A Look Back

A Look Back


It was the late 1930s, and a 7-year old George Fuller Jr. was just discovering the magic of Crystal Cove. The New York native had driven crosscountry with his parents four years earlier and, after making their way to the cove, the family built Cottage #9 from the ground up using wood salvaged from the beach. Growing up, George spent his days helping his father work on the cabin or out on the ocean paddleboarding and boating; for the most part, it was a carefree time to live at the Cove.

But that’s not to say there weren’t some memorable moments—in 1933, when the big earthquake hit in Orange County, George remembers the family’s stove bursting into
flames after being knocked to the floor (his father threw it out the door and onto the beach). Nearly a decade later, in 1941, he recalls being out on his paddleboard when the news of the Pearl Harbor bombing hit. George decided to join the Army Air Force and was a ball turret gunner in a B-17 before settling down with his wife and starting a career as a landscape
architect up in LA.

Today, the 91-year-old George fondly remembers his childhood at Crystal Cove. In fact, he’s passed down his love of the Cove to his son Bill, who volunteers with the Southern California Garden Club to water and maintain some of the historic landscape. Though the family sold
Cottage #9 in the 1950s, George has still supported CCA for many years and even moved back down to Orange County to retire at the Treasure Island trailer park in south Laguna Beach, where he and his wife lived until it was converted into the Montage resort. “I think they liked it there because, at that time, it had some of atmosphere of Crystal Cove,” Bill explains.

For more stories about Crystal Cove and updates on upcoming activities, visit crystalcovebeachcottages.org.

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