Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island

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Painted Cave at high tide, Santa Cruz Island
Photo by Bill Dewey
Looking at Painted Cave from overhead
Painted Cave interior, 2019
Photo by Robert Schwemmer, NOAA

Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island is located near the western end of the island on the north side, and is the largest sea cave in California. It is the world's 4th largest sea cave by length, after: #1 Matainaka Cave, on the Otago coast of New Zealand; Purple Cathedral Cave on South New Zealand; and #3 Sea Lions Cave in Oregon.

Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island goes into the island 1227 feet, the length of more than four football fields. The entrance, located in 30 feet of water, reaches upward 160 feet above the water level to its ceiling, and is almost 100 feet wide. A large boat can be taken into its entrance with room to spare. The name “painted” is derived from naturally occurring colors created by various rock types, lichens and algae. Marine organisms, harbor seals, sea lions, and several species of birds inhabit this cave. Helen Caire states:

“It is sometimes compared to the Blue Grotto of Capri.” [Caire: 1993: 26].

Peter Freuchen (1886-1957), Danish explorer and author of Book of the Seven Seas described the cave:

“the limestone walls have been colored in the most fantastic patterns of green, red and yellow splashed by high waves depositing their salt upon a white background. As your eyes accustom themselves to the twilight of the cave, the patterns shimmer in a beauty impossible to describe.” [Freuchen: 1957: 28].

This place name appears on the Santa Cruz Island Sheet A topographic map. When the island was partitioned in 1925, this location was included in Tract No. 1 appointed to Helene A. Caire.



SOUNDS


Listen to acclaimed professional chamber musician, violist Max Mandel, play Bach in the depths of Painted Cave, recorded by Justin Messina.





[original in SCIF archives] [Santa Cruz Island]


  • 1954. Phil C. Orr Who Painted Painted Cave? Archaeological Survey Association of Southern California Newsletter 2(2):7-8, 1954


  • 1956. Heald, Weldon F. Cave of the Sea Lions Nature Magazine 49: 10 (517-519, 550) December 1956


  • 1963. Parsons, Lindsley The Painted Caves of Santa Cruz Sea and Pacific Motor Boat 55: 13 (15-18) December 1963





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In the News~

March 25, 1887 [SBDP]: “Dr. Walter Fewkes, the prominent scientist who is now making deep sea soundings in the Santa Barbara Channel for the Agassiz Association, has just returned from a trip to the islands. He reports that he found there a cave, which greatly resembles the celebrated ‘Blue Grotto’ of Capri, only far more beautiful.”


August 27, 1891 [SBMP]: “On Monday morning, August 10th, a party of sixteen… embarked on the little vessel Big Loafer, Captain Brownsill in command… On the following day we started in search of the various points of interest… At the westerly end of the island is found the noted Painted Cave, I think the largest among the many caves on the island. Into this cave we rowed and found it to consist of a chamber more than 100 feet high at the entrance, about 150 feet wide and 850 feet or more in length. The great arch gradually slopes downward until it is lost sight of in the darkness. The roof is beautifully decorated with various colors—green, yellow, white, etc. This beautiful canopy vies with the skill of the most famous artist. On the shelving rocks, hundreds of seals find a place for rest, making the echoes ring with their hoarse notes. The floor of this cave is covered with water from twenty-five to fifty feet in depth, thus the most beautiful shades can be seen as we look down into the briny deep. Beautifully colored fishes can be seen darting in and out among the dark green seaweeds and the shells, corallines and other inhabitants of the deep can there be studied in their native element…”


September 24, 1891 [SBMP]: “Island scenery… One of the most delightful trips of the island is an early morning visit from Valdez Harbor to what is known as the Painted Cave, the most extensive cavern on the coast… This cave, although the largest, is but one of many on the island, and every mile of shore shows some peculiarity of form and color…”


December 3, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara Islands. The Overland Monthly for December is a peculiarly Santa Barbara publication… The largest cave, called Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island, is near the northwestern curve, and was lately discovered. Captain Brownsill of the sloop Big Loafer, guided a small party of us to explore this immense cavern…”


