Pier Facts

History of the White Rock Pier

  • The original version of the pier was built in 1912 and resembled nothing more than a floating dock about 300 feet in length. It was destroyed by winter storms in 1913.
  • In 1914 the pier was rebuilt with an eye to making it an international port. Although it was completed in August of that year, the onset of the First World War pushed the official opening back to November 14, 1914.
  • The pier, now about 800 feet long, was granted a federal government approved extension in 1915 to 1542 ft.
  • The pier fell into disrepair several times over the years, often requiring government funding and community fundraising to restore it.
  • The constant battering by storms and subsequent damage finally led to the completion in 1953 of a permanent rock breakwater at the end of the pier.
  • The pier almost caught fire a few times due to the proximity of nearby burning buildings and the fact that the pier was made of wood.
  • In the 1940s & 1950s, the White Rock Pier was home to the Dolphin Restaurant. Around the same time, cars were allowed, leading to teenagers holding drag races on the pier, further damaging the structure.
  • In 1976 the Federal Department of Transportation ceased responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the pier. Since then the City of White Rock has maintained it as a major tourist and recreation attraction.
  • December 20, 2018 the Storm of the Century, with the equivalent of Category One hurricane force winds and damaging waves, ripped the sailboats from their moorings and forced them under and up through the pier, taking out a large midsection. A stranded pedestrian also required a Coast Guard rescue.
  • The rebuilding of the pier is expected to take several months and several million dollars.