Meteor Boat Company

From Islapedia
8400
Some Fish for Breakfast
220 lbs, 280 lbs, 170 lbs, 130 lbs, 250 lbs, 300 lbs.
Detroit Publishing Co. (undivided back)
[original in SCIF archives]

Meteor Boat Company, Santa Catalina Island (c. 1901-1920), was a successful transportation company across the channel to the island as well as around the island. Originally located on the beach at Avalon Bay, a conflict broke out between the Santa Catalina Island Company and the Meteor Boat Company over island access. The case was settled in court with access being allowed to vessels at Avalon Bay below high-tide. Meteor Boat Company was eventually located on the western side of Avalon Bay where the Catalina Yacht Club was built in 1924. By 1915 the company was paying the city of Avalon $2000 a year for the glass-bottomed boat concession. The receipts of the company for 1914 were stated to be $16,309. The company was acquired by the Wilmington Transportation Company in 1920. Their vessels included:

and the glass-bottom boats:

In 1913 the company purchased the famous Chinese junk, Ning Po (1753), to place as an attraction at Santa Catalina Island. Two larger side-wheel glass-bottom boats were also built.



In the News~

May 5, 1903 [LAT]: “Meteor Boat Company makes a statement that the accident the other day in which the launch Meteor’s bow struck the side of the flagship New York was not in any way due to faulty apparatus; and that the only damage was to the forefoot, which did not disable the launch for making trips. The company says the Meteor returned one more load of passengers to shore than she carried out Saturday, and that she would have made more return trips had not the removal of her masts removed also the position of her running lights. The removal of her masts was necessary in order to safely put passengers aboard the warships.”


May 30, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “San Pedro. The handsome new glass-bottomed boat Cleopatra, built by the Hardison-Carse Company of East San Pedro for Messrs. Martin and Hubbard of Los Angeles, was successfully launched last evening. Many guests were present, and Mrs. Herbert E. Carse christened the new craft by breaking a bottle of champagne over its bow. It is said that the Cleopatra is the largest and finest boat of its kind ever built, being fifty feet in length, with a twelve-foot beam. The decks are overhanging, making a beam of twenty feet overall. The boat was built for taking pleasure parties about the marine gardens at Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. An eighteen-horse-power engine and Westinghouse generator will be used to operate a complete electric-light plant, which is to be installed aboard the Cleopatra.”


June 11, 1903 [LAT]: “The Meteor Boat Company gave a barbecue dinner at the Isthmus yesterday, with a large party in attendance.”


June 21, 1903 [LAH]: “The following island visitors took part in the barbecue at the isthmus given by the Meteor Boat Company: Miss Sallie R. Neal, Parkersburg, W. Va.; Misses Bessie and Flora Phillips, Sioux Falls, S. D.; J. H. Henry, Eagle Lake, Minn.; H. C. Harper and wife, Downey; Mrs. D. H. Ayers, Miss Ethel Ayres, Pasadena; Mrs. Louise E. Crebs, Denver; Mrs. L. F. Turner, Miss Lucille Turner, Stockton; Mrs. Maria Darrah, Salt Lake; Mrs. U. S. A. Hanna, Golden, Ill.; Miss Rebecca Nelson, Hale, Mo.; Miss Jennie Dowling, L. E. SMith and wife, Mrs. M. Wickman, Mrs. L. B. Dickson, Mrs. Potter, Los Angeles; Miss Alice M. Birdsall, Whittier; Mrs. A. J. McLaren, Mrs. D. H. Cheetham, Alroona, Kan.; Bertha M. Jones, Annette Jones, Freeport, Ill.; Mrs. T. W. Hobson, San Jose; Mrs. L. G. Murphy, Converse, Ind.; C. M. Miller, Alameda; Gus Schaeffer, Mrs. E. E. Emerson, Chicago; Miss Etta Wylie, Mrs. E. W. Elliott, Dr. and Mrs. E. D. Palmer, George H. Dunlap, Hollywood; Dr. and Mrs. F. G. baird, M. M. Regensburger, San Francisco; Mrs. F. W. Stevenson, Marion, Ind.; George A. Dickson, Montreal; A. B. Chandler, Beaver Dam, Wis.”


June 26, 1903 [LAT]: “San Pedro. The trial trip of the newly-built glass-bottom boat Cleopatra, was made yesterday afternoon, and the craft proved to be satisfactory. The owners, Messrs. Martin & Hubbard of Los Angeles together with Herbert E. Carse, who designed the boat, and several invited guests, were on board. The little vessel attained more speed than had been expected, and her owners are greatly pleased with the result. So far as is known the Cleopatra is the largest boat of its particular kind in existence. She is 50 feet long, and has a 12-foot beam, with overhanging decks of 8 feet, making a total width of 20 feet. An eighteen-horse-power Union gas engine is required to run the craft, which has two large side wheels. Besides this, there is an auxiliary engine of the same make, but only three-horse-power, which is to be used in operating the electric-light plant. The engine-room is amidships, while 15 feet of heavy plate glass, measuring 30 inches in width, extends along the center of the boat on either end, furnishing an excellent view of the water The Cleopatra will carry 100 passengers. She cost about $5000.”


July 2, 1903 [LAT]: “J. D. Martin, a member of the Meteor Boat Company of Los Angeles, owners of the excursion boats Meteor and Cleopatra, has arrived in Avalon for the season.”


July 1, 1903 [LAH]: “W. D. Hubbard and J. D. Martin, forming the Meteor Boat Company, came over on the side-wheeler, accompanied by Herbert Carse of Hardison & Carse, her builders.”


July 3, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Cleopatra, the new side-wheel glass-bottom boat of the Meteor Company, made her maiden trip this morning, going to Moonstone Beach, where she landed her passengers directly on the beach from her gangplank.”


July 7, 1903 [LAH]: “Hardison—Carse Company engages T. L. Curtis of Herreshoff Yards. T. L. Curtis, a recent employee at the Hereshoff yards at Bristol, R. I., will enter the employ of the Hardison—Carse Co. in their shops at San Pedro this morning... Besides several power now under construction at the Hardison—Carse Co. shops, there will soon be under construction two thirty-footers which promise to make the yachts now owned on the coast do some very close work if they win or keep the cups now being raced for on the coast... H. E. Morse, chief engineer for the company, returned from Catalina yesterday. Mr. Morse has had charge of the trial trips of the glass bottom power boat Cleopatra recently constructed by the company for the Meteor Boat Company. Mr. Morse states that her owners are greatly pleased with the moat and have accepted her and that she is now making her regular trips along the shores of the island.”


July 13, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. W. D. Hubbard, one of the owners of the new glass-bottomed boat Cleopatra, which has proved such a success, came over yesterday for a Sunday outing.”


July 14, 1903 [LAT]: “The Meteor Boat Company, owning the launch Meteor, and glass-bottom boat Cleopatra, has incorporated with a capital stock of $25,000. The incorporators are W. D. Hubbard, D. H. Martin, Herbert Morse, Augustus Knowles, and Clarence Jargstorpf.”


July 14, 1903 [LAH]: “The announcement is made that the Meteor Boat Company has been incorporated under the laws of California, with a capital of $25,000. The stock is subscribed for by five persons: W. D. Hubbard, D. H. Martin, Herbert Morse, Augustus Knowles and Clarence Jargstorff. The company owns at present the yacht Meteor and the new side-wheel, glass-bottom power boat, Cleopatra.”


