Abalone

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World record red abalone
Abalone Gatherers on Santa Cruz Island
Abalone, collected by Chinese on
San Clemente Island, drying on racks.
Abalones on the Los Angeles coast
Abalone on the California coast, 1902
Abalone camp north of Santa Monica, c. 1900-1905
Abalone shells, Santa Barbara, Cal.
Abalones in Monterey Bay in 1910
Abalones in Monterey Bay in 1940
Abalone near Fort Bragg, 1950s
Abalones on San Miguel Island.
Abalone on San Nicolas Island, 3/13/1956


Abalone (Haliotus), a univalve marine mollusk harvested in an industry first developed in California by the Chinese in Monterey in 1853. The shell provides a roof like covering for the abalone, and is perforated by a row of holes on one side through which the animal respires. Historically, the mollusks were pried off the rocks, cleaned, the meat was pounded, boiled and sun-dried, packed in sacks, and sent to Chinese markets in both San Francisco and China. The luminescent mother-of-pearl abalone shells were sent to markets in the United States, France, and Germany for use in the manufacture of jewelry and buttons.

The Chinese abalone industry peaked on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and San Clemente islands from 1892 to 1895. The U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries Report of the Commissioner for the Year Ending June 30, 1896 reported a Santa Barbara yield of 238,463 pounds of abalone in 1892 and 207,068 pounds in 1895. The report also notes:

The Chinese have a monopoly in the abalone fishery, and in the preparing, eating, and marketing of dried abalone. The meat and shells are handled by a Chinese merchant in Santa Barbara and by him forwarded to other Chinese at San Francisco, where, having supplied any local demand for dried abalone from their countrymen, the surplus is exported to China or the Sandwich Islands. There is one camp of Chinese in the abalone fishery, if it may be so called, on each of the islands of Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and San Clemente. The abalones are gathered from rocks around the shores of the islands, a small, thin, iron bar being required to pry them loose. They are then taken from the shell and for two hours boiled in seawater, to which a small amount of salt is added. After the boiling they are spread on the rocks or ground until the sun and air have dried them almost as hard as bone. The average price of dried abalone meat in 1895 was 4-1/2 cents a pound. The shells, also sold by the pound, have a wide fluctuation in price, which has averaged $20 a ton—a much lower price than in past years. Only the best shells are now saved, a large proportion of those gathered being cast aside. The shells are sold to button, fancy-box, and ornamental workers in America and Europe. A small portion of the highest-colored and best are polished and sold for decoration of private homes.

In 1900, county ordinances were passed that made it illegal to gather abalones from less than twenty feet of water. The regulations completely halted Chinese commercial abalone operations. Undaunted by the new regulations, Japanese fishermen began diving for abalones, first as free divers from surface floats and later, more successfully, as hard-hat divers. Abalone landings peaked at about 3.9 million pounds in 1935, and then declined to under 200,000 pounds by 1942 as fishermen of Japanese heritage were moved to relocation camps during the early part of World War II. Commercial abalone fishing increased later in World War II when abalone was used as a source of wartime food. Landings rapidly increased between 1942 and 1951. The American market for abalone, which developed in the last decades of the 20th century, witnessed a dramatic increase. Landings appeared relatively stable from 1952 to 1968, averaging about 4.5 million pounds per year, but began declining rapidly in 1969. In 1986, a fatal disease known as Withering Syndrome began affecting abalone populations in central and southern California. Visual signs of the disease showed atrophy of the foot muscle. The abalone eventually dies of starvation. By 1996, the last full year the commercial fishery was open, California abalone divers sold red abalone for $450 a dozen wholesale. Landings had fallen to about 229,500 pounds, only 4% of the fishery’s peak landings of 5.4 million pounds.

In May of 1997, the California Department of Fish & Game placed a ban on the commercial taking of abalone until populations recover from the Withering Syndrome. Before protective legislation was enacted, much of the dried flesh and some shells were exported to Asia. Several mari-culture firms are growing and harvesting abalone commercially. Today abalone meat is an expensive delicacy on many fine restaurant menus. Abalone is classified in the phylum Mollusca, class Gastropoda, order Archeogastropoda, family Haliotidae.


» Stearns, Robert E. C. The Haliotis, or Pearly Ear-Shell in American Naturalist 3(5):250-256, July 1894

» Ward, Sam The Abalone in The Overland, Dec. 1903 p. 534

» Williamson, Mrs. M. Burton The Haliotis, or Abalone Industry of the Californian COast: Preservative Laws (A Paper read before The Historical Society, Feb. 8, 1907) in Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California 7: (22-30)

» Edwards, Charles Lincoln The Abalones of California in Popular Science Monthly LXXXII(6):532-550 June 1913

» Stout, Robert Abalone, a changing industry in Santa Barbara Magazine 1(1):61-63 Summer 1975

» Pleschner, D. B. Abalone Divers: a vanishing breed? in Santa Barbara Magazine 8(5):10-16, 74, 78-79 October/November 1982

[photo Land of Sunshine Chinese gathering abalone on Anacapa Earle 1896]

» A. L. Lundy The California Abalone Industry, 1997

» Chinese on the Channel Islands

» Japanese on the Channel Islands


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In the News~

November 9, 1856 [DAC]: “Arrived. Schooner Elsie, [Captain] McEwing, 10 days from Santa Cruz Island. 12 tons abalones to order.”


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.”


April 2, 1857 [SBG]: “March 27. Arrived schooner Elsie, [Captain Winding], from Santa Rosa Island, with twelve tons abalones. Reports a man lost overboard last Sunday, while coming to anchor. The man was knocked into the water by the forepeak, and did not rise to the surface afterwards. His name was Thomas White, and it is believed that he came to this country from one of the English Channel Islands. Sailed April 1 for San Francisco.”


April 20, 1861 [DAC]: “The abalone shell business is another branch of industry in which the Chinese seem to have taken the lead. Formerly these fishermen threw away the shells, and only procured the meat, which they packed nicely and sent hither for the tables of the moon-eyed epicures. These shells were gathered up by the wiser Anglo-Saxons, and shipped to this port, whence they are sent to Europe and made into a variety of fancy articles, such as enamel work for boxes, card tables, etc. The Chinamen at last saw the point, and now save the shells and all. The Senator had 216 sacks of these on board.”


October 18, 1862 [SFDEB]: “Importations. Santa Cruz Island per Ann G. Doyle — 20 bbls. tallow, 2 bales wool, 5 bales skins, 30 sacks abalones.”


November 9, 1872 [PRP]: “Abalone shells. Sixteen tons of shells have been ordered from this coast by two firms, one in Boston and the other in Philadelphia. They are for manufacturing into buttons and many kinds of fancy articles, and bring good prices. The islands opposite to this county are literally covered with the finest shells for this purpose found in the world. Why are they not utilized? On the shores of Anacapa and Santa Cruz, a few men could soon load a schooner. Ventura Signal.”


September 12, 1873 [SBWP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom arrived from Santa Rosa Island carrying abalone.”


September 13, 1873 [SBG]: “The schooner Calambers arrived from San Nicolas Island with abalone.”


November 15, 1873 [SBWP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom departed for the islands for abalone and hides.”


September 27, 1875 [SBDN]: “The schooner Matinee came over from the islands yesterday with 50 sacks of abalones which will be shipped to San Francisco this morning by the Senator.”


December 27, 1875 [SBDN]: “The sloop New Wonder came over from San Miguel Island yesterday and brought 53 sacks of abalones.”


November 25, 1875 [SBDN]: “Abalone makes first rate chowder, so we have been told. We stand by to try one on the first opportunity, because anything that will make a good chowder is a rarity here, and is worth prospecting for.”


December 27, 1875 [SBDN]: “The sloop New Wonder came over from San Miguel Island yesterday and brought 53 sacks of abalones.”


January 11, 1876 [SBDN]: “Mr. William Urquart has our thanks for some abalones from the Santa Barbara islands. We shall sample abalone chowder this morning.”


January 27, 1876 [SBDN]: “The little sloop New Wonder came over from the islands yesterday, and brought 91 sacks of abalones.”


March 18, 1876 [SBDN]: “The schooners Star of Freedom and Matinee sailed for the outlying islands yesterday after abalones.”


March 25, 1876 [SBDP]: “The schooner Matinee arrived here this morning from the island with one hundred and fifty-two sacks of abalones for San Francisco. They will be shipped from thence to China. John said they were ‘belly good,’ but judging by the powerful smell we should think they were quite the reverse; but there’s no accounting for tastes.”


March 26, 1876 [SBDN]: “The schooner Matinee came from San Nicolas Island yesterday with 142 sacks of abalones. They will be shipped north.”


April 7, 1876 [SBDN]: “Yesterday morning the schooner Alma from San Miguel Island arrived bringing 20 sacks of abalones. She was en route for San Francisco, but being blown far out of her course put in at this place.”


April 18, 1876 [SBDN]: “The schooner Matinee arrived from Santa Rosa Island yesterday with 100 sacks of abalones, and the archaeological specimens recently made by Messrs. Bowers and party.”


April 19, 1876 [SBDP]: “The Matinee brought over 100 sacks of abalones and Mr. Bowers’ collection of curiosities from Santa Cruz Island yesterday.”


August 14, 1876 [SBDP]: “The Matinee, Captain Frank Thompson, sailed this afternoon for Santa Rosa Island for a load of abalones.”


August 17, 1876 [SBDP]: “The Matinee returned from Santa Rosa Island last evening, whither she had gone for a load of abalones. It was too rough to take the freight, so she came away without it.”


November 1, 1876 [SBDP]: “The schooner Matinee, Captain Chase, arrived from San Nicolas Island last evening loaded with abalones.”


November 10, 1876 [SBDP]: “Two Chinese sloops, from the islands, are unloading fish and abalones at the wharf.”


January 25, 1877 [SBDP]: “A Chinese fishing boat came in from the islands this morning with a cargo of abalones partially dried. They will be shipped to China for food. Jewhilliken! How powerful they did smell.”


June 16, 1877 [SBDP]: “The Chinese junk Sam Ac came into port from the islands today with a cargo of abalones. They will be shipped to San Francisco and thence to China.”


October 15, 1877 [SBDP]: “The schooner Reliance will leave port this evening for the Island of San Miguel. She takes over a number of Chinamen who are employed in the abalone fishing trade, together with their boat and utensils. The boat, which has been built up town, was hauled down to the wharf on a dray.”


February 19, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Matinee and Star of Freedom are both in port. The Matinee brought about two tons of abalone shells from the islands.”


March 4, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom and Matinee both arrived in port yesterday, the latter bringing a load of abalone shells from the islands.”


May 17, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Chinese-owned sloop Alea with a load of abalone shells arrived in port this morning.”


June 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Rogers Brothers & Company seal-hunting expedition to San Miguel Island has but just commenced operations. Seals are reported as numerous, but not heretofore in condition to kill. During otherwise idle moments the party has been gathering abalone shells, of which they have found in goodly quantity.”


June 10, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Helen W. Almy came in from the islands last night with a load of abalone shells.”


June 17, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom brought a load of wool and abalone shells from Catalina Island.”


June 22, 1878 [SBDP]: “The little schooner H. W. Almy arrived in port this morning, having made since the 14th instant a complete tour of all the islands lying off Santa Barbara. Small as she is, the Almy is enough like her energetic owner, Captain Mullett, not to half do anything, and so she comes back laden with seal oil and abalone shells gathered by the two parties sent out by Captain Mullett some time since… Among other places Captain Mullett stopped at San Miguel and interviewed Fred Forbush, who has charge of the Rogers Brothers sealing expedition, which was fitted out here some time ago. Fred, it is said, takes off his hat and sits on it every time he tells of the San Diego expedition getting ahead of him, and taking up quarters on Flea Island, where the seals most do congregate. He has done better than they have, however, for besides fifteen barrels of oil, he has gathered a quantity of abalone shells, while the San Diego party has only fifty barrels of oil…”


July 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “Captain Mullett arrived in port this morning with a load of abalone shells and seal oil, and a live sea lion weighing eight hundred pounds, which will probably go to Woodward’s Gardens.”


July 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooners Alma and Surprise were in the harbor this morning. The Alma arrived from the islands yesterday with a load of abalones belonging to Chinamen.”


July 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom arrived from San Miguel Island last evening. She brought over Fred Forbush’s sealing party and the following freight consigned to E. F. Rogers: 1200 gallons of seal oil, 35 barrels and 60 sacks of an excellent quality of abalone shells.”


July 18, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise, recently purchased by E. F. Rogers, will return in a few days from San Diego. She will be overhauled and fitted up for the seal oil and abalone shell trade between this place and the islands.”


July 23, 1878 [SBDP]: “The H. W. Almy, after an unusually long voyage of three days, arrived this morning from San Nicolas Island with a cargo of five tons of dried abalone, six tons of abalone shells, and ten Chinese passengers.”


July 31, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner H. W. Almy arrived in port yesterday with a cargo of shells, etc. from the islands.”


August 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise left here last evening for San Nicolas Island for abalone shells.”


August 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “Notice to gatherers of abalone shells. The Superintendent of the Island of Santa Cruz, in the county of Santa Barbara, hereby gives notice that all persons landing on the said island without special permission of the Superintendent will be considered as trespassers and treated as such. J. B. Joyaux, Superintendent.”


August 14, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise from San Miguel Island arrived in port this afternoon with five tons of abalone shells for Rogers Brothers & Company.”


August 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “The H. W. Almy arrived in port yesterday afternoon with a cargo of ten tons of abalone shells.”


August 22, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom arrived in port this morning from the islands with a load of seventy-five sacks of dried fish and abalones.”


August 23, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived in port yesterday afternoon with a cargo of abalone shells from the islands.”


October 2, 1878 [SBDP]: “Quite a number of small boats loaded with abalone shells were awaiting the arrival of the steamer this morning, for the shipment of their cargoes to San Francisco.”


October 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “The sloop Sport of the Wave, Captain Larssen, from Cerros [Cedros] Island, Mexico, with five tons of dried abalones, arrived in port yesterday, and departed last night for San Francisco.”


October 19, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Alma got in during the night from San Miguel, with 16 sacks of wool and 40 sacks of shells.”


October 25, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise from San Nicolas Island loaded with sheep and shells arrived this morning....”


October 28, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Laurie, Captain Percerville, from Santa Rosa, discharged 140 sacks of abalones yesterday.”


November 13, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Laura is discharging a cargo of shells.”


November 15, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived this morning from San Nicolas Island, loaded with abalones.”


November 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise is discharging a cargo of shells on the wharf.”


December 17, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived yesterday afternoon from Santa Rosa Island with a load of shells.”


April 14, 1879 [SBDP]: “A Chinese fishing sloop loaded with shells and abalones arrived from the islands this morning.”


April 15, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from the island last evening. She returns this evening for shells and abalone.”


June 13, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B., Captain Johnson, arrived from the islands yesterday with ten tons of abalone shells for Rogers Brothers & Co.”


July 28, 1879 [SBDP]: “A Chinese schooner arrived from the islands this morning with a cargo of shells and abalones for the San Francisco market.”


September 8, 1879 [SBDP]: “The See Ling, a genuine Chinese junk, arrived yesterday from the Santa Barbara islands with a cargo of abalone shells.”


September 18, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. has sailed for the islands on a hunt for sea lions and shells.”


September 23, 1879 [SBDP]: “The little sloop Eliza has gone to the islands on a hunt for abalones or anything that might turn up.”


November 3, 1879 [SBDP]: “The Surprise returned from Santa Rosa Island Saturday night with a lot of abalones and a few otter skins for Rogers Brothers.”


November 5, 1879 [SBWP]: “The schooner Surprise is preparing for a trip to San Miguel Island for abalones and bilge water.”


November 8, 1879 [SBWP]: “The Surprise returned from Santa Rosa Island Saturday night with a lot of abalones and a few otter skins for Rogers Brothers.”


November 15, 1879 [SBWP]: “The Surprise arrived from the islands this morning with lots of abalone, shark fins, shark oil and Chinese traps and calamities.”


November 26, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise has returned from the islands with forty sacks of abalones and some otter skins for Rogers Brothers.”


January 12, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise left yesterday for San Miguel Island with eight calves for Mr. Mills and a large cargo of supplies for the abalone hunters.”


January 22, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise came in from the islands yesterday with a lot of abalones.”


January 27, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise has gone to San Nicolas Island after abalone shells.”


February 18, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise came in from San Miguel Island on Monday evening, bringing the rigging of the wrecked schooner N. B. The sea was rough about the island, and she had difficulty in landing the party of seal hunters which she took over for Rogers. She got out right quick. She left for San Nicolas Island this morning on a shell hunting trip.”


February 23, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom arrived this morning from Santa Cruz Island, discharged a couple of tons of abalone shells and meat, and put out again for the same island about 10 o’clock.”


February 26, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived from San Nicolas Island this morning and discharged 100 sacks of abalone shells and meat. She will depart tomorrow for San Miguel Island for seal oil and skins.”


March 4, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise, under Captain Smith, arrived last night from San Miguel Island, discharged 65 sacks of abalone shell, 14 sacks of meat, 119 seal skins, 7 barrels of seal oil, 1 barrel of intestines.”


