by David Ciaffardini.
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From the same author that gave us The Dunites, that charming history of
Depression-era bohemians living along California's Central Coast, comes
a town history from the same region in San Luis Obispo County. Oceano,
Atlantic City of the West is a story of a kaleidoscope of dreams,
ambitions and reality in a small coastal town that has remained
surprisingly simple and unpretentious into the 21st Century.
But beginning in the late 1800s, venture capitalists, charmed by its
beach and marvelous sand dunes, and excited that a railroad would be
built through the town, had lavish visions, believing that Oceano's
future would be built to rival the finest resorts and playgrounds of the
east coast of the United States. That dream was sold, and sold again,
but like the sands of the dunes, it never stuck.
Instead, Oceano ended up a combination farming and bedroom community
with a uniqueness and charm perhaps too subtle to be easy fodder for
slick promotional campaigns. But there's plenty of quirky history and
lore to properly fill a book. You'll read about fires, floods,
earthquakes, shipwrecks, railroads, clam digging, automobile racing, the
birth of "dune buggies," the great Oceano Celery Festival queens, the
Dunites, and plenty of just-plain-folks who made their mark on what
could rightly be considered the most atypical beachside community in all
of California. Illustrated in black and white and color with photos,
illustrations and maps.