GOODYEAR, Watson Andrews

From Islapedia

GOODYEAR, Watson Andrews (c. 1837-1891), son of Connecticut farmer Chauncey Goodyear (1804-1884) and his wife, Esther (1803-1885). W. A. Goodyear became a geologist and field assistant for the California State Mining Bureau created by the state legislature in 1880, in part, “to make the Bureau the highest possible source of intelligence on all subjects of geological and mineralogical interest.” Goodyear visited Santa Cruz Island in May of 1889 with permission of owner Justinian Caire, and island superintendent Jules Moullet accompanied him in the field on occasion. Goodyear stated:

“On the left bank of the Cañada del Puerto, about 1/8th of a mile northerly from the Middle Ranch House [Main Ranch], there is a rather heavy body of moderately fine-grained sandstone enclosed in the volcanic breccias, and it is from here that the stone was taken which has been used in facing the corners of one or two of the buildings at the ranch.”

Goodyear did not believe the islands were ever connected to the mainland, and stated:

“The very fact of the vast difference between the flora of these islands and the flora of the mainland, is a strong argument against the supposition that they were ever ‘connected’ with it... If these islands were uplifted during the Miocene epoch, time enough has elapsed since then to allow for all the differentiation and modification, or even the evolution of species of both plants and animals that has occurred. There is not one particle of evidence to show that they were ever connected with the mainland.”

Goodyear died in San Francisco on April 9, 1891 at age 54. He was buried in the now-defunct Masonic Cemetery (1864-1901), San Francisco. The University of San Francisco is now located at the site.

  • 1890. Goodyear, W. A. Santa Cruz Island California Division of Mines 9th Annual Report for the year 1889 9:155-170, 1890
[original in SCIF archives]

Island Collections~

Santa Cruz Island

1889 SBBG plants