The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 120th year and is the longest running business in our city. Established in 1896, the Chamber’s influence and impact has played an important role in the promotion, tourism and business development of Oceanside. Reading through the roll call of past presidents is walking along a historic timeline and a virtual listing of the movers and shakers in the community and those who helped to build and shape the City and promote it a variety of ways.
The Oceanside Chamber worked in conjunction with the City Council (or City Trustees as they were called years ago). It was involved in everything from life-saving equipment on the beach, to tree planting, to rebuilding each new pier, beautification of the city, to cemetery upkeep, putting on parades, fireworks and beauty contests, along with catchy slogans promoting the city.
Leading businessmen met at the South Pacific Hotel on May 8, 1896 to discuss the formation of a business organization to promote the city. The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce was established with Joseph Lewis Sharp, a member of the City Trustees, appointed as the Chamber’s first president. One of the first accomplishments was submitting promotional material to be published in a popular magazine of the time "Land of Sunshine" and ordering 6,500 leaflets advertising Oceanside as a summer resort and delivered to inland areas as well as Arizona and New Mexico.