Fourth of July Cove, Santa Catalina Island

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Fourth of July Cove, Santa Catalina Island is located west of Isthmus Cove. It has 42 moorings and deep water anchorages (100 feet). The Bannings built the pier at Cat Harbor where coastal freighters could come in with lumber and supplies and mule drawn wagons could be loaded directly from the ship. One 4th of July, the Banning family decided to picnic in the pleasant little cove just west of the Isthmus. It was a lovely picnic spot and such a nice day was had that it became a family tradition, and the Banning Family held many 4th of July celebrations here. Because of those outings, the Bannings named the cove “Fourth of July Cove.” Today the The Fourth of July Yacht Club leases the on-shore facilities.

FOURTH OF JULY: “A small, nearly rectangular, oblong bay setting about 300 feet into the land. It is delightfully pellucid and has a sloping gravelly beach and an interesting but narrow level bottom. The left hillside is almost entirely clothed with Adenostoma.” [Millspaugh & Nuttall. Flora of Santa Catalina Island (1923)].

In the 1940 census, residents of 4th of July Cove were the Bennett family from Wisconsin:

  • Walter E. Bennett, head of household, (46)
  • Linda Bennett, wife, (46)
  • Mildred Bennett, daughter, (22)
  • Vernon P. Bennett, son, (19)

Fourth of July Yacht Club history: Many years after the Banning family use, the cove was used as a girl scout camp. The campers slept in tents, but bathrooms and showers were built, which are now the men and women’s heads. The "pillbox" was the dispensary. After the second World War, boaters were allowed to return to the Island, and moorings began to appear. Some enterprising souls acquired old railroad train wheels and dropped them in the water with a line to an upside down water heater. Some of the “owned” moorings in the cove are still in those locations. In the late fifties, the Island Company entered into an arrangement to lease the cove to members of the Long Beach Yacht Club. The cost per member who elected to join the cove was $75 per year. However, since there were not enough members of the Long Beach Yacht Club interested in having the exclusive use of the cove, it was opened up to the boating public. For the next few years, Doug Bombard was the landlord; collected the dues and furnished everything from toilet paper to soft drinks to the club. At that time, they had less than a hundred families. In the mid-seventies, they incorporated into a Non-Profit Corporation named Fourth of July Yacht Club, and took over the operation of the cove. Those pledgers never had to put up the $1,000 – but for stepping forward, they became the “Charter Members” of the new club and are listed in the roster every year. Sixteen of the original sixty-nine Charter Members were still members in 1995. Without help from the landlord, they have put a new roof on the club house, built additional cabins, doubled the size of the porch and contributed tens of thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the cove in good shape.

Landing at Fourth of July Cove, use of its facilities and participation in Club activities are restricted to members, their immediate families and guests accompanied by the member. Fourth of July Yacht Club does not have a reciprocal policy and does not allow non-members to come ashore without being accompanied by a member. All guests shall be signed in on the Cove Guest Log for each visit to the Cove, made familiar with Cove rules, and introduced to the Cove Manager or a member of the House Committee so that their identity is known. [1]

By 2018 membership was capped at 160 families.

In the News~

August 13, 2017 [TI/Avalon]: “Deputies from Two Harbors and Isthmus Baywatch responded to a report of a person not breathing on a boat at Fourth of July Cove. Kim Everson, 64, a Long Beach man, died of apparent natural causes.”