FRASER, (Frazer) Allan G.

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Santa Barbara Morning Press, August 3, 1904
Canning crawfish on Santa Cruz Island
Sunset Magazine, 1905 (238)
Photo by N. H. Reed

FRASER, [Frazer, Frazier] Allan G. (?-?), manager of the West Coast Fishing Company, a cannery operation constructed of wood at Pelican Bay on Santa Cruz Island in early 1902. Beginning in 1903, Fraser attempted to promote the Pelican Bay site as a resort, adding cottages to the cannery buildings, from about 1903 to 1905. Prior and subsequent to his island interest, Fraser was a Los Angeles mining speculator who staked several claims in Lower California, and invested in mines in California and Arizona.

In the News~

May 23, 1899 [SFCall]: “Allan G. Fraser, a Los Angeles mining man, arrived here today from the newly discovered placer fields in the Santa Clara district, some 400 miles south of this sity. He confirmed the reports of the wonderful richness of the diggings and said miners were flockking to the camp from all directions. He saw nuggets taken out worth $500, and nearly all the Mexicans possessed either dust or nuggets. The placers are located about twenty miles inland from San Pablo Bay, and the ground thus far opened covers an area of about twenty square miles.The territory beyond has not been thoroughly prospected. Mr. Fraser said:

'I have no desire to connect my name with a fake story and thereby cause many people to invest their all possibly in an effort to reach mythical field. I found the placers quite as rich as had been reported, and I can say that the Santa Clara placers are in my estimation among the richest ever discovered. There were about 300 Mexicans and Indians working the placers when I left, and they were taking out an average of from $15 to $20 a day...”

May 30, 1899 [LAH]: “Allan G. Fraser, the Los Angeles mining man who brought the first authentic information of the rich San Roque, Lower California gold placers, is at the Hollenbeck, and leaves next week for the mines again, he having staked several claims...”

May 27, 1902 [SBMP]: “Excavation work reveals bones and other curios. Two stone hatchets taken from the ground—progress on cannery. The report comes from Santa Cruz Island that the fish cannery company in excavating for the new cannery at Pelican Bay, has unearthed some very valuable Indian relics. In addition to skeletons and the more common relics of the lost race, two stone hatchets remarkably well formed, were discovered. Captain Merry of Hueneme, who returned from the island Saturday in his sloop yacht Daisy, brought with him from Pelican Bay a well-preserved Indian skull, with the teeth intact. The cannery was formerly located at Scorpion Harbor, but conditions are considered more favorable in the new location. A power hoist will be put in, and with the deep water immediately below the cliff it will be possible to discharge the cargoes of the fishing boats without transferring to skiffs. This will mean a greast savings in time.”

August 24, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “E. W. Freeman, Esq., of Los Angeles arrived from Santa Cruz Island this afternoon, where he had gone to serve a summons upon Allan G. Fraser, general manager of the West Coast Packing Company, which is engaged extensively in packing fish, abalones and crawfish for the market. Freeman represented Oscar Thieme of Los Angeles, who has brought action against Fraser for the recovery of $1800, which, he declares, is due him for materials delivered. Fraser, it is said, acknowledged the indebtedness, and paid a large portion of the amount, which Freeman brought with him from the island today.”

June 23, 1903 [SBMP]: “A number of capitalists, headed by Allan G. Fraser, has secured a long-term lease upon a section of Santa Cruz Island and will proceed at once to erect a hotel, a tent city, and a number of cottages and auxiliary buildings... Mr. Fraser for several years has been prominently identified with the fish packing business in the north. His attention was attracted to the possibilities for a successful summer and winter resort on Santa Cruz Island several weeks ago while visiting this city... Mr. Fraser states that although the hotel cannot be finished in several months, provision will be made for the accommodation of guests within three weeks or a month by the erection of a large number of substantial tents and small buildings... A powerboat capable of carrying between 75 and 100 passengers has been secured and will be brought to Santa Barbara as soon as needed... About two months ago Mr. Fraser, accompanied by Mr. Potter, went over to Santa Cruz Island in the power schooner Peerless to meet with Mr. F[redrick] Caire...”

