CAIRE, Helen

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Left to right:
Vivienne Caire, Marie Caire, Delphine Caire, Helen Caire
Caire family, Santa Cruz, 1920s:
Rear left to right: Jeanne, Helene, Fred, Lillian Suich Caire,
May Suich Caire, a friend, Miriam
Front left to right: George Olsen, Delphine “Didi”, Marie,
Vivienne “Vivi”, a friend

CAIRE, Helen (1905-2002), granddaughter of Justinian Caire, daughter of Frederic and Lillian Caire, and prolific Santa Cruz Island author. Helen spent much of her youth on Santa Cruz Island, and as an adult lived most of her life with her three sisters in their Marina District home in San Francisco. Although her family sold their interests in Santa Cruz Island in 1936, Helen vividly remembered much of her island childhood. In 1943 she published her first book, Señor Castillo, Cock of Santa Cruz Island, a children's story based upon a real island rooster. It was reprinted as Santa Cruz Island Foundation Occasional Paper #3, 1990. A collection of eight of Caire’s writings appears in Occasional Paper #1, 1989.

In 1996 the three spinstress Caire sisters all moved to Mercy Retirement Center in Oakland, CA, where they lived until their respective deaths: Marie died in 2002, just shy of her 100th birthday. Sisters Helen and Vivienne (married) also died in 2002; Delphine died in 2000.

» Caire, Helen A Brief History of Santa Cruz Island from 1880 to 1937 in The Ventura County Historical Society Quarterly XXVII(4):1-33, Summer 1982

» Caire, Helen Señor Castillo, Cock of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara: Santa Cruz Island Foundation, 1990

» Caire, Helen Santa Cruz Island. A History and Recollections of an Old California Rancho Washington: Arthur H. Clark Company. 1993

APRIL 17, 1993. INTERVIEW WITH HELEN CAIRE. Caire was interviewed by Marla Daily in her home in San Francisco, CA.


In the News~

November 27, 1927 [OT]: “A number of smart teas have brightened the social calendar during Thanksgiving week. The younger set foregathered Tuesday afternoon for tea at the home of Mrs. Frederic F. Caire of Lee Street who with her daughters, Miss Helen and Miss Delphine Caire, entertained in compliment to the two elder daughters of the household, Miss Albina and Miss Marie Caire, who have been in Europe for some length of time. A number of the younger set with Miss Vivienne Caire assisted in receiving.”

August 20, 1935 [SBNP]: “Owner of Santa Cruz Island reveals lore of picturesque island. Helene Caire communes with elfin folk who guard legendary secrets of the rugged mountainous chain... Miss Caire, who makes her home on the island, has sent to the news two manuscripts, The Island Brook and The Lost Conquistador, which are being printed today. The News believes them to be among the most delightful and fascinating which have been written about Santa Cruz...”