The History of Balboa Island Spencer Kombol

In today's Orange County, Newport Beach is described as an affluent community where only the wealthy can afford to live, but tourists love to visit. But it wasn't always like this. In 1905, Pacific Electric 'Red Cars' were extended to Newport. This allowed visitors from Los Angeles to go to and from with far more ease of access.

In 1909, the Orange County Board of Supervisors allowed a man named William Collins to create an island with his small dredge of land to the east of the bay. They built a seawall that protected part of this island out of wood. Later this seawall was reinforced with cheap concrete, but for the time being, Balboa Island was born out of a small mud flat called Snipe Island.

Balboa Island, 1909

Newport Coast, 1909

Balboa Sea Wall, 2013

In 1912, the seawall was reinforced with cheap German cement. Four years later Balboa Island was annexed to the city of Newport Beach.

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