NIDEVER, Jose "George" Emigdio

From Islapedia

NIDEVER, José “George” Emigdio (1847-1935), noted Santa Barbara seaman and fourth of six children born to frontiersman George C. Nidever and his wife, Sinforosa Sanchez. Nicolas A. Den was his Godfather; Rosa Hill his Godmother. Born five years before the California gold rush, George witnessed Santa Barbara’s transformation from a little pueblo to a fair sized coastal city. He was the last of the early day otter hunters, having learned the trade from his experienced father. George and his brother Mark were young boys when their father bought San Miguel Island in 1851. They lived on the island much of the time.

On May 8, 1869 Hiram W. Mills of Santa Barbara, reported he had purchased “one undivided half of all interest, right, title and possession” of San Miguel Island from George Nidever and his two sons, Mark and George for $5000. Mills purchased the remaining half for $10,000, including all livestock, on April 26, 1870.

Great Register of Santa Barbara County 1877 lists Nidever as a hunter who registered on August 2, 1875.

In 1918 George E. Nidever lived at 128 Anacapa St. near the Olivaris. In an interview on May 15, 1922, George reminisced about going to San Nicolas Island with his father to hunt otters, and his father shot “half a dozen untamed canines” that had belonged to the Lone Woman. During his long maritime career, Nidever was captain of a number of vessels, including:

He was hired as captain of the schooner Santa Cruz in October 1907 when he was in his early 60s, a position he held until 1914, shortly after he ran her aground on a reef at Rincon.

On November 1, 1868 George married María Dolores Bermudez (1848-1918) in 1868 and they had eight children: three sons and five daughters:

  • 1. Francis “Frank” Emigdio Nidever (1866-1920) = [1888] Fannie M.
1a. Elsie M. (1889- )
  • 2. Mary “Mamie” Sinforosa Nidever (1872-1952) = (m. 1899) Baltazar Pablo Ruiz
1a. Mary Louisa Ruiz [Walker] (1901-1958)
2a. Gordon Nidever Ruiz (1902-1950)
  • 3. Marguerita “Maggie” Nidever (1874-1880) died as a child
  • 4. Dolores “Lola” Nidever (1878-1880) died as a child
  • 5. Rosa Emily Nidever (1880-1955) [#555-01-1813] = Peter Batzianis (1880-1973) [#555-01-2812]
1a. George Batzianis ( - )
2a. Dorothy Batzianis (1921-2005) = (m. 1941) Dario Peter Castagnola (1919-1997)
3a. Athen Batzianis [Graham]
  • 6. George Edward Nidever (1882-1940) [#555-01-4561] = Flora Cantua
  • 7. Anita “Annie” Nidever (1886-1920) = Chester Griffin
1a. John Chester (1916-1993)
2a. Virginia May Chester (1919- )
  • 8. Jacob “Jake” Joseph Nidever (1890-1953) = Jessie C.

George Emigdio Nidever died in March 1935 at the home of his daughter, Mamie Ruiz, with whom he had lived the last fifteen year of his life. He was survived by two sons, George of Santa Barbara and Jacob of Lincoln, California, and three daughters, Mamie Ruiz and Emily Batzianas of Santa Barbara, and Anna Griffen of Oakland. His obituary noted he was the "last of the early day otter hunters of the channel."

In the News~

August 14, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. August 9. Schooner Tocao, Nidever, from a hunting expedition to Mexican coast.”

August 23, 1873 [SBDP]: “Sailed. August 16. Schooner Tocao, Nidever, hunting expedition.”

October 24, 1873 [SBDP]: “Departures. October 21. Schooner Teccea, Nidever, on hunting expedition.”

November 11, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrived. November 6. Schooner Taccoa, Nidever, from the Islands.”

December 2, 1873 [SBDP]: “Arrived. November 25. Schooner Taccoa, Nidever, from the Islands.”

January 9, 1874 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. January 4. Schooner Tocaco, Nidever, from Island with gravel.”

February 4, 1874 [SBDP]: “Arrivals. January 30. Schooner Tacoca, Nidever, from San Pedro.”

March 15, 1874 [SBDMT]: “Arrived. Schooner Luca, Captain Nidever, from Catalina Island.”

May 26, 1877 [SBDP]: “This morning Captain Mullett returned from his expedition after sea lions, having succeeded in capturing twenty-four of them, which he states are the finest that have been caught. The schooner Star of Freedom, which was chartered for the hunt, arrived at the wharf at noon today with the lions on board. On arrival, they were transferred to the wharf, whence they will be shipped per steamer for Europe accompanied by Captain Mullett. George Nidever, who had charge of the expedition, displayed some splendid seamanship in surfing the boats — finer the Captain says he never saw...”

