ANACAPA ISLAND THROUGH TIME

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West Anacapa Island Lighthouse,
Photo by Tim Hauf
  • 1889. YATES, Lorenzo Gordin Preliminary Notes on the Geology of the Anacapas in West American Scientist 1889:6(49):155-156 ]
  • 1904. Curwood, Oliver J. With the Lions of Anacapa in he Era Magazine 13(2):161-168, February 1904
  • 1911. BURT, Homer Clarence An early spring trip to Anacapa Island in Condor 13:164-167, September 1911
  • 1912. Rosamond, Roy Reuben Camping on Anacapa in Out West 3(5):337-341, 1912



In the News~

1774 Pilot Juan Perez named the islets Santo Tomas. [Princessa: 156.]


August 17, 1782 Esteven José Martinez writes: “By the bearings taken at noon of the island of Santo Tomas, which is the one to the east of Santa Cruz, and which bore N 6 degrees by E by the compass at a distance of 3 miles, I reckoned myself to be...” » The Log of the Princesa to Southern California in 1782 by Estevan José Martinez


1792 Vancouver applies the Chumash Indian name Enecapah. [Wagner Cartography p. 514.]


Thursday, November 4, 1841 Captain Phelps of the Alert writes in his log: “Yesterday we were becalmed off the Island of Anacapa. Took a boat and went near the Island to fish and met with fine luck. Caught about 30 fine large rock fish, some of them weighing 12 & 15 pounds.” » Alta California 1840-1842. The Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship Alert. Glendale: The Arthur Clark Company, 1983.


1852 A. D. Bache’s Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey for the Year 1852 states:

“Anacapa is a high, rocky island, bearing east from Santa Cruz, and a little more than four miles distant. It is four miles long, and exceedingly narrow, abrupt and jagged, with an occasional break through it, evidently made by the action of the water.”


1853 An unsigned logbook of the U.S. Coast Survey dated September, 1853 states: : “There are two landings on the middle island, one in the north, and the other on the south side at either of which it is practicable to get to the signal. At present there is the remains of an old house just at this landing and a trail from here will lead you up the slope of the hill.”


December 7, 1853 [DAC]: “The Pacific Mail steamship Winfield Scott, berthen 2000 tons, was lost on Anacapa Island, 25 miles south of Santa Barbara on the 2nd of December at 12 P.M., in a fog. The passengers, mails and treasure were saved. The California steamer of the same line, passed on the morning of the 4th, and brought some of the passengers to this city. The same steamer arrived here on the 6th, and this morning, the 7th, will return to Panama, stopping on the way to take passengers, etc. of the Winfield Scott, which is a total loss.”


1855 [W. M. Johnson to A. D. Bache]: “On the 7th of June we began work on the east end of Santa Cruz Island, to fulfill your instructions of the 10th and 12th of March, by measuring a base, to determine three or more points on the island of Anacapa, 4-1/2 miles distant… During the survey of Anacapa we were much delayed by fogs, which nearly enveloped the peak, on the top of which was one of my signals… A survey of these islands was attended with no little personal risk… At Anacapa our going ashore was attended with less difficulty and danger, as we were fortunate enough to find on the north side of each division of the island places, where, by getting on the rocks, we could land with little risk… On the south side of the island there is no place to land except through a very heavy surf. Anacapa is a place of great resort for the seal, sea lion, and formerly of the sea otter, but the latter have been all killed off for their fur. During the time we were surveying at Anacapa there was a small vessel engaged in seal hunting. The party consisted of five men; they had erected try-works on the north side of the middle island, at the top of the boat landing, and up to the time of landing had tried out eighty-five barrels of oil… The soil of Anacapa is loose and thin, producing only a stunted species of the cactus, together with a thick-leafed succulent plant common in the seacoast and in dry, sandy localities. There is not a drop of water on this island. The east end of the island is a place of resort of countless numbers of sea-birds, which deposit their eggs and bring up their young in perfect security from the disturbance of man. I doubt very much whether previous to our mission that part of the island had ever been visited by a white man.” [Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey for the Year 1855].


July 19, 1855 [SBG]: “The U.S. surveying schooner Ewing arrived in our harbor on Saturday evening last, from the island of Anacapa, where she has been engaged in the duties of the survey. A party have been landed here, who will proceed to the neighborhood of San Buenaventura, where they will probably remain some time. The Ewing sailed yesterday for the Island of Santa Catalina to continue the survey.”


July 21, 1855 [SBG]: “The surveying schooner Ewing, under the command of Captain McKae, returned to this port on the 17th instant, from the Island of Anacapa, where the party under his command have been engaged in making a hydrographic survey. The schooner left for the island of Santa Cruz on the 19th, and from thence, we learn, she is to proceed down the coast.”


1855: “One of the earliest colonial-era houses on the Channel Islands was evidently on Anacapa. Surveyor William Greenwell (1855–1860:56) described ‘the remains of an old house’ here during his visit in 1855. The house was located near a landing on the north shore of Middle Island, which appears on the 1856 hydrographic chart without the structure shown.” [Byram, Scott. Triangulating Archaeological Landscapes: The US Coast Survey in California, 1850–1895. Volume 65, Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility, Berkeley, 2013].


1856 [USCS map]: Arch Rock on East Anacapa Island is the only place name. East, Middle and West Anacapa islands each have a boat landing noted.


March 28, 1856 [NYDT]: “General Land Office. We were shown yesterday, at this office, a beautiful map of the survey of Anacapa Island, and the eastern part of Santa Cruz Island…”


March 5, 1857 [SBG]: “March 3 schooner Victoria, [Captain] Peabody, from Anacapa Island, with 600 gallons elephant and seal oil.”


March 5, 1857 [SBG]: “A monster sea otter was shot and captured on Anacapa Island a short time since, which measured 6 feet and 7 inches from the nose to the tip of the tail, and 3 feet ‘amidships.’ The skin was valued at $40.”


March 17, 1857 [SDU]: “Santa Barbara. The Gazette says that gold has been found on the Islands of Anacapa, a group of three small islands lying about 30 miles southeast of Santa Barbara. On these islands there is neither wood nor fresh water, and they are only frequented for seal oil and abalone shells.”


June 11, 1858 [SDU]: “California Society of Natural History… among the contributions to it: … Specimens of chalcedony, from the Island of Anacapa, off Santa Barbara.”


May 10, 1864 [SFEB]: “There is a legend that the island [Anacapa] once joined the mainland. There are vague recollections by the Indians from their forefathers of having walked across to the mainland.”


November 4, 1871 [SBT]: “Departures. October 31. Schooner Active, Mills, Anacapa Island.”


February 3, 1872 [SBP]: “An Act to create the County of Ventura, to establish its boundaries and provide for its organization… including the islands of Anacapa and San Angeles [San Nicolas]…”


March 30, 1872 [SDU]: “An Act to create the County of Ventura, to establish the boundaries thereof, and to provide for its organization… takes the islands of Anacapa and St. Nicholas…”


April 27, 1872 [SBP]: “Ventura County. Ventura County lies between the 33rd and 34th degrees of North latitude… The superficial area is over 2,000 square miles, including the islands of Anacapa and San Nicolas.”


