Glass Bottom Boat

Glass Bottom Boat (HMRUZ)

Location: Pacific Grove, CA 93950 Monterey County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 37.484', W 121° 55'

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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.

[Photo captions]

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 house, and the Lookout.


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."
Placed ByCity of Pacific Grove
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 5:52am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 596864 N 4053790
Decimal Degrees36.62473333, -121.91666667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 37.484', W 121° 55'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 37' 29.04" N, 121° 55' 0.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)831
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 521-533 Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, Pacific Grove CA 93950, US
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