Pacific Grove in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Glass Bottom Boat
The Swan Boats of Paciﬁc Grove
These boats were first introduced here at Lovers Point in the early 1890s. Launched from the narrow cove's wooden pier, the boats offered passengers a canopied window to the underwater flora and fauna around Lovers Point.
Nathaniel Roscoe "Dad" Sprague owned and operated a small fleet of these boats for more than 50 years. His son Russell took over the concession in 1948. Later, the boats operated under a variety of owners until the mid 1970s.
This replica boat was designed by Monterey Bay Boatworks' master boatbuilder Frank Siino and fabricated by welder Gary Goulart to echo Sprague's early boats. The swan heads - salvaged from the last of the original boats and donated by Realtor William Smith - were restored by maritime historian Tom Fordham. Christened the Margruss (after Margaret and Russell Sprague) in 1997, it was placed here in 2008 by the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove to commemorate the strong hold the glass bottom swan boats have on our memory.
This c.1907 photo by C.K. Tuttle shows the expanded bathing beach created by Bathhouse Smith. He dynamited the cove and used the rubble for the base of a new concrete pier, shown here still under construction. The three prominent structures along the Point are (from left) Bathhouse Smith's barn house, the Japanese tea
A postcard from the 1950s boasted of the "most beautiful marine gardens on the Pacific coast. A trip in the Glass Bottom Boat will take you into a Marine Fairyland of fantastic shapes, a wealth of color, and undreamed of strange creatures of the plant and animal world."
Erected by City of Pacific Grove.
Location. 36° 37.484′ N, 121° 55′ W. Marker is in Pacific Grove, California, in Monterey County. Marker is on Ocean View Boulevard near Forest Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker and boat are on the southern edge of Lovers Point Park, along the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Pacific Grove CA 93950, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Centrella Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chautauqua Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Irene Masteller Mural (approx. ¼ mile away); Gosby House Inn (approx. ¼ mile away); J. H. King Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Frank L. Buck House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Trimmer Hill (approx. 0.6 miles away); Hopkins Marine Station (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pacific Grove.
Categories. • Entertainment • Environment • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 10, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,129 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 10, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.