November 12, 1873 [SBDP]: “Terry vs. Mills. As some local interest was felt awhile ago in a suit of Elmer Terry against W. H. Mills, in regard to Anacapa Island, etc., it may be worth while to state that the case was recently dismissed in San Francisco at the request of Terry, after ten days spent in trying the case, as Mr. Mills informs us. Mr. Terry gave his reason for dismissing it as follows: ‘I hereby authorize and direct the dismissal of the action entitled Elmer Terry vs. Warren H. Mills, and I hereby withdraw all charges of fraud against the defendant, Warren H. Mills, and in relation thereto I acknowledge I was mistaken.’ The foregoing statement is taken from a copy of the order made by the Clerk of the County Court of San Francisco, officially signed. The friends of Mr. Mills will be glad to learn the result of the suit.”


December 16, 1875 [SFDEB]: “Sealing on Anacapa. With the month of December usually comes the seal catching season on the islands off the coast. Although seals can be found in small numbers on these islands nearly the entire year, during the winter months they are much more numerous and are in a better condition, producing more oil and blubber. The business of catching seals and converting their blubber to oil is quite extensively pursued on the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel. A large number of men and boats are employed and all together it is a profitable industry. On Anacapa seals are very numerous this winter. They are killed with rifles and towed to shore, where the blubber is stripped off in great sheets and taken to the trying pots, where it is chopped and tried out. An average size seal will produce about a barrel of oil, which is worth from 35 to 45 cents per gallon, according to its purity. On the rocks and beach thousands may be seen at any time barking in the sunshine. The hunter goes along in his boat and selects the largest and fattest. Sometimes they are killed in the water around the boats. Great care must be taken to keep the boat far enough away from them, for one of these old sea lions, in the throes of death, is liable to attack a boat and make kindling wood of it in a moment. There is not a drop of fresh water on the island, and the fishermen procure their supply from wither Santa Cruz Island or the mainland. Wood is but little used, but at the commencement of the season the fishermen usually lay in a small supply. The cracklings from the blubber, and some of the blubber itself, furnishes most of the fuel. The seal are the ordinary hair seal, and the largest of those killed will weigh from 1800 to 2500 pounds. Their skins are worthless. Their barking can be heard for miles on a still night, and the noise on the island is so great that it is almost impossible to hear a person speak. The season lasts about two months, when the seals begin to leave the island for other climes. The business is dangerous and possesses no charms. The fishermen live in voluntary exile two or three months, and their lives are constantly in jeopardy.” [Ventura Free Press]


February 19, 1876 [VS]: “Delinquent Tax List — Year 1875-6. The following is a list of the names of the persons, and a description of the property delinquent by reason of non-payment of State and County taxes in the County of Ventura, for the year 1875-6… Interest, claim and possession of, in and to the island known as San Nicolas $4000; also Island of Anacapa $1500; Improvements thereon $400; Three mixed horses $90; 3000 improved sheep $6000; 400 lambs $400 = $9390.


May 9, 1876 [SFDEB]: “Captain Warner reports to the Ventura Press an exceedingly good catch of seals this season at Anacapa Island, he having already secured upward of forty barrels of oil. He has a crew hard at work rendering the blubber, and expects during the month of June — the best month in the season — to secure upwards of sixty barrels.”


May 20, 1876 [VS]: “Captain Myron Warner with his schooner Pioneer, in company with his cousin, Mr. Ed Warner and Charles Streeter, and three hands left on Thursday, bound for Anacapa, where they will engage in sealing until the 4th of July. They took 60 barrels in which they will ship their oil. Charles Streeter goes to shoot seal. He is said to be the ‘boss’ sealsman. The oil will be sold on the island to Captain Timms, of San Pedro, at a stipulated price. Captain Warner intends, when through this expedition, to quit the perilous business, and to settle down in our midst as a land-lubber and speculator.”


July 10, 1876 [SBDP]: “The seal-catchers, Myron Warner and Charles Streeter, returned from Anacapa during the week, and reported the season ended. They were very successful this year, and secured a great deal of oil.”


November 13, 1876 [SBMP]: “The Coast Survey corps on Anacapa Island has almost finished its work, and will move thence to Laguna, a point at the southern extremity of the Santa Clara Valley. We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wainright, U.S.C.S., today. He was to have sailed this afternoon for his field of operations on Anacapa Island.”


January 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “The Sea Gulls Home. Anacapa, like the Farallon group, and, in fact, all the rocky islands off the coast, is the home of thousands of sea gulls. The gathering of gull eggs on the Farallones for the San Francisco market is a very extensive and profitable business. Why should not someone make a fortune by shipping eggs in the season to San Francisco?”


January 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “Anacapa Island. Seal and other fishing — shells, mosses and a great cave. A sketch by the editor of the Ventura Free Press… There is but one place a little sand-spit of perhaps a hundred feet in length, where boats are generally landed, and where the seal-fishers make their camp. This is well sheltered… There is no fresh water on this rocky island, yet persevering man has found it practicable to keep it stocked with sheep and goats… At the extreme west end of Anacapa there is a small corral and sheep camp, where a vessel calls once or twice a year with a party of sheep-shearers, and leaves them to take the fleece from the backs of the fat sheep. This is usually accomplished in four or five days, when the vessel returns and takes both men and wool to the mainland… The fishing business around and on the island is the most profitable. The black seals are the most numerous, though occasionally leopard seals are killed, and sometimes a sea lion. These latter do not breed on the island, but only pay passing visits. When killed, they yield large quantities of oil… The business is carried on by Captain Myron Warner, of this place, and Charles Streeter, the latter we believe, being the shootist… Just beyond this archway is the spot where the old steamer Winfield Scott was wrecked…”


June 22, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom arrived last night from Anacapa Island.”


November 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise sailed last night with a party for Anacapa Island.”


June 4, 1883 [SBMP]: “Larco arrived with his sloop yesterday from Anacapa Island with a cargo of fifty sheep and about 1200 pounds of rock cod. The latter is shipped here by Chinaman to be salted, dried and sent to China. Captain Larco took on a load of lumber and started for San Miguel.”


[June 1879] June 5, 1883 [LADT]: “It was on a pleasant morning in June [1879] that a party of us boarded the little schooner Rosetta, commanded by the late Captain Myron Warner, and helped to spread her sails for a sail across the channel. Anacapa makes a bend, something in the shape of an irregular crescent, with its convex face towards the ocean, so that in its lee is a perfectly sheltered anchorage, with only the faintest suspicion of a surf. The entire island is one massive rugged rock, broken in places, and precipitous, it base honey-combed with water-worn caves, some of them piercing it through and through, its top covered at sheltered points with a thin coating of soil, but containing in all its length and breadth neither fresh water nor any but the scantest vegetation… On the hills at its summit graze a scanty flock of ragged unshorn sheep. How they got there or, being there, how they manage to pick up subsistence, is more than I can say, but there they are, for I have seen them…”


June 18, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. was chartered by Captain Mullett and E. F. Rogers yesterday, and sailed for Anacapa Island for the purpose of capturing thirty large sea lions, which are to be shipped to parties in the eastern States.”


