The Rum Running
Click On Image For The Big Picture

In the late 1930s Balboa became a favorite location for unloading illegal liquor. The gambling ship "The Rex" which was  usually anchored off the Santa Monica coast was also used to transport the illegal shipments to Balboa. The Rex would lay anchor just outside of  the 12-mile limit and speed boats would bring the goods into Balboa Bay.

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The Washington Street Public Dock

The Washington Street public dock was point where the speed boats would unload the liquor


. On the nights when the deliveries where made you would see a long line of big black sedans waiting their turn to pick up their allotment. And of course on those nights, there was never a cop within miles of Balboa.

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The Corner Of Washington Street
And East Bay Avenue

At the corner Of East Bay Avenue and Washington Street was a bath house. Many feel that beneath the floor of this bath house was a secret chamber which was used to stash quantities of the liquor for later distribution.




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Today The Secret Chamber Is
Used To Store Beer Kegs

Evidence of  this can be seen in the floor of the Balboa Saloon which now occupies  this location. There is a large pit beneath the floor which is now used to store kegs of beer. Stop in and take a look