Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Port Harford Pier
In 1873 Entrepreneur John Harford built a wharf at the westerly end of San Luis Bay to accommodate growing cargo shipping and passenger travel on the Central Coast. The Port Harford pier extended 2,000 feet into the bay and provided horse-drawn rail access from the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railroad terminus at Avila Beach to docked steamships. In 1876 the three-story Hotel Marre was built at the foot of the pier, which was destroyed by a tidal wave in 1878, but soon rebuilt. In the 1880's stream engines appeared on the pier's rail line.
The Port San Luis breakwater was complete by 1913 to create safe anchorage at the port, though in the following decades a weakened economy and the shifting of shipping to land routes reduced commerce enough that the railroad stopped operating in 1942. By the 1950's the port had primarily become a fishing, boating and tourist destination and in 1954 San Luis Obispo voters established a Harbor District for Port San Luis.
In 1970 a restaurant and bar were first developed in the old railroad building on the pier. After the 1973 replacement of the storm-damaged railroad bridge over San
Erected 2011 by E Clampus Vitus, De La Guerra y Pacheco Chapter No. 1.5.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
Location. 35° 10.095′ N, 120° 45.213′ W. Marker is in Avila Beach, California, in San Luis Obispo County. Marker can be reached from Avila Beach Drive near Diablo Canyon Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3993 Avila Beach Drive, Avila Beach CA 93424, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Port San Luis (approx. ¼ mile away); Port Harford Wharf & Pacific Coast Railway (approx. ¼ mile away); Sailing Ship Anchor (approx. ¼ mile away); Point San Luis Light Station (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pier Into The Past (approx. one mile away); Pacific Coast Railway (approx. 8.9 miles away); Dr. Rudolf W. Gerber Memorial Park (approx. 9 miles away); Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (approx. 9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Avila Beach.
More about this marker. The marker is located at near the end of the pier opposite the Olde Port Inn.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 327 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.