Another Laguna Character turns the Village upside down

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Another Laguna Character turns the Village upside down


Tucson Daily Citizen: March 1961: “Thinking big: Cowboy actor Pat Hawley, 39, leaves the county recorder’s office at Santa Ana, Calif., yesterday after filing a claim to the entire city of nearby Laguna Beach, Hawley, who last month staked a claim to most of the Laguna Beach ocean frontage because he says “Nobody knows who owns it, now says that part of the downtown land also is in question, so he’s claiming the whole town. The actor in a big-hearted gesture today offered to sell back to residents this beach city–for $90 million. He filed a notarized claim at the Santa Ana County Courthouse covering all the ground of and “any buildings, parks, public of- the wealthy city houses, business offices, schools and chicken coops therein.” The claim also covered all mining and mineral rights in .the city. Only last month Hawley laid claim to a valuable 3,000- foot stretch of beach in the city after he heard city officials were trying to find its owner so the city could buy It for a public park. Hawley, drawing on his knowledge of squatters’ rights learned from acting in TV westerns, staked out the beach section. The city ever since has been trying to disprove his claim. His latest land grab was inspired he said, when he learned a water main broke under a bank in the city last week and officials were unable to find the owner of property, which the lines crossed. With the care of a planned infantry assault, Hawley, a father of five, got his family and one friend to stake out and guard the four borders of the city early yesterday. Then he showed up at the county recorder’s office where Deputy Mrs. Lillian Edgar gasped “What”!? “the whole city?” She called assistant recorder Wylie Carlye. “My,” said Carlyle. “you are claiming quite a bit”. Carlyle then called County Recorder Mrs. Ruby McFarland who carefully read the claim. “It’s a properly executed document and I can’t refuse to record it,” she said. “That will be a $2.80 filing fee.”

LA Times: March, 1961: Laguna Beach Ca.: Hawley Tricks Local Citizenry
“Homesteader Pat Hawley again has outwitted harassed city fathers of this seaside artist colony simply by being an early riser. Hawley, a television bit player , claimed the entire beachfront of the 238-square-mile town of Laguna resort under the Homestead Act, after learning that no one actually knew who had title to a right of way traversing it . Under the act a claimant may move seven- cubic yards- of earth within 60 days to make the claim valid. City officials countered by barricading barricaded all entrances to the public beach. Hawley made a public announcement that he would move the earth at 10 a m the following day. Then he rented a two-ton truck and drove onto the Beach before dawn via a non-barricaded alley. He had two other men loaded the truck with twice enough sand to meet the requirements of the Homestead Act .When- police arrived at 10 am on Tuesday they found Hawley , smiling , standing- next to the huge mound of sand he had moved”.

Charleston W.VA. –

Sarasota Journal –

Patrick Hawley was born on August 7, 1920 in Ireland, UK. He was an actor, known for Arrest and Trial (1963). He died on July 11, 1997 in Huntington Beach, California, USA.

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Sean McCracken

As the OC Realtor I’ll help you find your special OC Coastal home at that special price. With my hand holding, I’ll take you through the buying process for the minimal amount of pain - Call Me @ 949-290-5317


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March 21, 2016 at 9:43 pm

I am Pat Hawley’s daughter. I have many articles and I remember everything that was going on at that time and specifically realated to the Claim Dad made and how he got the idea to do so. I found it of interest that you had a picture of him from movie The Choppers…had a good laugh. However, his first break was given to him by Frank Sinatra on his weekly TV show. Dad was able to get his Screen Actors Guild card because of Mr. Sinatras invitation to be the actor bartender while He sang “One For The Road”. My Dad was an amazing man, WWII vet and saved lives during floods in the east coast in the 30s and i watched him pull doors off a burning car and save 2 kids and family in Garden Grove. Dad came to the US from England. He had a 6th grade education and endured severe poverty, hunger and the depression My Dad and John Crean were best friends. John Crean told me before he died in 2007 that he wished he had helped Dad with the claim of Laguna Beach. By the way, I have the recorded deeds in my possession. My mom, Mrs. Helen Hawley, passed away in June 2015 at the age of 92. She gave me all of the records regarding LB claim etc.
I would love to share you the real story since I was there and had the first row seat.

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