Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society
California--As you hop off the
Balboa Ferry that holds 3-cars
and 25 or so people who can climb aboard for a small fee, most
tourists and locals who disembark on foot head for strolls along
South Bay Front. Public restrooms,
a food market and sandwich
shop meet all your needs--almost.
On Wednesday and Saturday,
Balboa Island Historical Museum invites tourists to
come aboard the
time capsule to explore the island's fascinating past as
part of the City
of Newport Beach.
Did you realize that those
multi-million dollar homes and mansions you pass by were once an
illusive dream of a land developer to turn swamp land into gold? At
Balboa Island Museum you can see the picture of that swamp that
would one day become the gold coast land you're standing on as
you examine old photos and memorabilia in the 2nd story office
space overlooking the Newport Bay and Balboa Pavilion. Prior to
1906 much of what is now Balboa Island was under water at high
tide, and was called Snipe Island by some. Developer W.S.
Collins purchases a dredge and built what was to become Balboa
Island. Lots were sold a year later for $300 or $600 for water
frontage. With no heaters, no electricity and outhouses for
bathrooms, the houses were used in the summer, but left empty in
the winter. and Annexed by Newport Beach in 1916, the Balboa
Ferry began as a contract ferry that pushed 1 car on a barge. By
1920, Park Avenue was the only road on the island.
The interesting history of
this manmade island is documented in photos, books, brochures
and memories supplied by the Balboa Island Museum and Historical
Society. Operated by a dedicated and enthusiastic corps of
volunteer docents, they strive to keep the history of Balboa
Island alive. Volunteers are welcomed to help keep the museum
open for tourists and locals to enjoy. It currently is open
Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, plus some
tours are offered
Location: 502 S.
Bayfront, Suite A (upstairs), Balboa Island, CA 92662
Open Wed & Sat 10 a.m. - 2
Please call to confirm the
hours: (949) 675-3952
Or to make an appointment:
Marine Avenue and surrounding streets
are filled with more than 70 gift shops, galleries and restaurants.