September 1, 1896 [SBDN]: “The young men who made the trip described in yesterday’s news, to Santa Cruz Island, are yet telling of the incidents of that trip. They went into a marvelous cave or cavern big enough to ‘put the Fithian Building in it,’ as they described it, but which grew smaller and smaller…”


September 2, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Mr. Doulton and a party of Miramar guests will go to Santa Cruz Island tomorrow, taking in the Painted Cave and other historic points. Captain Larco and his sons will take the party on board the Lizzie Belle W early in the morning, returning home tomorrow evening.”


September 16, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Larco’s excursions to the islands continue to grow in popularity, and are now of almost daily occurrences. He took a party of fifty on Sunday to Fryer’s [Fry’s] Harbor on a fishing excursion, and last evening he returned with a large and delighted pleasure party from the Painted Cave and other historic points. The only reason the islands have not been a favorite resort in the past is because there has been no suitable pleasure boat. The Lizzie Belle W fills every requirement and is perfectly seaworthy.”


July 7, 1897 [SBDI]: “The latest Land of Sunshine, the Los Angeles magazine, contains an article on ‘Caves of Santa Cruz Island,’ by Rob. C. Owens and illustrated with beautiful, clear cut views of Cueva Valdez, Painted Cave, Ladies’ Harbor and the Arch.”


July 21, 1897 [SBDI]: “The Lizzie Belle W leaves early this morning for Painted Cave, with a large party of Montecito and Santa Barbara people...”


July 22, 1897 [SBMP]: “The yacht Lizzie Belle W leaves the dock this morning at 6 o’clock with a party of thirty for a trip to the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island, and will return this evening. The party is composed of residents of Montecito, three from Los Angeles and two from this city, including Deputy Collector C. M. Bell.”


July 23, 1897 [SBMP]: “To Santa Cruz. The party on the Lizzie Belle W yesterday. A sailing party largely made up of Montecito and Carpinteria residents made the trip to Santa Cruz and back yesterday in the Lizzie Belle W. They visited Painted Cave and went up one of the canyons to eat their picnic lunch…”


July 29, 1897 [SBDI]: “Captain Larco announces that the Lizzie Belle W will make a trip to Painted Cave and other points on the island Sunday, leaving at 6:30 A.M.”


July 30, 1897 [SBDI]: “The Lizzie Belle W took a party to Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island today, the list including Mr. And Mrs. C. A. Edwards, Mr. And Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Stambach, Mrs. Stone, Miss Noble, Miss Fordham, Miss Thompson, Miss Harrington, Miss Miller, and Messrs. Wyles, Noble, Playtoer, Lloyd, Doeg and White.”


