Newport Beach in the Rearview Mirror

9: Pop Quiz on Newport Beach History (v3)

May 13, 2021 Hosted by William Lobdell
Newport Beach in the Rearview Mirror
9: Pop Quiz on Newport Beach History (v3)
Show Notes

The Corona del Mar jetty is in the process of getting a much-needed makeover. The tattered, 12-foot-wide boardwalk running 750 feet from Pirate's Cove to the rock section of the jetty is getting a new coat of cement, and more boulders are being added on the harbor side so they'll be at the same level as the boardwalk. 

The work now being done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers caused me to look at the Corona del Mar jetty with fresh eyes. And I couldn't believe what I saw (and wondered why I didn't see it sooner!). The jetty looked like the work of Dr. Frankenstein. It starts off with about 750 feet of concrete that more or less parallels the West Jetty (at the Wedge), and then, just beyond the waterline, the jetty becomes large rocks and juts off several degrees west for the next 1,000 feet. This looks like a jetty that's been put together by committee. There has to be a story behind that, right?

It turns out that there's a great story behind the Corona del Mar jetty's unique look, including lost lives, ignored recommendations, a self-dealing (and incompetent) city engineer, an accidental wave-generating machine, a citizens' revolt and more. The straightening out the story of Corona del Mar jetty is included in this pop quiz. The five questions are: 

  1. What was the origin name of Balboa Island?
  2. In 1893, the first hotel was opened in Newport Beach near what today is the Newport Pier. What was its name?
  3. In 1916, Corona del Mar’s second developer, F.D. Cornell, attempted to change Corona del Mar’s name to what?
  4. In 1940, Newport Beach held a citywide election that asked voters what?
  5. Why does the Corona del Mar jetty start with 750 feet of concrete and then, just past the waterline, change direction slightly to the west and become rocks for the next 1,000 feet?

Good luck, Newport scholars!