January 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “There will be an addition to the shipping of Santa Barbara on the arrival of the schooner H. W. Almy, which sailed from San Francisco on Sunday, January 6. The H. W. Almy has been in Santa Barbara before, but since then has been entirely rebuilt, and is now a new vessel. She is owned by A. I. Welch & Co., of San Francisco, but her headquarters will be here, as she is intended to trade mostly between the islands; and as Captain Mullett, the sea-lion capturer, is a member of the firm of Welch & Co., we shall doubtless see some live animals on her occasionally. George E. Nidever, who accompanied Captain Mullett several times to catch sea lions, is in charge of her, and Mr. J. H. Swift of this town will act as agent.”

c. 1879: “I became interested in hunting seals and sea otter, and also in gathering abalone shells on the Channel Islands. For these purposes I purchased first the schooner, Surprise, and later two schooners, Keturah and N.B.. George and Jake Nidever, Manuel Cordero, Antonio Cavarillo [Cavalleri], Jose Espinosa, and Charles Brown were employed by me on these boats. Some of the seals were shipped east for exhibition purposes. Others were killed, the hides sold to be converted into leather, the oil used for various purposes, and the trimmings going to Chinamen...” [Rogers, Eugene Frederick Merchandising Memoirs, unpub. Ms.]

November 20, 1879 [SBDP]: “The Nidever brothers came over from the islands on the Santa Rosa, and returned to the hunting grounds in their little boats.”

July 28, 1881 [SBDP]: “We understand that Mr. George Nidever and a party of gentlemen have chartered the schooner Convoy, and are fitting her up for an otter hunt. They will start in a few days, and will hunt along up the coast as far as Monterey Bay.”

July 19, 1882 [SBDP]: “Santa Barbara. George Nidever returned the other day from a successful otter hunt on the lower coast. He brought one magnificent skin into town, which would be worth from $125 to $150 in the market. The price of otter skins has advanced materially of late. Skins which formerly sold at $40 now bring $100. But to balance this, the sea otter is yearly becoming more scarce.” [also July 29, 1882 LAT].

June 21, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain George Nidever, returned yesterday from a six weeks voyage after sea otters. The captain reports a rough voyage; soon after leaving port a strong southeast wind blew them as far north as Monterey where they commenced to work southward. During their trip they have succeeded in killing fifteen fine sea otter, each skin is of a fine quality and it is said range in price from $45 to $80 each. At a medium price, say $50, a skin the voyage would not pay large profits to the five men engaged in the hunt. Otter hunting is a slow and tedious business and requires a sharp quick eye and a sure hand to the rifle. The animals are timid as well as cunning and seldom expose much more than the nose above the water. The skins are at the store of Rogers Bros., and are a fine lot of pelts. The hunters report otter along the coast as becoming quite scarce and very difficult to kill.”

June 21, 1883 [SBDP]: “Thirteen of the fifteen otter skins brought in by the Convoy were sold yesterday for $650.”

August 28, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy just arrived from Wilmington. It has been lying up for repairs at that place, and is entirely renovated and freshly painted, green with a white streak. It looks quite pretty and Captain Nidever says he is now ready for his regular coasting trips.”

November 11, 1883 [LAT]: “Otter hunting. The sharp-shooters of the Santa Barbara Channel… Rifles of the very finest make are required, and some of the weapons brought into requisition are beautiful specimens of the gun maker’s art. The firm of Rogers Brothers of this city, have now three parties upon the islands of San Miguel, San Nicolas and others. They are taken over and left upon these islands on the schooner Convoy, belonging to this energetic firm, who keep a vessel employed attending to their abalone, seal and otter operations… About the most expert of the sharp-shooters in this business is George Nidever, now upon the islands. His father, now dead, was also was also an expert hunter, and the first man to shoot otters on this coast…”

December 21, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, returned from the Islands last night bringing two otter hunting parties from unusually successful excursions. One party under the charge of Antonio Cavalleri secured seventeen fine skins, being the best catch ever done in the same length of time in those waters. George Nidever’s party brought back nine pelts which is by no means a poor result. The hunters have returned from their lonely haunts to spend the holidays, and their good luck will serve to make them sympathize with the folks on shore who are jubilant over equal good fortune in having a fine rain.”

March 23, 1884 [SBDI]: “Otter hunter returned. Yesterday a party of otter hunters returned from San Miguel Island. They were under the direction of George Nidever, the Santa Barbareño who together with his father before him has been known as a leader of this branch of industry. The party came across in their hunting boats, as the sloop engaged to go after them was unavoidably three days late. As a result of their trip, they secured ten fine skins. This was not a large result for the time which has been consumed, but considering the stormy weather which has prevailed almost without cessation during the last two months it may be looked upon as indicating no little skill and perseverance. The fact that these experienced men would cross the channel in open boats speaks pretty well for their confidence in the continued tranquility of that roadstead. The hunters find the comforts of civilization quite acceptable after their long absence in roaming about the adjacent waters or imprisoned upon the shores of the islands.”