September 4, 1898 [LAT]: “Secret of the Painted Cave. How three boys tested the legend of Santa Cruz Island. Three boys lay at full length on the warm sand. Sometimes they watched the ___ ___ Careening against the blue of the sky; sometimes the great black ravens wheeling aloft, but oftener the round, dog-like heads of the seals in the breakers. One week of delight had passed; another lay before them of idling and fishing and exploring among the natural wonders of the island shore. Dick Allen raised to his his elbow, and rubbed the sand from his red hair. "I move we go fishing," he said suddenly. "I move we don't go fishing," yawned Kingsley Wood, pulling his sombrero down over his peeling nose. "That's it, King! Go to sleep. Have a nice little nappy. No! He didn't go fishing if he doesn't want to," drawled Dick. King hurled a handful of wet sand into his mouth. Pedro Cuesta turned his great Spanish eyes upon the two meditatively, "I thought we were going to the Painted Cave Friday. This is Friday," he said. Dick sprang to his feet. "Jolly rattlesnakes! So it is!" He at once kicked King up. "Quarter to ten. Time yet.." With a whoop that sent the gulls and seals out to sea, and the ravens, cawing over the cliff, he disappeared into the tent, which was pitched in a big beach cave, in search of torches and fishing tackle. In ten minutes they were rowing through the grand rock archway that led from the cave to the open channel. "There's some sea yarn about the Painted Cave," said King, catching up a pink jellyfish in his hand from the water. "I don't know about its being a sailor's story, but there is a Spanish legend about it," said Pedro with an air of mystery. "Let's have it. The Spanish legend — the Castillian ghost story! Señor Cuesta has the floor — what there is!" clamored Dick with a flourish that nearly upset the boat. Pedro hesitated. Dick's absurdities always startled him. "The story was something like this," he began slowly. "The Spanish ships under Cabrillo, in cruising about these waters in 1542, landed first on Santa Cruz. The navigator was delighted with the beauty of the shore, and the simple hospitality of the natives. The sea caves especially interested him. He was so deeply impressed with the grandeur of the Painted Cave, that he requested to be buried there, as the native Indians were, in the great, dark chambers of the cavern." "Queer old chap want to be buried like a savage," said Dick, a tell-tale twinkle in his eye. "Sh—" warned King. "The Spainards afterward visited all the islands of the group, and strangely enough, while on San Miguel Island, Cabrillo was wounded in an encounter with a sea lion, while trying to trap him, and afterward died from the injury. True to their commander's request his men brought his body to Santa Cruz and with his sword in his hand, he was buried in the Painted Cave." Pedro paused his eyes fixed on the horizon. "That's great, Pedro! Is that all?" "Well — except there is a story that the old navigator's ghost wanders about the cave, and when the seals come far into the hidden galleries, once a year to rear their young, he takes his sword and goes forth to slay all he can lay hands on, in vengeance for the one that caused his death...”


August 18, 1900 [LAT]: “The Painted Cave. Description of a cavern on Santa Cruz Island into which the battleship Oregon might sail. By George L. Sanders.”


July 7, 1902 [OC]: “Santa Cruz Island is becoming the most popular of any of the Channel Islands as a pleasure resort and now has several scores of people camped upon it… The coast is noted for beautiful caves such as the Painted Cave and others…”


July 26, 1902 [OC]: “Captain T. E. Walker and family, who have been enjoying a three weeks yachting and camping trip on the channel, returned Tuesday on their yacht Alleene. They visited the Painted Cave and all the harbors on the north side of the island and stopped a day at Anacapa Island on the return trip…”


June 20, 1905 [SBMP]: “Gem of island is Santa Cruz... Mr. Lowe was piloted to the various points of interest on the island of Santa Cruz by Captain Merry of the Vishnu, the trip across the channel being made last Saturday and the entire day of Sunday being given to the examination of the various points of greater interest... Some idea of the extent of this [Painted Cave] may be gained from the fact that recently the yacht Irene, a 30-foot boat with a mast about 25 feet high, sailed into the cave for a distance of several hundred feet, and turned within the cavern for the outward voyage...”


August 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “Tomorrow morning a party of five ladies will leave for the Painted Caves where they will camp for a week or longer. The party will be composed of Mrs. Vail, Miss Garfield, Miss Edna Smith, Miss Nellie Smith and Mrs. Nellie Gorham.”


August 15, 1905 [SBMP]: “Last week the power launch Naiad took an excursion to Quava Valdez, Painted Cave, Lady’s Harbor, and other points of interest on the island...”


March 30, 1906 [SBMP]: “On Thursday morning H. B. Clark chartered the power launch Vishnu, and with Captain Merry made a trip to Santa Cruz Island... He spent some time in the Painted Cave...”


June 24, 1906 [SBMP]: “A party of a dozen left for Santa Cruz Island last night to spend a day in cruising about the island. They made the trip in Captain Merry’s sloop, Vishnu, and will be back this evening. They will visit the Painted Cave and will spread a picnic lunch at Valdez Harbor. Among those who will make the trip are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rutherford, Mr. and Mrs. Boarman, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Carroll and others.”