June 23, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “Hotel on Santa Cruz Island. A party of Los Angeles and San Francisco capitalists is about to build a hotel on Santa Cruz Island in the Santa Barbara Channel, twenty-eight miles west of this city. General plans which have just been adopted provide for a large hotel, a tent city and a number of cottages, the construction of which is to be commenced at once. Tents are to be put up to accommodate visitors by the middle of July. It is proposed to make the island an all-the-year-round resort, and there is unlimited capital behind the scheme, which is to be carried out on a grand scale. Allan G. Frazer, a prominent fish packer of San Francisco, is leading the spirit of the enterprise. A lease on a large part of the island has just been secured by the company from the owners for a long term. A large powerboat has been secured to make regular trips between Santa Barbara and the island.”

July 19, 1903 [SBMP]: “Excursionists enjoy outing. Many were seasick but all refused to admit it. A merry crowd of about three hundred people availed themselves of the opportunity to see the islands and take a cruise on the channel yesterday. Had it been definitely announced earlier that a landing would be made many more would have taken the trip. As the permit was not secured util Friday morning, there was not time to give it general publicity or for parties who would have gone if they had been assured earlier to make their arrangements to get away. The trip over was a most delightful one, very few being victims of mal de mer. An unavoidable and annoying circumstance marred the pleasure of the day for those who had anticipated going ashore and exploring the canyons and rocky cliffs. On arriving at Prisoners Harbor a freight steamer was found moored to the wharf, a small frail affair, very much in need of repair. The superintendent of the island warned Captain Eagles of the Ramona of the danger of accident should the two vessels attempt to tie to the dock and the captain of the freight boat also protested. In the face of this there was nothing left for Captain Eagles to do but decline to land, although he had a written permit to do so. Anchor was dropped near the wharf and those who cared to take the trip were lowered into the ship's boats and landed at the dock. At 2 o'clock anchor was weighed and the party taken for a cruise of the west end of the island, passing in view of Pelican Bay, where the crawfish cannery is located; Freye's Harbor, where the Whitney-Rogers-Thaw party is camped; Cueva Valdez and Painted Cave. The return trip was rather rougher than the run over, but none were heard to admit having been seasick.”

August 10, 1903 [SBI]: “Milo M. Potter of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, H. T. Kendall and Freeman Ford of Pasadena, Col. D. T. Perkins of Hueneme, directors of the Potter Hotel company, accompanied by Charlie Kendall, son of H. T. Kendall, and Allan G. Fraser of Santa Barbara, went to Santa Cruz Island in Captain Ogenio Larco’s gasoline launch last Saturday morning…”

August 17, 1903 [SBI]: “The crawfish season opened satisfactorily to those who trap them for the market. Although the season has been open but three days, thousands of crawfish, many of which are of immense size and fine quality, have been brought to this city from the islands for shipment to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is understood the crawfish cannery that has been conducted for several seasons by Allen G. Frasier at Dick’s Harbor, will not be operated this season, for various reasons, and nearly all of those that are caught will have to be shipped to the coast cities for immediate use. The fishermen of commerce do not view the outlook with very high favor as they anticipate a glutting of the market and consequent low prices.”

August 12, 1903 [LAT]: “Santa Cruz Island off Santa Barbra was visited Saturday by Milo M. Potter… accompanied by Allan G. Frazier, agent for the Caire brothers of San Francisco, owners of the island. The trip was made for the purpose of inspecting the most attractive portions of Santa Cruz Island with a view to leasing it and developing a fine seaside resort at Pelican Bay and other attractive nooks where the game fish of the south coast run riot in the waters… The San Francisco merchants and fish canners controlling the island have made known their willingness to lease it to the Potter Hotel Company for a term of years for resort purposes, and the final decision waits upon the decision of the next meeting of the directors of the latter… Under the present owners a lobster and fish canning plant is operated there, 50,000 head of sheep roam the hills and valleys, and a large acreage is planted to vineyards, alfalfa and barley. In the wine vaults of the island there are at present 40,000 gallons of wine made last year…”

October 13, 1903 [SBI]: “Santa Cruz Island resort reality of the near future. Work has commenced on improvements, and soon the charms of this rare insular gem will be open to the world. At last arrangements have been concluded in the long-hoped-for project of making Santa Cruz Island what nature plainly intended it for—the most delightful pleasure resort on the Pacific coast. Allan G. Fraser, who for several months past has been preparing plans for the great undertaking, today informed a representative of The Independent that his preparations were now completed for a start in the new enterprise. Indeed, for a week past half a dozen men have been at work building a new wharf, and six more men will be taken to the island by Mr. Fraser tomorrow to aid in this work, which is necessarily the first step in the improvements to be made on the island. The next work to be done will be the construction of twelve or fifteen handsome and commodious cottages and a large dining hall, the buildings to constitute a composite hotel of a very superior grade, the idea being to cater to an ultra-exclusive patronage, a deal of which is ‘in sight’ even now. Golf links will be laid out, the land being admirably adapted to the requirements of this popular game, and generous provision in other features of sport will be made for the patrons of the resort… Mr. Fraser states that work upon the contemplated improvements will be pushed with vigor from now on, and that the time for receiving guests of the resort will not be later than December 1…”