March 26, 1884 [SBDI]: “The catching of sea lions alive is a sport requiring no little dexterity and attended with some danger. The account given by George Nidever of the modus-operandi is quite interesting. In filling the last order from San Francisco for two animals of medium size he, with his companions had a splendid opportunity to lay in a stock of seals sufficient to fill the museums of the world. Arriving in the sloop Don George on the island the tide was low and coming upon the seals unawares they were effectually corralled in the caves which abound along the shore…”

April 6, 1884 [SBDI]: “…It is proper to mention George [E.] Nidever, the otter hunter whose company of hunters gives the Don George [owned by Captain Ellis] and the Ocean King [owned by Captain Larco] much employment. He has several otter boats which should figure in the shipping list of this city. Indeed, he with his companions made the trip across the channel in one of these open boats in which they scour the lonely seas about the islands. The total number of vessels making this a regular port are eight, while in the course of the year the number calling, freight steamers, lumber schooners and occasional government vessels and pleasure yachts largely increase this number.”

August 30, 1884 [SBDI]: “The otter boat being built by Mr. Forbush to the order of C. C. Hunt, is about completed and will be ready to launch about the middle of next week. The design of the boat is handsome, her keel being eighteen feet, overall twenty-four, and calculated to carry twenty-four hundred pounds. She is also rigged that she will carry more sail than any boat in the harbor according to her size, and judging from her symmetrical figure she will allow her ‘heels’ to all of them, not barring the larger crafts. The boat is to be run by the Nidever boys in and around San Miguel Island for hunting purposes. The family is to move to the island before long and make it their future abode for some tine to come. One of the boys, George, is, without doubt, the best otter hunter on the Pacific Coast, and brave enough to enter a lion’s lair. The cost of the boat will be something like $100, (that includes the wood work only), and her work cannot be surpassed in large cities where boat building is made a specialty.”

November 28, 1884 [SBDI]: “Those who make it a business of hunting and capturing sea otter and seals upon the ‘tempestuous billows,’ at certain times of the year find it to be a paying business…It takes a man with a steady nerve, one who is not to become excited easily, as they are usually killed from the boat… The Nidever brothers and Antonio Cavalleri, who have been absent from this city about six weeks on a hunting tour, arrived in port about ten days ago with ten otter skins and large quantities of Indian relics. An otter skin properly cured and of a fair size is worth from $60 to $75, and averaging their otter skins at $50 apiece would net them $500, to say nothing of the Indian relics. They secured most of their game off San Miguel Island, and report otters and sea lions plentiful, attributable to the severe storms in the north and the bountiful supply of food they find in our southern waters, such as fish and sea vegetation. George Nidever , the eldest of the boys, is considered the best otter hunter on the coast, having been brought up with his father on the waters of this coast. He seldom misses his mark unless at the time the sea is rough, causing the boat to ride high upon the seas. They are to revisit the Islands ere long and try their luck for more otter.”

November 24, 1884 [SBDP]: “George Nidever and Antonio Caballero [Cavalleri] came over from the islands Saturday, bringing with them twelve otter skins.”

December 4, 1884 [SBDI]: “The Nidever brothers left yesterday for San Miguel Island to hunt otter.”

[At SB wharf rowing to schooner Santa Cruz New Years day] Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife, p 189

September 24, 1885 [SBDP]: “George Nidever Jr., son of George Nidever, who came to Santa Barbara in 1835 from Arkansas and who became famous hereabouts as a nimrod and otter hunter, left on the Santa Maria today for Monterey, accompanied by his family, near which place they will make their home in the future.”

December 12, 1896 [LAT/SB]: Harry Jacobs and George Nidever, two Santa Barbara boys, are playing in great luck in Yaquina Bay, where they propose to remain for two months to come. They have taken four sea-otter skins, according to reports, valued at $1000.”

May 16, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Three sea otters killed near San Miguel Island… Harvey Jacobs, George and Jacob Nidever, three Santa Barbara boys, returned from a month’s cruise about San Miguel Island last night, bringing with them three magnificent sea otter skins as a result of their month’s hunt... The three boys saw some sixty of these valuable little animals in the kelp off San Miguel…”

January 13, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “George Nidever captured a sea otter off San Miguel Island. The skin is valued at $250, and has been shipped to San Francisco.”

September 3, 1905 [SBMP]: “George Nidever returned from the islands yesterday after spending several weeks there searching for shells. He came over in one of the Maglio boats.”

