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Longtime GB resident pens book of city’s history
By Bettina Adragna   - 04/13/2008

Santa Maria Times

Grover Beach resident Anita Shower, who has lived in the city since 1974, has given it its first history book.

The book is part of South Carolina-based Arcadia Publishing's “Images of America” series, which allows interested people to compile photos and provide captions for the 18,000-word books. “Grover Beach” is 128 pages long, and went on sale Feb. 25.

Shower had been collecting historical photos since she moved to the city. She hunted for more during the four-month period she worked on the book. She started writing in June and was finished in September. Shower already had experience writing for the Times Press-Recorder as “Ms. Etiquette.” She has also been a community activist and volunteer in Grover, according to Arcadia Publishing's Web site.

“My goal was to honor the people who started this city, and the people who contributed to this city,” Shower said.

Shower focuses on what she calls “pioneers,” or people who had a great impact on the foundation and development of the city, up until the 1970s. D.W. Grover named the town after himself, according to the City of Grover Beach's Web site.

Another instrumental person was Horace Bagwell, who, according to Shower, was one of the early developers. He made his son Charles Bagwell dig ditches to put in water pipes for the town. Charles Bagwell became the mayor in 1959, when the city was incorporated.

Other prominent people include Juanita and Lloyd Qualls. Lloyd was a home builder, while Juanita managed the business in the late 1940s. Juanita later became the mayor, while Lloyd was instrumental in the formation of the city's volunteer fire department in 1957. Before this effort, the city relied on county fire department personnel, according to Shower.

The cover of the book features a photograph of Marcile Mosher, now Marcile Capunha, who stills lives in the city.

The photo, taken in 1942, shows Mosher leaning against a tree after a clam dig on her grandfather's property on Atlantic City and 8th streets.

Shower found the best part of producing the book was finding out new information.

For instance, she didn't know that taking apart existing houses from other nearby areas, such as Pismo Beach, and bringing them on flatbed trucks to Grover to be reassembled was a big business.

Shower said she was excited to create the book. “It's my gift,” Shower said.




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