In the two previous parts of this story, I told you how and why the S.S. Palo Alto (The Cement Ship) was built and how she ended up in Aptos. Launched in May 1919 and arriving in Aptos in January 1930, the Cement Ship was part of the Seacliff Amusement Corporation’s plan of developing Seacliff into a tourist attraction. The “entertainment ship” was equipped with activities such as dining, dancing, swimming, fishing, and gaming. By June 1930 she had settled into her final resting place, the pier was built out, and she was ready to open her doors to the public. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the ship’s opening weekend was a smashing success! An estimated 3,000 people boarded the Palo Alto that weekend. Sadly, this success would be short lived. Business slowed over the next several months, partially due to tourist season coming to an end but also because the financial collapse of the national economy was beginning to take a toll locally. During the winter of 1930-31, the ship was closed more often than not. The ship’s dancehall, The Rainbow Ballroom, had its grand reopening on Memorial Day 1931, and would remain open on Saturday nights. Once again, however, this stint o...