October 30, 1903 [OC]: “Island resort on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz Island is really to become another Catalina according to a Santa Barbara correspondent to the Los Angeles Herald, who writes: ‘On Santa Cruz Island a heavy wharf has been completed as a landing to a proposed new resort to be built at once across the channel. Work on the wharf ended last night and carpenters will at once begin the erection of five large cottages and a centrally located hall, café and amusement building. Capital from Los Angeles and other southern points is interested and it is said that several Potter Hotel company directors are stockholders. This place will be built within the next two months and will probably be open before the first of January. The hotel will accommodate several hundred people. The matter of transportation across the Santa Barbara channel is one that will easily be solved. About December 1, a steamer with a capacity of forty persons will be put on for regular runs. Later a 200-passsenger vessel will make the trip. Captain Douglas White of the yacht Ramona has been asked to give his advice in the matter of the selection of the vessels and is now in San Francisco with an eye out for steamers. As the popularity of the island grows the size of the hotel will be increased, and with the splendid fishing of the island banks within a few minutes tow of the 50 x 75 pontoon landing soon to be built, it will not be long before additions will have to be made. The capital back of the enterprise is not limited and those backing it propose to make a second Catalina of Santa Cruz.”

November 26, 1903 [SBI]: “Yesterday Captain Jim Gardner took Allen G. Fraser, four carpenters and two laborers over to Santa Cruz Island on the power launch Frances. The men are to work on four new cottages, the materials for which were taken over yesterday by the gasoline schooner Santa Cruz.”

November 27, 1903 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz schooner took over a load of material Wednesday for the construction of cottages at the new resort on the island which Allan G. Fraser is promoting. Mr. Fraser and four carpenters went over in the Frances yesterday. The resort will be open for business as soon as the tourist season sets in, although it will not be complete.”

December 19, 1903 [SBI]: “Allan G. Fraser is over from Santa Cruz Island on business, and he reports good progress in his arrangements for the making of a fine resort of that lovely spot. He says that by New Year’s Day he will have several cottages ready for occupancy, and that by the 15th of January the resort will be ready for the formal opening. A fine, large gasoline auxiliary boat has been secured in San Francisco, to be delivered here by February 15. It will be capable of carrying 200 passengers, and will make the trip to the island in two and one-half hours.”

February 14, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan Fraser is in town completing arrangements for the opening of his resort on Santa Cruz Island.”

March 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “Another island resort is to be one of Santa Barbara's attractions according to a story emanating from Los Angeles. There is already a resort on Santa Cruz Island, promoted by Allan T. Fraser, about ready to be opened to the public, but the latest enterprise, according to the examiner, is to be located on Santa Rosa Island and is to be on a much larger scale than the Santa Cruz resort...”

April 12, 1904 [SBI]: “Pelican Bay resort open for business in small way. Allan G. Fraser, who has been working for a long time past at preparations for a pleasure resort at Pelican Bay on Santa Cruz Island, reports that matters are now in such shape that small parties can be comfortably accommodated. Mr. Fraser has secured the gasoline sloop Pride, one of the finest small boats in the island passenger traffic until enlarged facilities at the island shall make feasible the entertainment of people in large numbers, and larger vessel will be available when it is required. The Pride, in command of Captain Prescott, is a delightful boat in which to travel, and she can carry twenty-five passengers in comfort. An experienced boatman who has been engaged at Catalina Island for several years has been secured for the new resort, to which he will bring within a few days a small fleet of pleasure craft, including a number of glass-bottom boats for the exploration of the marine gardens of the Santa Cruz Island coast—pronounced the finest in the world. It will not be long now before the completion of a number of comfortable cottages and a large dining room at Pelican Bay, and then the resort will soon be opened for ‘big business.’ Since the Pride was put into commission in this service, a number of small parties have gone over to inspect the new resort, and all have returned to the mainland filled with enthusiastic delight over the beauties of the island whose charms are as yet known only to a comparative few, but which are now happily destined to be known and enjoyed by the multitude and to figure as another great attraction for Santa Barbara.”

