Read more about the article Fred McDowell on World War I
Fred McDowell poses in front of period rifles

Fred McDowell on World War I

Join us 
2 p.m. Sunday, November 18 as Fred McDowell, Costa Mesa Fire Captain, helps us commemorate the  “War to End All Wars.” In a presentation featuring authentic military artifacts, costumed re-enactors, and a slide presentation, McDowell will discuss America’s largest battle (the Meuse-Argonne Offensive), the “The Lost Battalion,” and Sgt. Rochester, the young Costa Mesan who tragically lost his life in that battle. You won’t want to miss this!

Download the full brochure (PDF)


Please note that the Park Avenue entrance is currently closed due to library construction. Please enter from Anaheim Avenue.

Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum
1870 Anaheim Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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Seeking Freedom – A Five Year Odyssey

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that Tony Burica, owner of Tony’s Boat Shop, will be our speaker on Sunday October 21, 2018 . as he presents his life’s Journey from Croatia to the United States and more!

Tony Burica, owner of Tony’s Boat Shop in Costa Mesa, is known to generations of Newport Beach sailors for his superb craftsmanship in repairing Sabots, Lido 14s, and other small boats. After first working for Schock boats for 20 years, Tony opened his Boat Shop and began repairing the boats being sailed on the Bay. After nearly thirty years and many thousands of boats repaired, he finally retired, but the legend lives on in this newly published book about his life. Now we all have the opportunity to meet Tony at the Costa Mesa Historical Society Sunday, October 21st (doors open at 2pm), and to hear more about his great odyssey.

What is not generally known about Tony is how he came to Newport Beach in the first place. His life story is truly amazing. As a young man, not willing to become part of the communist regime of Marshall Tito, he fled Croatia by sailing a boat to Italy. As a stateless person without documents, he was held in a refugee camp for six months, eventually getting a job at an American Army base in Germany. Then he embarked on a journey that took him and his friend Ivan to Sweden, and then eventually to Spain and the Canary Islands. Their goal was to somehow reach America and freedom.

Never giving up, he and his friend Ivan finally arrived in Los Angeles. After getting established at Schock Boats in Newport Beach, Tony returned to Croatia and married his high school sweetheart, Tereza, who had never given up hope and waited 16 years for him. Theirs is a love story that will restore your faith in human beings.

Come join us at the Costa Mesa Historical Society at 1870 Anaheim Ave, Costa Mesa, 92627. We invite you to come and meet Tony, and perhaps purchase an autographed copy of SEEKING FREEDOM, A FIVE YEAR ODYSSEY.

So bring a friend and join us on an odyssey you will long remember! 

Seating is limited, for RESERVATIONS call (949) 631-5918.    Doors open at 2:00, program at 2:30. Free admission and refreshments. We are located at 1870 Anaheim Ave. northwest corner of the Lions Park complex.Visit   or go to facebook/costa mesa historical society for more information.

Program Flier: 181021 tony burica odyssey

(Note: Please enter the Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum parking lot by entering from Anahem Avenue. The Park Ave. entrance will be closed due to construction.)

Continue ReadingSeeking Freedom – A Five Year Odyssey