August 12, 1906 [SBMP]: “A party of Santa Barbara men had a very pleasant trip to Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning as the guests of Alan Dunn... They left at 2 o'clock in the morning in the launch Irene, in charge of Captain Eaton... The launch Irene slid into Cueva Valdez... Longer stops were made at the Painted Cave...”


August 8, 1907 [SBMP]: “The launch Vamoose, Captain G.W. Gourley, returned to port yesterday from a two-days cruise about the Channel Islands... Yesterday they visited the famous Painted Cave, Captain Gourley taking the launch 800 feet into the depth of this cavern where they viewed its wonders.”


August 24, 1907 [SBMP]: “A merry party is planning to leave for the island this evening. They will go over in the launch Charm, leaving here at 9 o’clock. Tomorrow will be spent visiting different harbors and the Painted Cave...”


August 25, 1907 [SBMP]: “The Charm returned last night with the party from Carpinteria. They left Serena yesterday morning at 6 o’clock, making a quick run for the island, visiting most of the points of interest, including Painted Cave...”


July 22, 1908 [SBMP]: “Mrs. M. V. Wheeler and her daughters have just returned from a four days’ cruise and camping trip to Santa Cruz Island with Captain George Gourley on the launch Vamoose. They camped at Lady’s Harbor and visited the Painted Cave, the various camps and all the other interesting points, returning yesterday afternoon.”


May 16, 1909 [SBMP]: “R. H. Morris, a photographer of this city, left on the Santa Cruz Island boat yesterday to spend a week at the island taking pictures of the Company. Mr. Morris will make his headquarters at the ranch house near Prisoners’ Harbor and from there he will tramp over the hill and up and down the coast taking pictures as his fancy directs. The Santa Cruz Island Company for whom he is going is desirous of having views of the ranch house, the vineyard, and the sheep-shearing scenes and the herds of cattle. He will also get pictures of Lady’s Harbor, the Painted Cave, the Arch Rock, and many other beauty spots on the island.”


May 23, 1909 [SBMP]: “A merry boating party left for Santa Cruz Island this morning at 5 o’clock in Captain Short’s launch, the Charm. They will visit the Painted Cave, Lady’s Harbor, Valdez Harbor and other points of interest, returning late this afternoon…”


June 3, 1909 [SBMP]: “Captain Short took a party of eight to Santa Cruz Island this morning in the Charm. They will visit Painted Cave and many of the beauty spots of the island. They will return tonight.”


June 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “Ogenio Larco will guide a party of Montecito people today in a trip across the channel and to the beauty spots of Santa Cruz Island in Captain Short’s Charm. The launch will leave the wharf early and lunch will be eaten probably at Valdez. The Painted Cave will be one of the points visited.”


July 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “The Sinaloa, a large, commodious passenger twin-screw propellers, 2 4-cylinder engines, 40-horsepower each, with every convenience for ladies and children, will run excursions to Santa Cruz Island, visiting Painted Cave and other places of interest, Wednesday, July 6 at A.M., returning same evening. Round trip $2. For further information telephone Pacific Main 1325. C. Ogden, Agent.”


September 11, 1910 [SBMP]: “...On Monday Captain Short will take a pleasure party on a cruise to the islands. Among them will be Charles F. Eaton and a party of guests from Miramar. The party will visit Painted Cave and other points of interest.”


May 6, 1911 [SBI]: “One of the weekend festivities planned by a party of young people is a trip to Santa Cruz Island. Each will provide his own bedding and lunch. The party will leave at 7:30 in the launch Charm, and after a moonlight trip across the channel, will camp for the night at Pelican Bay. Tomorrow they will visit the Painted Cave, cruising up the coast, will take pictures of the island, the cave, and seal rocks, returning tomorrow night. The party will be chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Hamilton.”


