Three arch Bay
The developers of the Three Arch Bay Housing Tract


TAB Tract office

The Three Arch Bay Tract Office where all sales and development occurred. This building was originally located at the entrance to Three Arch Bay, but amazingly, this original tract office building still exists! It was moved to a location in Laguna Canyon in the 1960's and is still there today. You can see it right before the "Big Bend" in Laguna Canyon - on the right, as you head out the canyon toward the sprawling civilization.


Vista Del Sol and PCH

Looking out from the tract office to the north. Across the Pacific Coast Highway is the original Texaco gas station, and just across Vista Del Sol, is a restaurant called "The Town and Country House".


Dr. Grindles home

This home, one of the earliest in Three Arch Bay was owned by Dr. Lincoln Grindle at the end of La Senda Place. The original owners modeled it after a home they had seen along the Amalfi coast in Italy. - Can anyone provide more information about the original owners?


Pioneers of Three Arch Bay

The men who handled all Three Arch Bay development.


Three Arch Bay resident Joe Carter generously provided all the above photos, and sent along some letters for me to copy, including a Eulogy for Dick Rowlands, the developer of Three Arch Bay.

Born on a farm in Waukesha Wisconsin, Mr. Rowlands is credited as being the inventor of Certified Milk. The Keystone Farms, his original home, is today world famous in an industry that brings millions of dollars to the state of Wisconsin. Because of his great accomplishments, Dick was appointed the Wisconsin State Secretary of Agriculture.

In 1920, with his family, he moved to Southern California and engaged in the development of subdivisions throughout this area.

From the Eulogy for Dick Rowlands - 1954...

"In 1930, he came to the section of the coastline now known as Three Arch Bay. At the time of his arrival, this acreage was a bean field, except for a few lots immediately on the ocean front. The whole area from what was then Laguna Beach to Dana Point was undeveloped land except for the settlement of South Laguna and Coast Royal. Water was not available in this area and very few restrictions prevailed, except at Coast Royal.

Dick Rowlands conception of a subdivision was one of beauty - created first by proper restrictions and second, by planning proper roads and planting trees aplenty. With the same vision and tenacity of his boyhood days, he worked for twenty-three years to realize his dream. Today, all of us are enjoying the fruits of his labor - this beautiful tract, one of the finest on the West Coast. It must be our pledge to keep it this way!

But even beyond the limits of Three arch Bay, Dick saw the need of having the surrounding country equally as beautiful and with his sense of beauty and order, he was the prime leader in having the county zone the whole area from Laguna Beach to Salt Creek. There was opposition to this plan, but with a few energetic and interested friends, he forced the issue, persuaded the voters and saved this Coastal area from becoming an eyesore."

Mr. Rowlands later pushed for and helped create the South Coast Water District. He served continually on the board from it's inception, and was the chairman of the district at the time of his passing. The World, but especially South Laguna and Three Arch Bay, owe much to this modest man. Without him, we would not be living surrounded in beauty as we do today.

And thanks for bringing these pictures and stories to light for us Mr. Carter.


TAB tract office today.

Here's the Three Arch Bay Tract Office today. It was moved from TAB sometime around 1965, and has been extensively remodeled, but except for the large windows, the overall shape looks the pretty much the same.

My wife Karen spent many hours in this office as a child while her father Howard discussed building plans. Her strongest memory is of the overpowering cigar odor that permeated the building. Even today, when she drives by this building in the Canyon, she swears she still smells cigars!