Difference between revisions of "SANTA BARBARA ISLAND THROUGH TIME"
|Line 43:||Line 43:|
'''1863:''' Naturalist J. G. Cooper camped on Santa Barbara Island with a party of sea lion hunters for 20 days in 1863:
'''1863:''' Naturalist J. G. Cooper camped on Santa Barbara Island with a party of sea lion hunters for 20 days in 1863:
Latest revision as of 08:24, 30 June 2020
In the News~
December 4, 1602, the feast day of Saint Barbara, is the date Santa Barbara Island was named by Sebastian Vizcaino. This island retained its name.
1830s. YOUNT MANUSCRIPT, BANCROFT LIBRARY: “Mrs. Watson [pp. 8-9] informs us that: ...from the island they visited [on Yount's first sea-otter trip] he returned after a few weeks with seventy-five skins that brought him the snug sum of two thousand dollars. After such success he visited other [channel] islands... [including] San Clemente... Mines of precious metal are supposed to exist here. On the island of Santa Barbara he took ten elephant seals and otter in great abundance. On the island of St. Clemente he built a boat of sea-elephant skins. It was constructed after the fashion of those used by trappers on the western rivers [perhaps the only instance of a 'bull-boat" being used to navigate the open sea]. The skins were cleaned of hair and fur, scraped down very thin upon the flesh side and while moist rolled into the smallest possible compass. When wanted for use they were soaked in water, while timbers from the flexible willow were being prepared. The hides are then skilfully stretched over the timbers and the boat is ready for use. In such hastily made crafts the largest rivers could be crossed. They would carry many tons [pounds] and five or six men in each boat. They were easily transported on the backs of men or animals, and when not needed they were carefully soaked and rolled as before... [In the ocean the sea elephant skin boats] were short lived, as salt water was fatal to them.”
September 24, 1842: “Morning calm and pleasant. The [Santa Barbara] island west about five miles distant. At 6 A.M. started from the ship with a large quarter boat and four men armed with a whale lance, gun clubs and knives. On arriving at the island, found the landing place (a small beach) so thickly covered with Eliphant [sic] and seal that we had to wait sometime for the seal to clear out before we found room to haul the boat up. The seal are all of the hair kind and not valuable. Therefore we did not trouble any of them. The Eliphant [sic] were rather numerous but not very fat. I killed thirteen of them and with the blubber of twelve loaded the boat as deep as she could swim…” » Alta California 1840-1842. The Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship Alert. Glendale: The Arthur Clark Company, 1983. (p. 321)
1852: A. D. Bache’s Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey for 1852 states Santa Barbara Island “is two miles long, and one mile broad; it is entirely inaccessible, except on the east side. Great numbers of walrus [sic], or sea-lions, and seals, frequent this island.” In 1856, W. E. Greenwell erected a signal on Santa Barbara Island after experiencing difficulty landing on the island. After that, he attempted to land again, “but after two days spent in fruitless efforts to land, was at length forced to abandon the attempt.”
1852: “A fat bull, taken at Santa Barbara Island by the Mary Helen in 1852 was eighteen feet long and yielded two hundredand ten gallons of oil... THe oil is superior to whale oil for lubricant purposes and, when used in the lamp, gives a clear, odourless and smokeless flame...Owing to the continual pursuit of these animals, they have become nearly if not quite extinct on the California coast, or the few remaining have fled to some unknown point for security.” [Scammon, Charles M. Marine Mammals of the Northwest Coast of North America (1874)]
July 8, 1852 [DAC]: “Per S.S. Lewis—Left at Rio de Janeiro April 15th… July 4th passed a full rigged brig at anchor under Santa Barbara Island…”
October 4, 1856 [Prices Current Shipping List]: “Schr. Rising Sun. [Capt.] Adams, St. Nicholas, Santa Barbara Island, 12 days, 11 tons dried fish.”
October 13, 1856 [Prices Current Shipping List]: “Rising Sun. [Capt.] Adams, St. Nicholas, Santa Barbara Island—Capt. Adams.”