April 15, 1904 [SBI]: “This morning Allan G. Fraser returned to Pelican Bay on Santa Cruz Island, in the power sloop Pride, with a party of guests of the Potter Hotel. They will briefly explore the more important of the natural attractions of the island and return to the mainland after a couple of days at that charming resort.”

April 23, 1904 [The Ojai]: “For years the Santa Barbara Islands have loomed up mysteriously and attractively out in the ocean off Ventura, but they have been generally impossible to visit. Now they are open to the public and a party of Thacher School boys spent Easter time, parts of seven days at Santa Cruz Island, and enjoyed themselves exceedingly. Pelican Bay Camp, kept by Mr. Allan G. Fraser, was their headquarters. He has secured exclusive camping from the Caire estate and is disposed to be quite liberal in his entertainment of his guests. He has fished about the islands for three years and so knows the attractions of the place. He has sleeping rooms in the main building and also in cottages, but expects many to camp on the various beaches. The schooner Pride takes passengers to and from the island, either from Ventura or Santa Barbara...”

June 8, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan Fraser, the Santa Cruz Island promoter, is in the city.”

June 8, 1904 [SBMP]: “Mr. Allan G. Fraser, the Santa Cruz Island promoter, was in Santa Barbara yesterday on his return from San Francisco. While in San Francisco, Mr. Fraser made arrangements for a new passenger boat which will soon arrive here and will make daily trips to and from the islands. [It] will no doubt largely increase the patronage of Pelican Bay. Accommodations on the island are being enlarged and perfected to meet the demands of as many people as the boats will bring over. Besides Pelican Inn, a number of small cottages have been built, and tents are being put up.”

June 22, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan G. Fraser, promoter of the Santa Cruz Island pleasure resort who recently erected a number of cottages at Pelican Bay, is stopping at the Potter. Mr. Fraser is well pleased with the outlook for summer business at his island resort and expects that after regular communication is established between Santa Cruz and the mainland many visitors and residents will take the opportunity of spending a few days on the other side of the channel. At present there is no regular means of transportation. The schooner Pride is being used for carrying supplies and not being particularly adapted to the passenger interests. Mr. Fraser says that by July 1st he will have a well equipped gasoline schooner plying regularly between this port and Pelican Bay.”

June 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “The resort on Santa Cruz. Allan G. Fraser, promoter of the Santa Cruz Island pleasure resort, who recently erected a number of cottages at Pelican Bay, is now in Santa Barbara for a few days and is stopping at the Potter. Mr. Fraser is well pleased with the outlook for summer business at his island resort and expects that after a regular communication is established between Santa Cruz and the mainland many visitors and residents will take to opportunity of spending a few days on the other side of the channel. At present there is no regular means of transportation, the schooner Pride being used for carrying supplies and not being particularly adapted to the passenger business. Mr. Fraser says that by July 1st he will have a well equipped gasoline schooner plying regularly between this port and Pelican Bay. "If I find that the business warrants the additional expense," said Mr. Fraser in an interview yesterday, "I will run the boat every day, but I hardly expect that the business for the first year will be heavy enough to make daily trips expedient. The new schooner will be in every way adapted to passenger business, and will be fitted with a large, roomy cabin, where ladies can retire in comfort. The engine room will be well away from the passenger quarters , so that no unpleasant smell of gasoline will be noticeable. The crossing will take from two and a half to three hours, never longer than three." Mr. Fraser will remain here for a day or so before returning to the island.”

August 5, 1904 [OC]: “The Santa Barbara Independent has the following account of the opening of a new resort on Santa Cruz Island just across the channel from Santa Barbara, which if carried out with the proper energy, will soon become a close rival of Avalon and Catalina: ‘Allan G. Fraser, promoter and proprietor of the new pleasure resort at Pelican Bay, on Santa Cruz Island, has returned from Chicago, whither he went on business connected with the ultimate development of his plans for an extensive enterprise in its line. ‘Pelican Bay is now ready to receive visitors. Already a good many people have visited the new resort, and all have been delighted with the manifold charms of the spot so lavishly favored by nature… A dozen comfortable cottages have been built, together with a main building containing a large dining room and eight or ten bedrooms. Visitors to the island may live in the cottages and take their meals in the big dining room or secure camping privileges in other of many desirable spots on the beaches or in the pine and oak trees on the hillsides. There is an abundance of excellent water on the island. The little power yacht Pride will convey passengers to and from the island’…”

August 7, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan Fraser's Pride left yesterday for Pelican Bay with a number of passengers for that island resort.”

