Old Balboa Island History
The Balboa Beacon has a recent article from Jim Jennings, a Balboa Island Historian, on some of the history of Balboa Island, specifically Jamboree Road. I thought it was interesting; I always like to read about our area’s history. Balboa Beacon‘s article follows below:
Not everyone knows how Jamboree Road got its name; only old timers know. In the ’50s there were no roads or houses on the hills between Coast Highway and Bristol Street where the Hyatt Newport Hotel and East Bluff homes are today.
In 1953, the Boy Scouts of America held a national Boy Scout Jamboree, a campout on those hills. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of tents covered the hills for several weeks. They arrived by auto, train and one by plane. They needed food and supplies delivered to several outposts on the hill, so the delivery trucks formed a narrow dirt road where Jamboree Road is today…
…After the Boy Scout Jamboree was over and gone, a lot of us continued to use the little dirt road to get to Balboa Island from deep inland. As the years went by, more and more people used the little dirt road instead of MacArthur Blvd. to get to Balboa Island. The road was always referred to as the “Jamboree Road.”
When the area was developed, a beautiful paved road was constructed where the dirt one had blazed the trail, and it was formally called Jamboree Road.
Fashion Island was built right in the middle of the Irvine Ranch land after the Boy Scout Jamboree. Today there is a plaque in Fashion Island dedicated to the Boy Scout Jamboree at the top of the outside escalator with a spectacular view of Newport Harbor.