REYES, Peter Victor

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P. V. Reyes store (right), Santa Catalina Island, c. 1915-16

REYES, Peter Victor (1875-1950), well-known Santa Catalina Island photographer and fourth mayor of Avalon (1918-1926). Among other credits, his work appears in Zane Grey's Great Game Fishing in Catalina (1919). Pete Reyes moved to Avalon in 1902. In about 1910, Reyes visited and photographed the northern Channel Islands: San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands. The majority of his island photographs were taken on Santa Catalina Island, and many are in the collection of the Santa Catalina Island Museum.

His store of "Kodak and developing department and bathing beach goods" was located at 519 Crescent Avenue, Avalon.

In 1915 he was one of the original twelve members of the Santa Catalina Island Twenty-Five Year Club.

P. V. Reyes = [1908] Rilla B. Hodson (1876-1942)

Reyes died at age 74.

Advertising brochure, Santa Catalina Island, 1915
Phone directory, Santa Catalina Island, 1935

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In the News~

July 22, 1904 [SBMP]: “Avalon, July 21.— ...While thus engaged he handed the champ a fishing rod similar to the one on which the big fish had been taken. Jimmy [Britt, the world's champion lightweight boxer] took the pole in hand and was mentally figuring out how such a big fish could be caught with such a delicate stick, when P. V. Reyes, the Avalon photographer, came along "and totally without Jimmy's knowledge" snapped the picture. James, when he heard of the deed of the photographer, promptly ordered something less than a carload of the pictures.”

September 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “Catalina Party on Santa Cruz. Campers find Channel Islands far superior to the more southern resort. A party of prominent people from Catalina are making a three weeks' tour of the Channel Islands, and have established a most complete camp at Quava [Cueva] Valdez bay on Santa Cruz Island, where they have been for over a week. The party left Avalon on the 14th of September in the gasoline sloop Avalon, which carried full camp equipment and supplies for the trip besides all the members of the expedition. They sailed immediately to Santa Cruz Island and established their camp there, from which they make side-trips to other parts of the island and fishing excursions out into the channel. Their camp is a most picturesque one, being composed of nine tents placed on the beach under the protection of the overhanging cliffs, and near where a fresh water spring bubbles out of the rocks. A large tent in the center is reserved for pleasure-making and for a dining room. They have employed an experienced cook, Mr. Pierce, who formerly worked in that capacity at the Potter Hotel, and have all their meals served in the big tent. The other tents are appropriately decorated with humorous names, such as "Hens' Roost," "Orphans' Home", "Butt Inn", "Parker's Inn", etc. They have an abundance of small row boats in which excursions are made into many caves that have been washed out by the waves on the shores of the island. Fishing parties returning from the island report that the Catalina people are most enthusiastic about the splendid fishing that exists about the island, saying that it is far superior to even their own far-famed Avalon for fishing purposes. They can catch a great variety of fish within a stones throw of their camp. The Avalon party consists of Charles Parker and wife, who organized the party; Captain Mathewson and wife, Mrs. Pratt, Chris Ringson, George Aull, Peter Reyes, Edward Edmondson, John Johnson, and the Misses Josephine Foust, Emma Foust, Lena Kelly, Lena Nelson, Elizabeth Hudson, Cora Geruer and others. They expect to explore Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands before returning, and will visit Santa Barbara for a few days, arriving here next Monday.”

October 22, 1914 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Illegal fishing at Avalon is charge. Reports come from Johnson's Landing to Avalon that a number of Japanese fishermen are nightly hauling seines in that locality. It is estimated that nearly four tons of fish were taken within a half mile from the shore Tuesday evening. V. P. Reyes, an Avalon photographer, Sunday evening secured an excellent picture of a Japanese fishing launch, with five men aboard, cutting their net to pieces with long spears, believing that Reyes and his party of friends were fish and game commissioners. The picture shows the beach line within a mile from the place where the boatmen were struggling to pull their nets aboard and empty their illegal catch back into the water.”

February 16, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “A novel reception and dinner was given Sunday evening by Mr. A. A. Carraher at his home on Maiden Lane. Invitations were extended to the ‘old timers’ who had resided on the island twenty-five years or more. Covers were laid for twelve guests, and those present were: Captain J. W. Wilson (who wore a crown), Captain G. Farnsworth, P. V. Reyes, Captain V. Moricich, Captain J. Adargo, Captain Hugo Asplund, Captain J. Arcey, ‘Mexican Joe,’ Captain Tom Whittley, Captain Harry Doss, John Brinkley and Captain Al Holbrooke.”

August 10, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: P. V. Reyes was running a half-page advertisement presenting the merits of photograph establishment. He is still in business here.

January 14, 1925 [TI/Avalon]: “Among the familiar names of 1908 are launch Mabel F, P. V. Reyes, Hotel Hermosa, Hotel Glenmore, Island Villa, J. Albert, and Hotel Stamford.”

May 21, 1942 [TI/Avalon]: “Funeral services will be held Friday for the late Mrs. P. V. Reyes, aged 66, who passed away Wednesday morning after a prolonged illness of more than ten years. Mrs. Reyes is survived by her husband, formerly Mayor of Avalon, and by an aunt, Mrs. R. Danielson of Los Angeles… Mr. and Mrs. Reyes came to Avalon during the Banning Company’s ownership of Catalina and established the Reyes Photograph Gallery and Art Store. Hundreds of the ‘fish pictures’ carried away by the enthusiastic anglers of Catalina’s earlier days, were taken by Mr. and Mrs. Reyes. For several years Mrs. Reyes was Avalon’s ‘first lady’ and was very active in community and other humanitarian work. She was a trained nurse and in the days prior to the establishment of the local hospital, Mrs. Reyes gave freely of her time and services to those who were ill or injured. Old time residents of Avalon have many affectionate remembrances of Mrs. Reyes. During the past ten years she has been confined to a hospital in Santa Monica and has been unable to reside in her Avalon home at 724 Crescent Avenue. Mr. Reyes was present when his wife passed away. A number of floral tributes from Avalon friends have been telegraphed to the Todd & Leslie Mortuary for the ceremony tomorrow.”

May September, 1960 [TI/Avalon]: “Avalon businessman passes away. Services for Ernesto Lewis Reyes, owner of Reyes Art and Curio Store, were held Tuesday from the Church of The Good Shepard, Beverly Hills. Mr. Reyes, the son of the late Don and Mrs. Ysidro Reyes II, was born in Los Angeles on January 21, 1890. He passed away suddenly Saturday morning when en route to the local hospital. His brother, Pete, was the original owner of the Reyes Store, coming to Catalina in 1902. At that time he had three stores, Bathing Suits, Camera Store and Curio Store. "Ernie", as he was known by his many Avalon friends, came to Avalon in 1934 to manage the Curio Store which his sisters intend to continue to operate. His grandfather, the late Don Ysidro Reyes, was given a land grant by the King of Spain in 1824. The land consisted of the area from Topanga Canyon to Santa Monica. Mr. Reyes, who had planned to leave on October 18 for a trip down the Amazin, was a member of the Santa Monica Elk's Lodge and Native Sons of the Golden West. He is a former member of Avalon Rotary Club. Surviving are two sisters, Miss Hermina Reyes and Mrs. Carmelita White, both of Beverly Hills. Father John officiated at the graveside service.”

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