August 17, 1903 [LAH]: “The Meteor Boat Company, having recently incorporated, is preparing to branch out considerably in the near future. Herbert C. Carse of Hardison & Carse, the San Pedro boat builders, is here studying the existing conditions with the view of making plans for another side-wheel glass-bottom boat to be started at once and completed by May 1 next year. It is the intention to build it about twice the size of the Cleopatra and in addition to the desirable features of that vessel will have a roomy cabin and engines of sufficient power and speed to allow of trips around the island and even more extended voyages. Watson D. Hubbard, president of the Meteor company, is over for a day or two looking after matters in general and consulting with Mr. Carse regarding the new boat.”


August 19, 1903 [LAH]: “Avalon, Aug. 18. — The Meteor Boat Company is meeting with serious financial loss, owing to an accident to the Cleopatra's steering gear that made it necessary to send her to San Pedro for repairs. The Meteor towed the Cleopatra over last night, making the run in four hours, and then returned in time to take a big barbecue party to the isthmus.”


September 19, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Harry Hubbard, who has managed the business of the Meteor Boat Company the past season, took a day off yesterday and invited a few of his friends out on the Meteor for a day’s enjoyment. They went first to Ship Rock for a bit of fishing, but not being very successful, they ran in to the Isthmus and consoled themselves with a good hearty lunch, and afterward steamed up to Howland’s, where the party went ashore and investigated the big prospects on the magnificent old trees which were planted more than forty years ago, filling pockets and hats with the ripe, luscious fruit, and also inspecting the huge pumping plant which sends water down to the Isthmus, three miles away…”


September 24, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “The Meteor Boat Company gave its final barbecue excursion to the Isthmus yesterday, carrying about fifty passengers. Tomorrow they will take both their boats, the Meteor and the side-wheel glass-bottom boat, Cleopatra, over to San Pedro, where they go into winter quarters.”


October 18, 1903 [LAH]: “The Meteor Boat Company has given Hardison-Carse Company, the local boat builders, the contract to remodel the glass-bottom power oat Cleopatra.”


January 25, 1904 [LAT]: “Sixty employees of the Z. L. Parmelee Company had a barbecue at Portuguese Bend yesterday. They were taken to San Pedro in a special car on the Salt Lake Road, by Fred W. Horner, vice-president of the company, and C. E. Parksman, treasurer. At San Pedro the large side-wheel glass-bottom boat, Cleopatra, of the Meteor Boat Company, was awaiting their arrival and the merry crown piled aboard and steamed around to Portuguese Bend where the barbecue appeared and duly disappeared. A few braved the tumbling coldness of the breakers, while others climbed the rocky hillside…”


March 2, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Mon Ami, the original glass-bottom power boat, now belonging to the Meteor Boat Company, arrived yesterday, having been at San Pedro undergoing repairs.”


March 8, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. W. D. Hubbard of the Meteor Boat Company came over yesterday in company with H. S. Duffield, late manager of the Casino, but now with the Morosco-Neill Company.”


April 5, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Harry Hubbard, manager of the Meteor Boat Company’s business here, has taken a flat on Crescent Avenue and will be joined by his wife tomorrow.”


August 4, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Meteor Boat Company gave a moonlight excursion last evening for the benefit of the waitresses who lost all their effects in the burning of their cottage last week. A snug little sum was realized.”


August 8, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. There was considerable excitement here yesterday because of the rivalry which has been generated between the Meteor Boat Company and the Avalon Company , both of which have maintained barbecue excursions twice a week all through this season, giving a dinner at the Isthmus…”


August 28, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. There was considerable excitement here yesterday because of the rivalry which has been generated between the Meteor Boat Company and the Avalon Company, both of which have maintained barbecue excursions twice a week all through the season, giving a dinner at the Isthmus. Yesterday was made an extra occasion, the Meteor Company taking its big glass-bottom boats, in addition to the Meteor, and sending to Los Angeles for a band of minstrels in addition to the De Nubila Orchestra. The Avalon Company cut the price and there was a fight for supremacy. To carry all its patrons the Avalon Company engaged the Ramona and the Emerald, in addition to the Avalon, and all were filled to the limit. When the barbecue was served on the beach it was a great sight. Great canvas awnings had been erected and string after string of tables was loaded with edibles. About five hundred people were served, and this did not include the private parties, which had come on half a dozen independent launches. The Meteor Company’s menu consisted of abalone chowder, barbecued fish of several varieties, bread and butter, salad, cake watermelons, of which there were hundreds, and all washed down with coffee. The excursionists reached Avalon again at 6 P.M.”


September 4, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Meteor Company gave another barbecue at the Isthmus yesterday, about sixty people participating.”


September 16, 1904 [LAH]: “Avalon, Sept. 15. — G. W. Adams, employed as a solicitor by the Meteor Boat Company, appeared on the main street today with a revolver and threatened to murder a competing solicitor with whom he had trouble. Swimming instructor C. R. Cowan and Island Superintendent Edward Stanton relieved the man of his gun and later he was arraigned before Judge William Allen on the charge of carrying a concealed weapon. His trial was set for 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.”


June 10, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. On invitation of the Meteor Boat Company, a number of personal friends yesterday afternoon witnessed an exhibition of deep-sea diving. Herbert A. Young, who for several years has been plying the vocation of diving at Honolulu, is now here with his apparatus and he and the guests were taken out in the power glass-bottom boat Cleopatra, which was anchored off Sugarloaf… Captain Clarence Jargstorff was master of ceremonies.”


August 30, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. W. D. Hubbard of the Meteor Boat Company is said to have purchased the McDonald property, a fifty-foot lot on Sumner Avenue lying between the Glenmore and Island Villa hotels, the price of which was $2000.”


October 13, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. New glass-bottom boat. After a year of more than ordinary success, in which they found three glass-bottom power boats unequal to the demands, the Meteor Boat Company has had plans drawn for a unique boat, the like of which has never been known. Its capacity will be 270 persons, 150 of whom can sit on the upper deck under an awning, and at the glasses, to view the wonders in the depths of the sea. J. D. Martin of the Meteor Boat Company, drew the plans and proposed to have the new boat in commission by March 1 next. The hull will be 75 feet long and 18 feet wide, while the width of the lower deck over all will be 25 feet. The upper deck will be 14 x 60. There will be two rows of glasses fore and aft, with lenses 20 x 60 inches and one inch thick. One of the most unique features will be that it requires no wharf at which to land, but will run up on the beach with its cargo and receive and hand the passengers from a gang-plank.”


February 15, 1906 [LAT]: “The glass-bottom boat Empress, built for the Meteor Boat Company of Avalon, was launched today from the yards of Fulton & Iverson on Terminal Island. The new craft was christened by little Lucilla Iverson, daughter of one of the builders. The Empress will be used in the excursion business at Avalon. She is 80 feet long, 18 feet wide and has a carrying capacity of 118 passengers. Her sister boat, the Cleopatra, has but a capacity of but fifty-six passengers. The Empress will be commanded by Captain Martin and will be equipped with sixty-five-horse power engines, with an eight-horse power engine for electric lighting purposes.”


March 2, 1906 [LAH]: “There is being constructed at the Fulton yards one of the finest glass-bottomed boats ever built. It is ready for engines, which are slow in arriving. It will be called the Empress and will be used almost entirely at Catalina. It is 80 feet in length with an 18-1/2-foot beam and a 27-foot extreme beam. It has seats for 150 people who can watch the marine gardens. It was built for the Meteor Boat Company.”


April 21, 1906 [LAT]: “Avalon. The big glass-bottom boats of the Meteor Boat Company announced an excursion to Moonstone Beach tomorrow morning, the entire proceeds to go to the benefit fund for the San Francisco [earthquake] sufferers.”