March 30, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom left the wharf at noon yesterday for Island Santa Cruz. On her last trip she brought over 20 bags of wool and 25 sacks of abalone shells.”


April 12, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise came in yesterday from Catalina 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 50 seals alive, which are designed for the East.”


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.”


June 18, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise from the island San Nicolas, arrived today with a lot of shells and abalones. She sails this evening on her return with supplies for the sealing camps.”


July 3, 1880 [LAH]: “Arrived at San Pedro July 1st, sloop Flora, Perry master, from Clemente Island with cargo of abalone shells for I. Morrison.”


September 14, 1880 [LAH]: “Arrived at Wilmington September 11th, sloop Flora, Perry master, from Clemente Island with cargo of shells.”


October 25, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Sarah Ann from the islands, arrived Saturday morning laden with abalone shells and seal oil. Immense quantities of these shells are shipped to Baltimore and other eastern cities.”


October 30, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Sarah Ann has discharged her cargo, consisting of abalone shells, seal oil, seal and leopard skins, consigned to P. N. Newell. The same was shipped by steamer this morning to San Francisco. Mr. Newell has just fitted her out for a trip down the coast. She leaves tomorrow.”


March 29, 1881 [LAH]: “Arrived March 24, schooner Alexander, [Capt/] McMillan, Master, 36 hours fro Santa Barbara Island, cargo of abalone shells to master.”


November 8, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy arrived from the islands on Sunday and discharged yesterday. She brought 100 sacks of abalone shells.”


November 19, 1881 [SBDP]: “Rogers Brothers fitted out a schooner which sailed for the Islands yesterday morning, on a cruise for otter, and for abalone shells.”


December 7, 1881 [SBDP]: “V. Rossi has reduced his prices for abalone shell work as follows: mother of pearl $2.40; Santa Cruz Island shell $1.00… Call and see him at his shop between James McGuire’s and Ruiz’s drug store.”


December 8, 1881 [LAT]: “Twenty tons of abalone shells were shipped to Europe from San Diego recently.”


March 1, 1882 [LAT]: “Mr. R. W. Jackson, the well-known manufacturer of abalone shell jewelry, is stopping for a few days in the city. He has a large and splendid variety of the mother of pearl shells, prepared for painting, card cases, picture frames, etc., and a magnificent assortment of shell jewelry on exhibition…”


March 10, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom came over from Santa Cruz Island this morning with 300 sacks of abalone shells and 90 sacks of abalones.”


March 12, 1883 [SBDP]: “The Convoy has on board 250 sacks of abalones and shells from San Nicolas Island. Larco’s schooner is also in port with a cargo of abalone shells, seal skins and otter skins from San Miguel Island.”


March 17, 1883 [SBWP]: “Several schooners arrived in the channel Saturday and are now anchored near the wharf. The Convoy has on board 250 sacks of abalones and shells from San Nicolas Island, Larco’s schooner is also in port with a cargo of abalone shells, seal skins and otter skins from San Miguel Island...”


March 18, 1882 [SBWP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom came over from Santa Cruz Island this morning with 300 sacks of abalone shells and 90 sacks of abalones.”


June 2, 1883 [SBWP]: “The schooner Vesta, which has been unloading lumber at our wharf for some time past, has sailed for Santa Rosa Island. There she will take on a cargo of about seven hundred bales of wool and a lot of pelts and sea shells for San Francisco.”


July 9, 1883 [SBDI]: “Captain Sam Burtis, his son, and Antonio Cavalleri, came over from San Miguel Island last Saturday, after a two months hunting and cruising trip. Larco brought them over and also their cargo, secured while away. This consisted of eleven barrels of seal oil, almost three tons of skins, a quantity of abalone shells and dried fish besides fifteen fine large sea otters. The value of the otters is about $900. The captain and his party were unusually successful this time, and had a most enjoyable trip throughout besides.”


July 14, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy came into port today from Anacapa Island with a cargo including 11 barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones and one ton of wool.”


July 20, 1883 [LAT]: “The schooner Convoy came into port yesterday from Anacapa Island with a cargo including eleven barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones, and one ton of wool. [Santa Barbara Press]


August 1, 1883 [SBDP]: “Further adventures of the Santa Barbara exploring party... Then the party disembarked [on Anacapa Island] and made camp in a wild looking ravine where some Chinese abalone fishers had some time made their home. They had left an abundance of fuel behind...”


August 1, 1883 [LAT]: “Catalina in flames. A wretched Sunday for thousands of people. The beautiful island city lying in ashes. Immense losses, but well-insured. Factories, churches, courthouse and many residences burned. On Sunday afternoon, on the arrival of the Wilmington train, the painful particulars of a terrible fire at Catalina Island were first learned. According to General Roley, who was first on the scene, it commenced in the Chinese fish oil manufactory of Ah Lie, who was smoking opium, and carelessly knocked over his lamp, the flames being immediately conveyed to a lot of open barrels containing refined oil. Ah Lie was burned to death while lying in a state of insensibility from opium… The abalone factory soon met the same fate…”


August 7, 1883 [LAT]: “A schooner load of abalone shells arrived at Wilmington on Sunday for shipment to San Francisco.”


August 7, 1883 [ODNY]: “Captain A. Larco, a California fisherman, recently made an extensive cruise along the coast… He had undertaken the contract to provision four seal-fishing stations on Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands… At one place Captain Larco found a colony of Chinamen engaged in gathering abalones and catching and drying rock cod and bluefish for shipment to China. They have accumulated several tons of dried fish and will soon have a load for a schooner…”


September 22, 1883 [SBDP]: “There are 170 sacks of abalone piled up on Stearn’s Wharf. These shells are gathered by Chinamen at Santa Cruz Island and are brought here in large quantities by schooners.”


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.”


October 8, 1883 [SBDI]: “Captain Larco sailed Sunday for San Nicolas Island to carry over a party of Chinese abalone fishers.”


October 27, 1883 [SBDI]: “Abalones. A peculiar article of commerce of Southern California. An odd source of wealth… Parties of Chinese fishermen were on the various Channel Islands most of the year. Messrs. Rogers and Brothers of this city sent out today for San Miguel, a party of five men for abalone, seal skins and oil. The number of abalone to be obtained by such a party is impossible to estimate. Low tide being the only time when they can be gathered and the lower the tide, the more are exposed to view… San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Nicolas, Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands, all found being protective points of supply. Messrs. Rogers and Brothers of this city sent out today for San Miguel a party of five for abalones, seal skins and oil. The number of abalones to be obtained by such a party is impossible to estimate. Low tide being the only time when they can be gathered, and the lower the tide the more are exposed to view…”


November 3, 1883 [SBWI]: “The abalone business is carried on more or less along the sea shore of the semi-tropic, but at this place on the islands of the Channel the occupation is conducted, though quietly, upon larger scale than any other locality further south. The abalone is a greater success than the egg in point of natural economy, in that the shell also is materially viable. The meat is taken by the Chinamen and dried. The dried abalone is esteemed as a great dainty and is worth in San Francisco six cents per pound. It is exported from that point in large quantities to China and gourmets of that frugal people do not hesitate to pay the heavy price it commands in that Empire after first cost, freight and handling are added. The particular charm that this dried meat has for the celestial palate is not apparent to the barbarian tooth. The Independent reporter found it much resembling in consistency, color and odor a piece of veteran sole leather... San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Nicolas, Anacapa, Catalina, and Santa Barbara islands are all productive points of supply. Messrs. Rogers and Brothers of this city sent out today for San Miguel a party of five for abalone, seal skins and oil. The number of abalone to be obtained by such a party is impossible to estimate, low tide being the only time when they can be gathered, and the lower the tide the more exposed to view. It would seem that the practical mind of the American should be able to find some manner of preparing this healthful article of food in a manner acceptable to the taste of white men.”


January 21 1884 [SBDI]: “Across the channel in the Ocean King… The Ocean King, managed by Captain Larco, an experienced mariner whose exploits would have made a less modest man famous the world over, went splashing through the waters as light as a gull... About the cove [Forney’s Cove] the land lies flat and an old Indian burial ground gives silent testimony of the vanished race who found the Santa Cruz Island a peaceful home. Two Chinese camps busy in gathering abalones, and the enormous quantities of water fowl…”


January 28, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, is at San Miguel Island hunting otter, securing sea lions and gathering abalones. Due at this place within a month.”


April 1884 [SBWI]: “...Captain Larco is a fisherman and the Ocean King has first duty as a fishing smack, but nothing comes amiss, a pleasure party to the islands, taking over a party of otter hunters and their traps, taking Chinese abalone fishers or any kind of passengers, carrying provisions to, or abalones, shells, skins, dried fish, fresh fish. In fact anything from the islands. [October 6, 1977 SBNP]


April 18, 1884 [SBDP]: “The trade in abalone shells carried on here is one of the unique industries for which Santa Barbara is noted. Within the last 30 days, 500 sacks of this brilliant molluscan armor have been shipped from this wharf to San Francisco where there is a ready demand for them... The Don George unloaded a heavy cargo of them yesterday afternoon.”


May 1, 1884 [SBDP]: “There are 200 sacks of abalones, weighing between 200 and 300 pounds to a sack, at the wharf awaiting shipment to San Francisco. The gathering, curing, shipping and eating of this delicious mollusk and important article of commerce seems to receive attention principally from the Chinese.”


May 5, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Angel Dolly and the schooner Ocean King came in yesterday from San Miguel Island. The Ocean King takes a load of Chinese abalone gatherers to Santa Cruz Island.”


May 9, 1884 [SBDI]: “A party of 15 Chinamen were shipped in two parties this morning for the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa by the schooner Santa Rosa. They are abalone fishermen and have with them a complete outfit for a long stay on the islands. They use long flat bottom boats, like the sharpie of the New England coast, save that it is steered by a clumsy Oriental-looking sweep tied to the stern instead of the ordinary oar or rudder.”


May 17, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Angel Dolly sailed for Anacapa this noon with a load of Chinamen to gather abalones. She has been refitted, the cabin enlarged and a galley built on deck. She will be a comfortable excursion craft, swift and well managed.”


July 14, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Angel Dolly came in from San Miguel Saturday with a party of Santa Barbara boys who have been over there seal hunting. They brought over two barrels of oil, forty skins and twenty sacks of abalone shells.”


July 17, 1884 [SBDP]: “Yesterday afternoon the schooner Angel Dolly arrived from Anacapa Island with the Fields brothers and party. They brought over 11 barrels of oil and a quantity of skins and abalone shells as the fruit of two months work.”


December 15, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King arrived in port Saturday forenoon from Santa Cruz Island, with shells and skins for H. A. Rogers, gathered by the Field brothers.”


January 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King went to San Nicolas Island day before yesterday for shells and abalones.”


January 19, 1885 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ocean King has arrived from San Nicolas Island with a cargo of abalone shells.”


February 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King arrived last night from San Miguel Island, where she went to take Dr. Mills and family. The sloop brought back a few seal skins and abalones.”


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.”


April 23, 1885 [SBDI]: “Twelve Chinamen left this afternoon for the islands to gather abalone shells on the Angel Dolly. She also takes out a crew of otter hunters.”


April 29, 1885 [SBDP]: “A chinese junk lying in the harbor was today preparing to take on board a crew of Chinese abalone hunters, bound for the island.”


May 1, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King is provisioned, and as soon as a wind springs up will set sail for San Nicolas Island, with a number of Chinese abalone hunters.”


June 5, 1885 [SBDI]: “The Chinese merchants are experiencing quiet times in their branches of trade. The merchants during the past year, however, have shipped hundreds of dollars worth of abalone shells, to say nothing of the dried fish that has been shipped to San Francisco and thence forwarded to the ‘flowery kingdom.’ Sing Chung and Co. have a number of men constantly employed in hunting, fishing and gathering shells in and around the several islands that are within a few hours sail of Santa Barbara. They own their own boats, and in fact everything that pertains to the business in which they pursue…”


July 3, 1885 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ocean King, arrived from San Miguel Island this morning with several tons of abalone shells.”


July 19, 1885 [LAT]: “Shells… France is the largest buyer and next in the order named follow: Germany, Belgium, Holland and England… Small shells command from $50 to $70 per one hundred pounds, and are found along the shores of the south coast and on the outlying islands. They reach California in sacks, and in sacks are shipped to Europe where they are used in the manufacture of many curious and ornamental things…”


July 21, 1885 [SBDI]: “Two Chinese junks are in the harbor. One of them is discharging a cargo of abalones which brings $7 per ton in San Francisco.”


August 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Charles Libbey, arrived in port Saturday night from the islands with 35 sacks of dried abalone and 35 sacks of shells.”


August 24, 1885 [SBDP]: “The Rosita came into port yesterday from the islands with a cargo of abalone and shells.”


August 29, 1885 [SBDP]: “A new Santa Barbara industry is the drying of abalone meat for shipment to San Francisco and export to China where it is regarded as a delicacy by the natives. Sing Chung and Sing Hop, Chinese merchants engaged in the trade, have sent for exhibition several specimens of the dried meat, as well as a number of handsomely polished abalone shells.”


September 1, 1885 [SBDI]: “The Ocean King returned from Santa Rosa Island yesterday with a cargo of abalones.”


September 2, 1885 [SBDP]: “The gathering and curing of abalones is an important item of business here, the product finding a market chiefly among the Chinese, who ship large quantities of the tough yet nourishing flesh to the Flowery Kingdom. The sloop Ocean King night before last brought a cargo of 120 sacks of abalone to this port from Santa Cruz Island, each bag weighing 75 to 80 pounds, and making a total weight of about five tons. The market price of the shells is so low just now that they are left at the island until there is a demand for them.”


September 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King yesterday brought over from San Nicolas Island forty five sacks of abalones.”


November 4, 1885 [SNDP]: “The Ocean King took a party of Chinese abalone hunters to San Nicolas Island yesterday.”


1886. “…The California Indians were large consumers of these native shell fish, as the many kitchen middens, or shell mounds, testify. The largest abalone shells the writer has seen were from the shell mounds of San Nicolas Island, where, according to Dr. S. Bowers, ‘Millions multiplied by millions would be but a beginning, in enumerating the vast number of shells in the heaps, of which the Haliotis predominates.’” [Williamson, Mrs. M. Burton The Haliotis or Abalone Industry of the Californian Coast: Preservative Laws (7), 1906. Historical Society of Southern California 1(7), 1906, pp. 22-30. [Bowers. 9th Annual Report Cal. State Mining Bur., 1890.]


July 14, 1886 [SBDI]: “Sloop Ocean King is off on an abalone trip down the coast.”


July 20, 1886 [SBDI]:Ocean King discharged yesterday 60 sacks of abalone shells and this morning left for San Miguel Island to bring over some whalers.”


July 30, 1886 [SBDI]: “Sloop Ocean King is off down the coasts after a cargo of abalone.”


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


September 13, 1886 [SBDP]: “Sloop Ocean King arrived in port Saturday evening with a large cargo of abalone.”


September 28, 1886 [SBDP]: The Angel Dolly came in from the islands yesterday with a cargo of abalones, which were shipped north on the steamer last evening. The market for abalone shells is so dull at present that the shells are left lying on the island beach, after extracting the flesh.”


November 17, 1886 [SBDP]: “A Chinese junk, laden with abalones, came into port yesterday from the islands.”


January 19, 1887 [?]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Charles Libbey, arrived in port Saturday night with thirty sacks of dried abalones and thirty-five sacks of shell.”


1888 U.S. Commission of Fish & Fisheries Report: “Santa produced 34,050 pounds of abalone meat valued at $2,043.75, and 19,775 pounds of shells valued at $247.18.”


March 23, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Brisk arrived this morning from Anacapa Island with a load of shells for H. A. Rogers.”


April 23, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ocean King took a number of Chinamen over to San Miguel Island today. They went after abalones.”


August 16, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Ocean King has gone to the islands after a number of Chinamen who have been there getting abalones.”


October 27, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Brisk will leave for the islands this morning with a crew of Chinese abalone hunters.”


June 9, 1889 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived from Santa Rosa Island Friday night with A. P. More, L. W. More and J. B. Joyaux. A. P. More shows no signs of his recent disaster, except a sprained arm which he still keeps in a bandage. The schooner brought over 440 sacks of abalone shells and 197 abalones, which will be unloaded at Goleta.”


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.”


February 25, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells. A party of otter hunters was left on the island. They will also try out a whale which is ashore there.”


March 3, 1891 [LAT]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells, Says the Santa Barbara Press.”


March 13, 1891 [SBMP]: “The schooner Ruby is in from San Miguel Island. She brought back a gang of Chinamen, twelve tons of dried abalones, and four tons of abalone shells.”


May 17, 1891 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa leaves today for the islands with a gang of Chinamen to collect abalone shells for Captain G. F. Ellis.”


July 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara Fishing Company’s schooner, Santa Barbara, Captain Ellis, unloaded ten tons of shells and abalones at the wharf yesterday afternoon and returned to the islands.”


