“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Port Harford Pier

Port Harford Pier Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 22, 2018
1. Port Harford Pier Marker
Inscription. 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 Luis Creek, facilities on and around the pier grew to include additional restaurants, fish markets, and a variety of services for fishing and recreational boating managed by the Port San Luis Harbor District.
Port Harford Pier image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 22, 2018
2. Port Harford Pier
The Olde Port Inn is on the right.
2011 by E Clampus Vitus, De La Guerra y Pacheco Chapter No. 1.5.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
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.
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.
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
Port Harford Pier Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 22, 2018
3. Port Harford Pier Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.