By Maureen Neeley
Bill and Jane Hull had a grand plan. Buy a fixer, live in it a few years, and then move back to San Diego. After 22 years though, Belmont Heights has gotten under their skin. They are now lifers here. As Jane said, “We fell in love with the village atmosphere, with little businesses tucked into the neighborhood, and people walking and bicycling. We are so pleased to have been able to bring this house back to being wonderful.”
What they didn’t know when they bought their c1920 house at 329 Termino (originally addressed as 259 N. Termino) was that they were buying into the dreams of speculator and marketing guru, James E. Young (1873-1945). Young moved to Long Beach in 1920 from Springfield, Illinois where he owned a real estate office. He and his wife, Minnie L. (1877-1948), began using day labor armed with plan books to build on empty lots.
In 1920 Young also erected 325 Termino, 324 Mira Mar, and a four-plex at 259 Cerritos. Just as quickly as the Youngs blitzed Long Beach, they blew out of town for San Diego, building Young’s Auto Court on San Diego Avenue.
George and Geneva Dresser were the first owners/occupants of the house in 1921, often sharing it with their son, Clyde, and his wife, Olga. George was a manager for Armour & Company (meatpacking). Prior to and after the war years, the Dressers often rented the house to military families until they sold it in 1953.