August 16, 1857 [W. E. Greenwell to A. D. Bache, Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey for 1857]: “U.S. Schooner Humboldt, Prisoners Harbor, Dear Sir: In comformity with your instructions of June 16th, I forward you a summary report of work executed the past year… There is something remarkable about this little island of Santa Barbara. It is constantly enveloped in fog, and even when the rest are bright and clear the fog seems to hang over this isolated rock without ever lifting…”
July 30, 1862 [SDU]: “Drowned. About the 10th of July, John Coats, a native of England, was thrown from a boat by the surf, at Santa Barbara Island, and carried off shore by the undertow. He had been engaged in taking seal oil, and the season had closed, with the exception of the blubber, which remained in the boat at the time of the sad accident. Some two hours afterwards his body was thrown on shore, and buried by his former companions. For several years past the deceased had been on the Southern coast, the greater part of the time at San Diego. He was much respected by all who knew him. His age was about twenty-eight years.”
1863: Naturalist J. G. Cooper camped on Santa Barbara Island with a party of sea lion hunters for 20 days in 1863:
- “May 24th I reached Santa Barbara Island distant 75 miles, after a sail of 48 hours from the town in the sloop Hamilton in which I engaged passage at a low cost, as the owners were going to the island to hunt sea lions for their oil. I encamped with the sealers for twenty days, a week longer than I wished, but was delayed by waiting for a vessel from San Pedro which was being expected, there being no other means of getting away. I found the Island to be composed entirely of vesicular basalt with very little tendency to a columnar structure and nothing like a volcanic crater or lava-streams. There is an imperfect terraced arrangement probably due to the action of water in the intervals of successive elevations of which three or four seem to have occurred since its elevation above the level of the sea. The whole surface is covered with a deep and apparently good soil, containing much lime, very light and ashy and averaging four or five feet deep. Though there are no bones or shells to be seen in this except on the supposition that it was in great degree formed by animal remains. Near the top there is a small bed of shells of living species and very fresh appearance, which I am satisfied were left by Indians, who formerly resorted there for seals, eggs, etc, and as on other islands kept sentinels on the high points, to watch for the approach of hostile or friendly canoes. These Indian remains may always be distinguished from fossils by their _____ appearance, and by consisting mostly of large shells, some of them broken to extract the animal. About 30 feet above the sea on the southwest face of the island, there is a raised beach containing undoubted fossils, most of which are now living about the island but no species of ______ has not been found on any rest of the coast of this state. The highest of the island is about 800 feet. There is no water on the island, except from rains. The island is now the resort of great numbers of seals, of the species called Sea Lions, and formerly was also frequented by hundreds of Sea Elephants, a much larger species of seal, now nearly exterminated along this coast. Myriads of birds of several species also come to it to lay their eggs. From these animals the large proportion of lime in the soil is derived, and is also washed into the surrounding water. This supplies material for the shells of great numbers of mollusks, which are therefore found in an abundance unusual on volcanic islands and not observed by me or any others. Not only do they abound in the water but the land is perfectly alive with snails of which I obtained three land species and a new genus (______). These land shells seem to have inhabited the island from a very early period, and fossil forms of the two larger species are found differing considerably from those now living. This is the stronger evidence of the geological periods, that I have ever met with. The beach being very rocky, without inlets or shelter is subject to the action of the waves to such a degree that few shells can remain more than a year on it and therefore a casual examination would induce the belief that they were scarce. It is only by long and careful search that much variety of species can be found, though some are abundant.”
