Frequently asked questions
When was the NBHS formed?
The Newport Beach Historical Society was formed by Bill Grundy in 1967, later lead by his son Gordon Grundy. It was incorporated as a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation in December 2014.
Who is involved in the NBHS?
The current NBHS president is Bernie Svalstad. There is a Board of Directors which is lead by the following Executive Committee members:
Gordon Grundy, Past President
Bernie Svalstad, President
Tim Brown, 1st Vice President
Brenton Ogden III, 2nd Vice President
Keith Dawson, Treasurer
Lenard Davis, Secretary
Do you have a location / headquarters?
Our headquarters and museum are located at the Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Library located at 100 E Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92661.
When and where are the meetings?
When and where are the meetings?
There are no formal membership meetings, but we host a series of events, throughout the year all of which are announced at this web site.The Board meetings are held once a month, on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 5:00 pm at the Main Branch of the Newport Beach Library
How can I get involved?
We need volunteers! We are looking for volunteers to serve as docents at our museum two days per week. We are also looking for administrative assistance, as well as social media expertise. You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 949-232-7373. You can also send us a letter of interest to P.O. Box 8814, Newport Beach, California 92658.
Where can I find a good history of Newport Beach?
We have a great Timeline on this website which gives an illustrative summary of the history of Newport Beach. Jeremy Burns has a good one at http://jeremyburns.bhhscalifornia.com/content/agentlinks/oc-history. Wikepedia also has a well written summary. You can access the bibliography on this website, as well.
What does the NBHS need?
We are always looking for historical memorabilia, photos and documents to add to our collections. Our Oral History Project is a constant and we welcome any stories and anecdotes from the residents and visitors of Newport Beach. And, of course, a secure, climate controlled building to house our offices and museum. And we need funding to make our historical society run with the greatest efficiency and to help preserve our city’s wonderful history for generations to come.
Do you have collections?
Yes, we do and many of the items in our collection are currently on display in our museum located at the Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Library at 100 E Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92661.
Where are they and what are they?
We have a growing library of books, ship’s models and art work, photographs, documents, menus from Newport Beach restaurants, artifacts and unique memorabilia specific to Newport Beach.
Do you have any digitized records?
Not at the current time, but we will be digitizing records in the future as funds permit.
Do you have a library?
Yes, we do, and it is located at the Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Library at 100 E Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92661. We accept donations of books and the Balboa Branch Library has a good collection of Nautical books to complement our history collection.
Where can I donate my historical memorabilia?
Please contact us at email@example.com or call us at 949-232-7373. We can pick up any items that you would like to share with the people of Newport Beach. We appreciate any pieces of Newport Beach history and make a commitment to any donors that they will be preserved and cherished.
Where can I find great photos of Newport Beach?
We have a pretty impressive collection in our Photo Gallery on this web site.
Where can I find surfing history and memorabilia?
Newport Beach is one of the most famous surfing spots in the world, with the Wedge having historic swells over the years, since the jetty was constructed in 1921. We have a Surfing section in our Photo Gallery on this website, but there are some great images and history at http://www.surfingmuseum.org/history.html. They are located in Huntington Beach, California.
What happened to the Newport Nautical Museum?
The Newport Nautical Museum has recently morphed into the Discover Cube Ocean Quest. They are located at the old Fun Zone site on Balboa Blvd. They have the collections in storage that were at once displayed at the Nautical Museum in the Reuben E. Lee.
Who are the most famous people in Newport Beach?
By far the most famous person who lived in Newport Beach was John Wayne. Three of his children grew up in Newport Beach and are currently residents. He was often seen enjoying the enviable lifestyle that our city has to offer and was a common sight at the Balboa Bay Club and registering his children at Newport Harbor High School when they attended. There is an official website called johnwayne.com and Wikepedia has a great page for him. He was a well beloved member of our community until his death in June of 1979. In fact, Orange County honored our most famous resident by renaming the Orange County Airport the John Wayne Airport in 1979.
Other famous people who called Newport Beach home are Buddy Ebsen, Edger Bergen, Shirley Temple, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, June Allison, George Burns, Dick Powell, Joey Bishop, Humphrey Bogart, Andy Devine, Dennis Rodman, Ted McGinley, Sugar Ray, Bo Derek, Kelly McGillis, Bruce Penhall, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Joseph Wambaugh, Kobe Bryant, Nicholas Cage, Henry Mancini, Dick Dale, Dean Koontz, Jim Abbott and many more.
Where are the historical markers in Newport Beach?
There is a link on this website showing a list of historical markers in the City of Newport Beach and a photo of each, with a map delineating their locations.
Would you like a tour of the museum for yourself, family or group?
You can e-mail the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a tour. Please be sure that you indicate date and time. The Museum curator will get in touch with you.