July 24, 1912 [SBMP]: “Many parties camping on Santa Cruz and Anacapa during summer… Another party, recruited largely from the First National Bank at Los Angeles, has a fine camp at Lady’s Harbor. These people have engaged Captain Gourley’s Vamoose for a week, in order that they may cruise about the various islands and visit the Painted Cave and other natural wonders…”


October 1, 1912 [SBMP]: “The Charm left Santa Barbara Saturday morning with thirty-three passengers, teachers, normal school students, artists and others. After an enjoyable trip across the channel, the party landed at Valdez Harbor, first having viewed the wonders of Painted Cave. The remainder of the afternoon was spent exploring…”


July 24, 1914 [SBMP]: “Steamer Eureka to make voyage across channel Monday. Increasing interest is manifested in the big excursion to Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island by the steamer Eureka next Monday, and it looks as though the accommodations of the steamer will be apt to be sold out before the day set for the event… The steamer will land at Pelican Bay, one of the best harbors on the island shore, and four hours will be spent at Eaton’s camp and roundabout. A fine fish dinner will be served here, or passengers may take their dinner with them… This excursion is in the hands of E. J. Gourley and Harry A. Smith…”


July 25, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The present booking shows that the steamer Eureka will carry more than fifty Santa Barbara people to the islands Monday morning. At the islands Captain Eaton is making special preparations to care for his guests, and side trips to the Painted Cave and other points of interest have been arranged. The Eureka will have been arranged. The Eureka will sail at 8 o’clock Monday morning.”


July 27, 1914 [SBDNI]: “One hundred and twenty Santa Barbara people left for the islands at 8 o’clock this morning aboard the steamer Eureka. The great majority of the passengers were women. The boat will return here about 6 o’clock this evening, thus giving the party four hours at the islands for fishing and side excursions to the Painted Cave and other interesting places. Captain Eaton also left this morning in the Sea Wolf and accompanied the big boat over. Lunch will be served for the party at Eaton’s camp.”


July 30, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain and Mrs. Wilbert Melville charmed with Santa Cruz… Different points of interest were visited, attention being paid principally to the Painted Cave, which the visitors were particularly anxious to see, and for which the expedition was planned…”


July 30, 1914 [SBDNI]: “A party of young people is planning a trip to Painted Cave and Pelican Bay on Sunday. They will leave early in the morning with Captain Eaton in the Sea Wolf and will return Sunday evening… Four of the young men in the party form a quartet, and the music will be a feature of the trip…”


August 8, 1914 [SBMP]: “Increasing interest is felt in the excursion to Santa Cruz Island on the steamer Eureka next Monday morning, and as the accommodations are limited to 100 passengers, it will be well for those who want to go on this voyage to secure their tickets as early as possible… A side trip will be made in the powerboats Sea Wolf and Gussie M to the Painted Cave and other attractive points along the coast...”


April 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “On his first visit to the island, Mr. Norden was greatly disappointed at not being able to see the Painted Cave, whose wonders had been described to him, because the water was too rough to permit going into it safely in a small boat... On this voyage in the Sea Wolf today, Mr. Norden will have as his guests of the Potter: Otto L. Mersman, Jr., Dr. Chancellor of Chicago, and Russell Ray of Santa Barbara. The party will take along a powerful searchlight with which to explore the cave if they are able to enter that wonderful subterranean chamber of nature’s fantastic grandeur.”


April 6, 1915 [SBMP]: “Herman Norden of Paris... went on the Sea Wolf... The party was disappointed at not being able to enter Painted Cave on account of rough water, but the excursionists found much to enjoy at Valdez Cave, Pelican Bay and Prisoners’ Harbor...”


