Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After Allâ„¢ ~ Charlie the Clock

Why we LOVE Brea’s City Hall Park

8 years ago by in ( Welcome to Brea )


Brea's City Hall Park was once home to a fishing pond.

Most Breans drive or walk past City Hall Park several times a week, but few really know its rich and varied history.

After Brea's incorporation in 1917, city leaders decided there was a need for a seat of government. A bond issue, approved in 1922 for $60,000, added to a $15,000 surplus in city funds, enabling the acquisition of the block between Date and Elm on Pomona Ave, (now Brea Blvd), from the Union Oil Company for below market value.

Early Brea pioneer, Frank J. Schweitzer, developed plans for a city park that included land set aside for a municipal plunge and civic center buildings. Brea's "Old" City Hall building opened in 1929 and by the summer of 1930, citizens were enjoying fun and relaxation at the new Brea Plunge, that included a building for changing clothes.

The American Legion Building, built in the 1930's, became a meeting place, not just for Legionaires, but for other civic and service groups. In 1933, City Hall Park became a temporary home for refugees from the devastating Long Beach earthquake. The displaced could take advantage of shelter, along with the sinks and cooking plates the city had installed behind the Legion Hall during the early days of the Great Depression.

In 1948, where the Schweitzer Rose Garden is now located, an enormous, 3-tiered fountain once stood, built to commemorate the life and contributions of highly regarded Brea pioneer, and businessman, W.D. Shaffer. The fountain was demolished in the 1960's when it fell into disrepair, and decades later, a new, modern Shaffer Fountain was re-dedicated on the Brea Promenade, where it now stands.

In 1952, Vice Presidential candidate, (and Yorba Linda native son) Richard Nixon, made a campaign stop, speaking to Breans and people from neighboring communities.

The Brea Soroptomist Club, in 1976, sponsored the construction of the Gazebo, dedicated on July 3 of that year. And this last summer, the Gazebo was given a beautiful facelift, ensuring that it will stand for another twenty-five years.

Brea's City Hall Park is still a focal point and gathering place for Breans, with the 4th of July Country Fair becoming a highlight of the summer months, as well as the annual Concerts in the Park.

In coming years, time capsules buried near the old City Hall Building during Brea's Diamond and Golden Jubilee Days will be unearthed, no doubt to great ceremony, future treasures of Brea's diverse history.


Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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