August 30, 1907 [George Nidever to Santa Cruz Island Company]: “Dear Sirs, Replying to your communication of the 27th inst., I beg to advise you that I have followed the sea for the greater part of my life, my father being a sea captain I naturally took to the water. The first vessel that I commanded was the

  • Active for Mills Brothers;
  • following with the Tokie for Al Cohen & Co.;
  • Almy for C. R. Mullett & Co., Brokers of San Francisco;
  • Surprise for Rogers Brothers;
  • Santa Rosa for Henry and Alex More;
  • Convoy for Mills Brothers.;
  • Angel Dolly for George F. Ellis; was with Liebes & Co. for about ten years,
  • commanded for them the Alexander and Prospect.

During this time navigated from Lower California to Alaska and Japan and I am thoroughly acquainted with the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. For references, I take pleasure in referring you to Mr. F. M. Whitney, C. C. Hunt, Frank Smith, Boeseke-Daw, Co., H. A. and E. F. Rogers, A. M. Ruiz and George S. Edwards. These gentlemen you are probably acquainted with. My son Frank Nidever of the launch Irene and myself and brother are arranging to go crawfishing. If you wish to have me take charge of your schooner Santa Cruz I would like to know at once. Hoping to receive an early and favorably reply, I remain Very Truly, Geo. E. Nidever”

October 17, 1907 [SBWP]: “A captain has at last been secured for the schooner Santa Cruz. Captain George Nidever, the father of Captain Frank Nidever, took charge of the boat on Monday. He will take the schooner to the island and thence to San Pedro for repairs.”

October 26, 1907 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Cruz, after lying idle for over three months—ever since Captain Prescott handed in his resignation, sailed yesterday for the islands, with Captain George E. Nidever at the helm. Captain George, it is presumed, got the raise Prescott wanted, as it is known he was approached more than once with an offer of position before he accepted it. Captain Nidever is a son of the old seal and otter hunter of early day renown on this coast. The present skipper of the Santa Cruz has made no less than nine trips to Alaska, as well as various voyages to China and Japan. He is thoroughly conversant with the sunken reefs and uncharted rocks, the inlets and outlets, bays and sandbars of the Channel Islands, as well as the whole coast from the Straits of Magellan to the Kotsebue Sound.”

October 29, 1907 [SBMP]: The Santa Cruz arrived from Prisoners' Harbor yesterday at 3 P.M., having made her first trip with Captain Nidever in charge.”

November 1, 1907 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Cruz, with Captain George Nidever in command, started yesterday morning on her second trip of the season, to Prisoners' Harbor.”

November 22, 1907 [SBI]: “The schooner Santa Cruz, under command of Captain Nidever, left this morning for Prisoners’ Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, carrying mail and express.”

1908: “..."The Captain of the schooner Santa Cruz, his brother, the crew, and the watchman from Prisoners' Harbor have come to serenade you, this being your first night on Santa Cruz Island." [at Willows]. The moon was shining very brightly and I could see four figures coming up the creek. As they rounded the big rock, they pulled out musical instruments and began to play La Paloma. The baby had awakened and began to cry, but then she listened to the music and quieted down... The Captain introduced his brother Jake [Nidever], the crewman Geronimo, and the watchman. They were dressed like the usual fishermen, in blue jeans, heavy shirts, caps and heavy boots, and each had a red bandana handkerchief. Sitting down on the apple boxes they played another tune. The baby was spellbound. When they finished the Captain asked how I had enjoyed the trip across the channel and how long I planned to stay. I told him about Ira's idea to take me to another harbor to camp for the winter, for Ira expected to fish there with a man named Frank Nidever. The Captain nodded and said, "Frank Nidever is my son, and Jake here is my brother." This was Captain Nidever, the son of George Nidever who was a famous sea otter hunter. Ira had spoken so much of him that I felt I knew him already...” [Eaton, Margaret Diary of a Sea Captain's Wife: Tales of Santa Cruz Island, (1980) p. 47]

May 29, 1908 [SBI]: “Owners of vineyards and wineries on Santa Cruz Island are in good spirits over what promises to be one of the largest grape crop for years, according to the crew of the large power schooner Santa Cruz, which arrived from the island at 10 o’clock this morning. Captain Nidever of the Santa Cruz reports that the grape clusters are large and numerous on every vine, and that every indication points to a record yield. The Santa Cruz brought over several ranch hands and sheep shearers.”

