Glass Beach is a unique beach, not because nature made it that way, but because time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man’s mistakes.
In the early 20th century, Fort Bragg residents threw their household garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass.
Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump, and locals referred to it as “The Dumps.” Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile, however in 1967, the city leaders closed the area. Over the next several decades the pounding waves cleansed the beach, wearing down the discarded glass into the small, smooth, colored trinkets that cover the beach today.