Cabrillo Monument, San Miguel Island

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Cabrillo Monument, San Miguel Island 1939
with Willard Salisbury and Grover T. Garland
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Monument
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Monument

Cabrillo Monument, San Miguel Island was set in place in 1937. Santa Barbaran Isaac Bonilla organized several people from Cabrillo Civic Clubs and Native Sons of the Golden West to commemorate Cabrillo as a Portuguese explorer. A 40-inch marble cross and base monument, donated by Santa Barbara Monumental Works, states:

“Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho, Portuguese Navigator, Discoverer of California, 1542. Isle of Burial 1543.
Cabrillo Civic Clubs, January 3, 1937.”

The monument was taken to San Miguel Island by the Coast Guard cutter Hermes and ceremoniously placed on a knoll overlooking Cuyler's Harbor.

In the News~

November 17, 1936 [H.G.S. Wallace, Captain U.S.N., Acting Commandant, letter to Grand Council of Cabrillo Civic Clubs]: “Dear Sir: In accordance with the request of your letter dated November 17, 1936, permission is hereby granted the Cabrillo Civic Clubs to visit San Miguel Island on January 3, 1937 for the purpose of erecting a small Memorial to John Rodrígues Cabrillo, Discoverer of California. It is requested that you notify this office concerning the character of the Memorial and its proposed location. By carbon copy of this letter, Mr. Robert L. Brooks, lessee of the Island, is being notified that the Commandant has granted permission for members of the Cabrillo Civic Clubs to visit San Miguel Island on the date above mentioned.”

December 5, 1937 [LAT]: “San Miguel Island last resting place of California’s discoverer… A movement is now underway, in connection with the approaching anniversary of California’s discovery, to change the name of San Miguel to Cabrillo Island…”