Hamilton Beach Airport - Catalina Island
The Hamilton Beach Airport (now called Hamilton Cove) was built as an amphibian seaplane airport and opened in 1931. The airline, Wilmington-Catalina Airline, LTD, flew 10-passenger Douglas Dolphins two engine amphibian seaplanes. The fare from Wilmington to Catalina in those days was $5.
A small Spanish-style terminal building welcomed residents, business people & tourists to Catalina. The terminal can be seen in scenes from the 1935 movie “Murder On A Honeymoon” which was filmed on the island.
Following a water landing off shore from the narrow cove, the plane would taxi up a concrete ramp to a large turntable set into the ground. The turntable was similar to those used in railroad round houses. After the arriving passengers disembarked, the turntable would be reversed by hand until the plane was facing the opposite direction. Departing passengers would board and the plane would head back down the ramp into the sea. The turntable was designed by Philip K. Wrigley. The boat-like hulled seaplanes were designed by Donald Douglas, Sr., a close friend of Philip Wrigley.
Tourists and residents were served at the airport until September 1942, at which time the Coast Guard took over, after the United States entry into World War II.