The History of Newport Beach

history of newport beach

Captain Samuel S. Dunnells arrived in Newport Bay in 1870. James and Robert McFadden came down from Northern California to celebrate his voyage.

Dunnell’s’ journey brought about new publicity to the bay, which many had actually said was too treacherous for travel. But the primary landowners in the area – the McFadden siblings and James Irvine – thought they had something after Dunnells’ journey. The name derives from “new port,” which established the city’s official name to “Newport Beach.” 

Today, it’s a bustling Orange County community with shoppers at Fashion Island, surfers on the beach, and local and international tourists soaking in the California sun. Newport Beach lemon law attorney Luis Aguirre California Lemon Law attorney serves this area. 

But it was a different story back then. In the mid-1800s, the state of California offered parts of Harbor, Balboa, and Lido islands for $1 an acre as “overload and overflow land,” according to the Newport Beach Historical Society.

However, the McFaddens had a different vision. According to the historical society, McFadden Wharf quickly ended up being the most prominent business in present-day Orange County.

In August of 1906, residents voted to become the city of Newport Beach officially. During the same time, nearby residents also established their own niche communities, including Corona Del Mar, West Newport, and The Harbor. 

Places with Historical Significance in Newport Beach

Newport Beach has several locations representing the city’s rich history, many of which date back to the early 1900s. It’s a great way to learn about the area’s past and get a feel for the region’s roots in person.

Balboa Pavilion

Balboa Pavillion was built in 1905, and it was the end of the line for the Red Car of the Pacific Electric. Today, the Pavillion has shops, restaurants, and charter businesses. 

McFadden’s Wharf

McFadden’s Wharf dates back to the late 1800s and originally began as a shipping port. It was named after its developers James and Robert McFadden. It served as a shipping port to transport lumber from Northern California to Southern California. 

Old Landing

The Old Landing is was also developed by the McFaddens as another port. It was designated for local shipping in the area. Today, a bridge goes over it, and the Old Landing remains vacant. 

Like other Orange County communities, Newport Beach enjoys a rich and proud history. Today, it continues to be among one of the most vital places to the area. 

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