July 21, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara has returned from the islands with eight tons of shells and abalones. She leaves today for a pleasure trip across the channel.”


August 8, 1891 [SBMP]: “A Chinese junk left port yesterday for the islands to gather abalones and shell.”


August 23, 1891 [SBMP]: “Schooner Star of Freedom arrived yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with twenty tons of abalones and shells.”


September 2, 1891 [IDS]: “The most beautiful shell money in the world is made of abalone of our western coasts. When polished the abalone shows lovely green, purple and iridescent colors, and the Indians from California to Alaska value it highly, as do the manufacturers of pearl buttons.”


September 3, 1891 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Barbara arrived from the islands yesterday with a cargo of abalones.”


September 3, 1891 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Barbara returned to the islands yesterday for another cargo of shells.”


October 18, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, with a crew of sailors and sheep shearers, returned from a several weeks’ trip to San Miguel Island in the sloop Liberty yesterday morning. The captain brought over quite a cargo of wool and abalone shells.”


February 14, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Ruby was at the wharf yesterday, discharging her cargo, which consisted of ten tons of abalones from the San Clemente Island consigned to some Chinese merchants of this place.”


May 3, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby left for San Clemente Island yesterday morning, taking down four Chinamen who will remain on the island for four months gathering abalones. The Ruby will bring a load of gravel from the island.”


July 7, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby sailed yesterday morning for San Clemente Island for a cargo of abalones.”


July 18, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty, Captain Waters’ boat, came in from San Miguel Island late Saturday night, bringing Rogers Brothers seal outfit together with the rest of their catch. She had on board several barrels of oil, about two tons of abalone shells. They had been over on the island for about two months.”


July 26, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The Ruby returned Saturday morning with a cargo of abalones from Santa Barbara Island. Captain Stevens verifies the statements recently published in the Examiner concerning the large number of the feline tribe which live upon this island and which so closely resemble the ordinary domestic cat.”


October 19, 1892 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa left for Santa Rosa Island with a crew of Chinamen who have been engaged in securing a cargo of abalone shells. Mr. John T. Moore will return on the boat.”


November 5, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Ruby returned from the islands yesterday, bringing a load of twenty-five tons of abalone shells.”


November 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Ruby came in from San Miguel Island yesterday morning bringing a load of shells...”


November 20, 1892 [SBMP]: “A shipment of ten tons of abalone shells will be made from this port to Redondo the first of the week. From there they will be shipped on the Conemaugh by the way of Cape Horn to New York. This is the first shipment of this kind to that city.”


November 25, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby returned from San Clemente Island yesterday morning after a very rough trip of five days coming. She had been gone eighteen days and brought back 850 bags of abalone shells. The schooner will leave on another trip in a few days.”


December 10, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The owners of the schooner Ruby received a telephone message Thursday night from San Pedro announcing the wreck of the schooner on San Clemente Island. No particulars were given, further than that the boat was a total loss. The schooner was a small, two-masted vessel, and was owned by Thomas Clark and E. P. Stevens of this city. The Ruby had gone to San Clemente Island after a cargo of shells, and it is supposed that she ran against a rock. There were three men aboard: Clarence Libbey in command; E. P. Stevens, one of the owners, and a seaman. No one was hurt. The schooner was valued at $1500 and was not insured.”


December 14, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Latest news from the wreck of the schooner Ruby of this place, at San Clemente Island, goes to show that the vessel was a total loss and that Mr. Stevens, one of the owners, came near losing his life. When the Ruby reached the island, although the storm had abated, there was a heavy swell on. Mr. Stevens and two men had remained on the island from the last trip to gather shells for another load… After resting completely the three men took an otter boat, and by rowing and sailing made their way in the open boat, first to San Nicolas Island, then to San Pedro where Mr. Stevens chartered another vessel and went back after the men left on San Clemente, together with their effects and the shells gathered. They are expected in Santa Barbara in a few days.”


January 13, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo came over yesterday from San Nicolas Island bringing a load of abalone shells.”


January 15, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo left yesterday afternoon for San Nicolas Island for a cargo of abalone shells.”


January 27, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo came in Wednesday night from San Nicolas Island with four hundred sacks of shells.”


January 28, 1893 [LAT/]: “Four hundred sacks of abalone shells were brought in from San Nicolas Island Wednesday night for shipment east.”


February 7, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo came in Sunday night from San Clemente Island with a cargo of twelve or fifteen tons of abalone shells.”


February 9, 1893 [LAH]: “Redondo Beach, Feb. 8 — Captain Gent moored his yacht Oregon alongside Redondo wharf at 2:30 P.M. today, just in from San Clemente Island. The Oregon brought in a full cargo of abalone shells gathered by the crews of the steam schooner Hetty and the Oregon on the beaches of San Clemente. Captain Gent left San Clemente yesterday at noon, making a good run into the port. The remaining members of the crews with the Hetty he left at San Clemente, all in good health and spirits. Captain George Earle, with the Hetty, will soon proceed from that island to the island of San Nicolas located to the northwest, where they will make their next rendezvous. Captain Gent proposes putting to sea tomorrow for San Nicolas Island, or as soon as he can ship sufficient stores aboard the Oregon required for the crews of the expedition.”


February 11, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo got up sail yesterday afternoon and started for Anacapa Islands for a cargo of abalone shells.”


February 17, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo sailed for Santa Cruz Island to gather abalones.”


March 15, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner San Mateo came in on Monday night after a 3 weeks cruise among the islands in search of abalone shells.”


April 2, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa came in from Santa Rosa Island yesterday morning bringing a load of abalone shells and a number of sacks of dried abalones. They have been gathered on the island in the past four months by a camp of Chinamen located there for that purpose.”


April 4, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa left for the islands yesterday for another cargo of abalone shells.”


April 7, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with a cargo of abalone shells.”


April 22, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Mateo came in on Friday morning from Santa Rosa Island bringing live seals and some abalones and other shells…”


May 17, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Maurice C. Kittridge, accompanied by Captain Burtis on the Restless, bound for Flea Island, with supplies for the sealers there.”


May 26, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa brought Mr. Moore over from Santa Rosa Island yesterday and will return taking two Chinamen over to look for abalones.”


May 5, 1893 [SBMP]: “The sloop San Mateo is in from the islands with a cargo of abalone shells.”


May 26, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa brought Mr. More over from Santa Rosa Island yesterday and will return taking two Chinamen over to look for abalones.”


August 10, 1893 [SBDI]: “This morning the San Mateo started for the islands. She will return in a few days with a cargo of abalone shells.”


August 30, 1893 [SBDI]: “There is a case that will come before our courts shortly that calls for the best legal talent. It is well known that Justinian Caire of San Francisco, has been the owner of Santa Cruz Island for many years. As he expressed it to the writer months ago, ‘I have bought the property with my own money as a heritage to my children. I have spent a great deal in the way of improvements and love to go there myself, and enjoy the quiet place. It is my property and I do not wish to be molested by strangers. Camping parties have invaded my rights, killed my stock, burned my trees, destroyed my improvements and annoyed me in many ways.’ The law, as we are informed, gives the space between high and low water to the people. No one can own that. On the rocks which surround this island grow thousands and tens of thousands of abalone. They are a shell fish and also belong to the people. No one can own them. But, in order to gather them, a person must infringe on the property rights of Mr. Caire. They must use his shores for drying or preserving their meat and cleaning the shells which are worth $40 per ton at wholesale. A few weeks ago, some men went to the island, gathered a lot of abalone, dried the meat and sacked it and got it ready for shipment, all on Mr. Caire’s land. Captain Burtis went after the men and their goods as per agreement. It was found that the boat could not touch the land at the spot where the fish lay, so the men began to transport it to Surprise Harbor. While engaged in taking the last load there, the Santa Cruz, a gasoline boat belonging to the island, confiscated the whole lot of goods. For this, several arrests have been made, and it is on this account that the nice legal talent will be required. It is a question of great interest to the people of this city who consider it a hardship not to be allowed to go to and from the island, camp there as much as they wish and appropriate firewood, shoot the birds and seals to their heart’s content. Until very lately, Mr. Caire has been very indulgent, but he seems to consider it time to take a firm hand in the matter, and has already ordered away several parties who have landed on the island. The above facts as we learn them and they are given by us with no prejudice to any one, reserving to the majesty of the law the whole trial of the case. We have only intended to give a statement of facts with no opinion either way.”


August 31, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “There is trouble on the island kingdom of President Justinian Caire of the Santa Cruz Island Company. It appears that Mr. Caire has had his son on the island as superintendent, and that there is considerable pains being taken to discourage people from landing thereon. Two young men from this city, R. Vasquez and Manuel Alves, have been on the island since July 15 gathering abalone shells and abalones from the rocks and cliffs on the north side. They had collected fifteen sacks of abalone meat and twelve sacks of shells, and on the 24th began taking them to Surprise Harbor, where the schooner Restless was to come and take the boys and their load to this port. It proved to be a surprise harbor for them, for when they were bringing their last load in the skiff from Lady Harbor, they saw the gasoline launch Santa Cruz leaving in a hurried manner, and on following her in a skiff, found that she had taken their stuff on board. They went to the superintendent, but he would give them no satisfaction and ordered them away. Saturday they swore to a complaint charging young Mr. Caire and the steam schooner’s captain with theft, and Constable Dan Dover left for Santa Cruz Island on the Restless Sunday with the intention of arresting the two men.”


September 5, 1893 [SBDI]: “The Santa Cruz Island suits have been settled to the mutual satisfaction of all, and the case taken from court. It was the result of a misunderstanding that the affair took place. This is better for all and cheaper for all.”


October 18, 1893 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa, Captain Thompson, is in with a cargo of 321 sacks of abalone shells, 69 sacks of abalone, and five sacks of seaweed from the Chinese camp on Santa Rosa Island. The abalone and seaweed are for shipment to China, where they are cooked and served in oriental style and considered great delicacies.”


January 11, 1894 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa, has gone to the island with a crew of Chinamen to gather in a supply of abalone. They are not intended for the amphibia.”


April 10, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner from Santa Cruz Island brought over fifteen tons of abalones and twelve tons of shells the latter part of last week.”


April 11, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa brought over seven tons of shells and ten tons of abalones.”


April 13, 1894 [SBDI]: “Within the past few days fifty tons of shells and abalones have been landed at the wharf from the islands.”


May 1, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless, Captain Burtis, made the run from Santa Barbara to San Clemente Island, a distance of 145 miles, in 19 hours the other day; the Restless took a cargo of Chinamen to the island to hunt abalones. The sloop is expected back tonight.”


May 2, 1894 [SBDI]: “Quite a large shipment of abalone, some ten tons, was sent to San Francisco last night on the Corona.”


May 22, 1894 [SBDI]: “The Abalone Trade. Anyone who has ever tasted abalone soup when it was fixed ‘just right,’ has never forgotten how good it was, and often longs for another chance. But the abalone consumed by the local trade is insignificant compared to the vast quantity shipped annually to San Francisco and the Chinese, and they prepare it in various ways, making it almost as edible as the rat when properly cooked. Unlike the rat, however, abalone can be eaten raw, and anyone stranded on an isle of the Santa Barbara group need not suffer for lack of food. There the abalone abounds, and its favorite lurking place is around the edges where the water comes up and cools them off. There is no time that parties of Chinamen are not on some places on the islands, gathering these shellfish from the rocks, and schooner load after sloop load are landed at the wharf every year. The shell forms a valuable commodity, also, being used extensively for mother-of-pearl inlaid work, and also for buttons. The price of shells is low at present, owing to dull times and the decreasing demand for buttons. But abalone itself is always in demand, so much so that there is a fear of the race becoming extinct. The legislature should include the abalone in the fish and game laws, and pass an amendment that only the old tough ones should be picked for a few years, until a generation or two can gain a foothold.”


August 11, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Restless has gone to San Miguel Island to bring back a party of Chinese abalone fishermen.”


August 13, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless arrived from San Nicolas Island Saturday night with a load of shells and abalones, being the property of a party of Chinamen who have been camping there.”


August 15, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived from Santa Rosa Island this morning and unloaded 130 sacks of abalones and 100 sacks of shells at the wharf. This is the result of about three months’ work of a number of Chinese abalone fishermen.”


August 16, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa tied up at the wharf this morning to unload one hundred and thirty sacks of shells from Santa Rosa Island.”


August 30, 1894 [SBDI]: “The sloop Restless arrived from San Clemente Island last night with a cargo of abalones and shells, being the catch of a party of Chinamen who have been at work there for some time past.”


October 24, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty leaves today with a party of abalone fishermen for San Miguel Island.”


November 25, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The steam schooner Rival was in the harbor this morning and took on a cargo of abalone shells, shipped by E. F. Rogers to San Francisco.”


August 24, 1895 [LAT/VC]: “Captain T. C. Merry of the Democrat staff left for Anacapa Island this afternoon to inspect the abalone shell camp which is sending shells to this city for shipment to San Francisco.”


August 26, 1895 [LAT/VC]: “Abalone meat. Sing Hing, the oldest and most influential Chinese merchant in this county, having resided and done business here for nearly thirty years, is reaping a rich harvest of abalone meat and shells on Anacapa Island this season…”


1896 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1898) reported 238,463 pounds of abalone taken in Santa in 1892, and 207,068 pounds taken in 1895. It was also noted that the Chinese had a monopoly on the abalone fishery.


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.]


March 10, 1896 [SBDN]: “A large consignment of abalone shells were brought over from Santa Cruz Island yesterday by the gasoline schooner Santa Cruz.”


March 11, 1896 [SBDI]: “The Chinese abalone gatherers who arrived yesterday by steamer, sold the product of their labors at once to Charles Stetson of San Francisco. Mr. Stetson immediately shipped three hundred sacks of shells weighing 100 pounds each, and 40 sacks of the meat weighing 300 pounds each to that city, while he has still remaining on the dock 40 sacks additional of the meat. No wonder that abalones are becoming scarce.”


March 11, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Three Chinamen held by customs officers at San Pedro, suspected of being smuggled from San Clemente Island, are well known here, where they have resided twenty years, and been engaged a long time abalone gathering on Channel Islands. Their certificates are in the hands of an attorney.”


May 9, 1896 [SBDI]: “A party of fifteen Chinamen were shipped in two parties this morning for the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, by the schooners bearing the same names. They are abalone fishermen and have with them a complete outfit for a long stay on the islands. They use long flat bottom boats, like the sharpie of the New England coast, save that it is steered by a clumsy oriental-looking sweep tied to the stern instead of the ordinary oar or rudder.”


June 6, 1896 [LAT/SP]: “The Chinese junk Chow Lee sailed into port Wednesday, after being out seventy-nine days. She had a cargo of abalone meats, abalone shells and dried squids, all of which smelled to heaven with odors unspeakable. The Mongolian navigators objected to opening the hatch at the request of the customhouse men, but when they did so a search of the craft revealed no contraband goods.”


September 17, 1896 [SanDU]: “San Clemente is frequented by Chinese abalone fishermen from Santa Barbara and San Diego, and on the second night we came upon a camp of five Chinamen from San Diego who treated us with great hospitality.”


September 25, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Larco and crew went to the islands again today, in search of abalones. The sea has been so rough about the islands of late that he has had poor luck.”


November 4, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Thompson returned to port with his schooner, Santa Rosa last night, having failed to land his Chinamen on the islands on account of rough seas. The Chinamen went over to gather abalones.”


November 13, 1896 [SBDN]: “Schooner Restless returns to San Miguel Island today with a lot of Chinamen who go there to gather abalone shells.”


December 1, 1896 [LAT]: “San Pedro, Nov. 30.—The schooner Freia, Captain Martin Bernson, put in here for shelter to await the subsiding of the heavy seas. The vessel is from Washington and is getting a cargo of abalone shells and meat, which she will carry back north. Her cargo is to be loaded aboard at San Clemente Island.”


January 8, 1897 [LAT/SD]: “Sloop Helene has arrived from Mexico with abalone shells.”


March 11, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Santa Rosa, going north last night, carried thirteen tons of abalones gathered on Santa Cruz Island. Four hundred and fifty sacks of shells will be shipped on the next north-bound steamer.”


March 11, 1897 [SBMP]: “The wharf house is full of abalone shells. They were brought over from the Channel Islands by the Sun Lung & Co., Chinese abalone hunters and are consigned to the San Francisco division of the company by today’s steamer. There are 420 sacks of shells, averaging over 100 pounds per sack. The dried meat from them, amounting to thirteen tons, was sent up on the steamer Tuesday.”