April 11, 1878 [SBDP]: “William O. Mantor writes to the editor of the Morning Call as follows: I landed here October 14, 1850. I am a hunter, sealer and whaler, and have followed these occupations more or less. When I landed here fish were very plentiful, especially the spring school of salmon. Leopard seals were also found in abundance. Sea lions approached the rocks simply to rest; then they leave and others take their places… In the year 1856 I sealed on Santa Barbara Island. It was completely covered in the breeding season, and as to fish, I never saw so many in any one place in the northern hemisphere as I did there. I was there in 1871, and parties had been sealing up to that time, and found the seals were very scarce…”
September 22, 1879 [SBDP]: “The Coast Survey steamer McArthur is in the harbor, and will start in a few days for Santa Barbara Island to bring off the party working there.”
September 29, 1879 [SBDP]: “The McArthur will sail on Wednesday for Santa Barbara Island to bring off the surveying party which will have finished their work by that time.”
October 1, 1879 [SBDP]: “Coast Survey. Steamer McArthur leaves tomorrow for Santa Barbara Island to complete the survey there, which will occupy about ten days. She will then return here and take all those engaged in that branch of the Survey to Port Harford. From there the party will work southward as far as Point Concepcion. This port will be the headquarters of the ship, but she will only visit here about once a month. This is the best and most valuable place of refuge in case of stormy weather, therefore Port Harford people will be disappointed in their hopes of having the ship permanently located there.”
October 14, 1879 [SBDP]: “The work at Santa Barbara Island has been interrupted by fogs and bad weather, and the McArthur will not be back here for ten days more.”
September 20, 1880 [SBDP]: “The Coast Survey. Captain Forney has completed the survey of the islands and on Thursday evening returned to this place with his party. The work on Santa Barbara Island will be finished in about two weeks, and work will then be begun north of Point Concepcion working toward Port Harford…”
September 26, 1880 [LAH]: “Sailed September 23rd, sloop Flora, Perry, Master, for Santa Barbara Island, fishing.”
March 29, 1881 [LAH]: “Arrived March 24, schooner Alexander, McMillan, Master, 36 hours fro Santa Barbara Island, cargo of abalone shells to master.”
January 7, 1887 [DAC]: “San Pedro. January 6. Mr. Cushman, Mate, Alexander Valgren and Jacob Brown, seamen, the only three survivors, as far as known, of the ship Harvey Mills, which foundered in a severe gale sixty-three miles southwest of Cape Flattery, December 14, at 4 A.M., were taken off a portion of a deck house December 18th, by the ship Majestic, who brought them as far as Santa Barbara Island and they were then towed here in a small boat by the steamer Newport. Their limbs were badly swollen and they came ashore here for medical attendance, as they had used all of the Majestic’s medicine. Cushman went to San Francisco by the Orizaba today… Particulars of the wreck. On Wednesday morning, December 15th, the American ship Harvey Mills, was laying under lower topsails, when she commenced to go over on her beam ends… On Sunday morning the ship Majestic, bound for San Diego, took the men off the raft almost dead, their limbs badly swollen from exposure and salt water. Captain Bergman, of the Majestic, treated them with the utmost kindness, and when off Santa Barbara Island a small sailboat was sighted which took the men on board. Captain Bergman, having used all his medicine, thought best to send the men where they could get medical aid. The steamer Newport fell in with and towed the boat to San Pedro, arriving at 10 A.M. today…”
July 26, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The Ruby returned Saturday morning with a cargo of abalones from Santa Barbara Island. Captain Stevens verifies the statements recently published in the Examiner concerning the large number of the feline tribe which live upon this island and which so closely resemble the ordinary domestic cat.”
1897: J. R. Britton reports a “decaying beacon of the U.S. Coast Survey” on the island, the hut of a craw fisherman built of lath and canvas, and “a wooden trough and trying pot of cemented stone about which hangs an odor of seal oil, for within a decade Santa Barbara Island has been a favorite sealing place.” In addition, he reported: “Scattered about are skulls and hoofs of sheep put on the island as a business venture some years ago. For a time they throve; but a dry year came, the grass withered, and visiting fishermen found the poor brutes too weak from starvation to stand. Many died and the remainder were removed.” [Britton, J. R. Our Summer Isles in Land of Sunshine 7(192-197) 1897].