August 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Fraser was out wild boar hunting Monday with his Great Dane, Colonel, and succeeded in killing two monstrous boars. The pure forest above Pelican Bay furnishes excellent hiding for these old islanders, and the sport of hunting them cannot be excelled anywhere. Talk about your Swift sugar-cured! You ought to see how these old island cured porkers can go up and down the sides of the roughest mountain.”

August 26, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan Fraser, the manager of Pelican Inn on Santa Cruz Island, is determined to keep that island in its most primitive state, and not allow the visitors to mar the natural beauty of the place or to destroy the wild animals, birds and seals that inhabit the shores of the island. He believes that the most attractive features of the place are the vast number of seals and numerous wild birds that live along the shore, and he will not permit any one to use a gun there or destroy these natural inhabitants. Mr. Fraser has leased the landing privilege of the island from the Santa Cruz Island Company, and is conducting a tourist resort there with a hotel and a number of small tent houses for the accommodation of those who visit the island. He has chartered a boat, the Pride, which makes regular trips to and from the island three times a week, carrying passengers to his Pelican Bay resort. It has been a custom for other boats to land passengers on different parts of the island for hunting, fishing and other purposes. But now Mr. Fraser declares that no one shall be landed there except by his permission. Mr. Fraser stated to a Press reporter yesterday that he had notified several of his boatmen who have been accustomed to land parties there that no further infringement of his privileges there would be tolerated, and if the warning was not heeded he would take other more stringent steps to enforce the rule. Seal hunters have been accustomed to go there at any time for seals, and this also will be forbidden. The seals have been driven from the most attractive parts of the island by tourists and hunters, and some of the tamer ones have been shot right in Pelican Bay. Other wild fowls have also been killed, but Mr. Fraser will not permit any further shooting on the island.”

August 28, 1904 [SBMP]: “The sloop Pride sailed yesterday morning for Santa Cruz Island with a dozen passengers for the island summer resort. A Sunday excursion to Pelican Bay is being planned by Mr. Fraser to come off next week, at which time a number of people from this city can go over and back in one day.”

August 31, 1904 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Pride will make regular trips to and from Pelican Bay on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays of each week leaving here at 8:00 o'clock A.M. and leaving Pelican Bay on return trip at 3 o'clock P.M. Parties wishing to visit the beautiful islands may obtain all particulars and information by applying to F. M. Whitney, 717-1/2 State Street. The Pride is the only boat allowed to land parties anywhere on the island, and parties crossing the channel in other boats will be charged full price for landing or else not allowed to land at all. Allan G. Fraser, Lessee.”

October 25, 1904 [SBMP]: “Allan G. Fraser, the proprietor of Pelican Bay Inn, is in the city looking after the interests of his island resort.”

January 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless returned last Thursday from the crawfish cannery at Santa Cruz Island having on board 35 sacks of crawfish. Crawfish are getting very scarce and fishermen suggest prohibiting trapping them for two years.”

June 20, 1905 [SBMP]: “Gem of island is Santa Cruz... Mr. Lowe was piloted to the various points of interest on the island of Santa Cruz by Captain Merry of the Vishnu, the trip across the channel being made last Saturday and the entire day of Sunday being given to the examination of the various points of greater interest... It was in this locality, at Pelican Bay, that the Fraser Resort was established a year ago, and the failure of this attempt at popularizing the island with the tourist has been said to be the case for present stringent instructions from Mr. Caire, the owner, restricting privileges of visitors...”

[Mines Register, 1912:80]: “Arizona-Pacific Copper Co. Mine office: Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co., Ariz. COl. O. I. Posey, pres.; Allan G. Fraser, sec. Is an English company, organized in 1912. Lands, 8 claims, 12 miles north of Patagonia in the Wrightson district on the Santa Rita mountains, known as the August group, are slightly developed. Claims are said to have been bought for $50,000 cash in installments.”

March 28, 1913 [OC]: “R. W. Porter, secretary of the Buena Ventura Mining Company, has received a very flattering report from the company’s mining engineer and superintendent at the mines in northern San Bernardino county, in the Avawatz mountains… The company is composed of Ventura men — Wm. McGuire, R. C. Sudden, R. W. Porter, Geo. Shafer, Allan Fraser, Edgar Orton and C. S. Van Dorn — and the news of their success in ‘striking it rich’ will be of interest to their many friends.”