CROCKER, C. Templeton

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Zaca (1930-current)

CROCKER, Charles Templeton (1884-1948) was born September 2, 1884 in San Francisco, California, the only son of Colonel Charles F. Crocker & Jennie Easton Crocker. Both parents died when he and his sisters were young, his mother dying shortly after the birth of the youngest sister Jennie. He and his sisters continued to live in the Hillsborough estate with their maternal grandmother, their inherited fortune put in trust until they became of age. For Charles that was 21 years. His worth was estimated at $5 million, which grew with investments to $15 million. He was graduated from Yale University in 1908.

C. T. Crocker married Helene Irwin, a Hawaiian sugar plantation heiress on 28 Feb. 1911, in San Francisco at the home of the bride's father. He wrote and produced plays for the Bohemian Club, funded expeditions and travel with the California Academy of Sciences aboard his personal yacht, and was President of the California Historical Society. His wife, Helene, was left alone much of the time, and she finally filed for divorce in 1928. There were no children.

A self-proclaimed explorer, Crocker sailed his yacht Zaca around the world, covering 27,152 miles and visiting 50 ports (1930). He made an expedition to the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific for the California Academy of Sciences (March 1932 – September 1932). The expedition also stopped at Isla Guadalupe on March 18, 1932 where Crocker and Harry Swarth collected a few birds—mostly Juncos. On the trip back to California, they stopped at Isla San Martin on August 19-20, 1932 where they killed an elephant seal and collected a few birds.

A 2,690 foot mountain on Indefatigable Island was named Mount Crocker in honor of his conquest of that peak. Later expeditions included Honolulu, Hawaii with the Bishop Museum (1933), Easter Island for the American Museum of Natural History (1934), Gulf of California for the New York Zoological Society (1936), Hawaii, Tongareva and Samoa for American Museum of Natural History (1936-1937). Crocker received the Ribbon of the Legion of Honor (France, 1926) for his opera “Fey-Yen-Fah”, an adaptation of a play he had written, “Land of Happiness”. He also authored "The Cruise of the Zaca" in 1933.

Crocker died December 12, 1948. He is buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, Ca.


Crocker collected on:

  • ISLA GUADALUPE
  • ISLA SAN MARTIN


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Guadalupe Templeton Crocker CAS March 18, 1932 CAS-38102 Melospiza lincolnii lincolnii Birds
Isla Guadalupe Templeton Crocker CAS March 18, 1932 CAS-38103 Junco hyemalis insularis Birds


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla San Martin Templeton Crocker CAS August 19, 1932 CAS-38165 Salpinctes obsoletus obsoletus Birds
Isla San Martin Templeton Crocker CAS August 19, 1932 CAS-38166 Salpinctes obsoletus obsoletus Birds
Isla San Martin Templeton Crocker CAS August 19, 1932 CAS-38168 Passerina amoena Birds
Isla San Martin Templeton Crocker CAS August 19, 1932 CAS-38169 Amphispiza belli belli Birds
Isla San Martin Templeton Crocker CAS August 19, 1932 CAS-38170 Amphispiza belli belli Birds