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|Belden's Landing Water Access Facility (boat launch, fishing pier)|
Belden's Landing Quick Links:
Directions to the Park
Park Fee Schedule
Tide Predictions for Boat Launching
Annual Parking/Launch Pass:
Each pass is good at all four County Parks and covers both daily parking and boat launch fees for only $89/year ($49 for over 65 and disabled).
Purchase at Sandy Beach or Lake Solano Park offices or the
main office at 675 Texas St., Suite 5500, Fairfield. Phone (707) 784-6765
A Brief History
Bears would cross the shallow and narrow bay from the Mt. Diablo hills through the nearby lowlands to the 12,056 acres to Grizzly Island and feed on rose hips and blackberries. The Suisunes Indians, early natives of the region, lived on the Suisun Plains hunting, fishing and gathering. They lived in the area until the Spanish drove them from their homes in 1817.
In 1850 Congress granted the land to the State of California to build levees for drainage and to reclaim the land. William L. Chapman was granted a patent to Grizzly Island and became the first legally recognized land owner. In 1881 W. J. Dutton, a cattle rancher, purchased land from William Chapman, built additional levees and repaired the existing levees to protect the land. He used Chinese laborers from San Francisco, who were paid 25 cents a day to help with this construction. By 1882, Mr. Dutton had purchased a total of 22,000 acres in the Grizzly Island and adjacent Collinsville area. He subcontracted out 1,000 acre parcels for cattle raising and farming. Mr. Dutton purchased hay and grains from the farmers near the island for his own cattle.
In 1900 Dutton's Landing was a center of activity with a hotel, warehouses and businesses. Riverboats traveling from San Francisco would stop before going on to Sacramento and Stockton. On the return trip down the river the boats would stop and pick up the Grizzly Island products: milk, cream, cattle, pigs, grains and other items produced on the island. The boats would also bring needed supplies to the island residents. As early as 1906 duck clubs were established on the island and still exist today. Between approximately 1920 through 1945, asparagus was grown on the Alexander/Kellogg Ranch on Grizzly Island. In 1919 a ferry and the approaches were donated by Miss Alexander and Miss Kellogg, both ranchers. Joe Sereno was the first ferry master in 1927 and worked in that capacity for twenty years. He was replaced by three men after his retirement.
From 1920 through 1952 the Lawrence Frost family lived on Grizzly Island, and documented much of its previous history. In 1938 Bill Vestal built a harbor which he owned until 1945 when Jim and Mary Belden purchased the landing/harbor. Belden's Landing was originally a part of the land subcontracted by Mr. Dutton. In 1947 a new harbor was dredged and a barge was moved to the present site where the Beldens opened a restaurant and bar. The Beldens rented hundreds of boats to hunters and fishermen. In 1968, the restaurant and bar burned and were never rebuilt. In December 1960, the Montezuma Slough Bridge was completed, closing an era where a transport ferry was needed or maintained. In the 1980s the State of California, Department of Fish & Game purchased the site making it possible today to dedicate this new public waterway access facility which is located where the old ferry crossing carried hunters and fishermen to Grizzly Island and the site of Jim and Mary Belden's Landing.