BAGLIN, Hilton George “Al”
BAGLIN, Hilton George “Al” (1905-1989) [SS#562-09-5126] and Rose Ann “Rosie” (1907-1985) [SS#548-16-8079] lived on San Miguel Island for Robert Brooks from 1942 until 1948. They moved to the island after the Englunds left, and inherited the care of the Lester family's aged dog, Pomo. They also had a jeep “that Brooks had found abandoned on his Oxnard ranch. His gang, none of them mechanics, took it all apart, loaded it on a skiff, and reassembled it on the island. It ran, making the Baglins the most mobile of any island residents.” [Roberts: 112].
In late 1948, the Navy served notice to Robert Brooks to vacate San Miguel Island, and the Baglins, the last caretakers of San Miguel Island, moved to Newport Beach and Big Creek, California. Rosie died in Los Osos, California in 1985 at the age of 78, and her husband died four years later at 84.
In the News~
[1940s] “… Mrs. Baglin, while out hunting alone, fell, accidentally putting a bullet through her knee and lay for hours while her distraught husband and Pomo [collie dog] made a search for her. Pomo got the credit when she was found at a remote spot and was rescued from a miserable ordeal and taken to a hospital in Santa Barbara where eventually she fully recovered from the wound and exposure. When the Navy decided to use San Miguel for a practice range, the Baglins and Pomo were evicted.” [Elizabeth Sherman Lester The Legendary King of San Miguel Island, 1974.]
October 11, 1948 [SBNP]: “Sheep taken off dry, bare San Miguel. Within the last two months as many as possible of the sheep on San Miguel Island have been rounded up and shipped off to market. Because of the severe drought all over Southern California during the past year the island has been stripped nearly bare of vegetation. Then lying as it does right off Point Conception it is in the path of a very strong almost constant Northwest wind. At present there is hardly enough feed lweft to support the 200 odd head that sare left there. About 1500 were taken off. One barge load of sheep at a time was driven down to the beach and herded into a leading pen. One man hazed them up the ramp while the rest of the crew drove them down the ramp into the barge. Most of the supplies for the island are hauled over by air. Mr. and Mrs. Baglin, the island’s permanent residents as caretakers for Robert Brooks of Carpinteria, who holds the lease on the island, help Russell Robinson unload his plane.”
September 1, 1955 [Rosie Baglin to Robert Brooks]: “Dear Bob, Just a line to let you know we are all settled on our new job. Here we stay until April, I hope. It is really beautiful up here, but oh! such rugged country. We are 7350 above sea level overlooking Florence Lake. Edison has quite a large installation here, and of course Big Creek is all Edison personnel. Our duties will be official weather forecasters. After December 1st the cloud seeding will start anytime there are clouds of any precipitation promise, but they radio us and tell us when to turn on the silver iodide plant. By they, I mean our bosses, the North American Weather Consultants. There is a huge dam here. Top of it is painted with silver iridescent paint which glows at night and is really an awe inspiring sight. No snow here as yet. Road will be open ‘til December anyway, they say. Bring the Mrs. and come on up for a week or two. Good fishing. Plenty of trails to hike. You could get some marvelous pictures, home baked bread, so come on up. Now then I will close. Let me thank you for the good reference you gave us. That got us the job. You can bet on that. Wishing you and yours the best of everything. May we hear from you? I remain sincerely, Rose Baglin c/o Edison Co., Florence Lake, Big Creek, Cal.”
April 22, 1984 [SBNP]: “…Other resident caretakers lived on the ranch until December 1948, when the Navy evicted the last couple, H. G. and Rose Baglin, in preparation for using San Miguel for missile and bomb target practice… Mrs. Baglin had only been on the island three weeks when she fell down a slope and accidentally shot herself in the knee some distance from the ranch house. Unable to climb back to level ground, she wasn’t found by her husband until the following morning. He radioed the Coast Guard for help, and she was flown to a hospital in Santa Barbara. No persons have lived on the island since 1948…”