The Balboa Island Ferry is a historic ferry service that operates in Newport Beach, California, providing transportation between Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula. Here’s a brief overview of its history:
- Early Years: The Balboa Island Ferry service was established in 1919 by a man named Joseph Allan Beek, who recognized the need for a convenient mode of transportation between the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island. Initially, Beek used a rowboat to ferry passengers across the water.
- Expansion and Motorization: As demand for the ferry service grew, Beek expanded his operations. In 1920, he replaced the rowboat with a gasoline-powered motorboat, enabling him to transport more passengers and vehicles. The service became increasingly popular among locals and tourists alike.
- The ferry didn’t change hands once it was established by Joseph Allan Beek in 1919. It is the longest running, family owned business in Orange County.
- World War II: During World War II, the ferry transported military personnel, supplies, and equipment between the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island, aiding in coastal defense efforts.
- Cultural Icon: The Balboa Island Ferry has become an iconic symbol of Newport Beach, representing its maritime heritage and charm. It is a popular tourist attraction and a beloved mode of transportation for both residents and visitors.
Today, the Balboa Island Ferry continues to operate, connecting the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island. It is an enduring symbol of the region’s history and remains an important part of the community’s identity.