May 14, 1897 [NYT]: “Hunting otters and abalones… Another singular California industry in the hands of the Chinese is the collection of abalones, the Haliotus of science, several species of which are found on the Pacific coast… A crude, high-pooped junk, with a big eye forward, was the source of supply, and had landed a band of ten men on San Clemente Island… She had deposited another band at San Nicolas… providing the men with provisions and carrying the shells to the coast. The men were in camp on as little bay, and near by were great gunnysacks of abalones, ready for shipment. Every morning the hunters started out, some wading along the rocks at low tide, armed with a long pole, on the end of which was an implement like a chisel, intended for prying off the shells from the rocks. The majority of abalones are found just below tidewater, some in water ten feet deep, and in a sea way they are difficult to secure. The men are sometimes bruised by being thrown against the rocks, and an occasional death by drowning has been known… Abalone pearls are found loose in the folds of the animal or attached to the shell…”


May 16, 1897 [NYT]: “There are several industries in California which are unique. One is otter hunting on the offshore islands, another abalone collecting… Another singular California industry in the hands of the Chinese is the collection of abalones, the Haliotus of science, several species of which are found on the Pacific coast. The shell when polished presents a beautiful appearance. The abalone has a threefold value: first, for the meat it produces; second, the shell; and third, for the pearls…”


May 25, 1897 [LAT/Red]: “The schooner yacht Manatee, used for carrying provisions to abalone gatherers on San Clemente Island, and bringing abalones and Indian relics back, parted her anchor and drifted ashore in front of the bathhouse. But little damage was done as the water was not rough.”


May 25, 1897 [SBMP]: “Captain Burtis’ schooner Restless left yesterday with a gang of Chinese abalone hunters for San Miguel Island. On his return he will take a band of horses for Mr. E. Elliot to San Nicolas Island.”


June 13, 1897 [SFCall]: “Dr. Gustav Eisen, curator of the department of biology of the Academy of Sciences, has just returned from an exploration trip to Santa Rosa Island and reports that he is highly gratified with what he saw and found there… Santa Rosa Island is about the only place on the coast where abalones can still be obtained. They are still plentiful, although a few years ago the Chinese found out about it and the work of exterminating them is progressing as fast as possible. Last year they secured fifteen tons and expect much more this year…”


July 4, 1897 [LAT/Red]: “The fishermen in camp below here shipped over three tons of abalone shells and meats to San Francisco parties on the Corona this morning.”


July 10, 1897 [SBDN]: “Few of our people appreciate the magnitude of the abalone industry on our Channel Islands. In the past eighteen months on the Anacapas, some twenty-two tons of the dried meat and perhaps twice that quantity of shells have been secured and sent to market. Now another lot of men are at work gathering a new crop… It thrives in comparatively few parts of the world.”


December 8, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The junk Chow Lee, with its heathen crew, sailed into port from the island today with its usual cargo of abalones and a ton or so of fish which were once dead, but are getting alive again.”


February 18, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Restless, Captain Burtis, has arrived with a cargo of abalones from Santa Cruz Island.”


March 7, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Cruz came over from Santa Cruz Island with eight hundred sacks of abalone shells and the Restless arrived from San Nicolas Island with three hundred sacks of the same freight.”


March 24, 1898 [LAT/SM]: “A good deal of anxiety is felt for the safety of Andrew Johnson and Olaf Oleson, two fishermen of this town. On the last day of February they left here for Anacapa Island in company with John F. Nelsen, another fisherman. They went over to the island in a sloop and remained there several days. Nelsen came away with a small cargo of abalones which they had gathered…” [» Anacapa Island]


March 24, 1898 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, March 23. A. Johnson and Bow Olsen, two fishermen left by a companion, John Nelson, on Anacapa Island, the smallest of the Santa Barbara group, arrived home tonight after incredible suffering. The men left here one month ago to get abalone shells for a San Francisco button company. Nelson landed them from a small sloop and returned here with a load of shells. He promised he would go back at once. The two men had provisions for three days and only four gallons of water, Nelson, for some reason, bringing away a ten-gallon cask of water. For fifteen days the men waited and suffered. The rocky island was searched fruitlessly for water and finally, despairing, they built a rough raft and drifted out to a small open boat Nelson had anchored a mile out. The sunken reefs about the island made their way perilous, but they succeeded in getting out to the boat, and after hours of toiling at the oar, and with their makeshift sails, succeeded in landing on the coast near Warren’s ranch. The found water in cow tracks and drank their fill and started again down the coast and reached Decker’s ranch, whence Charles Decker brought them home. They arrived this evening. Johnson says he will have Nelson arrested.”


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 call for them a few days later. They had with them two five-gallon cans 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 at the oars and 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.”


April 6, 1898 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Restless sailed today for Catalina and Clemente islands with a lot of Chinamen who go to gather abalone shells and meat.”


April 28, 1898 [LAT/Red]: “The necessary machinery has been ordered and requisite arrangements are being made for the establishment of a button-manufacturing plant in this city… Buttons of various sizes and shapes and ornaments in a wide range of styles will be manufactured from abalone shells, and from shells of the pearl oyster…”


April 29, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “A boat was capsized recently at Santa Rosa Island containing five Chinamen, who had gone to hunt abalones. They reached the shore after a hard struggle with the breakers and losing their provisions for a whole season, and everything else but the clothes they had on.”


June 19, 1898 [SBMP]: “The Restless brought over a cargo of abalones and shells from San Clemente Island yesterday.”


June 20, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Restless returned from San Clemente Island yesterday with 220 sacks of abalones.”


July 21, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Wesley Thompson and a party started for the islands yesterday in the yacht Petrel on a fortnight’s seal hunt and abalone expedition.”


August 10, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The yacht Petrel returned to port yesterday after an unsuccessful hunt for seal at the different islands. She brought back a cargo of abalones.”


December 18, 1898 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Amy, Captain Jenkins, arrived yesterday from Catalina and Clemente islands, after being out sixty days. She was given up for lost by her owner. She brings twelve tons of guano and a lot of abalone shells and meat.”


January 19, 1899 [SBDI]: “The schooner Pearl arrived last night from the islands and returned this morning in search of abalones and shells.”


January 20, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, the holder of and owner of property and stock on San Miguel Island, came over in his sloop Pearl yesterday, bringing a ton of very valuable shells, some abalones and a quantity of butter for the market...”


January 27, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Pearl came into port this morning from San Miguel Island, bringing over a ton of abalone shells. These shells are shipped to eastern factories, where they are manufactured into ornaments, buttons, etc. They bring $50 per ton here.”


February 26, 1899 [LAT]: “Abalones. The big shellfish known as the abalone is valuable not only for the shell, but also for the meat, which is highly prized by the Chinese, although Americans are apt to find it rather tough and indigestible. A good many people make their living on this coast by gathering abalones… The Chinese are the purchasers of the abalone meat, and the shells are shipped to Europe where they are fashioned into buttons and various novelties. The raw shells are said to be worth about $40 per ton delivered at European ports, while the Mongolians pay 3 or 4 cents per pound for the meat.”


March 19, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “The Restless has arrived from San Nicolas Island with a cargo of abalones and shells.”


March 30, 1899 [SBMP]: “About forty tons of abalone shells are now being stored on the wharf awaiting shipment.”


April 4, 1899 [SBMP]: “The sloop Restless arrived from San Miguel Island Monday morning laden with abalones and shells. This makes a total of over 45 tons of abalones and shells now stored on the wharf awaiting shipment. The Chinamen engaged in abalone fishing are rushing the work, as only a limited number of days yet remain until the season closes.”


April 6, 1899 [SBMP]: “The new warden will not accept a shot-gun policy… C. A. Loud, whom the Board of Supervisors honored by appointment as game warden, returned from Encinitas… Mr. Loud has not yet qualified, but his bond will be filed in a day or two, and then he can assume the duties of his office… The new game warden will also give attention to the crawfish and abalone interests…”


April 6, 1899 [LAH]: “Captain and Mrs. John Nelson have returned from their trip to the Anacapa Island bringing back three tons of abalones.”


April 11, 1899 [SBMP]: “The Chinese junks from San Francisco take abalones direct and it is a shame the way these vandals are being permitted to denude our shores of these valuable beds of fish which once exterminated, it would hardly be possible to replace.”


April 15, 1899 [SBMP]: “The Chinamen who own the abalone shells which have been stored on the wharf for several weeks, are shipping them out of the country before the ordinance prohibiting the shipment of abalones out of the country goes into effect.”


June 4, 1899 [BDG]: “Among the aborigines of California, a species of abalone shell was so highly estimated that a horse could be had for a single specimen.”


November 5, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “The schooner Mephisto, Captain E. S. Teall of San Diego, dropped into Avalon Bay Thursday to make some repairs to her sails. She had on board a crew of Chinese abalone hunters.”


November 15, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “Japanese abalone divers. The abalone industry is to be carried on by more modern methods. Recent advances in the price of the shells have brought about the change. Heretofore the abalones gathered from along this part of the coast and the shores of the neighboring islands, have been taken almost altogether at low tide. But the range of high and low water does not compass all of the hunting ground. The abalone is somewhat of a deepwater creature, and may be taken from far beneath the surface if the means are at hand wherein to take them… The schooner Edith has just returned from a trip to San Clemente Island, where she went with a number of Japanese who will collect abalones. The little brown men are equipped with diving apparatus, and will take the much prized univalves from submarine grounds which have hitherto been undisturbed by man.”


November 30, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The young men who established a camp at Silver Canyon and engaged in abalone fishing, have sold shells to the amount of $180, and have 1200 pounds of dried abalone meat still on hand. Yesterday Al Shade and Ernest Morris went round the west end of the island in a rowboat, prospecting for a better place for their camp. It was a long row and a risky one for a small boat at this season of the year. They reached Avalon at 8 P.M.”


March 2, 1900 [SBMP]: The Defender, Jr. will fit out here for an abalone cruise along the Mexican coast.”


March 27, 1900 [SBMP]: “A tale of suffering and death from San Nicolas Island. Piratical crawfish catchers appropriate the only provisions in an abalone hunter's camp… While the three Chinamen were absent, hunting abalones on the opposite side of the island, these sailors, who had been catching crawfish on San Nicolas, raided the Chinamens’ camp, stole their rice and 1500 pounds of abalone meat, and put out to sea. When the Chinamen returned, they found their provisions gone, but they were helpless, having no boat large enough to brave the sea that rages between them and the mainland nearly 100 miles away… During this time, Ah Jim, their employer at Santa Barbara, knew nothing of the robbery or of their suffering, but it was time for a cargo of abalones to come from the island, and for several weeks he had been looking for a schooner to make the trip... When the Dawn arrived off Corral Harbor there was no sign of life at the camp. The captain sent a skiff ashore, and in the old adobe house that the late Captain Kimberly built many years ago when he owned the island, were found two Chinamen, lying in their bunks, too weak to walk, and almost too exhausted to speak. But they weakly told of the theft of their provisions, how they had lived three months on abalone meat and what fish they could get, and how they had all sickened through lack of proper nourishment and one of them had already died... The dead Chinaman’s name was Ah King, a cousin of Ah Jim …” » Chinese


March 27, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Dawn, which makes trips between here and the Channel Islands, arrived last evening from San Nicolas Island, bringing two Chinese who had been rescued from starvation. They were in a miserable condition and mourned the death of a companion, who perished on the island three weeks ago from lack of proper food. The Chinese, who were employed by an abalone firm here, went to the island about five months ago. They were after abalones, the dried meat of which is a Chinese delicacy, and abalone shells, for which there is a good market. As was the custom, the schooner in which they were transported to the island left as soon as the Chinese were set ashore. It was the understanding that the men should be called for about this time. After being on the island for about a month, the Chinese returned one day from a fishing trip and found that their camp had been robbed and that a large part of their supply of rice, almost their only food, had been stolen. They suspect fishermen from Santa Catalina Island or San Pedro of the crime. Starvation seemed in store. What rice was left was used in soup, but this diet could not keep up with the men’s strength. Shellfish were of course used as food, but so weakened did all become that one of the three died about three weeks ago. His death was absolutely a result of the theft of the rice. The others were found in such a piteous condition that it was at first feared that they would not recover, but they are all right today.”


May 26, 1900 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Edith, Captain A. C. Teazen, arrived in port yesterday, after a four months’ cruise in southern waters, bringing in a cargo of eighteen tons of abalone meat and shells for northern shipment.”


June 4, 1900 [LAT/VC]: “Chin Lin Yung pleaded guilty to the charge of taking abalones out of season on Anacapa Island, and was fined $20.”


June 9, 1900 [SBMP]: “Ventura officials after Chinamen for violating law. The three Chinamen who were arrested at Anacapa Island last week by the Constable Arrellanes and brought to the mainland charged with taking abalones out of season, having been settled with by the authorities. One of the pleaded guilty before Judge Argabrite and was fined $20. He paid the fine. The other two were discharged from custody. 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 made to break down the ordinance, or the right of the 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.”


July 21, 1900 [OC]: “An outing on Anacapa… 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. The abalone meat makes fine chowder and that Captain Merry knows how to cook…”


August 11, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “It is reported that about two tons of abalones were stolen recently from the Chinese fishing camp on the east end of Santa Cruz Island. This is the second theft of the kind within four months. Early in the spring the camp was raided [on San Nicolas Island] while the three Chinese occupants were out fishing, and 1500 pounds of dried abalone meat were taken, with all the rice and provisions of the camp. Eight weeks later when the schooner Dawn called at the camp, one Chinaman was found dead and the other two had lain down to die. The Chinamen in both cases did not know the pirates.”


August 22, 1900 [SBMP]: “Late yesterday afternoon constables Hopkins and Sansome arrested William Gerald and Frank Reina on a complaint sworn by Ah Poy, who charges them with Grand Larceny. He alleges in the complaint that William Gerald, Frank Reina and John Doe stole from him 43 sacks of abalone shells and 20 sacks of abalone meat, valued at $150. The thieves stole the abalone shells and meat at the islands, and there sailed in their boat to Gaviota where they shipped the stuff to San Francisco. It is claimed that there is a clear case against the accused. On being arrested they were brought before Justice Wheaton, who, at the request of the accused’s council, set the 27th at ten o’clock. Their bail was fixed at $1000 each. Witnesses will be brought from the islands and San Francisco for the prosecution. Also wharfinger McNealy of Gaviota.”


August 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “Channel skippers all say that rough weather prevails on the opposite side. The schooner Santa Cruz, Captain Maggiolo, brought over a cargo of abalones yesterday and will return shortly for more from the west side of Santa Cruz Island.”


August 25, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The robbery of the Chinese abalone fishers on Santa Cruz Island seems to have been partially cleared up by the arrest of Frank Reina and William Gerald, who have been navigating the Channel Waters in an old junk called the Acme. The two men were arrested on a complaint sworn by Ah Poy, who alleges that he lost about thirty sacks of dried abalones at their hands a few weeks ago and that they shipped their booty from the Gaviota wharf to San Francisco. When captured aboard their junk, Reina submitted peacefully, but Gerald showed fight and had to be overpowered. Both men were taken ashore by officers Hopkins and Sansome and being unable to give $1000 bond were sent to jail. When near the jail door Reina broke away from Constable Hopkins and tried to escape. Glancing over his shoulder he saw Hopkins draw his gun and he halted immediately, saying he know the officer’s reputation. The detention of these men may furnish some explanation to the thefts of abalones and provisions from Santa Cruz Island which caused the death by starvation of a Chinese fisherman and brought his fellows near death’s door.”


August 28, 1900 [SBMP]: “Abalone thieves put no defense and were bound over. S. E. Crow is their attorney. The preliminary examination of William Gerald and Frank Reina were held before Justice Wheaton yesterday on the charge of Grand Larceny. They were both held to answer to the superior court on the same charge. Gerald and Reina were arrested on Wednesday on a warrant, sworn to by Ah Poy, charging them with stealing 40 sacks of abalone shells and 20 sacks of abalone meat. In the examination yesterday, it was learned that Gerald and Reina were engaged with their boat to take P. E. L. Hillyer and a party to the islands on a cruise. After leaving the party on the island, the defendants left for a short trip, agreeing to be back at a staged time. When they returned somewhat later than the agreed time, they stated that they were becalmed and could not get back. Wharfinger McNealy of Gaviota testified that during that identical time the defendants came to Gaviota, and from there shipped about 60 sacks of abalones to San Francisco. The defendants, represented by S. E. Crow, Esq. put up no defense, and were held to answer to the Superior Court by Justice Wheaton.”


August 28, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Reina and Gerald, charged with stealing abalones from the Chinese fishermen on Santa Cruz Island, came up before Justice Wheaton this morning for examination. The men were held to answer the charge in the Superior Court. Their bonds were left at $1000 each.”


August 30, 1900 [SBWP]: “The schooner Santa Cruz, Capt. Maggiolo, brought over a cargo of abalones yesterday and will return shortly for more from the west side of Santa Cruz Island.”


September 5, 1900 [SBWP]: “William Gerald and Frank Reina, the abalone thieves, were before Judge Day in Superior Court to enter a plea to the charge.”


September 7, 1900 [SBMP]: “Frank Reina, the man arrested for stealing abalones from Santa Rosa Island, was arraigned in the Superior Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in San Quentin. William Gerald, his accomplice, pleaded not guilty.”


September 7, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Frank Reina and Gerald, the alleged Channel pirates accused of robbing Chinese abalone fishermen, were arraigned in the Superior Court this morning. Reina pleaded guilty and sentenced to four years insane Quentin. Gerald will stand trial.”


September 8, 1900 [SBMP]: “The case of the People vs. William Gerald, the channel pirate, was set for trial September 27th in the Superior Court.”


September 9, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The trial of the case of the People vs. William Gerald, the channel pirate, who stole abalones from Santa Rosa Island Chinese, is set for the 27th inst.”