June 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from Anacapa Island Saturday evening with eight sea lions.”


December 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Phantom has gone to Anacapa Island to capture seal pups.”


January 22, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Phantom, Captain Chase, arrived from Anacapa Island yesterday with 700 gallons of seal oil and between 300 and 400 hair-seal skins.”


March 16, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom weighed anchor and gracefully sailed away for the island of Anacapa Sunday afternoon, having on board Mr. Rogers and a party of Californians who are employed to capture alive twenty sea lions...”


April 27, 1880 [REG]: “The Santa Barbara Press of the 20th says the schooner Surprise came in yesterday from a California island, having on board 90 seal skins, 40 sacks of abalone meat, and 40 sacks of shells. She goes in a day or two to Anacapa Island with a party of seal hunters, who are employed to capture fifty seals alive.”


September 26, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom arrived from Anacapa Island this morning and brought 60 sacks of abalone meat and 220 sacks of shells.”


March 10, 1884 [SBDP]: “Captain Ellis went over to Anacapa Island Saturday with Captain Larco to try his luck in catching live seals for the San Francisco market.”


July 27, 1884 [SBDI]: “Anacapa. A beautiful island in the Santa Barbara Channel honeycombed with rocky caves, by Sol Sheridan... At its western end… at this point of junction a rocky recess gives shelter to a rude board shanty which marks the only habitable spot on Anacapa…”


October 18, 1884 [SBDP]: “The sloop, Ocean King, arrived Saturday night from Anacapa Island with twelve sea lions, which will be shipped to San Francisco on the Santa Rosa tomorrow night.”


February 24, 1885 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King sailed for Anacapa Island this morning to get a cargo of shells and abalones.”


February 27, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King came into port this morning from Anacapa Island, bringing a cargo of abalones and shells for Chinese shippers.”


May 28, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita, Captain Burtis, arrived last night from San Diego with tons of salt for I. K. Fisher. The vessel stopped at Anacapa Island and left two tons of salt for Captain Burtis’ party of seal hunters.”


July 29, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita came into port Monday from Anacapa Island with three tons of seal skins.”


August 1, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Rosita, Captain Burtis, sails today for a cruise among the islands with a party of pleasure seekers. At Anacapa she will leave a couple of seal hunters, and then continue on her cruise. After her return to this port, the Rosita will sail on an extensive otter hunt.”


August 14, 1886 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King came in yesterday from Anacapa Island with a load of Chinese abalone hunters.”


May 11, 1888 [LAT]: “Yesterday morning the sloop Ocean King, Captain Charles Libbey, arrived from Anacapa Island with E. Elliott, the owner of the island, and F. N. Dancaster, who had been over there on a short pleasure trip… The party brought back with them many different varieties of rare flowers and ferns, some abalones, a large number of sea gull eggs, and many other knick-knacks too numerous to mention. Mr. Elliott also brought over a sample of some alfalfa, 40 acres of which is in full bloom on the island… Charles Libbey, the master of the boat, accompanied the gentlemen about the island and greatly assisted them in finding and discovering some of the many hidden beauties and treasures of the island.”


November 11, 1888 [SBMP]: “E. Elliott and son will leave tomorrow in the sloop Brisk for Anacapa Island.”


July 16, 1889 [SBMP]: “The sloop Challenge arrived from Anacapa Island Tuesday with five sea lions which were landed at this port and shipped east by rail.”


August 16, 1889 [SBDI]: “Channel Islands. A Party of Scientists at Sea… The party was composed of Mr. I. B. Hardy, Prof. H. C. Ford, Mr. Wm. Noble and son, Mr. Wm. Ford, Mr. I. N. Cook, our well-known photographer, his assistant, Mr. Harry Jenkins, and the writer. We left the wharf on the morning of the 30th of July, in the sloop Brisk, Captain Hugh Walters… There are some good buildings on the middle island which Mr. Elliott, the owner of the [Anacapa] islands and the sloop, kindly permitted us to occupy, and during our stay we lived high and slept higher, having to climb some distance to get to the dining room adjoining the kitchen, which last, was located out of doors; and for sleeping we had to climb still higher to the upper building which is perhaps 150 feet or more above tide water, and from the veranda a magnificent view across the channel, and along the channel side of the islands, may be obtained…”


September 1, 1889 [SBMP]: “Mr. And Mrs. Elliott and Mr. And Mrs. Brownsill returned Sunday from a trip to Anacapa Island, which is owned by Mr. Elliott.”


September 8, 1889 [SBMP]: “Anacapa… A trip to the Islands, and especially to the Anacapas had long been the wish of our hearts… I noticed in Dr. Yates’ report that he failed to mention a spring of clear good water near the beach, which is soon to be connected with the cottages by easy paths…”


August 23, 1890 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa sailed for Anacapa Island yesterday to bring back a party of Chinamen who have been there gathering abalones.”


December 11, 1890 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara. Colices Vasquez, one of the crew of the wrecked yacht Undine, arrived here today from Anacapa Island. He says that the Undine was capsized during the storm. He cut away the lifeboat and a big wave carried it away from the yacht. Captain Lord and the engineer were drowned.”


May 8, 1891 [SBMP]: “The schooner Ruby arrived from Anacapa Island yesterday morning bringing over E. Elliott, the owner of the island, and nine sheep shearers. They were kept on the island ten days after they were ready to return, by reason of the schooner neglecting to come for them promptly, and provisions began to get scarce. Mr. Elliott says the wool clip both on Anacapa and San Nicolas was unusually heavy. The price of wool is also better than it has been of eight or nine years past.”


September 22, 1891 [SBMP]: “Seals at Anacapa Island… You have heard the seals at the Cliff House? Multiply the seals at the Cliff House by one million, and you will get an idea of what I heard [at Anacapa Island]…”


September 26, 1891 [SBMP]: “Wrecked on Anacapa. A sloop from San Pedro cast away on the rocks. The schooner Santa Barbara, Captain Ellis, returned from Ventura via Anacapa Island on Thursday evening, bringing with her Captain Troop of the sloop Pearl of San Pedro, which was wrecked on the island on Wednesday night. The Pearl left San Pedro for Anacapa Island to capture a few live seals, having on board Captain Troop and a man and his wife whose names are not known, but who are supposed to be Austrians. The island was reached in safety and on Wednesday night all hands were on shore. A heavy gale was blowing and the Pearl got adrift and was cast away on the rocks and totally destroyed. The party on the island was without provisions and had to kill a sheep for food. They flew a flag of distress, which was seen by Captain Ellis, who was taking over a band of sealers from Ventura. The Austrian and his wife decided to remain on the island with the sealers until they were taken back to Ventura, and Captain Troop came to Santa Barbara where he still is. The Pearl was a sloop thirty-three feet long, and was owned by Captain Troop, and was the only property he owned. It was not insured and the captain has lost all.”