February 9, 1909 [Italia]: “Pro' Danneggiati. Il nostro buno amico ed abbonato Signor U. Revel, residente a Santa Cruz Island in Contea di Santa Barbara, assunto il gentile e patriottico incarico di raccogliere sottoscrizioni fra i connazionalli di quella nostra colonia a pro degli sventurati del grande disastro italiano, non solo comincio a sottoscrivere personaimente per la somma di 19 dollari, ma riusel a raccogliere $80 che egli el ha rimessi inseime alla lista che qui appresso pubblichiamo: Ulrico Revel $10.00; Grazzini Michele 0.50; Pietro Nocetti $2.00; Bartolomeo Passamount $1.00; Guiseppe Vendrame $1.00; Guglielmo Grazzini 0.50; Pasquale Sacconaghi $2.00; Pietro Olivari; Angelo Bosio $1.00; Antonio Sacconaghi $1.00; Pietro Micono $1.00; Rodolfo Sartori $1.00; Giovanni Zanetti $1.00; Lorenzo Raimondo 0.50; Giovanni Pasquetti $3.00; Attilio Bozzella $1.00; Pietro Erbetta $1.00; Giovanni Cantoni $1.00; Battista Mezzanotte $1.00; Marco Cavalli $2.00; Pietro Lazzarotto $1.00; Primo Cavalli $2.00; Domenico Rava $1.00; Ambrogio Mainini $1.00; Abramo Cavestri $1.00; Domenico Rava $1.00; Ambrogio Mainini $1.00; Abramo Cavestri $1.00; Antonio Re $1.00; Amabile Bosio $1.00; Spirito Welchior $2.00; Alpivolo Cortopassi $1.00; Alessandro Delboca $1.00; Domenico Dezzutti $1.00; Fiore Piasani $1.00; Enriquo Lopez $1.00; Battista Perini $1.50; Battista Pasquetti $1.00; Bernardo Donchi $ 1.00; Avelino Lugo $5.00; Pedro Lugo $1.00; Ilario Lugo $1.00; Giovanni Cagnazzi $10.00; Carlo Carnaghi $5.00; Giuseppe Saccomaghi $1.00; Secondo Cavalli $1.00; Gerolamo Offredi $1.00; Angelo Castagnola $1.00; Giorgio Nidever $1.00; Jacobo Nidever $1.00.”

Translated: Pro 'Damaged. Our good friend and subscriber Mr. U. Revel, residing in Santa Cruz Island in Santa Barbara County, assumed the polite and patriotic task of collecting subscriptions among the connections of that colony of ours for the unfortunate of the great Italian disaster, not only do I begin to sign personally for the sum of 19 dollars, but he managed to collect $ 80 which he put back together with the list that we publish below:...

February 20, 1909 [SBI]: “Considerable mystery surrounds the finding of a large fresh water tank off Scorpion Harbor, near the east end of Santa Cruz Island, yesterday, by the schooner Santa Cruz, Captain George Nidever. The tank is a mammoth affair, and has a capacity of 1000 gallon of water. It is similar in make-up to the large fresh water tanks on ocean liners, and is valued at $750. The big tank is rusty in sections, and was covered with barnacles and marine growth when found floating near the island, where it constituted a menace to navigation. It is of heavy boiler iron, and was empty when found by Captain Nidever.”

November 9, 1909 [SBMP]: “All the working men, the sheep shearers and the vaqueros on Santa Cruz Island went on a strike Sunday and came to this city in a body, yesterday on the launch Santa Cruz with Captain George Nidever...”

January 13, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz Island schooner, Captain George Nidever, came in from the island yesterday with a cargo of 13,000 pounds of the fall wool clip. A cargo brought in Tuesday amounted to 25,000 pounds. Captain Nidever stated that there were several cargoes yet to be brought over. The fall clip is the smaller one of the year and the spring shearing is expected to double the present output. Owing to the heavy early rains the spring clip will be in a much cleaner condition.”

February 5, 1910 [SBI]: “Six fancy-bred bulls for improving the stock on Santa Cruz Island were taken on board by the power schooner Santa Cruz, Captain George Nidever, this morning for shipment to the island. They were bought by the Caire family of San Francisco, owners of the island.”

March 24, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz Island schooner, Captain George Nidever, came into port yesterday afternoon from Prisoners' Harbor. Her engines were out of order and she came here for repairs.”

April 2, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz Island schooner, Captain Nidever, came in yesterday from the island with a cargo of sheep for the Ealand Packing Company.”

December 27, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz Island Company’s powerboat is expected back shortly, in command of Captain George Nidever. The island mail and express service is being handled by Captain Frank Nidever and his sloop.”

December 28, 1910 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Santa Cruz, Captain George Nidever, arrived yesterday from San Pedro, where she has been for some weeks undergoing repairs.”

December 28, 1910 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Santa Cruz Island]] [sic], Captain George Nidever, arrived yesterday from San Pedro where she has been for some weeks undergoing repairs. The Santa Rosa Island mail boat, Frank Pepper’s Tortuga, was also in port yesterday.”

February 14, 1913 [SBMP]: “Feed never so good on islands as now. Captain George E. Nidever says Santa Cruz Island sheep are already in clover. Captain George E. Nidever, master of the power schooner Santa Cruz, arriving yesterday from the south side of the channel, reports that in his life-long experience he has never seen feed in such good condition and the season so generally promising as it is this time. There has been about one inch more rain on Santa Cruz Island than on the mainland; and it has fallen in such a gentle manner that it is of more value than twice the amount of precipitation as it comes in certain winters. The grass is already several inches high. Notwithstanding last years heavy shipments, there are still about 30,000 sheep on the island.”