September 19, 1900 [SBMP]: “The county jail authorities yesterday morning found evidence of an attempted jail break. A loose brick in the wall raised the suspicion. The officials at once suspected the channel pirates, Frank Reina and William Gerald, who has just been convicted of the crime.”


September 19, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The trial of Gerald, who was arrested with Reina on the charge of abalone stealing, is on in the Superior Court. As Reina, who pleaded guilty and is now in San Quentin, was captain of the Acme, in which the abalones were brought over from Santa Cruz Island, Gerald is making the plea that he was simply in the employ of Reina, and was bound to do his bidding aboard ship. The prosecution will endeavor to establish the fact that the two men were in partnership.”


September 20, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The jury in the case of the People vs. Gerald, the abalone thief, was out but a few minutes last evening, when a verdict finding him guilty was rendered. He will be sentenced tomorrow.”


September 21, 1900 [SBMP]: “William Gerald who was convicted of the crime of grand larceny, was sentenced yesterday to serve four years in San Quentin. His attorney moved to grant the prisoner a new trial, but the motion was overruled.”


October 2, 1900 [SBDI]: “The gasoline schooner Santa Cruz arrived this morning with 15 tons of abalone shells and four Chinamen from the camp on Santa Cruz Island.”


October 3, 1900 [SBDI]: “The junk Acme arrived today from San Miguel Island with a cargo of abalone shells.”


October 3, 1900 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Santa Cruz arrived yesterday from the islands, bringing over tons of abalone shells and four Chinamen from the Chinese fishing camps.”


October 3, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Cruz came in from the island, bringing off the four Chinese abalone fishers, who have spent the summer there. Her cargo consisted of fifteen tons of abalone shells.”


October 4, 1900 [SBMP]: “The junk Acme arrived yesterday from San Miguel Island with a cargo of abalone shells from the Chinese fishing camps.”


November 6, 1900 [SBDI]: “Five Chinamen were taken to Santa Cruz Island today to establish an abalone camp.”


November 16, 1900 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless left yesterday morning for San Nicolas Island with a number of Chinamen, who will remain there for several months gathering abalones and shells.”


January 2, 1901 [SBDI]: “The Marblehead, a small craft from San Pedro, is in port with a cargo of abalone meats and shells from the Channel Islands. The shipment is consigned to a San Francisco house. Several more tons will be landed here shortly.”


February 25, 1901 [SBDI]: “Legislators imbibe wisdom from local experts. Sunday’s junket of Fish and Game committee expected to open way to many reforms. The fisheries of Santa will be the subject of a thoughtful report to the state legislature… through gaining personal knowledge of the situation, advise and legislate with understanding of the preservation of abalone and crawfish in the channel… The inroads that are made in the heathen Chinese into the abalone beds and the slaughter of baby crawfish by San Pedro pirates will be treated…”


March 2, 1901 [SBDI]: “Crawfish and abalone have the law on their side. The amended game and fish law, as passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Gage, offers protection to both the salt and fresh water game fishes… It is unlawful to at any time take or have in possession lobsters or crawfish less than nine and a half inches in length, measured from one extremity to the other exclusive of legs, claws or feeders, or any egg-bearing female lobster, or abalone the shell of which shall measure less than fifteen inches around the outer edge of the shell…”


March 20, 1901 [SBDI]: “The gasoline schooner Francis of San Diego arrived in port this morning with 295 sacks of abalone shells and meat from San Nicolas Island, consigned to local Chinese merchants.”


March 26, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sloop Olita, Captain Joe Arabus, left this morning for San Nicolas Island. The Olita will bring over a cargo of abalone meat and shells for local Chinese.”


May 12, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez, with the Big Loafer took a number of Chinamen to Santa Cruz Island yesterday. They will establish an abalone fishing camp.”


July 27, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless, Captain Burtis, sailed this morning for San Nicolas Island for the purpose of bringing to Santa Barbara a large gang of Chinamen who have been engaged in abalone fishing.”


July 30, 1901 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless sailed last evening with a load of Chinese and white men to fish for abalones on the island.”


July 30, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless left this morning for the islands with a number of Chinamen who will engage in abalone fishing.”


July 30, 1901 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless sailed last evening with a load of Chinese and white men to fish for abalones on the island.”


August 14, 1901 [LAT]: “Discoveries have just been made, says a Santa Barbara special to the Chronicle, which are believed to establish conclusively that wholesale smuggling of Chinese from British Columbia into the United States through Santa Barbara has been carried on. The revenue officials were notified several weeks ago, and for three weeks the revenue cutter McCulloch has been cruising in the waters of Santa Barbara in search of evidence. The smuggling scheme is outlined as follows: Lumber-laden vessels leave Puget Sound for Southern California points, and, after getting well out to sea, run over to Vancouver, B. C. and pick up Chinese who are ostensibly shipped as part of the crew. Some of these vessels put in at San Pedro, Port Harford and some other ports, with crews twice as large as necessary. When sailing for the north the crews consist almost exclusively of white sailors. Another method adopted is the landing of Chinese on one of the islands in the channel, and they are then brought to Santa Barbara as abalone fishermen. Just what discoveries have been made by the officers of the revenue cutter are not known, but it is believed they have been in possession of important information by the local officers…”


November 13, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. George Hoffmann, Al Shade and Ernest Morris, boatmen, whose occupation is not brisk in the winter season, have established a camp at Silver Canyon, on the south side of the island, and are making a business of hunting abalones for market. Yesterday they made a ‘clean-up’ and brought over a ton of shells and half a ton of dried abalone meat.”


November 18, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “A Chinese merchant named Ah Jim was before Justice of the Peace Wheaton yesterday afternoon on a charge of having been vending abalones under the size required by law. He was found guilty, and was instructed to appear next Saturday for sentence. It is intended to make this a test case, and the matter will be heard by Judge Day on habeas corpus proceedings. Under a recent ruling by Judge Day, the abalone was declared not to be a fish, and the State fish law could, therefore, not be made to apply to it.”


December 5, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “San Francisco capitalists recently bought concessions from the Santa Cruz Island Company to put up a cannery on the west end of that island, and are now building temporary quarters for this industry. The company proposes to can abalone, crawfish, sardines, rock cod, and all other fish that may be found in the waters there. Agents of the company were in this city a few days ago to engage fishermen to gather abalones.”


December 6, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Judge Day of the Superior Court is to decide whether or not an abalone is a fish. A Chinaman, Ah Jim, is under sentence of $20, or the alternative, for catching and having in his possession abalones of less size than allowed by State fish law. The defendant seeks release on the ground that an abalone cannot properly be classed a fish, and that therefore, the law does not apply to that species of game. The hearing of the case, under habeas corpus proceedings, came up yesterday, at the conclusion of which the court took the question under advisement. The decision will be of importance, as the crawfish, also, is included in the objection.”


December 8, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Judge Day of the Superior Court rendered a decision in the habeas corpus proceedings of Ah Jim, convicted of taking abalones under size prescribed by law. The decision sustained the lower court. The question involved was the validity of the Penal Code referring to the protection of fish. The petitioners held that abalones are not fish, and cited Section 26 of Article IV as the basis of their contention. Judge Day denied the writ and remanded the prisoner to custody. The ruling on abalones affects crawfish as well.”


February 12, 1902 [LAT]: “The prospect of a renewal of the abalone industry is said to be good. L. Harris, who had a number of Japanese employed in diving for that univalve, is planning to renew operations soon. For several years the gathering of the abalone was carried on regularly about the mainland coast and the islands near here, but the muddy seas last summer killed most of the creatures. Those which escaped the deadly ravages of the peridinium, and others which have been growing since then are said to be in a condition to be made marketable.”


April 14, 1902 [LAT/SP]: “The reformation of the abalones found a place among the industries flourishing about this seaport town… The San Pedro Canning Company is handling between two and ten tons of abalones per week, not counting the weight of the shell. The abalones are gathered about the Channel Islands and brought to this port on the power sloop Alta. Most of those that have been brought up to the present have come from Santa Cruz and San Nicolas islands. The meats are treated so that they become tender and are packed for shipment to the Orient. The company is expecting within a short time to pack them for American consumption.”


April 24, 1902 [LAT]: “The schooner Restless left for Santa Cruz Island at noon yesterday with a lot of Chinese, who are employed by the canning company to gather abalones and assist in the cannery.”


April 30, 1902 [LAT]: “One of the important industries that is growing every year is the production of abalone shells. The abalone pearl is put to a variety of uses, a great deal being used in the manufacture of buttons. The shell is shipped in the rough to Germany, where the raw material is turned into buttons and shipped back to California.”


May 18, 1902 [LAH]: “From the depths of the sea. Abalone fishing at White's Point and what becomes of the product... Only recently an abalone cannery has been established at San Pedro, and canned abalone meat is now one of the delicacies of American trade, and it is delicious. All the meat was formerly dried and shipped to China, where it was boiled until tender before serving. It sells for 10 cents a pound, and from White's Point one hundred thousand pounds a month are shipped there...

...Abalones are brought from San Clemente Island in the power boat Alta. Some have been removed from the shell and are sent over in tubs, while the balance are sent shell and all. The beat is brought into the cleaning room and turned over to three Japs, who trim off the dark edges, clean it and cut it up into cubes about two inches square. The meat before cutting is oval shaped, varying in size from four to eight inches across, and is from one to two inches in thickness. It is so fine and tough as to appear almost like white rubber, and requires the sharpest knives to cut it. The reason the Japs are employed to do this is that they understand just how it should be done, and then white help cannot be employed who are willing to undertake the job,as it is about as disagreeable as the beheading rooms of a salmon cannery. AS soon as the meat is cubed it passes out of the Jap's hands, and no other foreign help is employed. It is taken to a steam cooker and cooked until tender, when it is removed to the packing room. Here it is packed in cans, eight ounces to the can, and to it are added eight ounces of the abalone juice, which forms in the vessel where they are cooked, making one pound in all. The tops of the cans are then soldered on, and they are sent to another department where the cans are placed in a retort and baked for a time, then removed to be punctures and resoldered while hot, so that the air may escape. After this every can is tested to see if it is perfectly air tight and then given a final baking. When cold the cans are packed in cases, four dozen to a case, and shipped to San Francisco, to the Eno-Laba Canning company, where Japanese labels are placed on the cans and they are exported to that country. The average output per month for this season, first in the history of the business, is one thousand cases. They are shipped north in ten-ton lots. Besides the export trade a small domestic is kept up. The chief restaurants of this city are supplied with the abalone in gallon caps. Those put up for the domestic trade are cut into smaller pieces and pounded to make them more tender. The flavor of the meat and soup is similar to that of the Chesapeake bay oyster, only, if possible, more delicate, and if more of the people could be supplied with a sample the home trade would soon outgrow the foreign.”


June 2, 1902 [LAT]: “An Italian fisherman named Paoli Delaini has been arrested and fined for selling abalones under the size prescribed by law. The county game warden has been on the lookout for months trying to get a clue as to the offender who was shipping undersized abalones into different markets. Warrants have been issued for Delaini’s confederates, who are now over on the neighboring islands.”


June 8, 1902 [LAT]: “Cayucos. After four years’ retirement, the succulent abalone is to reenter the channels of commerce. The County Supervisors having repealed the ordinance forbidding the exportation of abalones, it is believed their shipment will again assume considerable magnitude. The closed season has covered a period of nearly four years, during which time there has been a great increase in the number of the univalves. Cayucos is the principal port of this county from which abalone are shipped.”


October 7, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The Board of Supervisors this afternoon passed an ordinance imposing a license tax of $400 a year on all abalone fishermen engaged on the islands in the Santa . The tax will practically prohibit further operations. Within the past few months, hordes of Chinese and Japanese have been gathering abalones, drying the meat for export to Oriental countries, where it is a popular article of food, and disposing of the shells to button and curio factories. The business has been carried on so extensively that it is now necessary for the fishermen to work among the rocks beneath the surface of the water, clothed in diving suits, and abalones, which formerly were very plentiful, have been nearly exterminated.”


November 9, 1902 [LAT]: “The fishery of abalone is prosecuted nowhere else in the United States except in California. Chinese and Japanese exclusively take, and consume, abalone. The fishery at San Pedro at the southern end of Los Angeles County produced in 1899, 60,000 pounds of dried abalone and 30,000 pounds of shells, of $7800 value. The abalone fishery shows an increase of 385, 761 pounds of abalone meat and shells, and an increase in value of $11,795 from that of 1895. This increase has been from three camps of American fishermen at and near Turtle Bay, off the Mexican coast, where they have concessions from the Mexican government. The abalones were mostly taken by hand-picking at low tide, one diving outfit being used by three camps. The shells find a market to some extent in France and Germany, where they are made into large buttons, and are also utilized by manyfacturers of fancy boxes and toilet articles. The finest and largest of the shells find a market in the Unnited States, being polished and sold as ornaments.”


November 14, 1902 [SBMP]: “The yacht Ariel returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island. It was learned from one of those aboard that the Japanese fishermen whose abalones and boats were lost by the cloudburst Sunday morning, have succeeded in recovering a considerable portion of their property. The loss was somewhat less than was at first reported.”


November 14, 1902 [LAT]: “San Nicolas Island is about ninety miles from the coast. The island, although once densely populated, is now a barren waste. It is visited only occasionally by fishermen, abalone gatherers and relic hunters. It is not safe for any one to wander to its bleak shores for any length of time without an ample supply of food and water, as it is entirely out of the beaten line of travel.”


January 3, 1903 [LAT]: “The shells of the abalone, a Southern California product, continues in great request in Southern California. The prices on abalones have a great range. Unground shells, as they are taken from the rocky places where they grow, may be purchased for 5 cents each and upward. The grinding and polishing is an expensive operation and many of the shells when ground are found to be so much teredo-eaten as to be almost worthless. The result is that good polished abalones sell from $1 and under up to $5 or $6 each.”


February 6, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “People here are preparing to make a strong fight against the bill about to be introduced in the Legislature reducing the size of abalones that may be legally taken by fishermen. Heretofore the law provided that abalones of less than fifteen inches in circumference could not be taken, and several heavy fines resulted from violations. The abalone industry has been an important one along the southern coast for several years, but so many have been engaged in the business that it is now necessary to go beneath the surface of the sea in diving suits in order to pry the larger ones from the rocks. The smaller ones are found higher on the rocks, and it is evidently the object of those behind the movement to diminish the legal size so that a greater supply can be obtained. Most of the abalones taken along this coast are canned and shipped to China and Japan, where they are considered a great luxury.”


February 17, 1903 [SBMP]: “Continued protection of the abalone fisheries is a need of the hour. Several canning establishments are proposed in the vicinity of the Santa Barbara channel, and the removal of the protection would be in the interests of the canning concerns but against the interests of the abalone. Cayucos is to have an abalone canning factory and the erection of a plant is now under way, says the San Luis Obispo Breeze. Back of the proposition is the abalone packing company, of which J. W. Gayetty of Santa Cruz is president. This company claims to have a secret method of preparing abalones for canning, which makes the crustacean to be much sought after by epicures. The Cayucos plant will be the first of a series of canneries that are to be erected along the Southern California coast. The fishing grounds extend for over 100 miles up and down the coast, and all the help required, divers, canners, etc. has already been signed up. The steamer Romola, which will act as tender to the fishing fleet, is now ready for service. The cannery will be completed about the first of April.”


March 11, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The gathering of abalone pearls is an infant industry attracting some attention here. Wilson, the Isthmus fisherman, came down yesterday at the request of people here to dispose of a lot of pearls which he has accumulated. They are from the abalones, which have heretofore abounded about the island, but which are now becoming rather scarce. Wilson’s hoarde of pearls numbers several hundred, but are mostly small, though some are of good size and perfect in shape. There are many ‘freaks’ among them, one being almost an exact representation of a shoe.”


March 18, 1903 [SBI]: “One of the Santa Cruz Island boats arrived in port this morning with several tons of abalones.”


March 26, 1903 [SBMP]: “The schooner Edith brought a cargo of abalones and shells from one of the southern islands.”


April 21, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Catalina is up in arms. She has been invaded by Japan. A lot of little brown men, with a small sloop, appeared at Empire a few days since, and are preceeding to skin the rocks of the abalones. These Japs are divers. They wear goggles with which they locate the abalone as they swim along the surface, and making a spring, they emulate the ‘hell diver’ and disappear to wrench the inoffensive shellfish from its hold on the rock by a quick thrust of an iron bar. Practice has made these men able to remain underwater an unconceivable length of time, and they seem to be as much at home in and under the water as the shag…”


May 13, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “A sloop belonging to a Japanese abalone company doing business on the Channel Islands, after having been attached to satisfy claims of employees amounting to about $600, was taken from the wharf during the temporary absence of the keeper, and was far out at sea before its absence was discovered. Sheriff Stewart, upon being notified, called to his assistance a force of deputies and, having engaged a fast powerboat, started in pursuit of the sloop. After a chase of about twenty miles, the sheriff overtook the sailing craft, which had suddenly been becalmed, and arrested those on board, who were found to be Japanese in the employ of the company. It is believed that they were bound for the islands in the hope of removing several tons of abalones which were about to be attached. A deputy sheriff left this afternoon to take possession of the valuable stock in the warehouses.”


