Church Rock, Santa Catalina Island

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Church Rock, Santa Catalina Island
Binnacle and Church Rocks, Santa Catalina Island


Church Rock, Santa Catalina Island is located off the southeastern part of the East End of the island. It is a popular dive spot.



In the News~

July 15, 1894 [LAH]: “Mr. R. H. Callender of Los Angeles has carried off the honors this week in the fishing line...He fished from Seal rocks to Church rock. Professor and Madam Rosewald of San Francisco, who have been at the Metropole for two weeks, had an exciting experience yesterday. They were fishing off Church rock...”


July 11, 1895 [LAH]: “The new fishing barge will be towed to its new anchorage off Church rock on Monday next by the steamer Falcon. Quite a programme will be carried out on the occasion. It contains a club house with restaurant attached. Launches will run to and from Avalon and bait and fishing paraphernalia will constantly be kept on hand.”


August 3, 1895 [SFC]: “The best fishing-banks off Catalina are about ten miles from Avalon, near Church Rock, and here Banning Company has caused to be anchored an immense fishing-barge, with a snug cabin built upon it, where fish dinners are served by an accomplished cook at all hours of the day. A fleet of rowboats are tied to the barge, plenty of fresh bait is always at hand and a steam launch plies between the barge and Avalon, conveying fishermen to and fro. This is literally the fisherman's paradise.”


September 2, 1895 [SFC]: “Catalina Island Sport. Three Monster Jewfish Landed by a Trio of Fishermen. Avalon, Catalina Island, Cal., Sept. 1.—The largest catch of jewfish of the season was taken this week by a trio of gentlemen who were fishing beyond Church Rock. Within an hour they hooked three monster jewfish, the largest of which surpassed in size any taken this season, weighing 320 pounds—just five pounds more than the monster taken by W. A. Carnes, the San Francisco angler, in July. This fish was taken by W. E. Winslow of Santa Ana, and measured six feet four inches in length.”


September 8, 1895 [LAH]: “Summer Notes at Catalina... A moonlight yachting party, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Dana Burke, Mrs. Carhart, Miss Carhart, Miss H.B. Freeman, Mrs. Fred Harvey, Mrs. Ford Harvey, Miss Minnie Harvey, Mr. Seth Owens and Mr. A. C. Roscoe, sailed to Church rock on the Fleet Wings, Capt. J. H. Shaver commanding.”


July 5, 1896 [LAH]: “...Before the parasol—at Marian's suggestion—was again lifted, that the young people might watch the gamboling of the grotesque looking seals and the remarkable profile of the Sphinx at Church rock...”


August 8, 1896 [LAH]: “Mrs. Hull of Pasadena reports seeing a monster sea serpent off Church rock.”


August 12, 1896 [LAH]: “A jolly party spent yesterday in cruising about the island from Church rock to Goat harbor on the Sun Beam power launch. Captain Foster at the helm.”


November 6, 1903 [LAT]: “Avalon, Nov. 5.—George Johnson and T. D. Clark and Mexican Joe this morning went to the grouper banks in the launch Katherine for a shark hunt. About five miles off Church Rock some enormous sharks had been seen, and in such numbers that they robbed the anglers of their fish before they could get them into their boats.”


August 17, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Captain J. McAfee reports that on two occasions he has seen an octopus during the past week between Avalon and Church Rock that has tentacles over thirty feet in length and would weigh over one ton.”


January 24, 1916 [LAH]: “Movie Star Rescued; Marooned on Rock. Mae Murray, the Lasky star, who was marooned on Church Rock off Catalina Island for eight hours, exposed to wind and rain before she was rescued, today was reported to be recovering from her terrifying experience. Miss Murray was rescued by a motor boat and rushed to her home in Hollywood by automobile from San Pedro. The Lasky company had been at Catalina for several days taking pictures. Two vessels visited Church Rock and both left leaving Miss Murray on the rock. The crew of each boat believed she was in the other vessel.”


May 21, 1964 [Palos Verdes Peninsula News]: “Body of local man discovered. Palos Verdes Peninsula—The body of David Schoen, 28, who didn't return from a fishing trip nearly two weeks ago, has been found three miles off Santa Catalina Island's Church Rock. Schoen, 26153 Basswood and Andrew Phillips, 43, of Manhattan Beach had gone on a fishing trip to Catalina. No trace of the boat owner of the 42-foot fishing boat have been found. Schoen leaves his wife Grace and two children, Jeffrey, seven, and Karen, four.”