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Lecture to focus on famous Laguna adventurer

-- Mary A. Castillo

Richard Halliburton, the famed adventurer who disappeared at sea in

1939, will be the focus of a lecture given by William Taylor at 7:30 p.m.



“We met Mr. Taylor when he e-mailed us with a rumor that Halliburton

had proposed to Mary Ann Davis before he left on his last adventure,”

said Jane Janz, board member of the Laguna Beach Historical Society.

After a year and a half of correspondence, she hopes that Taylor and


the Historical Society will be able to confirm the 60-year-old rumor.

Taylor discovered Halliburton as a teenager in the 1940s and has

collected memorabilia and written and lectured about the adventurer. A

Wisconsin resident, he will be traveling to Laguna Beach specifically to

talk about Halliburton’s brief, but colorful life.

In the 1920s, Halliburton was one of the world’s most famous travel

writers. He wrote seven books and was noted for retracing the routes of

Cortez, Alexander the Great and Hannibal.


In 1938 he came to live in Laguna Beach and built the glass and

concrete home that still stands at Aliso Peak above Aliso Beach Park.

Taylor believes that Halliburton proposed to Davis at this home where

she lived with her two children until 1940.

Halliburton’s last voyage began in Asia when he sailed aboard a

Chinese junk ship en route to the San Francisco World Fair. He and his

crew disappeared at sea.

“We hope someone remembers attending school with the Davis children or


who might have known Mrs. Davis herself and can give us another piece of

the puzzle in Halliburton’s life,” Janz said.

Taylor’s lecture will be held at the Laguna Beach City Council

Chambers at 505 Forest Ave. The event is open to the public.