May 13, 1903 [SBMP]: “Deputy sheriff George Culbertson has returned from the island where he went to attach the belongings of the Yamada Commercial Company to satisfy a claim for wages. He brought back two tons of dried abalones, a tent and a quantity of packing boxes.”


July 1, 1903 [SBMP]: “The schooner Edith is in the harbor with complete equipment for deep water abalone fishing. Among other things, she has a diving bell by which the fishermen can go a depth of eleven fathoms. She is the property of A. C. Tetzen of San Francisco, a wholesale shell dealer. Mr. Tetzen is in search of a certain variety of abalones to supply a foreign trade where it is used in the manufacture of a high grade of jewelry.”


July 29, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “Several abalone fishermen were arrested in this city tonight for having abalones and shells smaller than the size prescribed by State law, and a large quantity of the product was confiscated. Numerous violations have been reported in the last few weeks among the fishermen at Santa Cruz and the other islands in the Santa and the officers succeeded tonight in making a round-up.”


September 20, 1903 [SBMP]: “Violations of the State Fish Law... The conditions which exist at San Clemente and which the San Pedro officers are doing their best to stamp out, also exist at Santa Cruz Island, in which fishermen in the employ of the Yamada Company, a Japanese corporation doing fishing business on the island, landed over 60 sacks of undersized abalone shells, and stored them in a vacant house, where they were confiscated by the officers. Some of the shells measured only three inches in circumference, whereas fifteen inches is the minimum size allowed by law.”


November 29, 1903 [CDT]: “Arts-Crafts Exhibits at the Art Institute, opening next Thursday, promises to be one of the largest and most interesting… From Santa Barbara come lampshades of metal ornamented with abalone shells…”


January 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “The abalone cannery at Cayucos in San Luis Obispo county, after many ups and downs, principally the latter, has been closed down and is under attachment for salaries. The Yamada Commercial Company tried to run the company, but like everyone else that has tried it, made a failure.”


January 19, 1904 [LAT/SLO]: “The cannery of the Abalone Packing Company, located in Cayucos, has been attached on a claim amounting to $333.40 filed by G. G. McCurdy, and R. D. Hazard was placed in charge.”


January 25, 1904 [LAT/SLO]: “The Abalone Packing Company’s plant at Cayucos has been attached by the San Luis Obispo sheriff for wages due the employees. The plant closed down some months ago with the understanding that it was to be opened shortly after the new year began. Developments show that the management is completely swamped, and the employees are without pay for services rendered. Judgment is asked in the sum of $200.”


February 4, 1904 [LAT/SD]: “Abalone dinners are the popular way of entertaining just now. The low tides have made it possible to secure large numbers of the species.”


February 15, 1904 [LAT/SA]: “Chinese fishermen from San Pedro have been taking more than a ton a day of abalones from the rocks on the Laguna Beach. They are all shipped to San Pedro for export.”


February 17, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “The San Pedro Canning Company received six tons of abalones yesterday from Laguna. They are being canned at the factory on Terminal Island.”


February 19, 1904 [LAT/SA]: “The Supervisors have passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for any person to catch in one day more than twenty-five pounds of abalones or to have more in his possession — either abalones or shells. The ordinance is to go into effect March 3. The passage of the measure is rendered necessary by the depredations of Chinese fishermen at Laguna, where they have caught and carried off abalones by the ton, taking them both for the meat and shells, and threatening to exterminate than in that locality.”


April 1, 1904 [SBI]: “The sloop Pride came over from the islands last evening with a load of abalones.”


April 12, 1904 [LAT]: “The abalone cannery at Cayucos will be reopened on May 1, after having been closed for almost a year. Dr. B. F. Davison will be the new manager.”


May 9, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A couple of Japs came in from Clemente yesterday with a small schooner loaded with abalone shells. There were two tons of them, which they disposed of to local dealers.”


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…”


August 20, 1904 [SFCall]: “Acting upon reports of violations of the fish laws in the islands off the Southern California coast, Deputy Fish Commissioners John H. Davis and H. I. Pritchard were sent on a rounding-up expedition from Santa Barbara. At Anacapa Island they arrested D. Webster and Henry Ireland for having small abalones in their possession and Charles D. Stokes for having crawfish in his possession during during the closed season.”


August 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “The yacht Peerless returned from San Miguel Island with a cargo of abalones and shells, the product of Chinese fishermen.”


August 29, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez was unloading a cargo of abalone shells in front of the Peerless yesterday. The boat also carried sea grass and other products of San Miguel Island. The Peerless leaves again today for San Miguel Island for another load of the same commodities.”


September 14, 1904 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless sailed yesterday for the islands where it will be loaded with abalone shells, sea grass and other products gathered there by the Japanese. These goods are unloaded here and shipped again to San Francisco.”


October 21, 1904 [OC]: “Anacapa Island in verse. Colonel E. M. Sheridan tells how abalones are gathered and writes a few lines about the rock…”


February 5, 1905 [LAT]: “Assistant postmaster Webster is a fisherman and sailor, besides being a government official. Last summer he was arrested on Anacapa Island and hauled before the court here and muleted with a heavy fine for catching smaller abalones than the law allows. Ever since his arrest he has been endeavoring to make the State authorities believe that there should be a distinction between black abalones, the kind taken at Anacapa, and abalones from other parts of the coast. He has written a letter to Assemblyman Frank O’Brien, chairman of the Committee on Fish and Game, on the subject and has received a reply stating that the prospect for the desired amendment is encouraging.”


February 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday after a successful trip to the islands. The boat arrived at the islands late in the afternoon Saturday and experienced no difficulty in landing, as did the other boats that recently made the trip. The camps on the outside of the islands were moved to better positions and a quantity of abalone shells were brought back.”


March 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “Japanese may have perished. Abalone fishermen thought to have been caught in the storm. A party of Japanese fishermen may have lost their lives on the south side of Santa Cruz Island during the recent storm. Captain Colice Vasquez is of the opinion, he having just returned from islands in the schooner Peerless. The men left this city some time ago for the islands in search of abalones and established a camp on the north side of Santa Cruz. Shortly before the storm of Saturday night set in, they left for the other side in their small boats. Since that time they have not been seen or heard of, and Captain Vasquez believes they were caught in the storm. The main force of the high seas broke against the south side of the islands and it is stated by those most familiar with conditions there that no vessel could survive the storm of Saturday. On his next trip to the islands Captain Vasquez will search for the missing Japanese.”


March 26, 1905 [LAT]: “Make change in game law… A compromise fisheries bill was also passed by the Legislature, providing that no crawfish or lobsters measuring less than nine inches exclusive of feelers can be taken; nor any abalones of less than fifteen inches in circumference…”


March 31, 1905 [OC]: “O. J. Peters, the former fish merchant of Hueneme who made many friends in this city last year, returned the latter part of last week from his stay on Santa Cruz Island, where he has been since about the middle of December. He is glad to be back in civilization… He has been engaged in the crawfish and abalone taking while over there…”


April 7, 1905 [SBMP]: “Mr. McGuire will also start a trade in abalone meat, shells and pearls, and may gather other shells for the market. Abalone shells are constantly increasing in value, as their worth in manufacturing purposes is becoming well known all over the country.”


April 8, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “Captain McGuire, who has carried on a crawfish business off this port, is making arrangements to enlarge the scope of enterprise next season to several other localities, and will catch crawfish on a wholesale basis. He will also give much of his time to the business of collecting abalone shells, and will capture live sea lions for eastern zoos.”


April 9, 1905 [LAT]: “The abalone industry. Shells that find markets all over the world. Canning and drying the fish an interesting business. Process by which the shells are converted into curios, poultry food and fertilizers… When the season is at its height, from twelve to fifteen tons of abalone are handled each week. They are taken from the shell, intestines removes, and the remaining muscles either boiled for canning and shipped to many points, all by secret process known only to W. W. Beach, which renders them the finest in the world, or dried by steam preparatory for the use of the Japanese, Chinese and other orientals. This is the only place where abalones are dried by steam, and the results from the methods of Mr. beach are most satisfactory. The Canning Company is now doing a business of from $35,000 to $40,000 per year. When the fish are removed the shells are saved. If imperfect they are ground up for poultry food or for fertilizer. If perfect, they are turned over the the California Pearl Manufacturing Company and from them are made some of the most beautiful ornaments that could be imagined…”


April 22, 1905 [SBMP]: “The fishing sloop Peerless left for the islands yesterday with a number of fishermen and a load of supplies, for the purpose of establishing abalone camps on Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. Besides gathering abalone shells, meat and pearls, they will also collect sea grass, which commands a good price in Chinese markets.”


July 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez will sail this morning with a load of supplies for Captain Waters, San Miguel Island. From there he will go to San Nicolas Island in order to bring Frank Nidever and Clarence Libbey, abalone fishermen, who have been on the island for three months. Their catch of abalone meat, shells and pearls will also be brought in on the boat.”


August 13, 1905 [LAT]: “Constable E. E. Jahraus of Laguna is having a merry time rounding up Japanese fishers from San Pedro who are alleged to be violating the law restricting the catching of abalones to twenty-five pounds at one time for each man. A crew of seven men wasdiscovered on Tuesday with more than half a ton of the shells and fish aboard. Constable Jahraus took possession of the boat and dumped back into the sea more than 500 pounds of the abalones, which were alive at the time. The men were let go with the warning that they would be arrested upon a repetition of the offense. They were collecting the fish to be taken to San Pedro canneries.”


August 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Ables, the recently appointed patrolman of the State Board of Commissioners, returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with three Chinese fishermen whom he found with undersized abalones in their possession. The chinks were taken before Justice Wheaton, as the evidence was conclusive, all pleaded guilty. Each was fined $25. In addition to their fine, the fishermen will have the added expense of returning to the island.”


August 22, 1905 [LAT]: “[State Fish and Game patrolman H. J.] Abels is making a general raid of all abalone camps on the Channel Islands, and is causing the wholesale arrest of Chinese abalone fishermen for having in their possession the shells of abalones that are under the required size of twelve inches in circumference. Ah Poy and Ah Jim were brought in by him on Sunday, and will plead before Justice Wheaton tomorrow. C. L. Jung, A. Que and Ton King have also been arrested on the same charge. Each of them was fined $25, and they have been released. Mr. Abels leaves today for San Miguel Island in search of others who are disobeying the game laws.”


August 26, 1905 [SBMP]: “Two more members of the Ah family yesterday paid fines at Justice Wheaton’s court for having undersized abalones in their possession. They were Ah Hoy and Ah King. Each paid $25, pleading guilty to the charges preferred by patrolman H. J. Ables. They were arrested on San Miguel Island as told in yesterday’s press. The Chinamen have announced that they will abandon abalone fishing as the fines imposed with a tiresome regularity since the patrol arrangement of the state fish commission went into effect, are eating into the profits of the business.”


October 1905: “At the end of October Ira went to bring Clarence Libbey and Frank Nidever back from San Nicolas Island. They had seventeen hundred pounds of crawfish, three tons of abalone and four tons of shells. They also had found some good pearls in the abalones, which they could sell for two or three hundred dollars. Abalones brought a good price in the market; they were boiled, dried and sold to the Chinamen, who shipped them to China for food and medicinal purposes. The shells were shipped to Germany and made in to jewelry and fancy articles…” [Eaton Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife p. 26]


November 1, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene arrived yesterday morning from San Nicolas Island with a cargo of several tons of abalone shells and meat, which were procured by Clarence Libbey and Frank Nidever during the last few weeks. They will now engage in the craw-fishing business for the San Pedro Canneries.”


November 3, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Irene came in yesterday afternoon from San Nicolas Island with a ton and a half of abalone shells, which were gathered on that island by Frank Nidever. Walter Stafford is in charge of the boat. Abalone shells are in demand at the present time, and they command a good price in wholesale markets. They are used in the manufacturing of jewelry and fancy articles.”


January 27, 1906 [SBMP]: “The California state board of health is booming the abalone as a substitute for the oyster, on the ground that it is a more healthful diet... The flesh is nutritious and wholesome article of food, highly esteemed by the Chinese and Japanese...”


March 3, 1906 [SBMP]: “Complaint is made by boatmen returning from the channel islands that the San Pedro Canning Company is carrying away large quantities of abalones from different harbors on the islands. They have established a number of fishing camps where eight or ten Japanese equipped with diving suits are bringing up many shells from the bottom of the ocean. A camp was established at Cuyler's Harbor last Monday and the Japanese gathered over a ton of abalone meat on the first day. It is contended that such a wholesale attack on abalones will soon exterminate them from the places where they grow, and that one of the main attractions of the islands will be destroyed. The Japanese are under yearly contracts to fish for the San Pedro Company.”


April 25, 1906 [SBMP]: “Diving for Abalones. Japanese fishermen are threatening industry... Recently Japanese fishermen in the employ of several of the large companies have been taking the large abalones from water up to ten fathoms deep by sending down expert divers with complete diving apparatus... Libbey and Nidever say that G. F. McGuire, owner of the powerboat Peerless, has a crew of ten Japs working for him at San Miguel, and that the San Pedro Cannery Company had the schooner Bolinas with a full crew of divers at work.”


May 10, 1906 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez left this morning in his boat for San Miguel Island. The object of the trip is twofold, to take a party of abalone hunters to the island and to visit the wreck of the J. M. Colman, the large lumber schooner which went ashore there some months ago.”


May 25, 1906 [SBMP]: “Frank Nidever, captain of the launch Irene, has recently returned from a trip to Santa Barbara Island. Nidever reports that there two Japanese abalone camps on the island, and that according to statements of the fishermen themselves, the grounds will be about cleaned out within a month. When there are no more shellfish to be taken, one outfit will move to San Miguel and the other will locate on either Santa Cruz or Anacapa. Nidever has been active in bringing the practical extermination of abalones by the Japs to the attention of the authorities, and hopes that some legislative action will be taken to protect the fish. The Japs use up-to-date diving outfits and get the large abalones in several fathoms of water. These large black abalones are the breeders, and it will take years to undo the harm that the divers have already done, even if measures are taken to prevent further depredations.”


July 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “Five tons of abalone shell were unloaded at the wharf yesterday from the launch Irene. They were gathered by Ira Eaton and Frank Nidever at the islands. The abalone shells bring a good price in the open market.”


August 23, 1906 [SBI]: “Warrants have been issued in Justice Wheaton’s court for the arrest of three Japanese, against whom charges have been preferred for taking abalone larger [?] than the legal size, by Henry J. Abels, district patrolman for the state and game commission. The warrants were placed in the hands of Constable Storni late yesterday afternoon, but no service has yet been made for the reason that the Japs have not yet been located. It is believed that they have left the city or that, having received knowledge of the arrival of Patrolman Abels in Santa Barbara, have gone into hiding. The Japs had brought a large number of sacks of abalone shells from the islands in their small boat and had deposited the shells upon the commercial wharf for shipment to San Francisco. It was intended that the shells be shipped north last night, but Patrolman Abels learned yesterday afternoon that the shells were at the wharf and seized the entire consignment. John Doe warrants were made out for the arrest of the Japs who had brought the shells from the islands. The state law provides that no red abalones whose shells are of less than fifteen inches in circumference around the outer edge, shall be taken by the fisherman, and fixes the size of the shell of the black abalone at twelve inches. Shells of smaller size than those described were found in the sacks that had been left for shipment at the wharf by the Japanese. The shells will be destroyed after they have served their purpose as exhibits in court…”


August 27, 1906 [LAT]: “Abalone Japs are nabbed. Constable Peter Storni and Henry J. Abels of the State Fish and Game Commission brought three more Japanese abalone fishermen to justice this past week for taking abalone shells under the legal size from the shores of Santa Cruz Island. The offenders were arrested on John Doe warrants and contributed $100 in fines in Justice Wheaton’s court. It has been known for several days that Fish Commissioner Abels was on the track of some offenders against the game law. Three Japanese fishermen brought a boatload of abalone shells from the islands three days ago, and stored their property in sacks on the wharf for shipment to San Francisco. There were several tons of shells. Abels suspected that some of the shells were under size, but could not locate the fishermen. He therefore prevented the shipment of the shells on a northbound steamer, and in company with Constable Storni went to the wharf and examined them. A dozen or more shells that were smaller than the law allows, were found and were confiscated as evidence… The law allows no abalone shells to be taken of a circumference less than fifteen inches around the outer edge of the shell, but the black abalone, which does not grow so large, may be taken when twelve inches in circumference. Japanese divers reap a good profit from abalone meat and pearls…”


February 17, 1907 [LAT]: “Never in the history of the State of California have so many bills relating to fish and game been presented to the Assembly as during the present session of the Legislature in Sacramento… prohibits the taking of… any abalone or abalone shell of less than twelve inches around the outside circumference of the shell…”


February 23, 1907 [LAT]: “’Chappie’ and Jim Gardner, who have spent the past three months on San Miguel Island, returned yesterday. San Miguel is the outer of the group off Santa Barbara and is little frequented. The object of their visit was to hunt for Indian relics and shells. They were very successful, bringing back several tons of fine abalone shells with the dried meats, and numerous boxes of interesting relics of the ancient inhabitants. They also brought back several seal skins, one of which measures over ten feet in length. They also sighted three sea otters, but these wary animals, whose skins are worth from $500 to $1000 each, were too cunning for the hunters. “


April 26, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Irene, Captain Nidever, arrived from the islands this morning with twenty sacks of abalone shells.”