October 22, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Runaway girl found. There arrived in Ventura a week or ten days ago, as passengers with Fazzio’s sloop from Anacapa Island, a man and a woman, or rather girl, who were members of a party who went to the island on the sloop Pearl of San Pedro. The party was on a seal hunt, but after arriving at the island, a high wind wrecked their boat and they were shipwrecked, so to speak, until taken off… All went well with the couple until last Saturday, when Marshall Cook received a telegram from Mrs. M. Richardson of Los Angeles asking if a young girl of a certain description had been seen in company with a man answering the description of the hero of the shipwreck. The Marshall was able to give the woman an affirmative answer… The girl proved to be the runaway daughter… The girl was induced to give up her lover and in company with her mother left on the train…”


November 11, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Good fishing is reported from Anacapa Island.”


February 16, 1892 [SFCall]: “J. F. Newby of Ventura is getting up a company to build a pleasure steamer to ply between there and Anacapa Island, and also to build a hotel at the latter place. The capital stock will be $10,000, and quite a number of shares have been taken. The company also proposes to build a cannery for putting up crawfish.”


July 20, 1892 [SBMP]: “Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. The Board reestablished the boundaries of the third Supervisor District… including also the islands of Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Anacapa…”


August 4, 1892 [SBMP]: “Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Humphrey, Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Elliott, Ray Elliott and party left yesterday morning on the Lottie for Anacapa Island. The Lottie will return today and take another party to Santa Cruz Island Thursday.”


August 14, 1892 [SBMP]: “Coming to the Santa Barbara Islands, Mr. Leslie submitted two theories that are held by students of geology: one theory being that the islands were once a part of the continent which seems plausible from the fact that the island Anacapa is in direct line with a certain mountain range on the mainland…”


October 26, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived yesterday with a large cargo of wool for E. Elliott from San Nicolas and Anacapa islands.”


July 7, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A large party of young people will go into camp on Anacapa Island about the 11th of this month.”


September 29, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless is in from Anacapa Island with a cargo of wool. Mr. Elliott was a passenger.”


June 6, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Silver has been discovered on Anacapa Island. The ore assayed shows $1 of gold and $35 of silver to the ton. Santa Barbareños are interested in the mine.”


June 10, 1895 [SBMP]: “C. A. Storke and party are back from the islands. Mr. Storke says they discovered some good-looking rock, but whether it contains anything valuable or not is a problem. It will be sent immediately for assay, which will tell the tale. He brought over about 150 pounds of valuable looking specimens.”


June 10, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 9. The sloop Restless yesterday returned from Anacapa Island bringing back several Santa Barbara gentlemen who for a week or so past have been prospecting for precious metals upon that rocky point of the channel archipelago. They were led to examine into the mineral resources of Anacapa by the tradition that an old Spanish mine of fabulous richness existed there, the secret of whose location was lost.”


June 12, 1895 [SBDI]: “All mining men can call at the office of Mr. C. A. Storke and inspect the ore brought from Anacapa Island. He is expecting the assay report, and unless the old miners are all mistaken, it will be a large one. Such looking rock, in a mineral bearing country, would run up into hundreds of dollars to the ton.”


July 9, 1895 [SBDI]: “The Restless will leave in a day or two for Anacapa Island with Messrs.. Pratt, Storke, and others, who will further investigate the gold discovery.”


July 11, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “A mining party left today (Wednesday) by the schooner Restless for Anacapa Island. The gentlemen comprising the expedition were Messrs. Lansley, Pratt, Storke, Dodge, and T. Storke.”


July 12, 1895 [SBDI]: “The Restless came in from Anacapa Island this morning with a party of gold prospectors. The reason for the quick return is that the sloop has an engagement for Monday to take a camping party to Santa Cruz Island. Mr. Storke said that they were not at the island long enough to ascertain anything further, and there was nothing more to report. With the use of dynamite the men went down eight feet below the former excavation; they found that the rock was not so far decomposed as that nearer the surface, but was full of metal. They brought over about half a ton and will send samples to San Francisco.”


July 25, 1895 [SBDI]: “John Reseigh… is very confident that the Anacapa strike is a big thing, and will be second to none in the state when developed. As a miner he is willing to risk everything in its development. The assays and mill samples, of which he shows the certificate of Clarence M. Buel, the expert, give returns that will average $14 a ton, which, if it holds out, means a veritable bonanza for the owners… The owners of Anacapa Island mine expect to continue its development as soon as the last mill returns are in… Reseigh has been mining for fifty-three years.”


1896. “Anacapa is uninhabited unless one counts campers and the Chinamen who spend a part of thee year there in a tent amid piles of iridescent abalone shells and square yards of the evicted tenants, drying in the sun, to be shipped to Chinatown.” Earle, Homer P. The Santa Barbara Islands in Land of Sunshine 5: (227-230) 1896.


June 14, 1897 [LAT]: “They have a fish at the Santa Barbara Islands that they call a sheepshead… But at Anacapa Island in ’95 there was a party of threshing-machine hands from Saticoy, seven of them, and they caught an average of 800 fish a day, of which over sixty percent were these sheepsheads…”


February 4, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The Chamber has started a movement, the purpose of which is to have San Clemente, San Nicolas and Anacapa islands opened to settlement.”


February 18, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The Board of City Trustees at Tuesday evening’s meeting indorsed the resolution of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce in favor of opening San Clemente, Anacapa and San Nicolas islands to settlement.”


March 26, 1898 [LAT/SM]: “Andrew Johnson and Olaf Oleson, the two abalone fishermen reported as having disappeared from Anacapa Island, have returned here. They went to that island with John F. Nelson early in the month, and he left them there with the understanding that he should return for them a few days later. They had with them a five-gallon can of water and some sea biscuit and potatoes. One of the water tins leaked and most of the contents were lost. The water was used sparingly, but finally it was exhausted and they suffered greatly from thirst. Time wore on and Nelson not appearing, the two men last Friday evening constructed a raft with which they precariously made their way out to their skiff, quite a distance from shore. The sea was heavy and the weather was threatening. Reaching the boat they started out on the long pull for the mainland. Johnson pulled the oars while Oleson struggled to keep the water bailed out of the boat as fast as it was shipped. Next morning they landed a few miles above Hueneme and were cared for at a ranch house. Their thirst relieved, and their appetite satisfied, they took the boat again and worked their way down to Charles Decker’s place, and were brought to Santa Monica by him Monday evening.”


June 5, 1898 [LAT]: “Ventura. Two important documents have been filed for record with the County Recorder. The first is a deed whereby Ezekiel Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys to George LeMesnager of Los Angeles, in consideration of $8000, all his right, title, interest and claim in the island of Anacapa. The second is a deed whereby J. V. Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys all his title, etc. in consideration of $8000 to Peter Cazes of Los Angeles, in the island of Saint Nicholas. Both islands are off the coast of Ventura County, and are a part of this county. Captain H. Bay Webster, who has recently made many trips to both islands, says: ‘Anacapa Island lies about twenty miles south of Ventura and contains about 1000 acres of land, and is capable of supporting some 1500 head of sheep or goats. Water is too scarce to render the pasturage of other stock there profitable, and the soil is too poor to pay to farm. The island is a United States lighthouse reservation… The deeds are dated November 19, 1897.”


