laguna’s homes – circa early 1920s

This year they were greeted by actors from local theater group, No Square Theatre who portrayed Bette Davis, Vernon Murphy (original owner), Blanche Clapp Smith (second owner and last resident), Jack Norworth, Pancho Barnes and Frank Cuprien. All notable residents.

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Frank Cuprien (portrayal), a plein-air painter who arrived in Laguna Beach in 1912. He became a leading member of the early Laguna art community.

Cuprien with easel and brushes was painting a seascape in the rear yard while he chatted to budding artists about the difference in the surrounding landscape of Downtown, circa 1912.

The actors entertained the students, chaperones and teachers in activities such as opening the secret trap door in the original wood floor and singing Jack Norworth’s lyrics “Take me Out to the Ball Game.”

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In the kitchen with Blanche Clapp Smith. The cooking tools and appliances were interesting for students to learn about and see how they worked compared to their homes and today’s appliances and housework.

The Laguna Beach Historical Society was honored to bring two non-profit organizations together and work with talented director Ella Wyatt and actors to provide this to Laguna Beach students. What a fun and memorable living history experience!

For questions or information, contact info@lagunabeachhistory.org


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