The 1,620-foot Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, as it stands today, officially opened in 1967. The pier pays homage to the military legacy of Long Beach. Historic dates for the U.S. armed forces, such as the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, are engraved on the benches throughout the pier.
Beset the Long Beach skyline and city harbor to the north, Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier stands as a Long Beach landmark with a distinct history of its own.
Located at 15 39th Place in Belmont Heights, the Belmont Pier is a shadow of the original pier constructed in 1915. Today’s boardwalk stands directly east to what was known back then to locals as “Devil’s Gate Pier.”
At the turn of the 20th century, the Belmont Heights neighborhood seceded into its own city for a short time. They were absorbed back into the greater City of Long Beach when the city agreed to build a pier that Belmont Heights residents desperately wanted. On Christmas Eve of 1915, Belmont Heights residents got what they wished for.
Nearly 4,000 locals came out to the pier during the first few days of its inception. The Belmont Pier was nicknamed “Devil’s Gate Pier” for an ominous rock formation that stood below the bluff.
Devil’s Gate Pier was renovated in 1951, but it was very old and broken down by then. The City of Long Beach agreed to build a new pier east of the original construction. Though the “new pier” is now more than five decades old, it symbolically serves as a shadow and remnant of the old, wooden pier and the people who walked on it over a hundred years ago, including the veterans who fought to protect their freedom.