Few figures in Newport-Mesa history affected the course of the
development of the area as much as William S. Collins, the developer who
bought the town site from James McFadden in 1902 and subdivided much of
the property around Newport Bay.
Collins used a dredger to turn a meager sandbar, once called Snipe
Island, into what is today Balboa Island and created a bulkhead to keep
out high tides. On a less monumental note, he also created a concrete