Back in her day the USS Monte Carlo was decommissioned and was taken of the coast and moored between Long Beach and Santa Monica California. It was then turned into a gambling ship and one of the largest fleet of ships making up “Gambling Ship Row”. It was illegal to gamble in California so Gambling Ship Row was a short distance off the coast and they used to charter boats back and forth for the people that wanted to experience a real casino.
My grandmother and grandfather used to go out about once a month to let off steam and have a good time.
The SS Monte Carlo was called the world’s largest pleasure ship, hosting around 15,000 people a week for evenings of dining, drinking, gambling and prostitution.
The owners unveiled the SS Monte Carlo at the time of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1932, along with two other gambling ships. The fleet brought $3 million a year.
The fun came to a crashing end in 1937 when a massive storm with over 15 foot swells hit the coast and ships. Only two caretakers were on board at thee time and they had to brace the storm alone.
The ship broke her moorings and drifted to Coronado Beach. Because of the illegal activities on board no one claimed the ship because once it was within 3 miles of California it was under California law, making it an illegal ship.
Many of the residents at the time took out everything in the ship. Some even built houses with the wood.
It eventually got covered with sand and forgotten until recent storms uncovered part of the ship. It is only visible under extreme low tide.
Below is a collection of my day at Coronado Island, San Diego California.