June 5, 1898 [SFCall]: “Ventura, June 4. There has been filed with the County Recorder a deed whereby in consideration of $8000, Ezekiel Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys to George Le Mesnager of Los Angeles all his right, title and interest in Anacapa Island and a deed whereby J. V. Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys, in consideration of $8000, to Peter Cazes of Los Angeles, all of his title and interest in St. Nicholas Island. Both islands are off the coast of Ventura County, and are a part of this county. Anacapa lies about twenty [miles?] nearly 1000 acres of land, capable of supporting 1500 sheep or goats. St. Nicholas is due south, eighty miles from Ventura, and contains about forty square miles, capable of carrying 3000 sheep.”


October 2, 1898 [LAT]: “Isabel M. Austin. A dry and thirsty land. Story of a matanza on Anacapa Island… A matanza. That’s a Spanish word for a big cooking apparatus that extracts the fat from the meat after the sheep are skinned…”


June 1, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain Merry is preparing to launch his sloop, Naied, for a trip to Anacapa Island in about two weeks. An interesting item that he gave us was that he proposed taking over some Belgian hares to turn loose and increase, in case an unfortunate sailor should, in the future, be stranded on the island.”


June 2, 1900 [LAT]: “Captain Merry of Hueneme has announced his intention of taking over some Belgian hares to Anacapa Island, there to be turned loose to increase for food in case any unfortunate sailor should in future be stranded on the island.”


June 9, 1900 [SBMP]: “The three Chinamen who were arrested at Anacapa Island last week by the Constable Arrellanes and brought to the mainland charges with taking abalones out of season, have been settled with by the authorities. There was a pretty stiff fight made in the case by the Santa Barbara Chinese firm for which these fishermen were working, and an attempt to break down the ordinance, or the right of supervisors to make such a law, but the Superior Court upheld the county body, and the Chinese did not think it worthwhile to further obstruct matters. The outcome of this case will have a good effect in saving abalones, crawfish and clams.”


June 16, 1900 [OC]: “We are informed that a gang of men are blasting a roadway from west end island to the middle island of the Anacapas to allow the sheep to reach the middle island. As the islands are government property and belong to this township, we should imagine permission should first be had to do this kind of work. There must be someone in authority in the matter.”


July 21, 1900 [OC]: “An outing on Anacapa. Last Sunday morning a party consisting of E. R. Hill, R. N. Hill, A. L. Williams and C. A. Whitmore left with Captain Merry in his yacht Naiad for a few days’ outing on Anacapa Island… The only human inhabitant is one man who tends the sheep, and three Chinamen, who during the season collect abalone shells. For these they receive $70 per ton in Germany, while the meat is dried and sold in China…”


July 28, 1900 [SBMP]: “A party of Ventura people left yesterday for Anacapa Island. It is reported that they go to locate oil claims.”


June 19, 1901 [SBDI]: “Anacapa may rival Santa Catalina. New York man will attempt to gain possession of the island and make it a pleasure resort. It is probable that Santa Catalina will soon find a rival as a resort place and recreation grounds in little Anacapa, the least of the Channel Islands, lying off the coast of Ventura county… Charles E. Bishop of New York is authority for the statement that the organization of a company is underway whose object is to acquire control of the island and make it a resort…”


June 28, 1901 [SBMP]: “A resort for Anacapa Island. Capitalists said to be planning on a large scale. Possible that an effort will be made to make the place a Monte Carlo. It appears that all of the larger islands in the channel chain will be outdone in the way of improving as a resort by little Anacapa Island. A company for that purpose has been formed, and its representative, Charles E. Bishop, is on the coast in the interests of its improvement…”


January 14, 1902 [SBMP]: “Terrible fate of two sailors. Adrift in a capsized boat on the expansive pacific Ocean for seventeen long weary days without food or drink is the fate which befell Captain Carson and Pete Wallace, two crawfishermen, and but one lives to tell the tale of suffering and privation… When last seen Captain Carson was more dead than alive… With good care and rest the captain will be all right in a few days… Carson and Wallace were engaged in the crawfishing business… and maintained a camp on Anacapa Island. They were San Pedro people and had a staunch gasoline schooner, the Bell, thirty-seven feet long… Seventeen days ago while fishing some three or four miles south of Santa Cruz Island a wild and heavy sea arose which capsized the little boat… The boat remained on its side, the masts flapping on the wasters; on this the two fishermen climbed and then were at the mercy of the waves… Clinging to the capsized boat they drifted day after day… Captain Carson, though more dead than alive still clung to the drifting boat, and three days after his partner had succumbed, was picked up by Arturo Valdez, who is a fisherman in the employ of A. Larco of this city… He was brought to the Larco home at once…”


March 4, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Little Anacapa Island has been leased by the government to Louis LeMesnager, a Los Angeles county sheep raiser, for a term of five years, at an annual rental of $5. In the three small islands comprising this group there are some 5000 acres. In years of abundant rainfall there is ample feed for the support of large flocks of sheep. When water is scarce they subsist on ice grass [plant]. The lessee will soon stock the islands.”


March 21, 1902 [LAT/VC]: “Anacapa Lease. An instrument has been filed with the County Recorder, whereby the United States, through the Secretary of the Treasury, leases to Louis C. LeMenager of Los Angeles the Anacapa Islands for a term of five years. Anacapa is described in the lease as being a part of Ventura County, known as the Anacapa Lighthouse Reservation, and consisting of three islets about five miles in length. The lease is for five years, beginning April 1, 1902, and the price is $25 per year. According to the lease, the government is to have the right of way and free access to the island at all times, and the lessee is not allowed to erect permanent buildings thereon. The islands are used for grazing purposes.”


July 7, 1903 [SBMP]: “Yesterday morning George Gourley and a party of five returned from a five day cruise to the islands in the gasoline schooner Peerless. On Anacapa the party took on a man who had been left on the island by mistake. He had been several days without food.”


October 16, 1903 [OC]: “Anacapa Island is being discussed as an ideal place for a penitentiary in Southern California. The proposition to build a state prison on Anacapa Island is the most feasible suggestion for an occupation for its barren wastes that we have heard. Anyone who has ever visited it must admit that it is ideal for prison purposes. It possesses a level plateau of considerable extent, a good sheltered harbor, but except for the one landing is precipitous and difficult to approach. The building of a prison there would be of considerable commercial value to this county…”


June 5, 1904 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 4. The section of the Gaviota wharf, which was set adrift in the recent heavy storm, has been located in the Santa within a few miles of Anacapa Island. The schooner Pride, Captain Koch, sighted the derelict, passing within half a mile of it. The mass was drifting south with the current and the tides of today will probably bring it back to about the same spot where the Pride first sighted it. Captain Koch considers the derelict extremely dangerous to shipping.”


August 14, 1904 [LAT/VC]: “Deputy Fish Commissioner Pritchard of Santa Monica, and Fish License Collector Davis of San Francisco, arrived from Anacapa Island this morning on the schooner Peerless, having in charge a party arrested for violating the lobster and abalone sections of the State laws. Charles Stokes, who resides on Anacapa, was brought over for taking lobsters out of season, while Messrs. Bay Webster and Henry Ireland were charged with taking abalones less than the size allowed by law. Each pleaded guilty and cheerfully paid his fine of $20. Today the officers start for San Nicolas and San Clemente islands. At the former place they expect to make a good catch of lobster fishers from San Pedro, while at San Clemente are a lot of Japanese who are said to be breaking the law.”