November 30, 1906 [LAT]: “Glass-bottom boat tickets—for Seal Rock, on sale at Pacific Tours Co., Huntington Building, Ground Floor, Second office on right. Meteor Boat Company.”


January 19, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Trouble over the fence, which has just been rebuilt along the beach by the Santa Catalina Island Company, resulted today in a merry fight and incidentally in a minor case of blood-shed. The Meteor Boat Company and the employees of the Island Company met in a grand mix-up this morning. Now there seems to be a truce, temporarily, with the Meteor Company claiming the first round as theirs. Trouble began brewing last summer between the Meteor Company and the Santa Catalina Island Company, and when the latter concern banished the boatmen’s stands from the beach and arranged for the boating business to be done from their wharves and through their agent, or from an opening in the fence at the extreme end of the bay, the situation became strained between the two companies. The result of this was that open hostilities began this morning when the Meteor Company began business again after a lapse of six weeks, during which that company was fixing up their boats at San Pedro. The Meteor Boat Company is the owner of the glass-bottom powerboats Empress, Lady Lou and Cleopatra. About a week ago the latter boat was brought over, and it gradually leaked out that the owners took issue with the Island Company as to their claims and rights, and that they were intending to bring about conditions that would throw the matter into the courts and bring out a definite ruling as to ownership of a certain strip of land lying between high-water mark and the county road. In pursuance of this program this morning Compton and Newberry cut out a section of the fence, which they claim is far too low on the beach to make any rights the Island Company may have, and therefore illegally constructed. The break was immediately repaired by the Island Company, and when the Cleopatra came in to pick up a lot of passengers for a trip to Seal Rocks, the boatmen found their landing-way again barred. Determined not to use the place appointed to them, W. M. Hunt, Jr., also a member of the Meteor Company, attempted to again cut the wires, in his effort, as he says, to force his arrest and thus bring the matter into the courts, and his point was gained for he was promptly placed under arrest. He was allowed to go on his own recognizance at first, but on account of ‘pernicious activity,’ the arresting officer started to escort him to jail, but he produced bail and was allowed his liberty. Captain Newberry then attempted to ram the fence with the Cleopatra, which was built for landing on the beach without the aid of a wharf, but the tide was not sufficiently high, and he failed to reach it. Procuring a grappling hook, however, he succeeded, after an hour’s struggle with the employees of the Island Company, in demolishing about one hundred feet of the fence, furnishing the most exciting episode the islanders have witnessed in many moons. In the course of this struggle, Roy Staples, an employee of the Meteor Company, who was actively engaged in seeing that the hook caught, and held to the wires, got mixed up with a dozen or so of the cholos who were just as strenuously attempting to cut away the hook, and as a result he got a beating and a cut on the side of the head. Having accomplished sufficient destruction, Captain Newberry then attempted to get his passengers on board, but in getting the gang- plank up, he was opposed by the whole Island Company’s force. Calling for assistance from the bystanders about an equal number responded, and there was a merry mix for a few minutes. The opposing factions fought up and down the beach, into the water and out, until Captain Newberry got his hook into the ropes on the plank, and putting on steam, backed out into deep water, and finally succeeded in getting his passengers aboard. This incident also resulted in several arrests, and the end is not yet. The Cleopatra was not molested on her return. Act two will presumably be set in the courts.”


January 19, 1907 [LAH]: “Warfare in Avalon Harbor reopens and injunction proceedings are threatened over wharf differences. Exciting times prevailed at Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island, yesterday when the Meteor Boat Company hurled defiance at the Banning Company. The owners of the glass-bottomed boats refused to accept the Bannings orders as to wharfage, and rammed the wire fence recently put in place by the owners of the island. They selected their own landing place, with disastrous results. The none too strong wire and post affair came down from the battering inflicted by the Meteor boats, and everybody is wondering what the next move will be. Representatives of the Bannings say that an offer was made to build a special wharf for the Meteor company, and that there was no occasion for an outbreak. The best of feeling has always prevailed between the parent and subsidiary company heretofore. It is believed that the boating privileges will be taken away from the rebellious boat owners, and it is probably the case may go into the Los Angeles courts today in injunction proceedings.”


January 22, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The truce between the Meteor Boat Company and the Santa Catalina Island Company is still in effect, although the Cleopatra stirred things up yesterday by parading up and down in front of the offending fence, and landed at several points, but made no attempt at an attack.”


January 24, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. There were indications of a compromise this morning in the fight between the Meteor Boat Company and the Santa Catalina Island Company. Hancock Banning arrived here yesterday and immediately ordered a change of the location of the place designated for the landing of such boats as did not choose to enter the combine and do business from the Banning wharves. The place was found to be inaccessible to the Cleopatra on account of shallow water, and was ordered changed to a more accessible point. The wires were cut further down the line and this morning the ‘rambuctous’ Cleopatra, which has done no business since the mix-up of last week, quietly steamed up to the new landing place and taking on a load of passengers, proceeded up to Moonstone Beach. Moonstone Beach is likewise tabooed to the Meteor Company‘s boats, but they landed their passengers below high tide, and no attempt was made to prevent their landing except the verbal injunction that it was a closed port. This probably ends the fence-smashing episodes and may lead to a compromise while the matter is threshed out in the courts. While the Meteor Company claimed to have worsted their opponent in their recent fight, the Santa Catalina Island Company had another trump up their sleeve, which they are now proceeding to play. The first fence was stages of the tides and was thus exposed to the assaults of the Cleopatra. Now the Island Company is building another fence higher up and supposedly on the line of the street, which cannot be reached from the water, and unless there are two simultaneous attacking forces, from land and sea, it would be useless to attempt to force a landing.”


February 2, 1907 [LAT]: “Hancock Banning has carried his feelings in regard to forcible invasions of his island domain—Santa Catalina—into the Superior Court, asking an injunction of the Meteor Boat Company, to restrain them from further assaults. The case came up in Department 6 yesterday, and will be continued February 15. The complaint recites the injuries the petitioner has received at the hands of the invading force, and expresses alarm for the future if the Meteor be not restrained from continued attempts to ‘rough-house’ peaceful Avalon. It is stated that December 8 the War Department granted permission to the Bannings to construct a bulkhead in Avalon Bay at a certain point, and fill in between it and the shore. Soon afterward the work was begun, and a strong force, with posts and real redwood—a very remarkable fence, indeed—was constructed beyond the easterly boundary line of Crescent Avenue. This splendid work was finished January 18. On that day, which should have been altogether a day of pride and rejoicing, since a completed fence of genuine redwood graced the beautiful shores of fair Avalon Bay, the ‘vandals’ descended in their Meteor boats. Alas for the fence! Ruthlessly torn and wrecked, even to the finely proportioned redwood posts, it was converted into mere scattered relics of a glory that was past. Hancock Banning, however, was not going to leave the lovely harbor of Avalon defenseless, and the splendid structure of redwood was reared once more. Again came an ‘armed force,’ and gave battle to the heroic defenders marshaled under the Banning banner to repel invasion. Blood flowed in the encounter, from damaged noses, and although the assault was stayed, it was felt to have been done at terrible cost. And now the struggle is to be continued bloodlessly in the Superior Court. Incidentally the right of the Banning Company to dictate who shall and who shall not land at Avalon may be judicially determined as a result of the suit.”


