The town of Ocean Beach was laid out and named in 1888. For many years residents of the area clamored for a fishing pier. Their cries were answered when, in 1915, a bridge was built across the mouth of Mission Bay by the Bay Shore Railroad Company. It was 1,500 feet long and extended from the north end of Bacon Street in Ocean Beach to the tip of the sand dunes that we know today as Mission Beach. Its main purpose was transportation, and soon a "Toonerville Trolley" was installed to haul people from the "Wonderland" at the foot of Voltaire across the sand dunes -- via the bridge. Anglers, however, also flocked to the bridge, a wooden structure with chest high railings and a sidewalk on each side. Over time, it became known as the "Old Fishing Bridge." There was a baithouse at the end of the bridge which sold crawfish, minnows, clams and mussels but fishing for the most part appeared to be only fair. Reports indicate that a lot of sharks and stingrays were caught and that spearfishermen liked to spear mullet. The largest catch was undoubtedly a 331-pound sea turtle that was speared one day. The enterprising anglers sold it for $9 or just 3 cents a pound. When the bridge was removed in 1951, local anglers once again began to talk of the need for a pier.
The Ocean Beach Pier was the result. The new pier opened on July 2, 1966 and has held up better than most new piers. Nevertheless, sooner or later storms and/or age will do their damage. Several times the pier has been closed by storms and has needed repairs. In 1991 a $1.9 million dollar repair project was completed and then the pier was closed for a couple of winter months in 1998 due to El Nino generated storms and high tides. After the storms subsided and railing were repaired the pier opened once again.
Ocean Beach was once known as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. The community became an attraction for hippies, who eventually became accepted by many local business establishments. The Black headshop opened on Newport Avenue. Soon to follow was an organic food store – the People's Market – on Voltaire Street. Beginning in the early '70s, local development and land interests pressed for the development of Ocean Beach's oceanfront, with plans for tourist-oriented resorts, hotels and a marina outlined in the Ocean Beach Precise Plan. With the passage of a 30-foot (9.1 m) height limit in 1972. From Wikipedia