September 7, 1904 [SBMP]: “A party of 21 young people spent labor day on Anacapa Island and report a most enjoyable time. They secured the Potter Hotel launch Frances and made an early start... lunch was eaten on land...”


September 16, 1904 [OC]: “…Anacapa… Old Charlie, who has lived there alone for the past five years, and who, in addition to looking after the sheep, fishes, gathers abalones and traps crawfish for market, has a small cement cistern supplied by the water which falls on the roof of his shack during the rainy season, and on this he relies for his annual supply of water for drinking and domestic use. Charlie is a kind of modern Robinson Crusoe, and says that he prefers this lonesome life to one on the mainland…”


October 9, 1904 [SFCall]: “Berkeley, October 8. ‘Anacapa Island is wearing away.’ This is the statement made by the Fred Johnson party, which has just returned from a tour of inspection. According to the primary report, the shores of the sheep island are being eaten away at a rapid rate. But one man is reported to be the caretaker and not a drop of water is in sight for the sustenance of the sheep. A full report of the results of the expedition will be made by Johnson to the department of geology of the university at a later date.”


October 28, 1904 [BG]: “Geologist says sheep are wearing away a California Island… Another remarkable statement of the scientists who visited the island is to the effect that there is no drinking water on the island for sheep. All the refreshment and nourishment they get comes from the leaves of the prickly pear plant, which the sheep manipulate dexterously so as not to be hurt by the thorns. The only man on the island is a sheep herder, who draws his supply of drinking and cooking water from a cistern in which he collects rain water.”


January 4, 1905 [LAT/OX]: “The gasoline launch Glendale was piled up on the rocks of Anacapa Island Christmas Eve and totally wrecked. The craft belonged to a Hueneme fishing company, which was engaged in crawfishing and had a camp on Santa Cruz Island near Smugglers Cove…”


January 6, 1906 [SFCall]: “San Diego, January 5. Margaret Scott, a 17-year-old Los Angeles girl, at present at the Helping Hand Home in this city, has a strange story to tell. She has been working in boy’s clothing for several weeks and declares that she is very glad to get into the habiliments of her own sex again. According to the story told to the matron of the home by the girl, she left Los Angeles on November 1 with a party including Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, on a launch trip to Anacapa Island, off Santa Barbara. Following the lead of Mrs. Bacon and the other women of the party, she donned boy’s clothing, the male garb being more suitable for scrambling over the rocks at Anacapa. When the party reached civilization again the women resumed their skirts. In some manner Margaret lost her feminine clothing and she was forced to land at Santa Barbara wearing boy’s clothing. On account of some trouble or misunderstanding with the others, the girl concluded to leave the party there. She met with fisherman Edward Johnson, who was about to start on a crawfishing trip to San Diego, and he, believing her to be a boy, hired her. He ran over to the Coronados islands and lay there several days fishing. While there a storm came up and they were in imminent danger of swamping. After the storm Johnson decided to put into San Diego. The experience had been a terribly hard one for Margaret, and as soon as she got inside the harbor she declared she would never go upon the ocean again. The crawfish man landed at La Playa and she made her way up the side of the promontory of Point Loma, near Point Loma Homestead, the headquarters of Mrs. Tingley. She was brought to San Diego from Old Town by an officer, and when her sex was disclosed she was turned over to the matron of the Helping Hand Home, by whom she will be returned to Los Angeles tomorrow.”


April 2, 1906 [LAT]: “Jack Bacon, a fisherman, who has been located on Anacapa Island with his wife for some time, made the trip from the island to the mainland with Mrs. Bacon in a yawl but fourteen feet long, pulling the distance of twenty miles with oars. The couple arrived safely yesterday after a voyage lasting seven hours.”


October 11, 1907 [OC]: “For the fortieth time comes the report that Anacapa Island is to be made another Catalina. We hope that the report is true…”


April 2, 1908 [SBI]: “The islands may make up the deficiency of the coast region of the county in material for macadam roads… Consequently Mr. Dickinson is going to make an investigation of what the islands have to offer. They are composed of eruptive rocks, and Anacapa is said to furnish and andesite very similar to that quarried at Camarillo. The island belongs to the Federal Government, having been reserved for lighthouse purposes, and there would be no difficulty in obtaining permission to establish a quarry there for the county…”


February 9, 1908 [SBMP]: “Storm wrecks fishing camps… At Anacapa conditions were the same, and the Dubbins Brothers’ fishing outfit sustained a heavy loss.”


November 17, 1910 [LAH]: “Long Beach, November 16. …The Flyer visited Anacapa Island also, and put in at Santa Barbara because of the high wind and heavy sea last Sunday. While off one of the islands the high sea caused the loss of the Flyer’s skiff, and for a day and a half those in the party were unable to get ashore for fuel or water. They finally found another harbor where they could land at a pier.”


December 18, 1910 [SFCall]: “One of the Santa Barbara islands may be utilized by the government as a stock quarantine station, as stock is shipped from the Phillippines to America needs some sort of a station removed from the cities… Anacapa Island is owned by the government, but is leased for five years to a private corporation…”


December 23, 1911 [SDET]: “Notice to Marines. California, Anacapa Island, whistling buoy to be established about January 20, 1912. Anacapa Whistling Buoy 1A in about 120 feet of water, about 5/8 miles off east end of Anacapa Island.”


February 27, 1912 [SFCall]: “Commander A. W. Moffett of the navy, lighthouse inspector for this district, returned yesterday from Anacapa Island at the eastern entrance to the Santa Barbara channel, where he had a thrilling adventure that nearly cost him his life. It was while Commander Moffett was trying to scale the precipitous side of the island last Wednesday that he came near sliding down 200 feet to the water below, which had been lashed into a fury by a heavy gale that swept down the coast last week. Commander Moffett left here last week on the lighthouse tender Sequoia for the purpose of locating sites for the lighthouses to be installed on Anacapa Island at the eastern entrance to the Santa Barbara channel and on Richardson Rock at the western entrance to the channel. The gale was at its height as the Sequoia reached Richardson Rock. Moffett directed that the ship continue on to Anacapa Island. On arriving there he found the sea so rough that it was impossible to make a landing at the usual place. The Sequoia then ran around to the lee of the island where there is a sheer cliff of more than 300 feet. Eager to proceed with the work of locating a site and installing the lighthouse tower, Commander Moffett and part of his crew went ashore and tried to scale the cliff. Working their way with the greatest difficulty, the men reached a height of about 200 feet. At this point the loose rocks and earth gave way under Moffett and he began to slide. He slid down the face of the cliff several feet and barely saved himself from death in the ocean by grasping one of the cactus bushes that struggle for an existence on the bleak cliff. With his hands, knees and sides with thorns Moffett carefully worked his way back to the narrow strip of beach. A few minutes later he was surprised to discover that one of the party had attained the top of the cliff. After Moffett's mishap, the others in the scaling party had found a fissure at the side of a slide by means of which they were able to get to the top. The next day Moffett and W. L. Woodruff, the constructing engineer with him, succeeded in scaling the cliff by means of a rope...”


