Campo Grande, Santa Cruz Island

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Campo Grande, Santa Cruz Island
Campo Grande airstrip, Santa Cruz Island c. 1982
Cessna N733VW crashed January 18, 1984
East End, Santa Cruz Island

Campo Grande, Santa Cruz Island, historic hay field located on the northern mesa of the island's east end. The Campo Grande was the location of one of the island's five airstrips (Campo Grande, above San Pedro Point, Main Ranch, Christy Ranch, the Point [West End]). In February, 1984, island employee, Pete Petersen, along with another passenger, survived a plane crash on the Campo Grande airstrip. Petersen suffered from severe internal injuries, and the crash ended his employment on Santa Cruz Island.

The Campo Grande airstrip served the island for more than half-a-century until it was closed by Channel Islands National Park in the late 1990s.

In the News~

April 24, 1928 [LAT]: “Flyer held on island. Earle Ovington, Santa Barbara airman, returned to the mainland yesterday after spending three days marooned on Santa Cruz Island. Last Wednesday Ovington, dean of airmail flyers, carried the first mail ever delivered by airplane across the Santa Barbara Channel to the home of Ambrose Gherini on the eastern end of the island. On the way over he flew above the radio station at Fry’s Harbor and a message from there later told of his safe arrival. He also dropped a message on Santa Rosa Island. Soon after he landed in a canyon near Scorpion Harbor with a runway of 696 feet and ninety feet wide. Then the wind began to blow, as it often does on the island, and did not die down until yesterday morning. Then Ovington flew out of the canyon to Campo Grande field, where he took Z. Zulberti, superintendent of the island, as a passenger and returned to the mainland in fourteen minutes.”

1967 Forty-Six Years Later by Clifford McElrath

Finally as we swung west along the coast of Santa Cruz Island I was able to pick out many familiar spots and landmarks. There was Pedro Point at the extreme eastern end of the island, the canyon where the Scorpion Ranch is located. The buildings were not visible because of the high cliffs and the narrowness of the canyon in which they are located, El Campo Grande on the mesa above the ranch where we used to raise hay, and the Montagnon which is the highest portion of the ridge from which Santa Cruz may have gotten it's name.