Halco Welding in South Beach closed its doors at the end of April. After 41 years in business, owner Stuart Lofton was ready to retire.
As a teenager, Lofton worked for his father, Harold Lofton, who started Halco in El Monte, Calif. Stuart quickly became adept and skilled in working with aluminum and stainless steel.
Halco Welding moved to Long Beach, Calif., but Stuart was soon weary of the city and wanted to move somewhere where it wasn’t crowded with people, and to a place where he could hunt and fish. His dad, knowing Stuart’s skill, took a trip north to Oregon and realized that Newport, with its fishing fleet and surrounding countryside, could be a good place to start a welding business.
Halco Welding moved to South Beach, and Stuart opened for business in 1979. It was tentative at first, as he was young, and the community was leery of such a young man opening up an ambitious business. But the community realized quickly that his skill in fabricating and welding aluminum and stainless steel was an asset. Today, Halco Welding’s work can be seen throughout the fishing fleet, the fishing production plants and in neighborhoods up and down the coast.