March 1, 1907 [LAH]: “Island kingdom is threatened. Meteor Boat Company asks dissolution of injunction on the ground that county rights are disregarded. The first guns in what promises to be a gigantic struggle for the possession of the franchise right to the island of Catalina were fired yesterday when attorneys representing the Meteor Boat Company appeared before Judge Monroe in department six of the superior court and asked that the restraining order issued against the boat company be removed and the injunction denied. The Banning brothers, representing the ownership of the entire pleasure resort island, were in court watching their interests. If they lose in their fight against the Meteor Boat Company it will practically destroy the king-like right they have thus far exercised over the island in fixing the rates and franchises for the various companies who rent and lease from them. During the past year the Banning brothers have had more trouble to retain possession of the island than at any other period of its ownership. Early last summer expeditions were organized by people of Los Angeles under the leadership of Capt. F. X. Hollar, owner of the ship San Diego. Three times during the summer Capt. Hollar and his passengers invaded the island, refusing to pay the $2 landing fee the Bannings exact from everyone who lands at the island unless transported by a Banning Boat. On one occasion the defenders of the island turned the fire hose on the invaders at the high-water line, and a fight ensued. A great barbed-wire fence was built along the entire harbor from and that was stormed. On another occasion grappling hooks were thrown into the fence and it was hauled out into the harbor, while the invaders rushed the landing and carried it by storm. And the fight is just as bitter now as it ever has been. The invaders have discontinued their invasions and have gone to law. Occasionally they take visitors over and sail around the island without attempting to land them. Recently the government granted the right to install a great bulkhead in the harbor. It was the preparations by the Bannings to protect their rights and titles to the island before the summer season opened and their visitors could be annoyed. With the installation of the bulkheads came a raise in the licenses. The Meteor Company conducts the glass bottom boat excursions. The Banning Company demanded a greater rate and the company refused to pay and were joined by others, and the fight for the supremacy will be fought out within the next few weeks. An injunction was secured two days ago restraining the Meteor Company from operating its boats unless paying the required sum. Yesterday attorneys representing the company placed their case before Judge Monroe, contending that the Bannings were violating the rights of the people of the country. Judge Monroe took the case under advisement and the next day or two will give forth the important decision as to whether or not the Bannings will be sustained in their increase of the tax rate.”


March 26, 1907 [LAH]: “Owners of Magic Isle will expend half a million dollars to improve magnificent bay access across the channel. Half a million dollars will be expended by the Banning brothers in the improvement of the Avalon harbor water front within the next few months, according to a statement issued by their attorney, Judge Gibson, in department 6 of the superior court yesterday afternoon just after he had succeeded in establishing the Bannings' ownership to a disputed strip of land above the tidewater mark. This magnificent improvement will make the Magic Isle the most beautiful spot on the face of the earth, and its already world-wide reputation will be augmented to such an extent that hundreds of easterners will not be satisfied until they have again visited the beauty spot. It was a great victory the Bannings won before Judge Monroe yesterday. For the past six months the Meteor Boat Company of Long Beach and Catalina has been fighting the Bannings, claiming that the landing place, a narrow strip of land, was government property, or in other words rested between the low and high tide mark and could not be claimed by anyone. Across the harbor front and directly planted on the disputed property the Bannings have maintained a high barbed wire fence for the past six months to prevent intrusion. This cut off the entrance to Crescent Avenue, the main highway and water front promenade of the island. The Meteor people operated three big sightseeing boats from the water front, carrying passengers over the submarine gardens, and their financial life depended on their right to land on the Avalon water front. This right was not denied them, but they were ordered to land only at the foot of Claressa Avenue. Rebelling at this, and claiming a right to land where they pleased, the case was taken to court. At the foot of Claressa Avenue the great bulkhead authorized by the war department is to be established. From there clear to the steamer pier the fishing boat houses and their hideous racks are to be removed. These boat houses are to be placed at a proper distance, and along the water front a sea wall will be built, making Crescent Avenue as beautiful a spot as the promenade of Charleston, S. C. THis is to be simply one of the improvements. All the lots just to the right of Claressa Avenue have been bought up by the Bannings and a beautiful park is being laid out for the summer. The pavilion is not far away, and all in all Catalina will be a new Catalina to the tourists of the next year. In the suit of the Banning Company yesterday Judge Monroe ordered an injunction to be issued restraining the Meteor people from in any way interfering with the fence placed across the tide line by the corporation. A bond of $5000 was placed upon the company to cover any loss to be sustained by the Meteor people between now and May 1, when the final fight is to be made and the attorneys withdrew from court.”


May 1, 1907 [SFCall]: “The large steam launch San Diego has been sold by X. H. Hollar to the Meteor Boat Company of Avalon. The vessel will be used in cruises around Santa Catalina Island.”


May 2, 1907 [LAT]: “Old posts, marking the line of the ranches on Catalina Island before it had become a famous resort, were discussed yesterday, while the new posts, pulled up by the Meteor Boat Company, defendants in the present suit, were not made as much of as they had been at previous hearings. The action is to secure a permanent injunction to prevent the Meteor Boat Company from landing on the beach at Avalon. Two witnesses, called by counsel for the Santa Catalina Island Company, testified to the position of Crescent Avenue with regard to the beach at Avalon. C. A. Sumner, who knew the island many years ago, stated on cross examination that the intention of the owners of the island, in having the survey made for Crescent Avenue, had been to leave a strip of their own property between the highway and the beach. The witness mentioned an ambition of Mr. Shattuck, before the island passed into the hands of the Bannings: ‘He owned it to high tide, and he wanted to own it to low tide.’ Sumner, who kept a hotel at Avalon in 1890, has not revisited the place for years, and could give no recent history. Edwin Stanton, more recently employed upon the island, also testified to the position of the highway with regard to the beach, and admitted that the water at high tide always comes inside the ranch line fence.”


May 9, 1907 [LAH]: “Pasadena, May 8. — Judge Conroy today held court for a time at the bedside of Frank Lowe, coming over from Los Angeles in company with Attorneys Hunsaker, Gibson and Meserve of Los Angeles. The case at issue was the suit of the Banning Company against the Meteor Boat Company for the possession of a small strip of land on Catalina Island. Lowe's testimony was absolutely necessary, and as he could not come to court, the court came to him.”


May 17, 1907 [LAT]: “Argument was concluded in the injunction suit of the Catalina Island Company against the Meteor Boat Company, and the case was taken under advisement.”


May 17, 1907 [LAT]: “Argument was concluded yesterday in the fight for a free harbor at Avalon, and Judge Conroy, before whom the suit of the Catalina Island Company has been tried, took the case under advisement. The judge announced that he would visit the island and see for himself whether or not the high tides reach Crescent Avenue, which is one of the points on which the claims of the Meteor Boat Company for right to land are based. Attorney Gibson, for the Catalina Island Company, immediately offered to supply transportation, but Judge Conroy declined the offer.”


May 17, 1907 [LAH]: “Yesterday after argument in the case had been finished Judge Conroy stated that he would visit the island in person and look over the conditions there before he would form any opinion as to the rights of either party. That statement grew out of the contention by the Banning brothers that they would allow the Meteor boats to land at the foot of Crescent Street, while the Meteor Boat Company complained that they could not land at that point of the harbor because of the tide and the condition of the beach. As soon as Judge Conroy made known that he would visit the island Judge Gibson, representing the Banning brothers, offered the judge the use of the Banning boat and any number of people he might want to accompany him.”


May 23, 1907 [LAT]: “Avalon. Judge Conroy, before him whom is pending the suit of the Banning Company against the Meteor Boat Company, came to the island today to examine the vicinity affected. The suit is the one involving the question of an open port.”


