Local history brought to life for Laguna Beach third graders


El Morro Elementary School third graders visited the historic Murphy Smith Bungalow in June to learn about the community and local history.

Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

This year, the third graders were greeted by actors from Laguna’s own community theater group, No Square Theater. Actors playing Bette Davis, Vernon Murphy (original owner), Blanche Clapp Smith (second owner and last resident), Jack Norworth, Pancho Barnes and Frank Cuprien were all among the notable Laguna Beach residents the students “met.”

The local actors entertained the students, chaperones, and teachers by opening a secret trap door on the original wooden floor and singing Jack Norworth’s famous lyrics, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

Cuprien, with an easel and brushes, painted a seascape in the rear yard while chatting to budding artists about the difference in the surrounding landscape of downtown circa 1912.

“We were honored to bring two nonprofit organizations together and work with talented director, Ella and actors to provide this to Laguna Beach students. A fun and memorable living history experience,” Laguna Beach Historical Society President Karen McGrew said.


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