Aguaje, Santa Cruz Island

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Aguaje, Santa Cruz Island
Aguaje showing growth of feed on areas partly protected from sheep. Anacapa Island in the distance.
Santa Cruz Island, Symmes, 1922


Aguaje, Santa Cruz Island (El Aguaje, Cañada del Aguaje, Aguaje Canyon) [Sp. spring] is located on the south side of the island to the west of Yellow Banks Anchorage. The canyon is flanked by the Aguaje Pastures #1 and #2. Ranch records indicate both sheep and cattle were run in the Aguaje.



September 15, 1917 [SCICo]: “We will also have to get rid of [Charles] Erickson at the Aguaje, otherwise they [the other fishermen] will refuse to pay rent.”


March 6, 1918 [SCICo]: “We also tore down a shack that was north of the one occupied by [Charles] Erickson [at Yellow Banks] and which he used last season. In tearing this down we discovered where the greater part of the corral at Aguaje had gone to.”


1919. “…There followed days of riding. I spent several days at the Scorpion Ranch at the east end of the island. From there I rode to the Aguaje, Smugglers Cove, Potato Harbor, Mielquieres, and what we called the Indian Territory. This was a large area stretching from the Aguaje to the Sur…” [Clifford McElrath On Santa Cruz Island 1967].


June 20, 1919 [SCICo]: “The cattle at the Aguaje are being moved to Cueva Valdez.”


June 26, 1919 [SCICo]: “All of the cattle have been removed from Aguaje and driven to Cueva Valdez.”


September 20, 1920 [SCICo]: Superintendent Clifford McElrath reported to Santa Sheriff Ross: “Two of our men were riding, although somewhat separated in the Cañada del Aguaje. One of them from a hill saw about 20 men making a rodeo of cattle, circling around them and driving them into a bunch. They had already killed one and wounded two when they saw him and opened fire. They then made a quick getaway in their boats.” In 1922 Symmes reported the Aguaje contains “a good perennial stream with two branches which flow throughout its course.”