July 16, 1907 [LAT]: “Nominal damages were awarded the Meteor Boat Company against the Catalina Island Company, in a written opinion handed down by Judge Conroy yesterday, and Avalon Harbor is open to all the world. On various minor points the Bannings are sustained in their contentions, but the one important question of landing privileges at Avalon is decided against them and a free harbor is the result. The strip of land in front of the hotel, between Crescent Avenue and the sea, is declared the private property of the Bannings, but the avenue is declared open from the sea, to all who may care to land there without patronizing the Wilmington Transportation Company, for several hundred feet at its eastern end, from the eastern line of Catalina Avenue. The injunction suit, brought by the Catalina Island Company with the hope of establishing sole ownership of the landing privileges, asked that the Meteor Boat Company be restrained from destroying or molesting the wire fence which the Bannings had seen fit to erect along the beach line to guard the county road against invasion from the sea. In the opinion handed down by Judge Conroy, the Catalina Island Company is restrained from maintaining such a fence east of Catalina Avenue. In the original complaint the fence, which the defendant company had torn down on two occasions, was referred to as a most admirable fence, and the size and strength of the redwood posts were dwelt upon at length, to show the full enormity of the raid which resulted in the cutting of wire and the breaking of posts. And now, under Judge Conroy’s decision, the employees of the Bannings, who also are said to have fought heroically in defense of the barbed wire fortifications of fair Avalon, must themselves tear down the fence which they defended. In cross-complaint the Meteor Boat Company had denied the right of the Catalina Island Company to prevent landing on any part of the beach, and crossing to Crescent Avenue, a county road on which the county’s money has been spent. It was alleged that the private lot owners on the island were entitled to a right of way, by necessity, to the sea, which must form their highway to the outer world, and the argument was made that these lot owners, and the general public, must have access to Crescent Avenue at every point. This is denied in the opinion of Judge Conroy, who says: ‘The argument for a right of way by necessity fails, as to the public, as soon as it becomes established that the said strip of land does not extend along the entire water front. Since it is to be established by the decree in this case that the street extends to ordinary high-water mark, for a distance of several hundred feet at the easterly end of Crescent Avenue, it follows that the public will have adequate facilities for passing from the bay to the street, and so on into any part of town. This applies equally well to the argument for a private was of necessity in favor of the lot owners, who acquired their titles from Shatto or his successors during the short period when property in the town was on the market for sale.’ Judge Conroy holds that, in 1887, Mr. Shatto owned all the island, and that it is apparent that in laying out the street, Crescent Avenue, it was his purpose to retain a strip between it and the sea part of the way, notably in front of the hotel, but not all of the way.’”


August 6, 1907 [LAT]: “Disabled in mid-channel, and at the mercy of the waves, passengers of the San Diego, an excursion vessel belonging to the Meteor Boat Company of Avalon, had a dangerous and nerve-racking experience Sunday afternoon. The engines refused to work when twelve miles out from San Pedro. The boat, with its load of fifty-five Los Angeles people, tossed in the trough of the sea until nearly dark, when help came from the Catalina side. The Meteor, belonging to the same company, went to the aid of the San Diego, and the passengers were transferred to the smaller vessel, which took them to San Pedro. They arrived at dusk. The small boat was overcrowded. After landing the passengers, the Meteor returned for the disabled craft. Facing the possibility of having to spend the night on the tossing vessel, fear gripped the hearts of many. Though land could be sighted straight ahead, or astern, many miles of blue water intervened. The ocean waves rolled high. When 5 o’clock came, and no relief in sight, anxious eyes were cast toward the small boats. Others read the instructions posted on the vessel with regard to the use of life preservers. Work on the engines had availed nothing. The break was serious and could not be repaired for hours. Some were for taking to the boats and trying to reach shore. But the boats would hold, at best, only a few. Brave men passengers advised that the women be sent in the boats. Their hearts were in their mouths as they spoke. The women refused to trust themselves without the men, and elected to take their chances on board. While all were in a quandary someone shouted that a vessel was approaching from the island, and the Meteor was a welcome sight. Her progress was marked by fifty-five pairs of anxious eyes. At last she was close enough to throw a line to the San Diego. It was dusk. Then began the transfer, dangerous because of the heavy sea. Marshall D. Taylor was seated on the porch of the Metropole in Avalon, and saw the evident distress of the San Diego. He watched, and seeing she did not move, gave the alarm, and help was sent. The San Diego has proved her seaworthiness by several trips around the island this year and behaved well even with her engines broken. Paul Dougherty of Los Angeles was among those who were at Avalon and witnessed the distress of the San Diego. He was present when the San Diego was towed back to Avalon after her failure to cross the channel. He talked with members of the crew who told him of their experience.”


August 10, 1907 [LAH]: “The directors of the Nelson Navigation Company voted last night to tie up the City of Long Beach after her return tonight from San Diego. The runs to the lower coast city have proved unprofitable. The vessel will be considerably changed, being made into a steamer, probably, instead of a gasoliner as at present, and she may later be placed upon a Catalina run. The Meteor Boat Company of Avalon is desirous of operating the boat from this city in connection with the glass bottom boats at Catalina.”


August 18, 1907 [LAT]: “Avalon. It was announced this morning that the Meteor Boat Company, which has waged most of the warfare for an ‘open’ port, will erect a pavilion as the first step in a proposed general competition with the Banning Company. The Meteor Company, of which W. D. Hubbard is president, E. L. Doran vice–president and W. M. Hunt Jr., secretary and treasurer, declares that at least $30,000 will be expended in the construction of the new pavilion, and that it will be one of the finest on the Pacific Coast. E. L. Doran, the [vice] president, left this morning for Los Angeles, presumably in connection with the enterprise, and is reported to have taken with him plans drawn by a local architect, whose name is withheld, to procure bids for immediate construction. Mr. Hunt, when interviewed this morning, declared that everything is in readiness, that ample capital is available for the installment of this and other attractions, and that a fine site has been located. Mr. Hunt refuses to tell where is the site of the pavilion, but it is reported on good authority that a deal has been pending for some time between ‘Uncle John’ Nestell and Mr. Doran, et al, for a site between Whittley and Marilla avenues, up the canyon back of the Metropole. Mr. Nestell has disclaimed any interest in the project, however, other than in having the land for sale. He is a minor stockholder in the Meteor Boat Company, which is endeavoring to launch the enterprise in opposition to the Banning brothers. The news of the new pavilion will come as a surprise to many of the islanders, as the project was previously rumored and denied.”


August 30, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Meteor Company ‘s passenger boat, the San Diego, which plies between this port and Long Beach, but which for several weeks has been lying disabled off Avalon, on account of a broken crankshaft, today received its new machinery and is being fitted up for its regular daily trips.”


September 14, 1907 [LAT]: “A regular competing line in Catalina Island passenger traffic was inaugurated yesterday by the Meteor Boat Company, which took thirty-seven invited passengers from the Pacific Electric station to Avalon and return by trolley and boat. The party was in charge of W. B. Hinkle, traffic manager of the company. It left the Los Angeles station at 8:45 o’clock A.M., and departed from San Pedro on the powerboat San Diego at 9:45 o’clock. In Avalon harbor the passengers were transferred to the glass-bottom boat Empress, which landed them on the island at 12:30 o’clock P.M. On the return trip the party left the island at 3 o’clock and reached Los Angeles four and one-half hours later. No difficulty was encountered in landing at Avalon. Service on the schedule outlined above will be maintained daily, it is promised, with slight alterations on Sundays. As the new line essays to carry passengers at $1.50 for the round trip, a considerable reduction under the established rate, it is expected that a lively war will ensue for control of the traffic.”