September 24, 1912 [LAT/VC]: “Ventura. San Pedro man marries Ventura girl and long trip in tiny boat is undertaken. There was started from this city this morning an unusual honeymoon trip, when Mr. and Mrs. Julius Broden took their departure in Mr. Broden’s power launch to Anacapa Island, where the newlyweds will spend the winter and their honeymoon…”


In 1913, Mr. E. G. Ruggles, representing the Lima Bean Growers Association of Oxnard, wanted to lease Anacapa Island in order to mine guano deposits off the rocks at the eastern end. The lighthouse Service made some investigations and was unable to find any guano deposits there, and since this was near the site of the unwatched island light the request was denied.” [Roberts, Lois W. Anacapa Island, 1983, p. 55.]


January 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “Scotty Cunningham returned yesterday afternoon to his crawfish camp on the Anacapa Island shore, with a lot of new traps to take the place of those he lost in the recent gales that destroyed most of the traps at all the island camps.”


March 20, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton has just been awarded by the Federal Government the lease of Anacapa Island for a term of five years beginning April 1. The last two terms, aggregating ten years, the island has been leased to Captain Bay Webster of Ventura, and he was one of the bidders for the ensuing term, but Captain Eaton's bid was higher than that of the Ventura man, and he took the prize. Captain Eaton will use the island primarily for fishing camps — the waters roundabout constituting famously good fishing grounds, better at certain seasons, than in any of the other island waters — and he will also utilize the small sheep range on the island, expecting to have a flock of about 500 of the profitable wool bearers. There are at present about 400 sheep on the range belonging to Captain Webster, and these may be bought by the new lessee, or they may not.”


October 11, 1920 [SDET]: “$10,000 to repair damaged destroyer. It will cost $10,000 to repair the bow of the destroyer Thornton, which went aground in a fog on Anacapa Island recently, according to navy estimates. A court martial is ordered this week for Com. A. G. Stirling, who commanded the Thornton at the time. The charge brought against him is reported to be negligence. President of the court martial board is given as Capt. D. W. Knox, commanding the cruiser Brooklyn. The Thornton was taken to Mare Island for repairs.”


April 10, 1924 [LAT/OX]: “Anacapa Island may soon rival Catalina’s fame… F. N. Garrigues is today studying maps at the County Courthouse as a preliminary step to the subdivision…”


March 11, 1927 [OPC]: “World Resort Probable At Anacapa Is. Would Make Island Paradise Greater Than Catalina At Anacapa. Would Be Great Asset. Rumors Are That Many Large Developing Companies Are Behind Project. Several large development companies are reported to be behind a movement to develop Anacapa Island, 18 miles off the coast of Hueneme into a huge pleasure resort. The report states that there is to be a big hotel, plunge, cottages and various forms of attraction, and the promoters hope to create a paradise which will eventually be not only a second Catalina island, but will surpass that famous Magic Isle. In the past several attempts have been made to start the development of a resort of big proportions at Santa Cruz, but these plans have not got very far. Anacapa is the closest of the group of islands to the Hueneme coast. Dr. Livingston Doubts It. Dr. W. R. Livingston, who spent considerable time on Anacapa Island, and who is an authority on the subject, told the Courier that it would not be very easy to develop the pleasure resort there. Various obstacles would have to be overcome first. Among those is the ownership. This is vested in the United States government, and it is doubtful if the government would give a long time lease. In the second place there is no water on the island, and the doctor doubts if it could be developed. In the third place the island is too narrow. It is only 20 feet wide in many places, and in others there is not enough level land to "turn around twice."


March 14, 1928 [OT]: “A radio message from the battleship Arizona today reported that she had picked up two men flying a distress signal in a sinking fishing boat off Anacapa Island. The message did not identify the boat nor the men, who will be brought to port Friday…”


April 24, 1928 [ODC]: “Being stormbound for two days off the rocky headlands of Anacapa, navigating rough seas and channels, and afterward visiting the more peaceful waters of Santa Cruz Island’s harbors, with excursions on foot on the island, were highlights of a cruise taken in Dr. William R. Livingston’s sea-giong ketch, Moana, by the owner and F. J. Hopkin and John Eberhard… After two nights of rather doubtful safety near Anacapa, they proceeded to Santa Cruz, visited Pelican Bay, and then anchored in Orizaba Haror which they reported as very calm and beautiful…”


July 16, 1928 [ODC]: “One of the most remarkable fish stories comes from the islands, when at Anacapa yesterday a party of men piloted by Manuel Sousa in his fishing boat witnessed a series of parades of fish outlined below in the clear water and against a background of brown kelp. Countless hoardes of long slim barracuda filed to and fro in ranck 50 feet from top to bottom. Intersperced between them were yellowtail, bonita, kelp bass and mackerel…”


November 7, 1928 [ODC]: “The heavy swell in Santa Barbara Saturday is believed to have claimed the life of Hidjmar Lacander, 39, lobsterman employed by the Larco Fish Company at Anacapa Island. Word of the accident was brought to Santa Barbara yesterday. The victim, an assistant to Arthur Gronthal at one of the Larco camps on the island, went out early Saturday to take in the daily catch. When he failed to return, a search was made, and fragments of the man’s skiff were found on the rocky shore. The body has been swept away. Officials of the company said the man was believed to have come here from San Pedro. He was a native of Finland.”


July 28, 1930 [FB]: “The fishing smack, Mary Ann, was credited today with saving the fishing boat Starlight and the latter’s twenty-five passengers and crew of three. The Mary Ann returned here thie morning to report that it towed the Starlight to the Anacapa Island after it found the craft floundering in rough water in the channel near the islands. The motors of the Starlight had failed and it was half-filled with water when the Mary Ann arrived. All the passengers and members of the crew on the Starlight had donned life preservers in the belief that the craft was doomed…”


July 28, 1930 [OT]: “One woman and 35 men, passengers and crew of the fishing launch, Starlight, were rescued today after spending fifteen hours adrift off Anacapa Island, fifteen miles offshore. Captain Harry Vedel, of the fishing launch Mary Ann, brought the woman to Ventura after towing the disabled craft to the island. The lone woman refused to give her name…”


March 9, 1931 [Berkeley Daily Gazette]: “The auxiliary schooner Talaya arrived here this morning with three men aboard who had been picked up in a lifeboat seven miles off Anacapa Island. They had put out from Hueneme yesterday morning aboard the launch Owl for Anacapa Island carrying sand and cement to be used in constructing a new lighthouse on Anacapa Island. When about 10 miles off the island the boat sprung a leak and sank quickly. The men were trying to make the island in a small lifeboat when sighted by the Talaya and were rescued. They had been without food or water for several hours and their frail craft was being tossed about by heavy seas and high winds.”


September 4, 1931 [SMT]: “The British motor ship Zaragosa is disabled seven miles southeast of Anacapa Island, off the Ventura County coast, and the tug Milton S. Patrick has been sent to its aid… The Zaragosa carried a crew of fifteen men. It is 190 feet long and is 644 tons displacement.”


