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John A. Blaich Papers
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Collection Overview
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The John A. Blaich papers consist of photographs, slides, notes, newspaper clippings, copies of published materials, logs and correspondence generally relating to sailing in Newport Harbor, CA. The papers include files compiled by Blaich while preparing his "On the Water," column for the Newport Beach Daily Pilot, and his book "Large Yachts of Newport Harbor before World War II." Other files include information about the merchant ship Stranger on which Blaich served during a cruise in 1936 and 1937 to collect animals for the San Diego Zoo and biographical material about Blaich.
John A. Blaich was born on November 2, 1918. He grew up in Whittier, CA, but he spent many summers at a family house on the Balboa peninsula. In 1935, Blaich was one of thirty Sea Scouts to be hired as the crew of the M. S. Stranger. In six months, M. S. Stranger visited Miami, Panama, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Cocas Islands, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and San Diego, collecting animals for the San Diego Zoo. Following his tour with Stranger, Blaich started the first sailing instruction school in Newport Harbor in 1937. In 1941, the Newport Harbor Yacht club hired him as the clubs’ first full-time sailing instructor. In 1942, he completed his studies at the University of Southern California, receiving a degree in engineering. Blaich was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve. He entered active service during World War II, serving aboard the USS Baltimore. Following the war, Blaich remained in the Navy Reserve. He retired in 1969 with the rank of Commander. Blaich was active in yacht clubs in the Newport Beach area and pursued an interest in the history of sailing. He volunteered at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum (NHNM). In 2000, he published the book Large Yachts of Newport Harbor before World War II. He was a regular contributor to the Daily Pilot newspaper, writing for the column, “On the Water.” Blaich died in 2003.
6 document boxes; 2 linear feet, 5 inches.
The collection is open for research.