FIRST ART GALLERY & CHURCH
Merle and Mabel Ramsey in their book “The First 100 Years in Laguna Beach 1876 - 1976” write the following:
In the 1890's, the Riverside and Santa Ana people assembled for the summer, so the Saturday nights required something special. They built a floor with a tent over it and were ready for dances. Music, as a rule, was the big factor. There was one musician in the village-a violinist named Hubbard Golf. He was able to play "Turkey In The Straw," "Hot Time In The Old Town," "Good Night ladies" and other popular songs on his self-made violin. In the early 1900's when the little art gallery was built and began being used for all occasions such as weddings, church services, art displays and funerals, a dance on Saturday night was a standing event. The building was originally for the night life of the Riverside children. It is now a home at 571 Graceland Drive.
This remodeled house on Graceland was a stop on Village Laguna's 2009 Charm House Tour. The house description was:
The north 20 foot by 40 foot portion of this home is one of the most historically important places in Laguna Beach. Built in 1900 at the current location of Hotel Laguna's parking lot, it served as the unofficial town hall for weddings, dances and funerals. The little building was used for Sunday School from 1904 to 1914 and was the forerunner of the Community Presbyterian Church.
Renowned Laguna Impressionist artists; such as William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, Edgar Payne, Anna Hill and others; in 1918 founded the Laguna Beach Art Association and exhibited their famouos paintings in the building then known as the Art Gallery.
In 1926, the building was moved to Graceland Drive for rehearsal pupposes and became known as "The Little Artist's Theater." Local residents performed plays and musicals; the band played from the tiny balcony. With recent renovation to the ceiling, this main cottage area retains the intergrety of the Art Gallery.