May 27, 2018

Stories and Memories from the Malibu Feed Bin, April 16


Imagine that you got married at age 21 in 1966 and that same year you purchased your first business, the Malibu Feed Bin at the corner of PCH and Topanga Canyon Blvd. Imagine that the torrential rains of 1969 closed Topanga Canyon Boulevard for months and almost brought your business to a halt. Then imagine that in the 1970s you learned that the neighbors living next door to the Feed Bin were members of the Charles Manson family. There’s no need to imagine such a scenario because the next Topanga Historical Society meeting and potluck on Wednesday, April 16, will feature Feed Bin owner Marty Morehart.

Originally, the building was a fire station at a time when horses pulled the engines. The cupola that still stands was the sleeping quarters for the volunteer firefighters. It even had a pole to slide down but the opening was enclosed and the pole long ago removed.

Its first incarnation as a business in the 1940s and 50s was Potter’s Topanga Trading Post. That ownership came to an abrupt end with the death of Mr. Potter. The building sat vacant for several years until Dale Smith and associates established the Malibu Feed Bin.

Other early businesses in the area were a seafood restaurant, The Raft, which later moved and became the Paradise Cove Café; the Ice Shop which provided ice to the rental cabins on the beach; Ruben’s Gas Station; and Frenchie’s Weenook, a tiny restaurant sporting a counter and stools. It was not unusual to see people riding horses on the beach during these early days.

Times have changed but each change carries a rich story to tell.

Please join us at the Topanga Community House for the Topanga Historical Society’s quarterly program, April 16, to hear the stories and recollections of the ups and downs, the characters and friendships over the decades of Marty Morehart.

The program is open to all and free of charge. The potluck begins at 7 p.m. Bring a main dish, side dish or dessert to share and your own place setting. Coffee and tea will be provided.

The program starts at 8 p.m. The beautiful, expanded edition of “The Topanga Story” will be available for purchase and participants will have an opportunity to become Topanga Historical Society members: $20, individuals or $30 for a family.