The Origin of Jamboree Road

August 30, 2021

Did you know that Jamboree Road that runs from the Coast Highway in Newport Beach to Irvine Park Road in Orange was named after a Boy Scouts Jamboree? In 1953, 50,000 Boy Scouts camped on grounds where Fashion Island is today. 

Imagine the site of more than 25,000 tents pitched on what is now present-day MacArthur Blvd., Coast Highway, Back Bay Drive, and University Drive. Irvine Road, which ran through the Boy Scouts Jamboree site, and was renamed Jamboree.

To prepare for the event, more than 8 miles of roads were built, over 36 miles of telephone and electrical lines were constructed, and even waterworks needed to pump 18 million gallons of water per day were made. 

Boys Scouts could choose from traditional camping activities like archery and pottery making. And they could even take a bus to the beach. The entertainment was impressive. A theater offered formal entertainment, including Hollywood stars such as Danny Kaye and Debbie Reynolds. Even Vice President Richard Nixon made a visit. 

For people wanting to know more about the Jamboree, Sherman Library has a collection of publications, photographs and newspaper clippings, and other items – some of which you see here.

Image Courtesy Orange County Archives

Greer's OC
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Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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