May 11, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez left yesterday for the east end of San Miguel Island with a boatload of men who will gather abalone and moss.”


December 4, 1907 [SBMP]: “That rakish piratical craft, the Rover, which some years ago was instrumental in the abduction of the girl Bessie Benson by Captain Hall, aided by one John Warnell, part owner of the vessel, is again figuring in a crime of the erstwhile Rover, alias the good steam schooner Baltic, which was alongside the commercial wharf. John Warnell was arrested together with his mate Charles Hansen, by the constable Jack Fullington upon a warrant issued by Judge Overmen. The charge is grand larceny preferred by Captain George McGuire and Vasquez, who allege that Warnell and Hanson, while craw fishing around the islands, made a piratical cruise to the south side of Santa Rosa Island, and there discovered a store of nearly $100 worth of abalone shells, some 48 sacks, and abalone meat in separate sacks ready for shipment belonging to Captain McGuire. The Rover at once lay to, and the valuable load of shells and meat were transferred from shore to the schooner. The Rover, alias the Baltic, hoisted sail and away from Santa Barbara to dispose of the ill-gotten booty. A purchaser was promptly found in a representative of Charles Tetson and Company of San Francisco, who gave them about 3 cents per pound for shells and 6 or 7 cents for the meat. Then in true buccaneering style, Warnell and Hansen proceeded to celebrate on their ill-gotten gains. While flush with wine and victory, Warnell boasted to fellow seaman Captain Jerry Shively, who owns a launch, and to Charles May, of the clever trick he and his mate turned with the aid of the Baltic - once the Rover. Now May happened to be one of those flowers that bloom in the spring, and was picked up by Captain McGuire to help abduct the abalones from their native resting place on the rocks of Santa Rosa Island. Wherefore May was fully able to appreciate the interest of the news imparted in vinous confidence by that bold buccaneer John Warnell and his mate, ‘The Terrible Swede,’ Charles Hansen. Having heard all that was necessary, May hastened to Captain McGuire. Captain McGuire tried pacific measures at first, and confronting Warnell, giving that hardened and salty sinner a chance to make an accounting. Warnell, however, was haughty and disdainful, an attitude that resulted in a conference with Judge Overmen and a warrant in the hands of ‘Big Jack.’ At one time it was thought that Jack would have to hoist sail and hike over the heaving main after his prey, but as it happened he had hardly emerged from the little alley that leads to so many judicial chambers and sorrowful cells, before the keen eye of Captain Vasquez espied the peculiar gait of the Baltic’s part owner. Fullington had secured Warnell, but a short time before, Hansen, who had indulged in a shave and clean up preparatory to renewing court to the girl he left on shore, was encountered coming out of a barber shop. Both were arraigned before Judge Overmen who informed the men of their rights and will set their examination later on, bail being fixed at $500 each. Up to a late hour the necessary bonds had not been forth coming.”


December 20, 1907 [SBI]: “Early in the present month Constable Fullerton arrested two men on a charge of theft of abalones. Captain Vasquez of Santa Cruz Island had hidden a number of sacks of abalones in the sand on the island. Two Portuguese fishermen discovered the hidden treasure, brought it to town and disposed of it. The men were held one night in jail and released on bail, $500 being put up for each man by Ed Stevens and Ben Stafford. The accused claimed that, having found the abalones, they belonged to them. The case was brought up in Judge Overman’s court this morning, and was dismissed because of the absence of the chief witness, Captain Vasquez. It is expected that the captain will shortly bring suit against the offenders to recover the value of the property.”


August 18, 1908 [SPDN]: “Mr. [Fred] Caire expressed satisfaction with the action of the legislature in prohibiting the catching of crawfish or abalone for two years. There will be no fishing permits on the island this year, in consequence… Mr. Caire said the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions.”


August 31, 1908 [SBI]: “Four Santa Barbara Chinamen returned from Santa Cruz Island this morning on the large cattle schooner, Santa Rosa, which they had chartered to carry to this city one of the largest shipments of abalone shells and cured abalone meat ever taken from the Santa Barbara Islands in a single season. The party has been in camp on the south side of Santa Cruz Island for three months. The cargo which is being unloaded today consists of 12 tons of shells, worth $50 per ton, six tons of cured abalone meat valued at $160 per ton, and two tons of sea grass, which Chinese people use in manufacture of a condiment that is exceedingly popular with the Celestials. The four Chinamen will earn nearly $2000 as the result of their three months’ work. The party was managed by Ah Poy and financed by You Kee, a merchant on Canon Perdido Street. The 12 tons of abalone shells, packed into 500 gunny sacks, were purchased today by G. M. McGuire of this city, who will ship them to factories where they are made into ornaments including buttons, cuff buttons, and trinkets. The abalone meat, which was cured by the Chinamen on the island, will be sold to San Francisco and shipped either to Honolulu or China. Abalone meat is popular both with Japanese and Chinese.”


September 2, 1908 [SBI]: “Abalone shells are disappearing from the shores of Santa Cruz Island because fishermen gather them for bait, paying no attention to size, and disregarding state law. On Santa Rosa Island the shells are becoming scarcer, although Chinamen who gather them for market are said to obey the law and take only shells, which are twelve inches or more in circumference. Twelve tons of shells, filling 50 gunny sacks, were brought from Santa Rosa Island this week by four Chinamen and sold for $12 per ton… G. M. McGuire who probably handles more abalone shells than any other man on the Pacific coast, buying from Chinamen and shipping to San Francisco and other cities, is authority for the statement that fishermen are responsible for the disappearance of abalones…”


September 4, 1908 [LAH]: “San Pedro. The steamer Santa Rosa Island sailed into port today with 450 sacks of abalones on board, which have been gathered on Santa Rosa Island during the past six or eight months by a bunch of Chinamen who have been living there and make a business of catching and drying them. They are a most valuable article and are considered a choice delicacy by the Orientals. The cargo is valued at the rate of $10 per sack, or $4500 for the entire lot. In addition to this are the shells, which are also very valuable, as there is always a big demand for them at the curio stores.”


September 5, 1908 [SBI]: “Chamber of Commerce favors protection for sea lion and abalone… such protection was brought before the directors of the Chamber of Commerce by George W. McComber… McComber said it had been brought to his attention that Chinamen were gathering the shells irrespective of size. He quoted Captain W. C. Waters to the effect that no abalone would be left on San Miguel if the present rate of destruction continued four years more…”


September 8, 1908 [LAH]: “Santa Barbara, September 7… Captain William G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, one of the islands of the Santa Barbara group, is authority for the statement that if the ruthless slaughter of seals and the gathering of abalone shells by Chinese shall continue for four years more on the same scale as has prevailed in the past, both of these amphibian denizens will be exterminated. Professor Rowley of Stanford University, who recently visited the islands, is another champion of special legislation to protect the abalone and the seals...”


December 17, 1908 [SBMP]: “Fishing for crawfish will be absolutely prohibited for a term of years, and the Japanese and Chinese abalone industry will be broken up, no abalones allowed to be taken from their native element until they have had time to replenish their numerical strength. Such are the prognostications of Senator-elect L. H. Roseberry...”


January 6, 1909 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, under Captain Vasquez, came into port yesterday with 84 tons of abalones from the islands and eight tons of shells from Santa Cruz Island. The cargo was sold to Chinese firms.”


February 14, 1909 [SBMP]: “Charles Tetzen of San Francisco, the largest wholesale dealer in shells and abalone meat on the coast, made a trip out in one of the vessels to Prisoners’ Harbor for the purpose of doing business with different camps on the north and west side of the islands...”


February 22, 1909 [SBI]: “George M. McGuire’s launch, Gussie M, is now four days overdue from San Nicolas Island, and unless news of this vessel is received in the next 24 hours, Mr. McGuire will probably organize a relief expedition and start for the islands. The Gussie M left one week ago today for San Nicolas Island, with a crew of three, and several abalone hunters. Captain Vasquez was in charge of the launch and party. He received instructions from Mr. McGuire to unload the hunters upon the island and return at once to this city. This ordinarily could be accomplished in three days…”


March 1, 1909 [SBI]: “C. A. Merritt received a communication today from Senator L. H. Roseberry of this district, that the bill relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions, and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish and other fish had been introduced into the upper house at Sacramento and stood very good chances of becoming part of the law of the state…”


March 2, 1909 [SBI]: “The Gussie M has returned from San Nicolas Island after a stormy trip. The launch arrived off San Nicolas in a heavy sea and was unable to unload her cargo. An attempt was made to get the cargo ashore, but considerable of it was lost. After waiting several days, during which time she was prevented from blowing on the rocky reefs by three anchors, the Gussie M landed three abalone hunters and the part of her cargo remaining. She had a very stormy voyage back to Santa Barbara, but arrived with all hands safe and sound, much to the satisfaction of her owner, G. M. McGuire.”


March 17, 1909 [SBMP]: “Overdue again, this time from San Miguel Island, the power schooner Gussie M in charge of Captain Vasquez, with Captain William G. Waters, his sheep shearers and Ah Poy, the abalone fisher on board, is hourly expected. The little vessel sailed from here some time days ago to bring back the people from the island, but it is believed that severe storms which have not been felt here, have prevented the schooner from making a landing or from loading the passengers and freight homeward bound...”


March 19, 1909 [SBMP]: “With Captain Colice Vasquez, half-owner of the vessel, at the wheel, the power schooner Gussie M arrived in this harbor yesterday from San Miguel Island after a tempestuous voyage that tried the seamanship and patience of even this rugged veteran of the briny. The schooner brought in Captain William G. Waters and his sheepshearers, but the stormy weather prevented loading several tons of abalone meat and a number of tons of abalone shell, to say nothing of Ah Poy, the Chinese abalone fisher, and his men. The latter are still on the island and Captain Vasquez will have to make another trip to bring them home… As the result of the Chinese boycott of abalones from Japan, the price for American-caught abalone has soared more than 100 percent. Where formerly the price ranged from 5 to 7 cents per pound, it has now reached 10 to 12 cents. Captain McGuire shipped more than 56,000 pounds of abalone shells, the accumulation of 18 months, to New York via Panama last week. This is the largest consignment of abalone shells ever shipped out of here.”


March 20, 1909 [SBI]: “Owing to the inability of Ira K. Eaton, the well known boatman, to meet payment on a promissory note for $129.15, which fell due several days ago, an attachment was levied on $139 worth of abalone shells and meat at the Stearn’s Wharf warehouse by Constable G. J. Fullington this morning. The attachment was levied in the name of Boeseke-Dawe Company, the well known hardware concern.”


March 26, 1909 [SBI]: “It will be of interest to fishermen of Santa Barbara and vicinity to learn that the bills relating to the preservation of seals and sea lions in the Santa waters and the bill relating to abalones and crawfish had become laws and were in operation today. Senator Campbell of San Luis Obispo introduced the bills. Every person who, between February 15 and September 15, buys or sells, catches or kills, or has in his possession lobster or crawfish, or who at any time has in his possession any lobster or crawfish of less than 11 inches in length, is guilty of a misdemeanor…”


April 10, 1909 [SBI]: “Several abalone fishermen returned this morning from San Miguel Island with five tons of abalones in their boats. The fishermen have just received word from the State Fish and Game Commission that they can dispose of the abalones any time before May 1, 1909 without violating the new Campbell Abalone Bill which passed the legislature March 8. Although the law provides that any one disposing of or catching abalones after that date is guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to a heavy fine and imprisonment, the state commissioners have informed the Santa fishermen that all abalones caught by them before that time may be sold. Since the story was published in The Independent two weeks ago, telling of the provisions of the Campbell law, the residents of Santa Cruz, San Miguel and the other Channel Islands have been in a state of turmoil and unrest, for the fishermen who had labored all season catching abalones found that they would not be able to dispose of their catch under the strict provisions of the new law. News of the Commission’s interpretation of the new law was received with delight on the part of the fishermen. The fishermen who arrived today stated that there were at least 20 more on the islands with piled-up catches of abalones aggregating a score of tons. These abalones will be brought over early next week.”


April 22, 1909 [SBMP]: “Six abalone fishermen arrived from San Miguel Island Wednesday night with five tons of abalones. Although the law governing the sale of abalones went into effect March, the fishermen will not be disturbed in disposing of their catch.”


August 14, 1909 [SBI]: “Fred F. Caire, of San Francisco, who with other members of the Caire family hold the title to Santa Cruz, largest of the Santa Barbara group of islands, announced today that it may be necessary to establish a patrol along the shores of the island and eject all campers who do not hold permits from the family of the management… Mr. Caire expressed satisfaction with the action of the legislature in prohibiting the catching of crawfish or abalone for two years… Mr. Caire said the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions...’”


September 5, 1909 [CDT]: “The abalone of the California coast is a new seafood which probably will become popular, as it is even now in the hands of the canner. The meat is nutritious…”


June 10, 1910 [SBI]: “Two Japanese abalone fishermen, employed by Frank Mura, also a fisherman, left Santa Barbara 18 days ago in a gasoline launch for San Miguel Island, and have not been seen or herd of since. Mura fears that the boat with its crew and $1500 worth of equipment got into the ‘blind breakers’ on the west end of Santa Rosa Island and foundered. Boats returning from San Miguel bring the information that no Japanese have landed there, and Mura’s fishing camp is deserted. He has put up a small corrugated iron hut on the beach where the men were to have landed. Mura is an old man with scraggly beard, and anxiety over the fate of his boat and employees is wearing on him. He spends his time on the commercial wharf or around the Larco fish market, waiting for news of the fishing launch. A large catch of abalones had been stored in the hut on the island, and the boat was to have returned to the mainland with a load for shipment to China at once. Mura had been gathering the large abalone that are not protected by the state law.”


June 29, 1911 [SBMP]: “In preparation for the opening of the abalone season July lst, large camps of Chinamen are being established on the Channel Islands. These enterprises are being organized in the local Chinatown. The Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, has already landed one large party on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, and will sail tomorrow with another party, having concessions from Vail & Vickers, owners of Santa Rosa Island. They will also be located on the ocean side of the island. Both camps are provisioned for an extended stay.”


August 3, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez of the Gussie M, returning yesterday from Santa Cruz Island, reported that he stood off Forney’s Cove on the south side of the island for two days awaiting moderation in the weather so that he might land, and then gave up the idea. A cargo of abalone meat and shells is awaiting shipment from that harbor where a party of Chinese fishermen is encamped. He will return to Forney’s today hoping for better luck. A heavy swell has been running since the northwest blow of Sunday night.”


August 5, 1911 [SBMP]: “The power boat Gussie M, returning yesterday from Forney’s Cove on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, bringing the Chinese abalone fishermen who have been camped there for some months. The boat brought a cargo of between four and five tons of abalone shells and a quantity of seaweed of which the Chinese are so fond.”


August 22, 1911 [SBMP]: “Time to act. After several years of protection by a continued closed season the abalone is again open legally to capture… On Santa Cruz Island, whose fishing privileges they have rented, is a camp of Japanese engaged in the abalone fishing. They are equipped with a diving apparatus and daily one of theirnumber descends into the realm of crustacean and shellfish. The Japanese fisherman is singularly thorough in his work. He resembles the sheep in thoroughness. He does not appear to care about the future of the fishing ground. He gets what he can…”


August 25, 1911 [SBMP]: “Henry J. Ables, recently appointed regular assistant to the State Fish & Game Commission, has been making arrests of Chinese for gathering undersized abalone. Violations from Santa Cruz Island are being investigated.”


August 26, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Asahi Fishing Company has been granted the exclusive privilege of camping on Santa Cruz Island for the purpose of catching abalone and crawfish, and all other parties are hereby warned that they are tresspassers and subject to ejectment by the above named lessees. Santa Cruz Island Company. A. J. Caire, Secretary. Those desiring to camp on Santa Cruz Island to fish shall apply to Asahi Fishing Co., headquarters 107-1/2 E. 1st. St., Los Angeles, Cal.”


August 27, 1911 [SBMP]: “Both north and south of Santa Barbara, the authorities are enforcing the laws regulating the taking of abalone. Recently two Chinamen were arrested in San Luis Obispo County for having undersized abalone in their possession... Now a Los Angeles dispatch tells that nine Japanese are under arrest at Santa Ana as a result of the capture of the Japanese fishing schooner Togo… The bail of the men was fixed at $25 each.”


August 27, 1911 [SBMP]: “...Captain Vasquez, in his Gussie M powerboat, leaves today for Santa Cruz Island to secure seven live seals to fill eastern orders. He will also call at the Chinese abalone camps on the north side of Santa Rosa Island to bring over 300 sacks of abalone meat and shells. One of the camps will also break up, as fishing has been slow on account of the wind.”


