This tourist’s postcard photograph titled “A Regular Sunday Crowd – Avila, California” was taken in the town of Avila Beach in the early-1950s on Front Street. The view is looking toward the center of the town with Avila Beach Park and the commercial fishing pier on the right. The oil storage tanks on the hill where a part of Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) storage facility.
Avila Beach is located in the mid-coast area of California one-hundred and sixty miles north of Los Angeles near Pismo Beach. The small coastal town first served as a shipping port for the City of San Luis Obispo beginning in the mid-1800s and was later supported by fishing and the oil industry.
In the late 1990s due to rusted Unocal oil pipes and the resulting leakage over the decades of use, many of the buildings in the town were demolished; afterward a one-quarter mile long section of the contaminated soil and most of Front Street were dug up and transported by truck to Bakersfield. The soil was replaced by sand from nearby dunes and the town was then rebuilt.
Share with us what you find of interest in the vehicles in this photograph courtesy of Michael J. Semas.