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Longtime IB Resident, David Smith, hangs Christmas Ornament on Tree that once was Imperial Beach City Landmark

Dec 22, 2015 05:33PM ● By Paul Spear
Longtime IB Resident, David Smith, hangs Christmas Ornament on Tree that once was an Imperial Beach City Landmark. He hopes this will help people remember a tree that once was lite with Christmas Lights every year and was site where the City of Imperial Beach held its Ceremony to mark its approval of Incorporation as a city in July of 1956.

This tree which is now at the furthest most west boundary of the Breakwater Development at 7th Street and Palm Avenue was all lite up with Christmas lights for many years as it sat in front of the old North Island Credit Union there at 7th and Pa;m/

We have been told that the tree was originally planted by a group of girl Scouts in 1950. 


Besides David Smith who brought the history of the tree up, Councilwomen Lorie Bragg has been working hard in helping with this project to try and find actual records of this tree being involved in the Incorporation Ceremony of Imperial Beach. Since the passing of Freda Elliott Adams, the city's unofficial historian,Councilwoman Lorie Bragg has become the city's new unofficial keeper or gather of IB history. Over the years people in the city have been dropping of old history  and photographs they have with Lorie. 

A problem encountered with this project is that there were only about 30 to 40 people at this ceremony in 1956 and most of them have passed away. David Smith who is now retired was only 6 years old when he attended the ceremony with his mom in 1956. A couple of people have come forward and said they remember the ceremony and many more people remember the tree being lite with Christmas lights in front of the old north but so far no one has come up with any photographs or any other types of pieces of history on the tree.

Do you remember the tree being lite at Christmas
with lights on front of the North island Credit Union? Do you have a photo you can send us?

Do any of you out there remember the ceremony in 1956? and more importantly, do any of you have a photograph of it or know anything more about it?

If you have any photos or information on any of the above we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.

You can contact, me, Paul Spear, at or 619-289-3654
or you can contact
David Smith at

Also, note: there are many other individuals in the city who are very knowledgeable about our city's history and very involved with it. Our pointing out Lorie Bragg as the city's unofficial collector of the city's history is in no way meant to diminish all the great work they have done in collecting history about our city and to say they couldn't be considered that same historian..

A Thank you to Ann Price who is one of those people who have come forward and is helping out. I apologize if others have spoken with David and I missed giving you credit.

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