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Sunday, October 9, 2011

History of Newport Harbor's Breakwater & Harbor...


There's a great story in our local newspaper this morning about the building of the Newport Beach break water and harbor. Back in the day, June 1926 to be exact, a young boy had borrowed his father's speed boat. a Dodge Water car to take a few of his friends to Catalina island. Upon returning to Newport estuary George Jr. age 15, had to pilot the boat across a shoal or sand bar which at low tide might only have two feet of water over it. It was a stormy afternoon and waves were breaking over the mouth of the harbor. The speed boat overturned and the three boys ended up in the turbulent waters. George Jr. had polio and was wearing steel leg braces. His two buddies were able to make it to shore but little George drowned. His body was never recovered. From that day forward, George Sr. made it his goal in life to have a proper breakwater built and the harbor dredged. It took him years, but in 1934 the Corps of Engineers built the jettys and completed the project in 1936. About ten years later, George Sr. was taking his boat out of Newport Harbor when he had a heart attack. He died a few minutes later almost exactly on the same spot that his son had drowned ten years before..... Picture is George Jr. at the helm of dad's speedboat....

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