April 9, 1915 [SBDNI]: “That the pleasures of the channel waters and the beauties and wonders of the islands should be employed more systematically for the benefit of Santa Barbara is the opinion of those who made the trip to the islands Wednesday… aboard Captain Eaton’s boat Sea Wolf. They skirted the coast of the island, visited the big cave and had lunch at Valdez Harbor. The other beauty spots visited were Painted Cave, the Ruby Rock, La Canada, Cueva Valdez, Arch Rock, Ladies Harbor, Dick’s Harbor, Mussel Rocks, the Orizaba, Twin Harbors and Pelican Bay. The party climbed the mountains back of Pelican Bay and gathered many wild flowers there…”


May 12, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Camping parties for Santa Cruz Island planned. Otter will carry first crowd of season tomorrow from Carpinteria…Tomorrow afternoon the Otter will carry a party of Cate School Carpinteria, pupils and teachers, to Pelican Bay… A side trip to Seal Rocks, Painted Cave and the Aggie wreck will be made …”


May 19, 1915 [SBDNI]: “So delighted are the Normal School students who went on the excursion to Santa Cruz Island over Saturday and Sunday, with the beauty of the wondrous isle, that they are planning another trip for early July. A total of 37 students, both men and women, enjoyed the outing, returning late Sunday. Various points of interest, including Prisoners’ Harbor, Pelican Bay, Seal Rocks, Painted Cave and Cueva Valdez were visited and explored. The party made the trip in the motorboat Otter, the craft’s business agent, B. Hilbing, persoinally conducting the students, and seeing that everyone had a good time.”


June 1, 1915 [SBDNI]: “A party consisting of a dozen Hotel Potter guests, will leave tomorrow in the powerboat Otter, to visit Painted Cave, Fry’s Harbor, and Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. Captain R. Vasquez, master of the boat, will be in charge.”


June 8, 1915 [SBDNI]: “F. R. Hamilton, of the White House clothing store, is getting up a party of 30 to make a trip to the islands Sunday. It is the intention to make quite a little cruise, visiting the Painted Cave and other points of interest and spending the lunch house at Pelican Bay. Mr. Hamilton is anxious to hear from all wanting to make the trip. If the full quota can be secured the Sea Wolf will be chartered for the day.”


June 13, 1915 [SBMP]: “This morning Captain Ira K. Eaton will take a party of thirty people to Santa Cruz Island in his jaunty little powerboat, the Sea Wolf. The Painted Cave will be visited, and the excursionists will see the principal beauty spots of the island and return to the mainland in the evening.”


June 29, 1915 [SBDNI]: “The forty Flying A employees who went to the islands Sunday aboard the powerboat Otter, report that they had the finest cruise possible. The party left at 9:30 in the evening and enjoyed a beautiful moonlight voyage to the islands. The voyagers had a good rest at the camp, and were up early in the morning for a splendid breakfast served on camp tables decorated with flowers and ferns. During the day Painted Cave, Ladies Harbor, Valdez, and a number of other interesting places about the island were visited. Fishing, rowing and swimming were enjoyed by the party. A splendid barbecue was arranged for the evening. The boat started home with its crown about 3:30 in the afternoon and landed here on Sunday evening at 6 o’clock. Every member of the big party praised manager B. Hilbing and Captain Rosaline Vasquez for the management of the trip. Those who went were…”


July 1, 1915 [SBMP]: “Fred Hamilton is organizing an island party for the 4th of July, to leave Saturday morning at 6:30 in the Sea Wolf for Valdez Harbor. Most of the party will be from Carpinteria, but there will also be quite a number of people from this city. It is expected that about thirty-five will join this outing. The Painted Cave will be visited, and the night's camp will be made at Valdez. Early Monday morning the party will visit the seal rookeries in China Harbor, after will come luncheon at Captain Eaton's camp at Pelican Bay, with the return voyage scheduled to enable the excursionists to arrive home early enough Monday afternoon to see at least a good part of the patriotic celebration on the mainland.”


July 7, 1915 [SBMP]: “One of the most delightful island parties of the season returned to the mainland on the Sea Wolf last Monday evening in time for the members to enjoy the fireworks and the marine pageant. The party was organized by Fred Hamilton, and numbering thirty people, mostly from Carpinteria, with several Santa Barbara people added. The party left for the island Sunday morning and went straight to Painted Cave…”


July 20, 1915 [SBMP]: “The powerboat Otter took a party of thirty-five excursionists to Santa Cruz Island last Sunday morning. The Painted Cave was visited, after which the party went to Fry's Harbor, where the balance of the day was spent in inspecting the many charms of that beautiful island resort, the return to the mainland being made in the early evening hours.”


