This Month in Costa Mesa History

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A sampling of historic events events that occurred in April.

1888 The Fairview Hotel, “first class in all its appointments,” with “good table, good rooms, and reasonable rates,” opens near today’s Harbor and Adams.

1889 Margaret Jeannette is born to George and Susan Catts on April 12, the first birth in what is now Costa Mesa. In October her family moves to Stockton, where her father, former secretary of the Fairview Company, opens the Lauxen and Catts furniture store, serves as mayor, and presides at the inauguration of the San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society. But what happened to Margaret?

1903 The Fairview Post Office is deactivated, signaling the end of the boomtown.

1923 The Friday Afternoon Clubhouse is dedicated on April 17. The building, later a bicycle shop, stands at 1747 Newport. The civic organization changes its name to the Costa Mesa Women’s Club in 1962.

1943 The Student Officer School opens at SAAAB on April 12. The school offers pre-flight training to officers transferring from other branches of the military.

1955 The Rheem Dream Home contest saturates the media, drawing widespread attention to Costa Mesa real estate. The prize for submitting the winning name for the house is the $20,000 dream home itself. The house stands on the southwest corner of Cabrillo and Irvine.
1966 McDonalds first opens in Costa Mesa.

1968 The Harbor to Jamboree segment of the San Diego freeway opens April 17, joining the Beach to Harbor segment that opened 16 months earlier. This completes construction of the Costa Mesa portion of the 12-year project, which fully opens the following year.

1973 A Holiday Inn opens at 3131 Bristol Street, near South Coast Plaza. The complex is later rebranded as a Crowne Plaza Hotel.