November 10, 1931 [Berkeley Daily Gazette]: “On a small island off the California coast, 20 government employees and their families will shortly take up the task of saving mariners and warning ships of the rock shore from a newly completed lighthouse. The most southerly of the Santa Cruz islands in the dreaded Santa Barbara Channel, scene of many ship wrecks, notably the S.S. Harvard disaster, and the grounding of seven Navy destroyers. Anacapa Island is directly in the steamer path. Ships are to be protected and warned by a powerful radio compass, a powerhouse and foghorn station instead of the small flashing light now in operation. There is no water on the island, a wind swept rock two miles long, and in places only two city blocks wide. Water and all materials must be brought from the mainland, 20 miles away. Although uninhabited except for the Government employees, Anacapa Island has long been a haunt for deep-sea fishers. Sword fishing is said to be comparable to the best on the coast.”


November 30, 1931 [HDR]: “It is feared that the crew of the thirty-foot power sloop Rigger, found drifting off Anacapa Island, may have been lost.”


June 28, 1932 [SBMP]: “Efforts are being made by a group of southern California sportsmen to establish a private game refuge on Anacapa Island, and the project will be vigorously fought by conservationists and others, County Forester Frank Dunne revealed yesterday. The promoters intend to raise and sell game birds such as quail, grouse and pheasants on the island, and to transport hunters ‘that care to contribute financially’ to the island hunting ground… Bruce G. LeBelle of Riverside, an attorney for the Anacapa Game Bird Company sponsoring the hunting ground, said in his letter to Forester Dunne, that ‘subscriptions will not be accepted, as the project is fully financed’… A lease concession was granted some time ago by the government, to a Ventura firm which takes fishing parties to the island…”


November 21, 1934 [San Jose News]: “A lighthouse keeper's wife possibly owed her life today to the United States fleet which sent its $30,000,000 battleship, California, on an errand of mercy to Anacapa Island, 30 miles off the local coast line. Mrs. C.R. Coursey's husband radioed operations base at San Pedro that she was in need of medical attention and the station ordered the California to offer aid. The battleship was steaming up the coast to Bremerton, Wash. A ship's doctor went ashore and after prescribing hospital care, brought her aboard. The battleship transported her across Santa Barbara channel to Ventura, where an ambulance, summoned by ship's radio, was waiting to take her to the hospital. Mrs. Coursey was given a good chance to recover.”


November 1934: The wife of assistant keeper Rex Coursey was seriously injured in a fall in 1934, and the battleship California was radioed to bring her to the mainland hospital.


December 31, 1934 [SDET] “Recently when the flagship California was going north to Puget Sound navy yard for overhaul, a radio message was received from the lighthouse keeper on Anacapa Island, and the big battleship proceeded to that place in answer to a call that Mrs. C. R. Coursey, wife of an assistant keeper, was seriously ill. A surgeon was sent ashore, and the woman was taken on the battleship across the Santa Barbara channel to Ventura, where an ambulance was waiting. Due to the prompt action of the naval vessel and the medical staff in caring for her immediately, an even chance of recovery is predicted.”


July 2, 1959 [OPC]: “Anacapa Island will be opened to the public July 4 as a National Monument, Superintendent Donald M. Robinson of the Cabrillo and Channe Islands National Monuments announced. Two Rangers left Port Hueneme early this morning on a ship loaded with 2-1/2 tons of provisions needed to establish camp on the islands and rehabilitate some of the old structures. Mr. Robinson described the summer program as a pilot study. ‘We want to find out how much interest there is in a public park on the island, and we want to learn more about Anacapa ourselves,’ he explained. The Rangers will establish camp in Frenchman’s Cove, about 14 nautical miles from Port Hueneme. They will make use of the four buildings built there by a hermit and possibly others some 20 years ago. The cove gets its name from a man tentatively identified as Ramon Le Dreux [Raymond LeDreau] who lived on the island for sisteen years without ever visiting the mainland. He was taken off about five years ago after suffering either a broken arm or leg. He caught abalone, lobster and other fish which he traded to passing fishermen and occasional visitors for provisions. The cove is on the eastern [northern] side of the island, sheltered from all storms except the Santa Ana winds… About six months ago, in a meeting in San Francisco, the decision was made to open Anacapa on a trial basis…”


July 3, 1959 [OPC]: “Anacapa Island opens tomorrow on a trial basis as a national monument. Two national Park Service Rangers were put ashore on the island yesterday in Frenchy’s Cove, some 14 nautical miles from Port Hueneme to conduct a pilot study to determine if it will be feasible to establish the island as a national park. Persons who wish to visit the island will have to provide their own transportation. At this time nobody has come forward offering sea-going taxi service for sightseers. There is no dock on the island. Boats will have to anchor in the shelter of the island and passengers will have to go ashore in small boats — or swim ashore.”


July 7, 1959 [OPC]: “Anacapa Island is a bit to far to swim to. Unless a fellow has a boat, however, or has a friend who has a boat, he is going to find it difficult to visit and explore this new and just-opened National Monument off our shoreline. Nevertheless over the July Fourth weekend there were enough hereabouts with a boat at their disposal to permit a sizable crowd of visitors to the island. It is rich in natural beauty, rich in wildlife. Obviously the need for sports fising boats homing at Port Hueneme to set up excursions to the island. Failing that, perhaps some enterprising boat owner would provide his own passenger taxi service…”


July 28, 1959 [OPC]: “The harbor district board gave its approval to Daniel E. Roark’s plans to operate a water taxi between Dock 1 and Anacapa Island. A formal contract will be drawn up shortly. Mr. Roark said he would be ready to operate ‘within two or three weeks,’ on a twice-a-day weekend basis. The island was recently opened to the public by the Department of the Interior as a national park [monument]. According to Mr. Roark, the Navy is building small boat facilities on the island which should be completed by the time the taxi service begins.”


July 16, 1951 [SBNP]: “Television replaces poker in popularity among Coast Guardsmen at lonely Anacapa Island station. With the wind howling and the air filled with salt spray let’s gather in Jack Haynes’ house and drink coffee, eat cookies, and munch on peanuts while all eyes maintain their hold on his television set. For it’s Saturday evening and out here on Anacapa Island, a slim piece of government-owned land 12 miles southwest of Port Hueneme, television has practically snuffed out the popularity of poker, canasta, and pinochle as a means of passing an enjoyable evening by the Coast Guardsmen and their families stationed on the island...”


February 4, 1969 [APWire]: “Oil at Anacapa I. Anacapa Island, easternmost of Santa Barbara's Channel Islands was engulfed in crude oil today from Union Oil's Platform 'A', six miles off Santa Barbara. Oil leak and resulting slick is in its 8th day. Estimated coverage, 400 sq. mi.”


1980 ~ Channel Islands National Park was created on March 5, 1980 when President Carter signed Public Law 96-199, which calls for the protection of

the nationally significant natural, scenic, wildlife, marine, ecological, archaeological, cultural, and scientific values of the Channel Islands in the State of California.