Redondo Beach in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
First Surfer in the United States
George Freeth was advertised as "the man who can walk on water." Thousands of people came here on the big red cards to watch this astounding feat. George would mount his big 8-foot long, solid wood, 200 pound surfboard far out in the surf. He would wait for a suitable wave, catch it, and to the amazement of all, ride onto the beach while standing upright.
George Freeth introduced the game of water polo to this coast. he trained many champion swimmers and divers. George was the first "official life guard" on the Pacific Coast. He invented the torpedo shaped rescue buoy that is now used world wide. On December 16, 1908, during a violent south bay storm, George rescued 6 Japanese fishermen from a capsized boat. For his valor he received "the United States Life Saving Corps Gold medal."
George Freeth died April 7, 1919 at the early age of 35 years as the result of exhaustion from strenuous rescue work.
Terry P. O'Donnell (1940-2008) - Sculptor
Mark A. Protasel - Project Originator
Janice Richardson Brymer - Original Layout Designer
Public subscription and the following donors have made this memorial possible: The South Bay Lifeguard Association, Jerry & Ruth Witt, Greene's Rady Mixed Concrete Co., Hon. Charles E. Wortham, Muriel C. Hons, Tierra Del Rey Parlor No. 300 Native Daughters of the Golden West, Muriel Richardson Protasel, Pier Properties Limited, Harry Pecorelli, Stephen P. Shoemaker Jr., Tony's Fish Market, Quality Sea Food Inc., Alcast Foundry Inc., Gertrude I. Richardson.
Redondo Beach Historical Commission
Curt R. Richardson - Chairman
A "Red" Allison - Vice Chariman
Mose Goldenson - Member
Originally erected A.D. 1977
The bronze George Freeth Memorial Bust dedicated in 1977, was stolen from the Redondo Beach Pier in August 2008. The recasting was made possible by using the original mold archived and provided by the City of Redondo Beach Historical Museum. Casting for the replacement was completed by Tim Doyle and Kelly O, daughter of the original sculpter Terry O'Donnell.
Bob Meistrell, Body Glove's Co-founder, City Councilman Pat Aust, The Redondo Beach Historical Society, Starboard Attitude, and a team of community volunteers held a series of fundraisers to replace
Rededicated A.D. 2010
Location. 33° 50.354′ N, 118° 23.458′ W. Marker is in Redondo Beach, California, in Los Angeles County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 207 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach CA 90277, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hotel Redondo (approx. 0.2 miles away); King Harbor and ... The Marinas (approx. ¼ mile away); The Plunge and ... The Lightning Racer (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bill and Bob Meistrell (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Redondo Beach Plan (approx. 0.4 miles away); 9-11 Tribute (approx. half a mile away); Old Salt Lake (approx. 0.9 miles away); Manhattan Beach State Pier (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Redondo Beach.
Also see . . . George Douglas Freeth, Jr. Surfing Pioneer, Lifeguard. Born in Honolulu, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, he is revered as the man who brought surfing to Southern California. (Submitted on March 25, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
Categories. • Notable Persons • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 25, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.