Plenty planned to celebrate centennial

2011 marks 100 years since J. Frank Cullen arrived in the area, saw our beautiful coastline and immediately thought it could become an artists’ colony. In preparation he built a hotel at the corner of San Elijo Avenue and Chesterfield that became the Mercantile Building and has been home to many things including the first library. It still stands today as the oldest building in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
When he plotted the townsite he thoughtfully set aside land for Glen Park and Cardiff Elementary School. Originally Cardiff was to have a Spanish name, thus we have San Elijo Avenue and Orinda Drive, but being influenced by Mrs. Cullen, the name Cardiff was chosen after Cardiff, Wales, with street names of Chesterfield, Cambridge, Manchester, Edinburg, etc. Later Victor Kremer, a musician, developed the area north of Birmingham adding by-the-sea from the song “By the Sea, By the Sea, By the BeautIful Sea.”
Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library will be honoring J. Frank Cullen and his fantastic dream by kicking off the new year with a celebration at Besta Wan Restaurant, one of the oldest businesses in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. We hope everyone can join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 18 to view pictures and talk over old times.
On April 30 Friends will dedicate a commemorative garden in Carpentier Parkway at 10 a.m. On July 2, Cardiff 101 MainStreet will have a community picnic in Glen Park starting at noon. The Friends will be participating in this event again with pictures and inviting longtime locals to share their memories.
On Aug. 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friends will hold a party celebrating the 97th anniversary of the library plus a book sale. On Sept. 21 Billy Stern will present the Cardiff Composer District History and Concert at Cardiff Elementary school, time to be announced, and if you missed this presentation when it was at the Cardiff Library be sure to see it this time.
On Oct. 5, Full Moon Poets will hold a poetry slam at the Cardiff Library with centennial poems. On Dec. 1 Friends will be participating in the Cardiff MainStreet Kringle Mingle in the Cardiff Town Center from 4 to 8 p.m. Wrapping up the year on Dec. 12, the Friends annual book/bake sale will be held at the library from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mark your calendars or pick up a bookmark at the Cardiff -by-the-Sea Library.
At each event Friends will have the proclamation from the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Wales as well as handouts of history and story boards with pictures so if anyone has pictures they wish to share and/or stories of memories of Besta Wan, Glen Park or just memories in general, get them to me either at 2108 Edinburg Ave., leave them in the library marked to my attention or e-mail me at
We look forward to a year of fun, we hope you will join us at each event and I do believe that J. Frank Cullen would be pleased with what has happened to his “artists’ colony” and the jewel that we are all so proud to call home.


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