October 4, 1907 [LAH]: “Long Beach, Oct. 3. — The Lady Lou and the Empress, the glass bottom power boats used through the summer by the Meteor Boat Company for making trips across the marine gardens at Catalina Island, have been brought to the Western Boat and Engine Works at the foot of Third Street for the winter season.”


October 11, 1907 [LAT]: “George F. Dietrich, representative of the Meteor Boat Company, yesterday applied for warrants for the arrest of nine men, said to be ‘cappers’ in the employ of the Banning Boat Company. The Meteor Company is the rival of the Banning line, being, by recent decision of court, permitted to land passengers at Catalina Island. The Meteor Company’s offices are on the first floor of the Huntington building. Yesterday, according to the statement of Dietrich, representatives of the Banning line stationed themselves outside the door of the offices and warned prospective customers away. Dietrich stated that the ‘cappers’ told people that the Meteor Company’s boats were worthless and dangerous. Warrants may be issued today.”


October 26, 1907 [LAT]: “The right of the Banning brothers to exclusive control and supremacy on Catalina Island was again called into question yesterday when application was filed with the supervisors by William M. Hunt, Jr., for a franchise to build a wharf at the foot of Catalina Avenue on the island. The proposed improvement which, is already drawn up in blue print and specifications, is to extend into the sea for a distance of 3305 feet and is to be 75 feet wide at the shore end. The application was filed by Attorney Edwin A. Meserve, who intimates that there will be a hot fight to disprove the claims of the Banning Company to exclusive rights of wharfage and landing on the island. In a sense this will be a continuation of the Meteor boat fight, which led the island company to place a wire stockade fence along the water front in the neighborhood of Avalon, where the Meteor Boat Company attempted to land passengers without paying toll.”


November 1, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Another clash, but a bloodless one, took place today between the Catalina Island Company and the opposition. The Company served notice on the Meteor Boat Company to the effect that it would no longer tolerate the use by the latter of the private property at Moonstone Beach by the landing thereon of passengers of the glass-bottom power boats. The Meteor Company was also requested to remove such of its property as was on the beach referred to by 7 o’clock this morning under penalty of having the same removed for the company. Manager Shaw of the Island Company went to Moonstone Beach this morning with the sloop Torqua with a supply of posts and wire fencing, and proceeded to erect a fence along the beach, slightly above high tide. He stated that it was the purpose of the Island Company to maintain this fence. On the other hand, the opposition company says that its excursion business does not depend upon Moonstone Beach — that there are other beaches equally as attractive. It is difficult to understand, however, how the company expects to be able to use such other beaches, inasmuch as all are claimed by the Catalina Island Company. The fence at Moonstone Beach is a few feet above mean high tide; thus enabling parties who happen to land there from necessity or other good reason a fair margin, without trespassing. The Meteor Boat Company made no opposition to the closing of the beach, but withdrew landing apparatus at once without question.”


November 2, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The San Diego of the Meteor Boat Company’s line probably made her last trip yesterday. At any rate, she will not resume them for an indefinite period. It is believed here that this will eventually result in the discontinuance of the Cleopatra’s operations, as the Cleopatra is the only glass-bottom power boat belonging to the Meteor Company in island waters, and its patronage was largely derived from the San Diego’s passengers. On the whole, the removal of the San Diego is regarded more as a practical defeat for the Meteor Company, and it is believed that it is improbable that the struggle between the Banning Company and the Meteor Company will be resumed.“


November 3, 1907 [LAH]: “William Banning was not inclined yesterday to place much stock in the report that the Meteor Boat Company had withdrawn from competition for passengers between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island. The San Diego, which formerly made the trips to the island, has left for San Diego, giving rise to the report that the Meteor people were going to abandon the fight. Mr. Banning said he tought the boat had only gone down to be drydocked and scraped and would return to resume the traffic as formerly.“


November 7, 1907 [LAT]: “Santa Catalina Island — S.S. San Diego leaves Los Angeles, 6th and Main streets, 8:45 A.M. operating in connection with large glass-bottom power boats, Empress, Cleopatra and Lady Lou for the Marine Gardens. Important Notice: These boats are large and safe, and regularly licensed by U.S. inspectors. Combination rowboat tickets sold by other lines will not be accepted on these boats. Meteor Boat Company. Ticket office 6th and Main St.”


November 11, 1907 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Meteor Boat Company’s glass-bottom boat Cleopatra, which went on the beach at the exceedingly high tide of Friday, was again floated yesterday. At one time in the strong flood tide it was feared that the boat would become a total wreck.”


February 19, 1908 [LAT]: “Avalon. A final settlement was declared today between the Bannings and the Meteor Boat Company.”


February 26, 1908 [LAH]: “Fishermen to pay a regular sum each year for the privilege of using wharves owned by firm. Avalon, Cal., Feb. 25. — Local fishermen and those engaged in the Avalon boating business are again rejoicing over the fact that last year's commissions of 12-1/2 per cent charged by the Banning Company for landing privileges on their properties has been cut off entirely for the time being. Trips to Moonstone Beach and other places of interest along the beaches which have heretofore been closed to the public are again in operation by the Meteor Boat Company. Only those boat owners who have fully paid up their commissions are entitled to participate in the new regulations which have come into operation since the agreement was made last week by the Meteor Boat Company and the Banning Company. It was announced a flat monthly or yearly rate would be charged to all launchers or others using the wharves. At present the rates have not been announced, but it is expected that permanent agreements for those desiring landing privileges at the wharves will be considered in the course of a few days. A tranquility now rests over the town which has not been known since the historical battles of the Meteor Boat Company sixteen months ago.”


March 5, 1908 [LAH]: “Long Beach, March 4. — The big boat San Diego, 105 feet long, was hauled upon the ways at Joe Fellows' works at West Long Beach this morning. Repairs and alterations costing $5000 will be made by the Meteor Boat Company and the boat will afterward be operated from the local pier. The San Diego is said to be the largest vessel ever pulled out of the water in the San Pedro harbor.”


March 31, 1909 [LAT]: “Avalon. In celebration of the announcement that Avalon is a closed port, the Santa Catalina Island Company gave a social and dance last evening at Eagle’s Hall. Upon Sugarloaf Island a large bonfire was built and all along the beach enthusiasm was manifested by displays of fireworks. A meeting of the committee appointed to represent the association was held here this afternoon in the office of the Meteor Boat Company. Judge Gibson, said: ‘Legally, the port of Avalon is closed for all time. Undoubtedly, the people in the near future will realize that their actions have not been in vain. The general tone of the town will be elevated and we anticipate that guests will see the utility of the new regime.’”


April 25, 1908 [SBI]: “The gasoline schooner San Diego, from San Pedro, Captain Knowles, arrived this morning and will be used as an excursion boat. It is the property of the Meteor Boat Company of Catalina Island.”


August 14, 1908 [LAH]: “Meteor manager breaks leg. Avalon, Catalina Island, Aug. 13. — Fred W. Wahrfield, aged 40, manager of the Meteor Boat Company, slipped on the sidewalk today, breaking his right leg. Both bones, tibia and fibula, were fractured. He will be confined to the house for some time.”


September 30, 1908 [LAH]: “The Meteor Boat Company yesterday brought over the glass bottom power boat Cleopatra from Catalina. She will be tied up in the inner harbor for the winter.”


