The Coronado Ferry and the Bridge: Part 3

Part 3 is made up of notes, newspaper clippings from the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune and miscellaneous pictures I’ve collected over the years. Some of the clippings date back to 1961.

 

Land speculation and development was going wild in Coronado in the 1880’s. There was talk of grand hotels and resorts being built and the place was sounding like a potential gold mine. Two forward-looking men realized that getting workers and materials and later hotel guests across San Diego Bay quickly would be a great boon for the building and tourist industries. Riding in a buggy the length of the bay, around the south end, and then up the Silver Strand to Coronado seemed to take forever. It was only 5/8 of a mile across the bay and the solution found, was the formation of a ferry company. I have attached a clipping (San Diego Union, August 9, 1961) that tells the story of the first 75 years and gives details about those first days.

b-f_20

b-f_6

b-f_20cb-f_9

The first day of service for the Coronado Ferry Co. was April 15, 1886 and the last crossing was made August 3, 1969. That’s over 83 years of service and pleasure provided day in and day out. Unfortunately, this picturesque mode of travel reached the end of its era. The last day of service occurred on the opening day of the beautiful San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Crossing the bridge is a beautiful and unique experience in its own right. The bridge is 200 feet high because at the time it was built, the Navy insisted that the center span be tall enough to clear their tallest ships, diesel-propelled aircraft carriers. That condition was met, though the bridge isn’t high enough to clear the nuclear carriers. The height requirement had a lot to do with the long and curving lines of the final configuration. Also, there is a story that says the bridge had to be over a mile long to get federal funding so the curvature was added to give additional length.

The first day of service for the Coronado Ferry Co. was April 15, 1886 and the last crossing was made August 3, 1969. That’s over 83 years of service and pleasure provided day in and day out. Unfortunately, this picturesque mode of travel reached the end of its era. The last day of service occurred on the opening day of the beautiful San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Crossing the bridge is a beautiful and unique experience in its own right. The bridge is 200 feet high because at the time it was built, the Navy insisted that the center span be tall enough to clear their tallest ships, diesel-propelled aircraft carriers. That condition was met, though the bridge isn’t high enough to clear the nuclear carriers. The height requirement had a lot to do with the long and curving lines of the final configuration. Also, there is a story that says the bridge had to be over a mile long to get federal funding so the curvature was added to give additional length.

***********************************************************************************************

A lot of people are terrified when going over the bridge because, at the center, it is 200 feet tall. You can look out over the waterfront and the city and it’s a lot like being on the side of a mountain and looking into a vast canyon. A few years ago, Pat’s aunt and uncle had come from Wichita to visit us. On Saturday, Pat had to work so I decided to show them the beautiful bridge, San Diego Bay, the city of Coronado, and the Hotel Del Coronado. As we came off the approach and started up the bridge, these flat-landers from Kansas immediately started yelling. By the time we reached the center span, the highest point, they were really freaking out. The best I could come up with was that we were half way and would soon be on the ground. We lived through that experience did our sight-seeing. They had calmed down enough that they let me drive them back across the bridge rather than driving all the way down the Silver Strand and around. They actually enjoyed the view on the way back.
  san-diego-coronado-bridge

san-diego-coronado

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Coronado Ferry and the Bridge: Part 3

  1. That is a beautiful bridge and the view is great too. The only time I was over it was when we came to San Diego for that convention. Can’t remember the year now but sometime around 99 or 2000. Your clippings are a good history of Coronado and its development too. Thanks again for your stories. Hope things are well for you and Pat. Keith >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s