Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is an affluent city in Orange County, California, 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,287 at the 2010 census. Newport Beach is also home to Newport Harbor.
The city’s median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings. The Daily Pilot, a newspaper published in the neighboring city of Costa Mesa but which serves the greater Newport-Mesa community, reported in 2010 that more than a quarter of households have an income greater than $200,000, and the median value for homes exceeds $1 million.
The Upper Bay of Newport is a canyon, which was carved by a stream in the Pleistocene period. The lower bay of Newport was formed much later by sand, brought along by ocean currents, constructed the offshore beach, now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. Before settlers reached the coasts of California, the Newport area and surrounding areas were very prominent Indian lands. Indian shells and relics can still be found today scattered throughout the area. Though, throughout the 1800s, settlers began to settle the area due to the availability of land. The State of California sold acre-plots of land for $1 a piece in the Newport area. Anglo-American civilization in Newport grew substantially when in 1870 a 105-ton steamer named The Vaquero, captained by Captain Samuel S. Dunnells, against warnings posted by surveyors, safely steered through the lower and upper bay of Newport where it unloaded its cargo. James Irvine, after hearing the astonishing news, quickly traveled from his home in San Francisco to the San Joaquin Ranch. Meeting in Irvine’s ranch house near current day UC Irvine with his brother, Robert Irvine, and friend James McFadden, they all agreed that the newly found port should be named simply, “Newport” thus where Newport Beach gets its name.
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