The Coast Inn History Project
About The Author
Carolyn Smith Burris was born in Laguna in 1944. My parents are Dick and Pat, Dick of the Coast Inn and Pat Shattuck whose family built their summer cottage in N. Laguna in 1917. My dad is the oldest of five while my mother is the youngest of five. I grew up with a wonderfully large family who were supportive and full of teasing. I spent most of my time with my grandmother Caroline. The feeling of community spirit was just a part of us. It is this rich history with deep roots that I want to share with everyone.
- 1st child of 4 siblings to Dick & Pat
- 5th grandchild of eventually 21 to Pappy & Caroline
- 2 daughters and now 5 grandchildren to Carolyn
I grew up in Laguna going to school on Park Ave. for three years traveling by bus to San Juan Mission. My family sent me to a great girls boarding high school, Marywood in Anaheim. Servite was the new boys school that soon joined with us to create our own boys and girls fabulous high school years. I was the cheerleader for three years for guys such as John and Pete Ganahl, fabulous football players and friends still today. Then off to college at Seattle University, a great Jesuit school. I was once again song leader so I guess cheering and rooting others on to success is well developed in me. I stopped college after three years to get married in 1965, followed by divorce in 1978. I was living in Plano Texas at this point so I completed college at University of North Texas in 1987.
- Graduated cum laude both with a BS and a Masters in Education from UNT
- Licensed as a Marriage, Family, Child counselor both in TX & in CA
- Private Practice in Del Mar, CA
- Mortgage Lender in Las Vegas & in Laguna Beach
- Trustee for my dad’s estate
- Potential Author in training currently
I was living in Las Vegas near my daughter and family when in 2000 I moved back to Laguna to help my mom and then my dad. My mom passed at age eighty-five in 2002. My dad passed at about two months shy of age ninety-three in 2006. And because of the number of aunts and uncles, many more passed away as well. I am the only family member of more than 100 descendants continuing to live in Laguna and with such a strong tie to my roots with a desire to share my history. I hope you enjoy.
About The Site
This web-site is for those of us who care about Laguna history and its deep roots created by businesses that were established by hard work, integrity and a desire to contribute to the community. The Coast Inn on Pacific Coast Highway and Mountain Road was built this way about ninety years ago. I am sharing with you its inspiring history. I am also correcting an error made to the history some ten years ago. My hope is that this site will pull together those of us who appreciate how our history helps mold us and how roots can help a city and its residence blend together in a manner of cooperation.
Residence over the span of many years found a sense of community in the Coast Inn bars. I don’t think the Smith photos are clearly showing off the bar style. The two bars both were the long bar counter tops but the tops were glass. So someone sitting at the bar watched the tropical fish swimming in their aquarium below the glass. Our upstairs bar was dark and of the sophisticated style but both bars were the TIKI theme. Our photos don’t capture our good friend Mogens Abel’s carved murals in both bars. The decor pulled together a great ambiance for all who wanted a drink through the years. The South Seas bar was the fun loving beach crowd.
So I think each decade can tell a different story, even after Sidney Bryan bought and managed this establishment. Sid’s family management style was similar to my family, very hands on. I went to 7th/8th grade on Park Ave with Sid. We were also neighbors on TOW (Top of the World), thus became friends. I would think Sid agrees, we invite all of you to share your stories and memories and to enjoy history all
I am dedicating my site to my 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. They are the reason I am motivated to take the time and expense to document their history. So this site is for my oldest, Charlene, and her husband Sal with two toddlers, Logan and Miles. And for my youngest, Marni, who has successfully raised Mackenzie, Jadyn and Ryan.
I want to leave each of you with a sense of your family who has walked the walk of life before you. It is my hope that this site gives you a taste of what it was like for me growing up in Laguna among a family who worked and played together. I was part of a generation who, although family, were also friends watching out and helping each other, no matter the challenges. They worked together, often dined together, even traveled together. It was my generation that began the moving away once married, seeing what life was like or “spreading our wings”. Hindsight causes me to regret that now. I see families who stayed and worked together fair out happier. This website displays for me how I love each of you, how I honor your decisions and am grateful every time I am included into your lives. Family remains very high on my want list as we all progress on our journey of life. I will always support each of you like my family did me; they never complained when I moved away and constantly took action whenever I needed help.
Now, looking at the Smith journey, one marvels when realizing their success was during the depression and WW11. Their challenges, although different from yours, were difficult. I have watched both of my girls go through incredible challenges and come out the other side. Great family genes? I marvel with delight.
I also dedicate this site for the community of Laguna Beach. To be clear, I write from a place of personal growth, thus balance, acceptance and love. I am not political, as seems to be popular today. I like truth to prevail. So I have no need to write about the social political aspects of the diversity we share in Laguna. I grew up with diversity in Laguna, and I accepted our differences at an early age. Laguna has always embraced others who have migrated from other parts of the world. My desire is to see all of us keep alive and embrace the history leading the way for this building to become vibrant once again, carrying on my family’s tradition.