May 16, 1909 [LAT]: “Avalon. The new bylaw, which was recently adopted by the Avalon Freeholders’ Improvement Association, went into effect here today. A. J. Crose, formerly an employee of the Meteor Boat Company, was elected by the Improvement Association, and his duties are to give unprejudiced information to all guests and visitors of the island…”


June 30, 1909 [LAT]: “Avalon. A fast motorboat race is promised as an attraction for Independence Day. The competitors will be E. L. Doran of the Meteor Boat Company with his launch Presto, and J. Mackafie with his launch Comet. The distance to be traveled is six miles. The Comet is a new launch to this coast. Previously the boat was used for racing purposes on Lake Superior. With a 68-horse-power engine, newly installed, Mr. Mackafie thinks he will develop a speed of twenty-four miles per hour.”


October 15, 1910 [LAH]: “The steamer San Diego, Captain Knowles, arrived here today for repairs. She has been on the run from San Diego to Ensenada for the last two years, being operated by the Meteor Boat Company.”


July 7, 1911 [LAT]: “Avalon. In yesterday’s Times it was stated that the Avalon Improvement Association was sole host to the Times boys on the glass-bottom powerboat to Seal Rocks yesterday. The Meteor Boat Company of Avalon was really the host, the company having put the largest of its steamers at the disposal of the camp for this unique trip.”


April 6, 1912 [SFCall]: “Passengers carried in 1911. The following figures, filed in the office of John K. Bulger, supervising inspector of steam vessels, show the number of passengers carried coastwise by the principal steamship companies during the calendar year of 1911: Pacific Coast Steamship Company 137,626;... Catalina Island service — Wilmington Transportation Company 215,000; Meteor Boat Company 63,733...”


July 12, 1912 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Burglers ransacked several offices here last evening, but were evidently disturbed while in the office of the Freeholders Improvement Association. At 11 o’clock Deputy Constable Hunter noticed that one of the side windows of the office was open and a light burning in the building. The office of the Meteor Boat Company was also ransacked. This is the first time for several years that any burglary attempt has been made in the town of Avalon.”


July 12, 1912 [SFCall]: “Beginning next week, the schooner San Diego, owned by the Meteor Boat Company, will make weekly trips between Long Beach and San Diego continuing one trip south to Ensenada. The San Diego is a coaster vessel of 100 tons and will operate in conjunction with the North Pacific steamer Santa Clara, ending its southern trip at Long Beach.”


July 31, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego arrived at Long Beach this morning from Ensenada, Mexico, via San Diego with passengers and freight for the Meteor Boat Company and cleared on the return trip.”


August 3, 1912 [SFCall]: “The steamer San Diego arrived this morning at Long Beach with passengers and freight for the Meteor Boat Company and cleared for return.”


August 21, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego arrived at Long Beach today from Ensenada, Mex., via San Diego, with freight for Meteor Boat Company, and cleared for return.”


August 24, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego cleared for Long Beach for Ensenada, Mex., via San Diego, with passengers and freight for Meteor Boat Company.”


September 6, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego arrived this morning from Ensenada, Mexico, via San Diego with freight and passengers for the Meteor Boat Company, and cleared on the return trip tonight.”


September 13, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego, arriving this afternoon from Ensenada, Mexico, via San Diego, with passengers and freight for Meteor Boat Company, will clear on return voyage tomorrow.”


September 14, 1912 [SFCall]: “Steamer San Diego cleared today for Ensenada, Mex., via San Diego, carrying passengers and freight for the Meteor Boat Company.”


June 20, 1913 [LAT]: “…Today and tomorrow will be entirely given over to pleasure by the delegates and their wives. The feature today is a trip to Catalina as the guests of Southern Pacific, Banning Company, and the Meteor Boat Company, to be followed by lunch at the Hotel Metropole…”


July 17, 1913 [LAT]: “Avalon. Every boy of The Times camp was guest this morning of the Meteor Boat Company on board their glass-bottomed powerboat Cleopatra. The boat made a special trip over the marine gardens, visited Seal Rocks and other coves of interest along the coast. Manager Lockard was so impressed with the boys’ good behavior that he has invited the boys of the seventh contingent, due in Avalon next week, to take a joy ride…”


July 29, 1913 [LAT]: “Avalon. Forty boys of The Times Camp were guests of the Meteor Boat Company for a glass-bottomed boat ride on the Lady Lou to White’s Landing this morning…”


August 26, 1913 [LAT]: “Avalon. Negotiations between a representative of the Meteor Boat Company of Los Angeles and the Wilmington Transportation Company, who operate the steamers Hermosa and Cabrillo from San Pedro to Avalon, are pending. The former company proposes, if the deal is closed, to take a five-years’ lease upon the two steamers and to operate them between Long Beach and Avalon. Plans are under consideration by the Banning Company to purchase two large steamers to take place of the Hermosa and Cabrillo. After September 15 Hotel Metropole would close its doors for several months and that the steamer Cabrillo would be taken off its regular run September 13. The Hermosa or Warrior, owned by the Wilmington Transportation Company, will be the only vessel plying between San Pedro and Avalon during the winter months. ‘The Banning Company is tired of the continual trouble about transportation to the island,’ said an official today. ‘At this time I cannot affirm or deny the report that negotiations are pending for a lease upon the two steamers. Probably some changes will have to be made to handle the Long Beach visitors. The arrangements carried out during the past few weeks seem very unsatisfactory to the traveling public. Many passengers who patronize the cheap, badly-equipped gasoline launches, for various reasons only known to themselves, purchase from us tickets for one way and return to the mainland on our steamers. Daily we are in receipt of letters complaining of the unsafe method of crossing the channel by traveling upon a small boat and asking us to operate one of our boats from Long Beach, but what future arrangements will be made has not yet been decided. As to opening up the isthmus for resort purposes, that plan also has many possibilities.’ For years the Meteor Boat Company has tried to enter the field for the transportation business from the mainland to the island. During the past twelve years this company, of which W. D. Hubbard is president, has built up a unique business by operating a fleet of four of the largest glass-bottom powerboats in the world. The company also owns the steamer San Diego plying daily between Long Beach and Avalon, but this vessel’s passenger-carrying capacity is limited to 125 persons, consequently the owners of small gasoline launches find the overflow of the Long Beach transportation a profitable business. The stockholders of the Meteor Boat Company, it is ascertained, control in aggregate several million dollars. E. L. Doran of the company said today: ‘If the Meteor Boat Company leases the Wilmington Transportation Company’s steamers it will be for a five-years’ lease upon the two boats. We should probably operate them from the Long Beach inner harbor.’ That the proposed new steamers of the Banning Company will operate between San Pedro and the Isthmus as well as Avalon, if this port remains open, is almost certain. Already J. C. Waddington has surveyed the entire Isthmus and is now preparing plans for a resort. Many building lots have been staked out on the hillsides overlooking the Isthmus Cove and Bird Island and plans have been discussed for the erection of suitable business structures to face the Catalina Harbor side, behind which will be located a large tent city. Since the water mains have been connected with the pumping plant at Johnson’s Landing the problem of supplying several hundred tents with fresh running water has been solved. From this plant electric wires can be carried for lighting purposes. Several years ago the Banning Company expressed its desire to move to the Isthmus and at that time half a million feet of lumber was brought down from Seattle to be used for the building of the proposed town, but upon the requests of the Avalon property owners the plan was abandoned. The lumber and saw-mill has never been removed.”


