Moonstone Beach (Cove), Santa Catalina Island

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Moonstone Beach, Santa Catalina Island
Glass-bottom boat Empress
hunting for Moonstones at Moonstone Beach,
Santa Catalina Island, Cal.

Moonstone Beach (Cove), Santa Catalina Island is located on the northeast side of the island, about a half a mile south of White's Landing. The two coves are separated by a rocky point that juts out into the bay.

In the late 19th and early 20the centuries, it was a destination for tourists, where they searched for moonstones, agates, water opals and other forms of semi-precious stones.

Today Moonstone Cove contains moorings for 60 boats and anchorage for another 50. The Newport Harbor Yacht Club [NHYC] has on-shore facilities at Moonstone Cove. The club appoints a Mayor of Moonstone who is in charge of operations for the season.

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In the News~

January 26, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Jones of Dillon, Montant… went up to Moonstone Beach with the Fortuna yesterday morning, the ladies to gather shells and moonstones and the gentlemen to fish. Both parties were quite successful.”

February 14, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Rev. Dr. John F. Goucher, president of the Women’s College, Baltimore, accompanied by his wife and Rev. E. L. Hamilton of Los Angeles, are viewing Catalina. They chartered the Magic Isle this morning and visited Seal Rocks and Moonstone Beach.”

May 31, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Dr. Lois Fitch-Mansfield, Mrs. A, Smith-Barrows… comprised a party of picnickers who went up to Moonstone Beach yesterday afternoon...”

June 21, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A local jeweler has started a fad for Catalina moonstones, which are found at Moonstone Beach, about four miles up the island. The stones make very pretty gems when cut, and orders have poured in on the jeweler to such an extent that he is sending for an assistant and improved machinery.”

July 12, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The launch Moonstone took a picnic party to Moonstone Beach this morning.”

July 23, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Moonstone Beach has jumped into the ring as a recreation spot, and now divides popularity with Seal Rocks. Hunting for moonstones has become a very popular pastime. This afternoon three launches carried parties there.”

July 28, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Moonstone Beach seems to have the call now. Four of the pleasure launches carried parties there today, and the fad it can be called, of hunting moonstones is growing apace. The stones when cut make very pretty souvenirs, and Mrs. O. Doolittle of Los Angeles was exhibiting one this morning that will vie with the opal. A gentleman at the Hotel Metropole offered $10 for one a few days since, a bright red one, but the offer was refused.”

August 3, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A party of moonstone hunters went up to Moonstone Beach this morning on the Magic Isle… The launch Moonstone also had a party to moonstone beach.”

August 4, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Sutherland… chartered the Avalon yesterday for a picnic excursion to Long Point. They stopped at Moonstone Beach, paid a visit to the hermit at Swayne’s…”

August 10, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Magic Isle had a Moonstone Beach party out this morning, which returned laden with gems in the rough…”

August 13, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Mascot took a lot of gem hunters to Moonstone Beach this morning…”

August 15, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. There were several picnic excursions to Moonstone Beach yesterday, one of which, a charter party on the Mascot… Another family picnic party, which spent a delightful day at Moonstone Beach went up on the Queen…”

August 17, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A party went to Moonstone Beach to hunt gems this morning.”

August 18, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Magic Isle carried a party up to Moonstone Beach this morning.”

August 20, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The moonstone fad is increasing, and nearly everybody carries one away as a souvenir. Moonstone Beach parties are the regular thing now, and it is not unusual for a half dozen parties to go up in a day.”

August 22, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A party of gem seekers which went west to Moonstone Beach this morning was composed of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Mendenhall…”

August 23, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Sunbeam had an overflow of excursionists to Moonstone Beach this morning…”

August 29, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Three launches went up to Moonstone Beach with small parties this morning.”

September 2, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Charles T. Howland entertained a party at Moonstone Beach today, where they regaled themselves. There were in the party Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Howland, Percy and Winnie Howland, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Cline, George and Willie Cline, Miss Mabel Young and Banning Young.”

September 10, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Magic Isle took a party of gem seekers to Moonstone Beach this morning…”

December 27, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A heavy sea sprang up most unexpectedly and without any apparent cause yesterday afternoon, which caused some inconvenience to boating parties who were out. Clyde Pearce, wife and daughter, Miss Florence, were caught at Moonstone Beach, where they had gone in a row boat…”

February 21, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The launch Queen took a picnic party to Moonstone Beach Tuesday…”

September 12, 1902 [LAT]: “The Mon Ami, the power glass-bottom boat, built by Gurius & Tobin as an experiment, has won its way to popularity and has corralled the bulk of the trade to the nearby points of interest. The trips to Moonstone Beach and Seal Rocks are one grand panorama of beautiful marine gardens, and elicit much praise from visitors. Schools of little fishes are encountered at intervals, and a party this morning witnessed a submarine attack on the minnows by a school of twenty or thirty yellowtail, which was intensely exciting.”

August 25, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Lady Lou took a special charter to Moonstone Beach this morning...”

September 2, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. H. Alexander of Sandusky, Ohio, was a passenger to Moonstone Beach on the Lady Lou the other morning, and found some fishing lines and kooks aboard which were not working because of no bait…”

September 4, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The passengers on the big boat Lady Lou were treated to a great sight this morning on their return trip from Moonstone Beach. As they neared Avalon a few splashes were observed, and some one remarked: ‘That looks like tuna!’ The tuna season proper having long since passed…”

January 5, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The following party went to Moonstone Beach this morning on the Lady Lou and spent the forenoon in hunting gems…”

September 6, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. C. W. Cuzner entertained a small party with a boat ride last evening, landing at Moonstone Beach…”

September 8, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Miss Mollie Holland was hostess of a party of dignitaries of the Catholic Church on an excursion to Moonstone Beach this morning, the launch Tio Juan being placed at their disposal by ‘Uncle John’ Nestall.”

February 13, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. This winter on the island has been one marked by a peculiar lack of storms… but at 10 o’clock the wind came in from the northeast and began to kick up quite a sea. The fishing parties hurried in, and the Lady Lou, which had a large party out to view the marine gardens and gather moonstones at Moonstone Beach, hastened back…”

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.”

July 18, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “When visiting Avalon do not fail to take a trip on the large glass-bottom powerboats and view the wonderful submarine gardens. Regular trips to Seal Rocks at 3:00 P.M. Moonstone Beach at 9:00 A.M. Both trips show Marine Gardens.”

March 12, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Moonstone Beach—Half a mile beyond Camp Banning, where moonstones agates, water opals and many other forms of semi-precious stones are found. These stones make handsome souvenirs of the island when cut and polished. This beach is one of the points of interest most visited by tourists. Excursions are run here daily from Avalon.”