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What's the Story Behind this Landmark Property?

Nat Ferguson

I am a fourth generation resident of Seal Beach who enjoys writing about local activities, business and real estate...

I am a fourth generation resident of Seal Beach who enjoys writing about local activities, business and real estate...

Jan 29 3 minutes read

Very few Seal Beach homes have such a curious past as this property. Growing up as a young boy in Old Town Seal Beach, my friends and I frequently passed by the old home located at 117 Ocean Avenue on our way to and from the beach. 

As a child I seldom saw anyone at the home, except for a lone light on in one of the upper bedrooms, which along with it's aging condition led to the homes mysterious aura. Who owned the house? Why was the home so ignored? What's the story with this home?

The Orange County tax assessor's site shows the home was originally built in 1910 and has been owned by the same family since 1966. The home is notorious for being the topic of neighborhood conversations and has been mentioned in the local paper for a myriad of reasons over the years.

According to the website, this old Seal Beach home is referred to as the “Lothian house”. We can only guess the name refers to the low lands on which the house sits. The image shown above puts into perspective how long the home has outlasted everything else around the same location. (This photo is courtesy of the individual who operates the SB Founder's Day site, a must see for Seal Beach history buffs.)

In recent years, the home appears to have been rented and the grounds inconsistently maintained. Though a single occupant is said to be living in the home, one glance at the appearance of the home's entryway exposes how little has changed over the last 100 plus years. The over-grown yard (6,525 sq/ft) next door, which is considered 109 Ocean Avenue, only lends to the home's character that works well to keep the curious away.

In 2009 the home and adjacent lots totaling 13,225 sq/ft were hastily listed for $3,950,000. Shortly thereafter, the listing was abruptly pulled from the market which can only lead one to speculate about future of this Seal Beach relic. 

While most people know little about the reclusive heir to this landmark Seal Beach property, we maintain annual written communication with him and a list of interested buyers. While we remain hopeful that the property will eventually be sold and renovated, only time will tell if that will happen before the city condemns it or worst yet, it collapses into fragments of Seal Beach history.

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