Marina Del Rey: A Short History
Sparkling shores and marvelous sea life have attracted residents and tourists alike to Marina Del Rey for decades. With a population of 8,800 people and 5,300 boats, Marina Del Rey is home to nearly as many boats as people, so it is no surprise that Yachts4Fun has chosen the area as home base! What do you know about Marina Del Rey’s history? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore what events have shaped this harbor into the gem it is today.
The history of this picturesque harbor as we know it began in 1887. A man by the name of M.C. Wicks had a dream. He wanted to create a commercial harbor for the city of Los Angeles. Marina Del Rey’s estuary and the inlets of Playa Del Rey provided a unique opportunity for this venture. Wicks began work on his vision but after 3 years of struggle, $300,000 and a storm that ravaged the wharf, his company was bankrupt and his vision had faded. Work stopped and the area was returned to a quiet, ocean side village.
Other visionaries had taken notice of the gorgeous landscape and temperate climate. Not long after Wicks’ attempt, a man named Abbot Kinney dug in. Kinney succeeded, creating Venice, Marina Del Rey’s neighbor to the North.
Marina Del Rey was on track to become a commercial harbor but lost to their Southern neighbor, San Pedro. San Pedro is now the West Coast’s largest port.
Oil was found in the area beginning in the 1920’s. Oilrigs were transferred in, snatching some of the natural beauty that the area has to offer. Within a few decades the oil had run dry and all of the rigs have been removed, restoring the landscape to its famed beauty.
Much to current local’s relief, it seemed as though Marina Del Rey was always destined to stay a beautiful, recreational harbor. President Eisenhower signed Public Law 780 naming Marina Del Rey Harbor an authorized federal project. In the 1950’s the area was finally beginning to take shape. Construction began on the harbor and the community of Marina Del Rey. On January 25th, 1962, President Kennedy granted the name “Marina Del Rey” via telegram.
Although Marina Del Rey’s history is short, it is rich, and not without its trials and tribulations. The next time you look out over the water, soak in the setting sun, or steer the yacht into the harbor, remember the history. Enjoy the sea life, the views and perfect yachting conditions. We’ll see you out there!
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