Edward Abbott moved to
California from Iowa with his family in 1880. In 1889, Abbott, a
man of the world who once wrote a letter from the top of Cheops'
Pyramid, built a squatter's shack next to the only fresh water
spring on the peninsula, near Bay Avenue and Palm Street now the
site of The Class of 47- a local bar and still the local watering
hole- where he collected, polished, and sold abalone shells, a
life long hobby. In 1891, and 1892, Abbott purchased from The
State of California as swamp and overflow land, the area between
9th Street and L Street on the peninsula. He built a small pier at
the location of today's Palm Street ferry landing that was known
for years as Abbott's Landing. Abbott built the Last Chance, a
small steamboat for taking excursionists on ocean trips, but the
Federal Government refused a permit to operate it. The boat was
moved to Lake Ellsinore. In loading the boat onto a railroad car,
Abbott sustained injuries which many felt lead to his premature
death. It was shortly before his death in 1895 when Edward Abbott,
transferred all of his holdings to his brother-in-law Clinton
Andre. The land holdings were then cut-up and sold for a few
hundred dollars per lot, and a few houses were built in the area
which is now downtown Balboa. During the next ten-year period,
life was great for those who lived or visited this area. It was a
sportsman's paradise of fowl, fish, and shellfish. If you wanted
bay clams, you'd just row over to Snipe Island with a big tub and
fill it up.
I happened upon your site this morning and was
reminded of so much.
My parents and I moved into 2013 Miramar Dr. in 1958, telephone
ORiole 3-4322. I was in the graduating class of 1962, Harbor High.
I worked at Don's Candies next to the ferry landing on the
peninsula side, dipping frozen bannanas in chocolate, Gunderson's
Drug Store (back when drug stores were called drug stores), and
later was a projectionist at the Balboa Theater when I was a
college student. Upon graduation from Cal-State Fullerton I got
involved in the unpleasantness in the Tonkin Gulf and survived.
I well remember The Prison of Socrates, Tim Morgan, and the
Steeltown Two. I got to know Tim through the Murphy brothers who,
along with their father, ran Murphy's Texaco, which, as I
remember, was a stone's throw from the hotel run by Tim's mother.
If anyone reading this has similar memories, write or call. I live
in Ohio now, am retired, and live at 5522 Jennybrook Lane,
Hilliard, Ohio 43026. My telephone number is (614) 771-8141.
My husband wanted me to relate that he grew up
at 123 Grand Canal, moved there in late 48, lived across the canal
from the Shaws. Until 2 years ago we were in contact with Richard
Shaw. Virgil Parch used to do their Christmas cards. His dad,
Harvey Mayer, kept the engine on the Michigan going. Oh, by the
way, my husbands name is Mike Mayer. Mike, as a kid, took more
than one trip to Avalon on the Lazy B. He was curious because the
original Balboa Island Punting and Sculling group was just a small
handful of people and he finds it hard to believe that any of the
original members are still with us. What he is looking for is
actually the original society logo that was hand painted on the
little fly bridge of the Michigan and this was drawn and painted
by Parch and Shaw. This was the one and only real deal. He's just
trying to find something of that original logo. By the way, what
ever happened to the Michigan?
Mike & Sue Mayer
Noticed a nice message today on the site mentioning two specific
sites in Balboa, Playland Arcade and the Chipyard. Of course you
know Playland was owned by my family, and I found one mention of
the Chipyard on your site. And yes, we ate BAGS full of those
cookies. 10 cents each, 12 for $1. It was just the regular
tollhouse recipe, the thing was, you could get the cookies mom
made at home anytime you wanted them. You are aware they turned it
into a chain aren't you? Not sure why it was shut down, probably
too much competition from Mrs Fields and Famous Amos. Mrs Fields
was better, never had much use for Famous Amos.
The Hurwitz kids came into the arcade from time to time. Never
to know them. They seemed pretty focused on their business. The
rumor was that their father had financed their fledgling business
and they were
determined to make good. They sure did. There wasn't a person in
who didn't love their cookies and support their efforts.
Lots of times at the arcade I would hand one of my people a dollar
"go get some cookies." No need to explain further
You probably know this already, but one of the brothers who
operated the Chipyard, Mitchell Hurwitz, is the creator of the TV
show Arrested Development.
The show has a lot of tie-in's with the 'Fun Zone' or at least a
Hollywood version of it.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHEN THE PICTURE ON THE HOME PAGE WAS TAKEN. THAT
IS A MAGNIFICENT PICTURE
I love your site. It's like being home. I grew up in Anaheim, but
now live in Kansas. I have a wall of your pictures in my living
room, and buy a new one every year if I can afford it. My family
comes to Balboa-Newport every year for the first two weeks in
August. It keeps me going for the remaining 50 weeks of the year.
I thank you for the free calendar with its beautiful pictures and
extremely useful list of local vendors. Thanks for keeping me
Maggie - Anaheim HS Class of 1968
Visited your shop today with my daughter. Purchased one of your
5x7 photos "Balboa Sunset VIIII" Loved all of your photos. You
inspired my daughter to want to do the same kind of thing. Enjoyed
a brief conversation with you as well. Thank you!
I just found your site...it makes me homesick. I lived in
Newport/Balboa for years (graduated from Harbor High) and still
miss the Beach. Thank you for such great pictures!
Yvonne Millard Mickey
I was there visiting a few weeks ago seen a really pretty jewerly
store in the small little village just wondering if you would know
the name of it,I found a braclet i would like to get the price
on,forgot the name of the store thanks very much for your help P.S
it is beautiful there.
This website is awesome! My sister just called to let me know
about it. I first fell in love with Balboa when I was 12 yrs old.
Things were a little different in 1952 but I still think it's the
best place in the whole wide world!! Thanks for the website
We have been vacationing in Balboa with our kids since 1993. My
15 year old twins would like to take surfing lessons. Can you put
us in touch with some place that offers surfing lessons at or near
Balboa? We'll be there 7/23 - 7/30.
I enjoy your picks,and I get something new with each visit to
Balboa. This year I bought the screen saver,it's great. I am
having some trouble with the sounds of Balboa part of the
newsletter. I get a pic,but no sound. My sound does work with
other applications.Any ideas ?
you may want to clean the lenses on the wedge and pier cam-love
Hello. I'm trying to find out about the little boat trip around
the harbor that includes points of interest. I'd like to know the
hours of operations and cost. Can you help?
Love your calenders,& I miss your jokes. I'm building my address
book. I've added you to it now. Send some funny stuff. See ya soon
in town. Stevie
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