08-02 TalesOfBalboa Your Portal To Balboa Village California

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Old No. 9
A New Life For Balboa Bay's First Fireboat.

"If they didn't stabilize her they were going to make firewood out of her."

 

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A new logo for the old fireboat.

 

She started out as a Higgins Patrol Craft built for the U.S. Army in 1941. After the war she was handed over to the Harbor Department and converted to a fireboat in 1946. In her nearly thirty years of service, Old No.9, as she was named by the Harbor Department, saw service at some of Balboa Bay's most historic fires. Harbor Patrol Deputy Terry Lundy who worked on her from 1970 to 1974 recalls, "It saved Balboa Island in 1954." An early morning fire in the old boathouse next door to the J.A. Beek building on the island's bay side next to the ferry landing, was threatening the surrounding buildings and could have spread to the whole island. Old No.9 was the first on the scene and with her 1500 gallon per minute pumping capacity was able to control the flames until the Newport Beach Fire Department could arrive. Twenty-six years ago at the Mariners Mile fire, when hydrant water pressure was low, she was able to lay hoses over Coast Highway and did a great deal to prevent the spread of the fire.

 

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Old No. 9 was in terrible disrepair
when she was turned over to the Sea Scouts in 1999.

 

In 1969 she was redesigned to look like a tug and by the mid 1970s, the Old No.9 was taken out of service. She then went through a succession of owners, going downhill as she moved from owner to owner, finally ending up at the Larson Shipyard where she was used as a yard boat and tug. In the Spring of 1999 the Larsons' sold the shipyard and donated Old No.9 to the Sea Scout Base.
 

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Partially restored, she took first place
in the 2001 4th of July boat parade.

 

When John Mathews first saw the Old No.9 he knew she was in such bad shape that, "If they didn't stabilize her they going to make firewood out of her," so Old No.9 became his pet project. Today John and four other men have contributed over 2000 man hours and spent over $2,000.00 in the ongoing restoration of the boat. John says it's, "Truly a labor of love. We want to get her back to what she was in her hay day. Basically a piece of history"  An additional $5,000.00 is needed to completely restore Old No.9.  John says, "We're using it as a teaching facility." Teaching the Youth Scouts woodworking, ship righting and small boat repair. Once the restoration is completed Old No.9 will be the base mascot and used in parades and as a dignitary boat. When it comes to using Old No.9 as a training boat, John says, "She's a cantankerous old boat to operate, If they could work with her, they could work with any boat." To get more information about Old No.9 or how you can help with her restoration, go to the Sea Scout web site http://www.ocbsa.org
 

New Library
Service
New Program Offers Free Delivery To The Homebound

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Words Of Wisdom

Why are the obituaries found
 in the "living" section of the
newspaper?



Upcoming
Balboa Events

Balboa Village Sidewalk Sale
Saturday-Sunday Sept 7-8
Last big blowout of the summer. Merchants will hit the streets with their deep discounted wares and services.
Beach Blanket Bar-B-Q
Sunday Sept 8 - 12 Noon - 5PM
The Divas of the Balboa Theater are holding their 2nd Annual Beach Blanket Bar-B-Q.  Pavilion Park at Balboa Pier. Great food, fun games, memorable Rubber Duckie Race. Contact Peggy Whitehead 949-673-5624

Time Capsule
Washington St. And
East Bay Ave. Circa 1930.
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Looking down Bay Avenue on the right hand side can just see Roger's Boat Yard, later to become the location of the Balboa Fun Zone. On the left side of the  corner of Washington Street is Fire Station No. 1, Balboa's first fire station, now the location of  the public restrooms. The house across Washington Street from the fire station remained standing until the mid 1980s when it was demolished to make the small parking lot behind what is now the Balboa Village Market.The building to the right of this house on Bay Avenue was the Balboa Chapel, Balboa's first church. The adjoining  building just to the right of the chapel located at the corner of  Bay Avenue  and Palm Street later became the Blue Room Patio Cafe. These two buildings were demolished in the mid 1970s to make way for the Laguna Federal Savings and Loan building and parking lot. In the early 1990s this building was demolished to make the city parking lot which  is there today. On this corner you will now find a Wells Fargo ATM machine.

Viewer Email

HI JIM:
I LOVE YOUR WEB SITE; I WAS A RESIDENT OF BALBOA AND BALBOA ISLAND FROM 1942-1951. AS A BOY, I USED TO WORK AT THE VILLAGE MARKET: AT THAT TIME IT WAS RAN BY FAYE BLOWER AND WAS KNOWN AS BLOWERS MKT.. IT IS REALLY GREAT TO SEE THE LIVE PICTURES FROM AROUND BALBOA WHENEVER I DECIDE TO TAKE A LOOK. I WENT FROM THE 4TH GRADE
TO MY SENIOR YEAR AT HARBOR HIGH BEFORE MOVING BACK TO ILLINOIS IN 1951. I WILL ALWAYS CONSIDER BALBOA AS MY HOMETOWN; WHAT A WONDERFUL PLACE TO HAVE GROWN UP. JUST ATTENDED MY 50TH CLASS REUNION AT THE PAVILION LAST SEPTEMBER, MEETING A LOT OF THE OLD SCHOOL MATES; WHAT A GREAT TIME! WE ALSO RENTED AN APARTMENT FROM HOMER AND MARILYN SMITH WHO ALSO RAN THE OLD SAFEWAY AFTER FAYE BLOWER. AGAIN, THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL WEB SITE; I WILL BE CHECKING IN QUITE OFTEN.
SINCERE BEST WISHES
JIM STEWART
JGS@MAPLECITY.COM


I have so enjoyed reading the Blab when I can. We moved down awhile back, 1996.  The beauty Balboa keeps us supplied with universal fuel. Don't know if I could live without the tall palms and sunsets here. Anyway, my son is in third grade and he is doing a BIG report - so we picked Balboa and Newport Beach as our city (s) to report on. I read about a year ago...about Rupert and did see him a couple of times - but have not for awhile and I am afraid to ask, but is he still around?  Do you have any neat articles on him and the seals that tried to take over the docks a few years ago - and any other history third graders would like? Are your articles archived at the library by the fire station? Thanks so much - and it is nice to meet you - your paper is an inspiration. My home email is Jauqe@earthlink.net.
AGAIN THANKS for any direction you can send us in to get info. Have a great day.
Sabrina Little

I was told about your web site a few months back. I lived on Balboa Island, and entertained at Woody's Wharf, in the early 1970's,and really enjoy Tales Of Balboa. I pull up the live video shots daily to check out the area. Keep up the great work! Mike Murphy,
Sun Valley Idaho
funnyguy@cox-internet.com

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