The Bruce family descendants finally have their history and land back. In 1912, the history of Bruce's Beach began. Willa and Charles Bruce moved to California from New Mexico and bought several acres of beachside property for $1,225, which due to inflation would be $34,500 today. The Bruce family immediately opened a resort, giving black families the chance to vacation away from racial tensions that continued in the United States.
In 1924, a policy was written that caused the city to seize the property and claim "eminent domain." The Bruce family challenged the ruling in court and lost, forcing them to give the property up to the city. The property sat vacant from 1924 until the 50's and that's when a city council person felt questions would be asked unless they put up a park on the property like the original proposal said. The park stuck out like a sore thumb amid million dollar homes and beachside residential properties. In the early 70's the city renamed the park "Bruce's Beach," after the original owners.
Fast forward to now, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed the property over to the descendants of the Bruce family, a decision that is worth over $70 million dollars. With that, there are no restrictions for what kind of development they are allowed to do and are not subject to any zoning laws.
A picture of Willa and Charles can be seen on the marker for Bruce's Beach.
Photo: Getty Images