July 31, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Short's yacht, Pt. Fermin, made the passage of the channel Sunday with a party of well known Santa Barbara people... They visited Painted Cave and Cueva Valdez and saw much of the beauty of the islands.”


October 27, 1915 [SBMP]: “The play, Undine... is mostly in a seashore setting, and it will show the finest bits of Santa Cruz Island scenery. Cueva Valdez makes an important part of the picture... by many considered the most beautiful spot on the island shores except the Painted Cave, with which, of course, it cannot be reasonably compared in detail, because so materially different in natural aspect.”


April 13, 1916 [SBMP]: “...Mr. Pollard has succeeded in getting some of the most beautiful bits of the island scenery, including what is declared to be a wonderful view of the interior of the Painted Cave, the first ever taken of this scenic marvel for a moving picture.”


February 15, 1919 [SBMP]: “Bernard Fish, representative of the Goldwyn Moving Picture Company of Los Angeles, was in town yesterday. While here, Fish met his old friend, Charles Newton of the Mission Theatre. Newton has made arrangements to show in Santa Barbara The Border Legion, scenes of which were taken at Painted Cave.”


May 11, 1919 [SBMP]: “The yacht Ortona, flagship of the South Coast Yacht Club of San Pedro, which visited this port Friday with skipper Dan H. Laubershiemer, commodore Cleve Harrison and a party aboard, sailed away yesterday morning at 10 o’clock with the Painted Cave of Santa Cruz Island as her immediate destination. From the cave, the party planned to forge on to Fry’s Harbor, and from there to Chinese Harbor to anchor for the night. The waters of Smugglers Cove were expected to be their haven for today, and this evening they will unfurl sail for their home harbor.”


July 16, 1919 [SBMP]: “The launch Sea Wolf, Captain Ira K. Eaton at the helm, conducted a merry and enthusiastic party of sightseers from the Hotel Belvedere to Santa Cruz Island for an all day trip. After the cruise along the island coast and a trip into the famous Painted Cave, the visitors expressed amazement that the beauties of the romantic island were not more widely known. Among the party were tourists who have visited the wonder spots of the world, but they declared that never in their travels had they seen anything to equal the grandeur and coloring of the Painted Cave. So enamored of the scenery found there were Miss Lillian Genth and Miss A. B. Seigher, artists from the Genth Suudio of New York City, that they remained at Eaton’s camp on Pelican Bay, where they expected to sketch for a couple of weeks… Sea Wolf steamed for the island at 7:30 yesterday morning, returning to the pier at 6:30 in the evening.”


July 16, 1919 [SBDNI]: “A dozen Belvedere guests yesterday visited Santa Cruz Island aboard Captain Ira Eaton’s boat, the Sea Wolf. The party toured the coast of the island and spent much time at the Painted Cave. Two of the party, Miss Lillian Genth and Miss A. B. Seigher, of the Genth Studios, New York, remained at Pelican Bay to sketch for a week.”


September 7, 1919 [SBMP]: “Nature Study Club explores beauty spots of Santa Cruz Island, by C. M. Glover… The head of the Nature Club is not usually keen for the study of nature, howbeit, he became interested in submarine gardens as soon as the Sea Wolf left her mooring… The Painted Cave of fairy grotto toward the west end of Santa Cruz Island was the first stop…”


July 7, 1926 [SBDN]: “Early yesterday afternoon a company of forty-nine actors, directors and mechanics of the Fox Film Company returned on the Sea Wolf from Santa Cruz Island where they had been filming ‘The Devil’s Master.’ The picture is a melodrama dealing with dope smuggling, and most of the island scenes were shot at Valdez Harbor and Painted Cave. A submarine, 120 feet long, was built by studio workmen, and after a number of pictures were taken on board, the submarine was blown up...”

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