April 19, 1913 [SBMP]: “Santa Cruz Island received more rain than the Santa Barbara coast, according to reports brought over yesterday by Captain Nidever of the island schooner. He states that rainfall totaled about 1.25 inches.”

April 25, 1913 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Santa Cruz, Captain Nidever, arrived yesterday noon from Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. Captain Nidever brought reports that Sunday’s rain yielded an inch of rain, which brings the total for the season on the island to more than 15 inches.”

September 20, 1913 [SBDN]: “Schooner Santa Cruz on rocks near Rincon; Captain and crew safe. The schooner Santa Cruz, 100-foot beam, owned by the Santa Cruz Island Company of San Francisco, went on the rocks off the mouth of Rincon Creek at 10 o’clock last night, and it is believed she will be a total loss. Captain George Nidever, Engineer Angelo and Joe Bermudez were bringing the schooner from the dry dock at San Pedro, where the owners had just expended over $1000 in repairs, which included re-coppering the keel, repainting and general overhauling. Forced to abandon the schooner, Captain Nidever and his two companions rowed all night, unable to get their bearings until daylight, when they pulled for this port, reaching here at 5 o’clock this morning, exhausted from their night’s experience. The night was one of dense blackness and a mushy fog cloaked the ocean. The dampness seriously affected the compass. All went well until the crash came. Captain Nidever had chosen his course for the last lap of the run by the Hueneme lighthouse. He had figured in a point and a half variation of the compass, and under ordinary circumstances this would have been sufficient, but later developments showed that the variation must have been two points and a half. While steaming along, the vessel suddenly struck. The impact was followed by rumbling, creaking, crashing sounds, as the schooner plowed forward onto the rocks. Instantly the engines were stopped, and all hands rushed to the deck. The vessel was listing heavily, every wave breaking completely over her. A high sea was running. Captain Nidever realized that it would be suicide to stay with the wrecked vessel, which appeared to be pounding to pieces rapidly. With much difficulty, a boat was launched and the three men put off. They could now hear the heavy surf breaking on the rocks, and were afraid to risk landing in the dark on an unknown point of the coast. Later they ascertained that they had fouled on the rocks near the mouth of Rincon Creek. This is one of the most dangerous points on the coast. The Captain, after reporting here, started back shortly after 9 o’clock this morning on the Gussie M to investigate the wreck. The vessel was built in San Francisco for the Caires, owners of Santa Cruz Island, and has been used for years as a freight and passenger vessel, though carrying of freight between this city and the island was its principal business. It is valued at between $12,000 and $15,000 and was uninsured. Captain Nidever is one of the veteran mariners on this coast, having been on the sea for over 40 years, and in all that time this is said to be his first mishap. Other captains in port today declare that with such a night as last night it was no wonder that the vessel grounded, as a compass is practically useless when there is such a fog. Mr. and Mrs. A. Raines of Los Angeles, motoring to this city, this morning came upon the wrecked schooner Santa Cruz. They boarded her and found only a cat, the entry in the log reading: ‘Left San Pedro 10 o’clock, Friday, September 18.’ When they reached the Potter Hotel they were enlightened. They had imagined the lone vessel to be a mute evidence of a tragedy on the high seas. Word received from the Santa Cruz late this afternoon was that the Gussie M had a line to the stranded schooner, and the rescuers are now waiting until high tide to make an effort to pull the vessel off. An investigation revealed no hole in the hull, and there is a possibility that the schooner may be saved. She has a small cargo, which is being taken off. At low tide it was possible to wade out to the stranded vessel.”

September 21, 1913 [SBMP]: “Channel boat ashore at Rincon. Santa Cruz Island power schooner strikes rocks in fog. Returning from San Pedro where she has been in dry-dock, the island schooner Santa Cruz ran on the rocks at the Rincon during the fog of Friday night. Captain George Nidever and the crew escaped in an open boat, although in the fog they rowed all the way to Santa Barbara, when the shore was but a few yards away… Beside Captain Nidever, Engineer Angelo and Joe Bermudes were the acting crew. The three embarked in a small boat as soon as it was realized the vessel was fast. Still without their bearings in a fog that sight could penetrate only a few feet, the men kept rowing until after daylight and their efforts of the night brought them to Santa Barbara. They then had no exact idea of where they had abandoned the Santa Cruz, and it was reports from the south later that told of the wreck...”

September 25, 1913 [SBDN]: “That the schooner Santa Cruz will be pulled from the rocks at Rincon today is the belief of A. J. Caire, of the Santa Cruz Island Company, owner of the schooner. A tug from San Pedro arrived this morning. The stranded vessel has been loaded with casks and barrels which will float her, and keep her from sinking while the tug tows her back to the dry dock at San Pedro. This morning the Gussie M, having aboard a supply of barrels, lumber and tackle, and carrying Captain George Nidever of the Santa Cruz, left here for the wreck. Nidever will take charge of the stranded schooner again.”

