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John A. Blaich Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John A. Blaich Papers
    Dates: 1922-2003
    Collection Number: 2014-05
    Creator/Collector: Blaich, John A.
    Extent: 6 document boxes; 2 linear feet, 5 inches.
    Repository: Sherman Library and Gardens
    Corona del Mar, California 92625
    Abstract: The John A. Blaich Collection is comprised of four series: Biographical Materials, Biographical Files, 1931-2002, General Subject Files, 1923-2003, Large Yachts of Newport before World War II Files, 1924-2002, and M. S. Stranger Files, 1922-1994. The collection includes photographs, slides, notes, newspaper clippings, copies of published materials, logs and correspondence.
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    John A. Blaich Papers. Sherman Library and Gardens

    Acquisition Information

    The family of Mr. Blaich donated the parts of this collection relating to the M. S. Stranger and his book Large Yachts of Newport Harbor before World War II. Rowell Greene donated the General Subject Files in April, 2014.


    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.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    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.

    Indexing Terms

    Boats and boating – Sailboats
    Boats and boating – Motorboats
    Yacht racing – Ensenada Race
    Sea Scouts
    Blaich, John A.
    Moe, Fred
    Pfaendler, Henry
    Reynolds, Carl
    Ross, Fred
    Shaw, Bob
    Wallace, Raymond
    San Diego Zoo
    Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
    Newport Beach (Calif.) – Harbor – History.
    Orange County (Calif.) – History – 20th century – Sources.