September 1, 1911 [SBMP]: “There is no danger of Santa Cruz Island being the scene of a clash between American and Japanese fishermen, according to H. T. Komai, manager of the Asahi Fishing Company of Los Angeles, which claims to have the exclusive camping privileges on the island. A report was circulated in Santa Barbara yesterday to the effect that such as desired to camp on the island should apply to it for the privilege. ‘Although we have paid A. J. Caire, manager of Santa Cruz Island Company, $180 for the exclusive camping privilege for the season, we do not intend to get into a scrap with anyone,’ said Mr. Komai last night. ‘There are now about a dozen other parties on the island, but I do not consider it our business to drive them off. As we have paid for the privilege, I believe Mr. Caire should protect us. It is certain that we are not going to start any trouble. I expect to see Mr. Caire about it in the morning.’ Mr. Komai further states that his company has paid the $10 license for each of the men, as the state law provides for foreigners. The company has up to the present time been fishing for abalone. There has been some comment because of the fact that a diving outfit was being used. Komai states that it is not used for black abalone, which haunt shallow waters. But the red, green, and pink abalone only frequent waters from ten to twelve fathoms, and that the only way they can be caught is by using the diving outfit. It takes ten men to crew when this is used… The Asahi Company dried its catch, and most of it is shipped to the Orient through a San Francisco agency. The Asahi Fishing Company of Los Angeles will this week move its camp from Scorpion to Pelican Harbor, and expects to start on the crawfish September 15...”


September 2, 1911 [SBMP]: “R. Cameron Rogers called attention to the fact that Japanese fishermen are using diving outfits for abalone at Santa Cruz Island. He expressed the opinion that this practice would result in the complete extermination of the abalone, and the following resolution was adopted: ‘Resolved that the Board of Santa Barbara be urged to take whatever measures may be in their power to make unlawful the use of diving equipment in fishing for abalone.’”


September 19, 1911 [SBMP]: “The unconfirmed, and what proves to be unfounded, report of the killing of two Japanese on Santa Cruz Island last week, has called forth ‘an interview from Fred F. Caire of Oakland, one of the owners of the island and president of the company, who denies having leased fishing privilege to the Japs. To the San Francisco Call he said: ‘My company gave the Japanese fishermen the privilege of camping on the island. The Japanese were not given exclusive privilege of the fishing in the waters surrounding the island, nor were they given any authority to repel landing parties. The Japanese had no authority from the Santa Cruz Island Company to prevent fishermen from using the waters surrounding the island. The only understanding between them and the company was that they would be allowed camping privileges on the island, and nothing more.’ The manager of the Japanese company holding privileges from the Caire company displayed his contract with that company when in Santa Barbara recently, and declared that it was up to the Caires to see that its provisions were enforced. The Japanese interpreted their agreement as covering exclusive privileges for crawfish and abalone fishing, which were expressly conveyed in the contract for which they had paid $180 for the season.”


September 28, 1911 [LAT/LB]: “C. B. Linton, who owns pearl and abalone concessions on San Nicolas and Santa Barbara islands, this morning purchased of Judge A. C. Lawson the launch Flyer, which he will use in transporting his shells to the mainland. Captain George Childs, formerly of the schooner Santa Rosa Island, will be in command.”


October 4, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez, in his Gussie M, will call at the Chinese abalone camps on the north side of Santa Rosa Island to bring over 300 sacks of abalone meat and shells. One of the camps will also break up, as fishing has been slow on account of the wind.”


October 12, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, returning with the Gussie M yesterday from the other side of the channel, reports continued rough weather around the islands. He was unable to land at the abalone camps on Santa Rosa Island. He did make a landing at the crawfish camps on Santa Cruz Island, and brought over 3000 pounds of these California lobsters, the catch representing several days’ work.”


November 17, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Christ left yesterday morning in the launch Comet for the islands where he will take on a load of abalone shells, which he was obliged to unload there on his last trip on account of the heavy weather.”


November 18, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Christ, who brought a load of abalones to this port yesterday, left this afternoon in the launch Comet for Santa Cruz Island. He will return within a few days with another load of abalones from the islands.”


November 19, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain B. G. Crist of the power boat Comet just missed sending his vessel to the bottom of the channel last week, while attempting to cross with a load of abalone shells and meat from Santa Rosa Island. While loading the hold, unknown to Crist, one of the Chinamen of the abalone party opened two of the portholes for ventilation. In the heavy sea outside, water poured through the openings, and as the hold was full of sacked shells, it was impossible to close the apertures. The first Crist knew of the calamity was when one of his engines went dead—drowned out. Speedy investigation revealed the cause, the hold and engine room being half full of water. They were then about two miles from shore, and Crist headed his boat for the nearest island cove, meanwhile throwing overboard about two tons of shells in the effort to keep the boat afloat. The Comet came finally to a safe anchorage, and the cargo was removed. Crist came over yesterday with the last of the shells, leaving, however, a number of sacks scattered about the bottom of the channel.”


November 20, 1911 [LAT]: “Narrow escape. Captain G. B. Crist of the powerboat Comet just missed sending his vessel to the bottom of the channel yesterday while attempting to cross with a load of abalone shells and meat from Santa Rosa Island. While loading the hold, unknown to Crist, one of the Chinamen of the abalne party opened two of the portholes for ventilation. In the heavy sea outside, water poured through the openings, and, as the hold was full of sacked shells, it was impossible to close the apertures. The first Crist knew of the calamity was when one of his engines went dead—drowned out. Speedy investigation revealed the cause, the hold and engine room being about half full of water. They were then about two miles from shore, and Crist headed his boat for the nearest island cove, meanwhile throwing overboard about two tons of shells in the effort to keep the boat afloat. The Comet came finally to a safe anchorage, and the cargo was removed.


December 9, 1911 [LAT/LB]: “Would limit abalone catch. C. B. Linton who controls the abalone and pearl concessions of San Miguel and San Clemente islands, is much interested in the application of the Catalina Tuna Club to have the Board of Supervisors limit the daily catch of abalones to fifty pounds each day for each fisherman. Mr. Linton believes the catch should be limited so far as red and green abalones are concerned, but will protest against its application to the black abalones, which he says, are in no danger of extinction since 20 percent of them live within the lines of the surf and are not within the reach of divers or ebb workers. He says that the green and red abalones are easy pickings for the Japanese divers, most of whom are no respecters of the Fish and Game laws, but denude the localities in which they work. The Linton concessions have shipped sixty tons of shells to eastern manufacturers this year. They also have a plant, or bed, of 3000 abalones which are engaged just now in making abalone pearls. The plant is soon to be moved nearer the mainland. The process is new, pearls being developed in the course of one or two years around a composition nucleus that is planted inside the abalone shell. Some of these have been removed from abalones after being planted eight months, and show the scheme is a success. The pearls can be produced in any color of the Oriental pearl, and will be very valuable.”


December 11, 1911 [LAT]: “Information has been received by President Newbert of the State Fish & Game Commission, that an abalone pearl farm established on San Clemente Island by private enterprise has proved successful and that several of the islands of Southern California may be devoted to the production of the pearls, which are said to be unusually large and beautiful… The abalone farm was established on San Clemente Island over a year ago by C. B. Linton of Long Beach, who has abalone concessions on that island, also San Nicolas, Santa Barbara and San Miguel islands. For years the abalones wree almost cleaned out by Japanese divers, who were not generally known to have secured pearls. They sold the meat and shells and pocketed the pearls without ostentation, and it is only of late years that it has been discovered that the brown men have carried off fortunes in pearls.”


March 7, 1912 [LAT/LB]: “Abalones seized. Yesterday evening when the launch Flyer, owned by C. B. Linton Investment Company, came in from San Nicolas Island and landed at the city docks, she was immediately boarded by Deputy Constable Toler, who took charge of the boat and its freight, which consisted of several tons of abalone shells and meat valued at $8000. The confiscation was made on behalf of Assistant State Fish and Game Commissioner Pritchard, who aserts that the season has closed for abalones and shipment here is in violation of the law. The shells and meat were stored in a warehouse on the docks and will be held pending action by the authorities. The shells were gathered on San Nicolas Island where the Linton Company owns concessions.”


March 8, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez returned from the islands yesterday afternoon in his launch Gussie M, bringing 120 sacks of abalone shells and 15 sacks of their meat.”


August 27, 1912 [LAT]: “Islands denuded. Clarence B. Linton of Long Beach, who was here today, and who has the abalone concession on San Nicolas and San Clemente islands, says that the accessible parts of the Channel Islands have been almost denuded of abalones, and that it will not be a very long while until the abalone shell and meat industry in Southern California will be a thing of the past. There are portions of San Nicolas and San Clemente islands where the mollusks are as thick as bees in a hive, but it is impossible to reach them , from either sea or land, owing to the threatening rock-bound coast. It is rumored, says Linton, that P. Sandoval is losing his hold on the abalone and fishing concession on the Lower California coast, and that several Californians are after the concession from the Madero government.”


September 17, 1912 [LAT]: “The chief topic of conversation today among Long Beach boatmen was the death at San Pedro of a Japanese abalone fisherman from the effects of a blow delivered in self-defense last week by young Frank Paschall, son of the owner of the launch Panama. The trouble occurred last week during a trip of the launch from San Clemente. According to the information available the Jap was drunk and had been put below decks. Paschall was talking to some of the crew when he heard a shout of warning and turned in time to see the Jap rushing toward him with a drawn knife. Paschall seized an iron bar and hit the Jap over the head, knocking him unconscious. The boat came on to the mainland and the Jap was put ashore at San Pedro, where he died. Paschall, it is understood, is now at San Clemente, having returned there Saturday night with the launch. His brother went to San Pedro today to investigate.”


September 18, 1912 [SBMP]: “An Italian employed by the Caires on Santa Cruz Island [Pietro Noceti] was drowned this week while engaging in gathering abalone. The man was out in a rowboat when this capsized. As the boat turned, the floundering man was struck on the head and sunk from view. The body had not been recovered when fishermen left for the mainland yesterday afternoon.”


September 27, 1912 [LAT]: “It is with no small charges that residents of this county interested in the protection of the abalone beds along the rocky coast of this county must sit still while crews of Japanese divers clean out the abalone beds along the rocky coast of San Pedro. At present a number of the Japs are camped in a cove at Dana’s Point, four miles from San Juan Capistrano. Another camp is established at the mouth of Aliso Canyon. The Japs are taking not only everything that can be reached at low tide, but they are equipped with diving apparatus and crowbars, and wherever they operate they take out everything of any size… The officers found that the Japs are following the law, which places no limit on the amount that may be taken. It regulates size, and specifies that the abalones must be brought ashore before the meat and shells are separated. ‘The law is lame,’ said Koepsel. ‘The next legislature can be called upon to pass a new law protecting our abalones, but in the meantime these Japanese will have our coast stripped, and the taking of abalones by campers and residents of this section as a sport will be a thing of the past”…


October 31, 1912 [LAT]: “Abalone pearls. The largest collection of abalone pearls ever gathered on the Pacific Coast has been completed by C. B. Linton, who has returned from a trip up and down the coast, and secured practically the year’s output at every fishing point south of San Francisco. They are being shipped to Long Beach by freight and weigh 2400 pounds. The pearls are in abalone shells, but will be removed during the next thirty days. The exhibit will find a place in the San Diego Exposition and is worth several thousand dollars.”


December 10, 1912 [SBI]: “A party of Chinese left for Santa Rosa Island today to establish an abalone camp there.”


December 23, 1912 [SBI]: “Rough weather along the south side of Santa Cruz Island has prevented the landing of small boats there for several days. A party of Chinese, equipped for abalone fishing on the island, left early last week. They were forced to put back to Santa Barbara and wait for the sea to go down. They headed for the islands again Sunday morning.”


July 4, 1913 [OC]: “Abalone season on plentiful supply… The abalone season opens today and fishermen are preparing to bring in large hauls of this shellfish. The abalone will abound this season in different nests about the island, known to experienced fishers, and the camps at Pelican Bay and Frye’s Harbor will be ready to serve this delicacy to their patrons in large quantities.”


July 26, 1913 [SBDN]: “The finest abalone pearl found at the islands for many a day was secured by Captain Ira Eaton while taking some abalones out of their shells yesterday, and he was proudly showing his find to his mainland friends today. It is of large size, showing excellent color and of exceptional good shape, being quite round, a shape rarely seen in pearls of this variety.”


October 24, 1913 [SBDN]: “Island abalone shell attract eastern dealer. Gustave Schrader, a New York and Chicago curio man, has his eyes on the abalone shells of the Channel Islands. Two weeks ago Mr. Schrader visited Santa Cruz Island, and was amazed at the quantity sand quality of abalones found on the ocean side of the island. He tested some of the shells, and mentally computed the number there may be. From expressions of fishermen it is believed that the visitor may seek a contract with the island owners to take over the abalone resources. The abalones of Santa Cruz have a finer grain than found in most shells, and assume a luster, which gives them value. The return of buttons to popularity has made it necessary for manufacturers to seek about for shell beds, that that is possibly what lured Mr. Schrader here. He stated, while in the city, that for decades the eastern market had drawn heavily upon the shell resources of the West Indies, and that some 12 or 13 years ago the eruption of Mt. Pelée destroyed the largest shell deposits in the world, and a disease affected other deposits…”


November 14, 1913 [SBMP]: “The utter annihilation of the abalones and crawfish in southern waters, unless something is done soon, is the gist of the report that is to be made in two weeks to the State Fish and Game Commission by J. A. Coxe, who has been investigating conditions for three weeks. Coxe is the San Pedro expert on deep sea fish with the Tufts—Lyon firm, and has been studying the question for years. A month ago he was commissioned by the fish commission to make a cruise through the islands off the Southern California coast and make a report on conditions as he found them. He returned last week from a trip of three weeks, on which he was accompanied by J. W. Jump and Smith Warren, of San Pedro. The result of their observation is published by the Catalina Wireless… Coxe suggests that the closed season on abalones from January to April, should be extended to include April and May, and he may recommend this action to the commission. It would save these varieties from destruction and give the commission a chance to study their habits. At this time abalone shells are worth $100 a ton, and the meat is shipped to Japan.”


November 17, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Short arrived from Santa Cruz Island this afternoon on the Charm, bringing a cargo of abalone shells.“


1913 “Santa Cruz Island. — Most of the black, green and corrugated abalones had been taken from Santa Cruz Island by about 1898. In 1911, the Japanese diver, Yokayama, worked here fourteen days and was obliged to retire from the field because of the lack of abalones. There are now many small black abalones around this island.“ [Charles Lincoln Edwards The Abalone Industry in California, USC, (1913)]


June 2, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Nidever arrived this morning with a big cargo of abalone shells gathered on San Miguel Island. The shells will be shipped to San Francisco by the Larco brothers.”


August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Three tons of abalone shells and one ton of meat was brought in to the wharf from Santa Rosa Island this morning by Captains Nidever and Hanson in the launch Flyer. The shells will be shipped to San Francisco.”


January 21, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Sweeping changes in game laws are planned… Abalone — No closed season except on black. Size limit the same. No drying, or export of meat or shells…”


September 4, 1915 [SBMP]: “That David Starr Jordan and the federal authorities have become interested in the desirability for the protective measures for the channel seal, for the sea birds and for the food fishes of these waters is an encouraging sigh; and the proposition that there should be a separate department in California for the supervision of ocean fisheries is eminently reasonable and destined to have the support of all thinking people. The seals of Santa Barbara are being exterminated. There are fewer sea birds than there were. Crawfish and abalone are each season more scarce. Food fish are higher in price. There is urgent need for action of a decisive and effective character, and agitation to that end is worthy of our interest and support.”


April 22, 1916 [SBDN]: “Although the fact hardly appeals to the sportsman the season on green, pink and black abalones will open May 1, the same date that the trout becomes legal game. Already the hardware merchants and sporting goods houses report that the anglers are filling up their hooks with flies and gathering tackle.”


March 2, 1917 [OC]: “Gathering abalones used to be quite a sport about Catalina, an old piece of buggy spring being used as a tool to pry them off the rocks at low tide. Then the Japanese cleaned the island. Now the abalones are becoming quite plentiful again, and up the Malibu coast, around the Portuguese Bend cliffs and other rocky headlands, abalone parties may be quite the thing if the ‘ten per day’ limit on black abalones is made. The red, pink and green abalones may be taken now, but are rarer here.”


October 21, 1918 [SBWI]: “State laws limiting the fishing of pink, green, and red abalones in the coast waters between the northern boundary of Santa and the Mexican border have been suspended by the Federal Food Administration for California. No limit was placed on the number when diving apparatus is used in not less than 15 feet of water.”


March 15, 1925 [LAT]: “…Leaving San Pedro at 9:00 P.M., the 6th inst., the Woofels reached Santa Rosa Island in apparently good condition in exactly twelve hours. The day was spent in gathering mushrooms and abalones, which are claimed to be of fabulous size by the Woofels. The abalones unwisely clung to the rocks at Santa Rosa Island above the low-tide level, and it was a comparatively easy task to collect several sacks of the delicious sea fruit…”

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