September 26, 1913 [SBDN]: “A big tug from San Pedro tried all day yesterday to pull the Santa Cruz from the rocks off the Rincon, but failed. Another attempt will be made this afternoon at high tide. This morning workmen have been at work raising the stranded schooner from the cushion of sand into which it has been gradually sinking since it went ashore last week. Captain George Nidever returned from the wreck this morning, and expressed the belief that the tug, aided by the Gussie M, would be able to float the schooner before night. If not, it is probable another tug will be brought into play.”

October 2, 1913 [SFC?]: “Santa Barbara. October 1. Hope of saving the schooner Santa Cruz, which ran onto a reef off Rincon Point, fifteen miles southeast of here, ten days ago, has been abandoned and it is said the vessel will be allowed to break up. The boat is owned by the Caire estate of San Francisco, was valued at $15,000 and has been used for years in the trade between here and Santa Cruz Island, which is also owned by the Caires. The boat was steered upon the rocks during a heavy fog, Captain Nidever and his assistants declaring that it was impossible for them to see their course. The boat was being brought from San Pedro, where she had undergone repairs costing about $1000. For several days after the boat was beached she appeared to be in good condition, and there was hope of getting her back into deep water. Several tugs were brought to the scene from San Pedro and tried to pull her off at high tides, but were unable to move her from a bed of rocks. Everything of value has been taken from the vessel, and it is said no further attempts will be made to float her.”

October 2, 1913 [SBMP]: “Unique methods will be adopted in a final effort to save the schooner Santa Cruz from the rocks on Rincon beach. After having decided to abandon the vessel following several attempts to float her, it was suggested to Mr. Caire, the owner, by a practical builder, that a dry dock could be constructed around the schooner and she be raised by mechanical means into such a position that repairs can be made to the broken hull. Then, by the use of ways, she will slide into deep water. Arrangements to do this have been completed, and the work will soon begin. Captain Nidever is still in command of the stranded boat, with the full crew.”

October 2, 1913 [SBDN]: “The schooner Santa Cruz may be saved by building a dry dock about her, and after making the necessary repairs, slide her into deep water by the use of the ways. While A. J. Caire is here superintending the work of rescue, Captain George Nidever is personally in charge, and maintains confidence that the boat will yet be saved. John Williamson, the local contractor, has been engaged to repair the ship.”

April 20, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain George Nidever, former commander of the power schooner Santa Cruz, will be in charge of the resort at Fry’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island this summer. This morning Captain Vasquez retained Captain Nidever for the position, and he sailed with the Otter for the island, carrying the final cargo of camping equipment. Captain Vasquez has now opened the camp for the summer. He expects a big patronage, having popularized the camp last summer as never before. A large number of Los Angeles and Pasadena people have already made reservations for June, July and August.” [Nidever was fired by the Santa Cruz Island Company after he ran the schooner aground.]

April 21, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who went to Fry’s Harbor in the Otter yesterday, took along a lot of equipment for his camp, with the men to install it. He says that his camp will be of fully double the capacity of last years, and that it will be improved in several important features. George Nidever is to have charge of the camp this year. As soon as Captain Vasquez gets the camp plans started, he will set out for the island caves in the hunt for seals, he having an order for ten.”

June 2, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Nidever arrived this morning with a big cargo of abalone shells gathered on San Miguel Island. The shells will be shipped to San Francisco by the Larco brothers.”

August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Three tons of abalone shells and one ton of meat was brought in to the wharf from Santa Rosa Island this morning by Captains Nidever and Hanson in the launch Flyer. The shells will be shipped to San Francisco.”

August 27, 1914 [SBMP]: “At an early hour this morning, Judge J. G. Shoup, B. F. Ruiz, Charles Hanson, Captain George Nidever and Frank Nidever left for Santa Cruz Island on a camping expedition in Captain Nidever’s powerboat, Marguerite. The party will make its headquarters at Willow Harbor, on the south side of the island, and will make frequent excursion to other attractive points making a stop of about ten days.”

August 27, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Justice J. G. Shoup, Charles Hanson, B. F. Ruiz, Frank Nidever and Captain George Nidever left this morning in the launch Marguerite for a two weeks’ outing on Santa Cruz Island. They go to Willow Harbor, one of the most attractive spots on the island, and far from the usual crowd of visitors who settle in the established camps.”

September 8, 1914 [SBMP]: “Judge J. G. Shoup, B. F. Ruiz, Captain Frank Nidever and Captain George Nidever returned last night from a ten days camping trip at Willow Harbor, on the south shore of Santa Cruz Island. They had expected to do a good deal of running about between the different harbors, but the water was so rough on that side of the island that the sailing was not comfortable, so the party spent all its time at the harbor named. The campers had a fine time, none the less, and caught all the fish they could use and brought home a large number of albacore.”