September 3, 1913 [LAT]: “The traffic boat war existing between the owners of launches plying between Long Beach and Catalina was transferred today to this city when H. E. Boone, ticket solicitor for the Nellie, was arrested for making unnecessary and unusual noises while selling steamer tickets. Boone was found guilty of violating the city ordinance and was then told by the judge that he could have warrants against any who violated the law. Boone thereupon gave notice that he would ask for a warrant against W. B. Hinkle, agent for the Meteor Boat Company, for occupying city property while soliciting passengers for the steamer San Diego.”


December 8, 1913 [LAT]: “Long Beach. The Meteor Boat Company of Los Angeles this morning purchased the Chinese junk Ning Po, now on the Craig dock undergoing repairs. The junk will be taken to Avalon, where it will be used next season for exhibition purposes.”


March 3, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Charlie Lockard went across Sunday to be gone about a week. He has gone to the purpose of boosting the interests of the Meteor Boat Company. It is intended to bring the Chinese junk Ning Po over about June 1st for an added attraction during the season.”


July 8, 1914 [LAT]: “Avalon. On Monday morning the entire second contingent of Times Camp boys were guests of the Meteor Boat Company and enjoyed probably the best known of Santa Catalina’s attractions and one which none of the young Times guests should miss, the view of the beautiful submarine gardens through the large glass-bottom boat Empress…”


July 22, 1914 [LAT]: “Times Camp, Santa Catalina Island… Was the trip to the marine gardens any class? Put the question to any of the boys who accepted the hospitality of the Meteor Boat Company, owners of the Empress, yesterday, for a trip to the marine gardens. Almost every boy in camp plied onto the Empress…”


August 11, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “War has been declared in true earnest between the two glass-bottom boat companies operating out of the bay, and the rate has been dropped 25 cents for the round trip over the submarine gardens. The Meteor Boat Company have leased from the Santa Catalina Island Company, a concession between the post office and the foot of Sumner Avenue, and are landing and taking passengers from the beach, as well as from the municipal pier. It is claimed that the Meteor Boat Company will shortly make application to the government for permission to build a private wharf. The concession located at the foot of Sumner Avenue will give this company a right of way between the two piers now used for boating purposes, and will probably cause the removal of many launches now moored between the two piers…”


August 25, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “The Meteor Boat Company gave their annual excursion to the Isthmus Thursday, inviting employees and friends. It was a pleasant trip.”


September 8, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “E. L. Doran, Secretary of the Meteor Boat Company, came over on the Saturday night boat, and took out the regular lease for the use of the municipal booth and float. Incidentally, he paid into the city treasury the sum of $1000.”


September 29, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “It is rumored that the Meteor Boat Company has promulgated a 20 percent reduction in the salaries of island employees, to take effect on October 1st.”


October 18, 1914 [LAT]: “…Complimentary luncheon will be served by Banning Company at Hotel Metropole, after which the Meteor Glass-Bottom Boat Company will entertain with trips in glass-bottom boats, viewing the wonderful submarine gardens, compliments of Watson D. Hubbard, president, Meteor Glass-Bottom Boat Company…”


January 12, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “The city attorney was instructed to collect the delinquent vocation taxes reported by the city marshal, among which were those of the Meteor Boat Company…”


February 23, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “A request by the Meteor Boat Company to lower the wharf tax was denied.”


April 27, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Two government inspectors visited the Meteor Boat Company’s boats Friday, and found the fire drills satisfactory and other safety appliance in good shape.”


June 1, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Meteor Boat Company ask for lower vocation tax. Claim present rate excessive. The city attorney reported that the sum of $500 had been paid under protest by the Meteor Boat Company as part payment for the vocation tax of 1915, and that this company requested a hearing of their representative June 11, when the Board would be requested to reduce the tax, which at present is $2000 per year. A trustee called attention to the fact that the tax was the rate established on business done in the years 1911-1912.”


July 12, 1915 [LAT]: “Avalon… Another boating feature is the daily trips to Moonstone Beach, where as guests of the Meteor Boat Company the boys are permitted to land and gather moonstones…”


July 20, 1915 [LAT]: “Avalon… Three times a week the entire camp is guest of the Meteor Boat Company for a trip to Moonstone Beach. Usually the beautifully equipped glass-bottom boat Emperor, the largest boat of its kind in the world, is used to convey the happy lads to the beach of moonstones and sardonyx…”


September 12, 1915 [LAT]: “A new angle of the Catalina passenger traffic fight appears in the $25,000 damage suit filed by J. N. Braun, owner of the Calypso, a sixty-four-foot gasoline launch operating between the mainland and the island. The action, filed yesterday, is against the Wilmington Transportation Company and their employees. Mr. Braun complains that the solicitors for business of the rival boat companies have belittled his boat by calling it a fishing smack, a little gasoline launch, and an old scow. With the alleged view of frightening patrons, he says, the solicitors said the Calypso shipped water and that the lifeboat it carried was in a leaky condition. If the passengers boarded the Calypso, the solicitors are alleged to have said they would ‘have to walk back.’ In addition to these alleged false reports, Mr. Braun says pictures of a smaller vessel have been exhibited as representing the Calypso. He also complains that his employees have been beaten and threats of violence made against them. He seeks by the suit to restrain his rivals from further interfering with his business of carrying passengers to the island. There is keen rivalry in the carrying line for the Catalina trade.”


September 16, 1915 [LAT]: “Boat fight. Judge Myers will take up Monday after argument yesterday, affidavits in the suit of J. W. Braun, of the steamer Calypso, against the Wilmington Transportation Company, the Meteor Boat Company and their employees, to restrain them from interfering with the patrons of the Calypso. A restraining order heretofore ordered will remain in force pending the outcome of the trial.”


October 31, 1915 [LAT]: “With subscriptions of $6425 to the cash fund and $2600 to the guarantee fund during the morning, the campaign for the perpetuation of the San Diego fair through 1916 reached high tide at noon yesterday with the decision of the Campaign Executive Committee to appear before the Board of Supervisors in force tomorrow with a request that the county underwrite the fund… The Wilmington Transportation Company also subscribed $1000 to the guarantee fund, the Meteor Boat Company, $250…”


October 31, 1915 [LAT]: “The Catalina boat fight, in its preliminary stages before Judge Works, resulted yesterday in the court issuing a temporary injunction restraining the agents of the Wilmington Transportation Company and the Meteor Boat Company from attempts to coerce passengers into taking passage on the rival steamers. The White Star Line plies between Wilmington and Avalon. The proprietor, J. W. Braun, alleges in his complaint, that agents of the other lines have assaulted his agents, and that those contemplating using the White Star Line have been advised not to patronize the ‘little’ boats because they are unsafe. The real battle comes later in an attempt to make the injunction permanent. Mr. Braun is represented by R. J. Culver and R. E. Hoyt.”


February 20, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “Everett Adargo, who has been wintering on the mainland, returned Sunday to work for the Meteor Boat Company.”


May 28, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Captain E. Adargo, who has been wintering in Los Angeles, returned to Avalon last week to take charge of one of the glass-bottom power boats for the Meteor Boat Company.”


August 19, 1919 [TI/Avalon]: “The Meteor Boat Company was operating the glass-bottomed boats over the submarine gardens.”


July 13, 1920 [TI/Avalon]: “C. L. Lockard sold his interest in the Meteor Boat Company, operating glass-bottomed boats in Avalon Bay and vicinity.”


January 27, 1933 [LAT]: “Avalon. Funeral services were conducted today for Captain H. D. Halstead, who died at the Catalina Hospital Monday after an illness of two months… In 1907 Captain Halstead came to Catalina Island, entering the employ of the Meteor Boat Company…”