A look back to Balboa Island in 1928, from Jeff Delaney’s book Newport Beach:
In 1906, W. S. Collins commenced a dredging operation, partially completed by 1910, at which time a sucesion of subdivision map filings began. Prior to the dredging, the island was largely overflowed swamp land and mostly underwater at high tide. It was possible to row a boat over most of the area between the sand dunes.
By 1914, 700 of the island’s 1300 lots had sold–$350 for inside lots and from $600 to $750 for those on the waterfront. The boom burst though when promised improvements, paved streets, sewers, streetlights, and a grand hotel, were not forthcoming. Property values dropped, and many were bought for taxes. In 1918, one parcel of 12 lots sold for $300.
This information and pictures are from Jeff Delaney’s book Newport Beach. More on this area’s history is available by searching my “Local History” section of my blog.