February 29, 1916 [SBDN]: “Crawfish are disappearing from the waters about the Channel Islands, and according to the observations of George Nidever, the sheepshead, a species of fish, is the cause. This ravenous fish is said to be making rapid inroads upon both crawfish and lobsters. Mr. Nidever has a crawfish camp on the ocean side of Santa Cruz Island. He has just come to the mainland to visit relatives and prepare for other activities. He says the past season has been a hard one for lobster fishers. He has gone to many fathoms with his traps in an effort to keep up with the market demands for crawfish. In many of his traps he has found fat sheepshead fast prisoners. They poke their heads into traps after the lobster bait, and many, not being able to escape, were hauled to the surface. They are eating tons and tons of the young lobsters,’ said Mr. Nidever, ‘and within a few years there will not be a lobster remaining.’ Mr. Nidever is a son of Captain Nidever, who attained historical fame in these parts by rescuing from the islands the last remaining member of a tribe of Indians which once lived there. An Indian woman had been left behind by accident when the Indians were brought to the mainland, and years later Captain Nidever discovered her tracks in the beach sands, and led an expedition to rescue her.”

July 11, 1916 [LAT/SB]: “Wreck of boat but no bodies. Broken life raft found on Santa Rosa Island. None of Roanoke crew alive near the wreckage… Lifeboat Number 7 of the steamer Roanoke, which sank off San Luis Obispo May 9, has been found on the west coast of Santa Rosa Island by Captain George Nidever of this city. Only half the lifeboat remains intact…”

July 17, 1917 [SBMP]: “Myron R. Bergen, for the past ten years well known in this city as an upholsterer, was found drowned at Pelican Bay Sunday morning, and thus far the cause is enshrouded in mystery. A week ago last Sunday Mr. Bergen went to Pelican Bay with Captain Ira Eaton in the Sea Wolf... Yesterday he [Eaton] again went to Pelican Bay, arriving there at 1:30 P.M. On his arrival he learned from Captain George Nidever, whom he had left as a caretaker at the Pelican Bay camp, that the body had been found floating in the kelp near the boat landing the preceding morning...”

July 17, 1917 [SBDN]: “At three o’clock this afternoon, the coroner returned from Santa Cruz Island with the body of Myron R. Bergen, who met his death there by drowning. The coroner’s jury, which met at the island today, returned a verdict of accidental drowning… Coroner A. M. Ruiz and L. E. Gagnier, undertaker, went at five o’clock this morning to Santa Cruz Island, to inquire into the death of Myron R. Bergen, well known upholsterer, whose body was found Sunday by Captain George Nidever, floating in the ocean at Pelican Bay. Mr. Bergen had been missing since Tuesday of last week. He had gone to the island to camp for a vacation with Captain Ira Eaton, and had spent his days ashore and his nights on Eaton’s powerboat, the Sea Wolf, until last Tuesday, when he disappeared. As Bergen had talked of walking to Friar’s Harbor, Captain Eaton supposed he had started on that jaunt, and thought nothing more of the matter. Mr. Bergen was well acquainted with the island. Captain Eaton arrived at Pelican Bay from this city yesterday afternoon at 1:30, and was told by Captain Nidever of the finding of the body. He at once put back to Santa Barbara to notify Coroner Ruiz...”

July 18, 1917 [SBMP]: “That Myron R. Bergen, whose dead body was found in the water at Pelican Bay last Sunday morning by George Nidever, met his death by accidental drowning was the verdict of the jury in the coroner’s inquest held at the scene of the tragedy yesterday forenoon…”

February 19, 1918 [SBMP]: “Mrs. George Nidever died yesterday morning at the residence, 128 Anacapa Street, after an illness of several years. She was one of the pioneers of this section, born at Ventura, and married Captain George Nidever and then moved to Monterey, living there 20 years, returning here 12 years ago. Mrs. Nidever is survived by her husband and eight children, they being Frank and George Nidever of Santa Barbara; Jake Nidever, serving his country, stationed at Fort Gibbons, Alaska; Mrs. J. J. Wellman of Oakland; Mrs. F. Espinosa of Monterey; Mrs. Chester Griffith of Palo Alto; Mrs. D. F. Ruiz and Mrs. Emily Vasquez of this city.”

March 26, 1935 [SBNP]: “Captain Nidever service today... Captain Nidever was born here in 1844, the son of Captain Nidever who was distinguished in early annals as the man who rescued an Indian woman from San Nicolas Island after she had lived alone for numerous years. He died Sunday night at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mamie Ruiz, 219 E. Victoria Street, where he had resided for the last 15 years... He was the last of the early day otter hunters of the channel, and he saw this city grow from a little pueblo to the present position of importance...”