Newport Beach Historical Society Celebrates “Over 100 Years of Back and Forth” with the Balboa Ferry

On Wednesday, May 29, the Newport Beach Historical Society (NBHS), in partnership with the Beek family, hosted a grand celebration honoring the more than 100-year legacy of the Balboa Ferry. The event took place at the Balboa Grand Pavilion, a venue favored by locals, befitting the historic significance of the occasion.

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Photos courtesy of NBHS

Newport Beach Historical Society President Bernie Svalstad

The Balboa Ferry, a beloved symbol of Newport Beach’s maritime heritage, has been an essential part of the community since its inception in 1919. The celebration brought together residents, historians and enthusiasts to commemorate the enduring legacy of this cherished local attraction.

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Balboa Ferry Owner Seymour Beek

Seymour Beek, the son of Joseph Beek, the founder of the Balboa Ferry, was the guest of honor. In his nostalgic keynote speech, he shared fascinating stories and rare historic photos of the ferry’s early days, providing a glimpse into its rich past.

“The Balboa Ferry has been a vital link for Newport Beach for over a century. It’s not just a mode of transportation but a cherished part of our community’s history. It’s an honor to see its legacy celebrated so warmly,” said Seymour Beek.

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District Representative & Director of Outreach for Assemblymember Diane Dixon, Cooper Strull

The event featured a retrospective exhibit showcasing the ferry’s evolution, highlighting significant milestones and the technological advancements that have kept it afloat for more than 100 years. Attendees enjoyed a dinner, a drawing with prizes from local restaurants and businesses and a special display of memorabilia curated by the Newport Beach Historical Society.

“The Balboa Ferry is an enduring symbol of Newport Beach’s heritage. Celebrating its more than a century-long journey is a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving our local history,” said Bernie Svalstad, president of the Newport Beach Historical Society. “We are thrilled to honor this iconic institution and the Beek family’s unwavering commitment to maintaining its legacy here in Newport Beach.”

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The audience enjoying the celebration in the Pavilion Grand Ballroom

The celebration at the Balboa Grand Pavilion was not only a tribute to the past but also a commitment to the future. The Newport Beach Historical Society announced ongoing efforts to preserve and promote the rich history of the Balboa Ferry for generations to come.

For more information about the event and future activities, visit the Newport Beach Historical Society’s website at


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