May 11, 1897 [LAT]: “The expedition under the auspices of the [Pasadena] Academy of Sciences will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) for scientific research on the Santa Barbara islands. A schooner has been chartered, and fully equipped. The party will consist of Joseph Grinnell, Horace Gaylord, Harry Galyord and James Britton. They will probably be joined later by Professor Hoag of Throop, and F. S. Daggett. The plan is to spend the first week on Santa Barbara Island, the second on San Nicolas, and about two weeks on San Clemente.”
May 31, 1897 [LAT/P]: “Harry D. Gaylord, one of the members of the expedition sent out under the auspices of the [Pasadena] Academy of Sciences, returned this morning from San Clemente Island. The other members of the party are still at the island, where Mr. Gaylord will rejoin them within a few days, having come back to Pasadena only to be present at the exercises of Memorial Day. Santa Barbara Island and San Nicolas Island were visited by the party, and at the latter, many interesting Indian relics were found. Three species of birds new to this coast have been discovered. The expedition is meeting with much success in its researches, and Mr. Gaylord speaks with enthusiasm of the work already accomplished.”
December 5, 1897 [NYT]: “A small rocky island, called Santa Barbara Rock, often visible from the Sierra Madres, is an interesting place to observe the passage of many birds, which seem to prefer the island route. It is also the breeding place of various birds, among the most interesting of which is a little auklet…”
January 17, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Nine location notices on Santa Barbara Island were filed in the Recorder’s office yesterday morning, by the Santa Barbara Island Oil Company. The company is composed of D. E. Blackburn, C. H. Knox and Thomas Barrett of San Francisco. The company proposes to prospect the island for oil.”
March 9, 1903 [LAH]: “Movement of local vessels. Sunday, March 8. Arrived. The power boat Clemente, Captain Roman, from Santa Barbara Island with 1300 pounds of rock cod for the Morgan Oyster Company.”
July 16, 1904 [SFCall]: “Spoken. Per schooner W. H. Smith, at San Pedro, from Everett, July 13 — off Santa Barbara Island.”
June 16, 1905 [LAT]: “Setting sail to race afar. South Coast Yacht Club’s run to islands… the regatta committee here selects a whole island as the outer mark. Santa Barbara Island, although small, has been considered sufficiently a fixture for the purpose of this race and the yachts have to sail around this before returning to the finish line off Terminal Island…”
July 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “A party of scientists under the charge of Professor C. C. Nutting, all of the biological station at Point Loma, are cruising about Santa Barbara Island on the launch Loma. The first object of the trip is to take soundings over a line between Point Loma and San Clemente Island, a distance of about 26 miles...”
September 8, 1905 [SBMP]: “President Roosevelt has issued a proclamation setting aside Santa Barbara Island for lighthouse purposes. Santa Barbara Island is one of the least important and most distant from the mainland of the Santa Barbara group of islands. It has little value for any industrial purpose. The proclamation is as follows: It is hereby ordered that an unsurveyed island, known as Santa Barbara Island, situated in the Pacific Ocean in approximate section 1, 2, 12, and 13, township 8 south range 21 west, San Bernardino meridian, containing approximately 638.72 acres be and it is hereby reserved for lighthouse purpose.”
May 25, 1906 [SBMP]: “Frank Nidever, captain of the launch Irene, has recently returned from a trip to Santa Barbara Island. Nidever reports that there two Japanese abalone camps on the island, and that according to statements of the fishermen themselves, the grounds will be about cleaned out within a month. When there are no more shellfish to be taken, one outfit will move to San Miguel and the other will locate on either Santa Cruz or Anacapa. ”
November 19, 1908 [LAH]: “Long Beach. November 18. To make Santa Barbara Island, forty-five miles from land, a summer resort, which will rival Catalina is the plan of A. C. Malone and H. S. Callahan of the Nelson Navigation Company. They returned from a trip to the island last night. They propose to lease the island from the government, build a pier and conduct excursions.”
March 10, 1909 [SBMP]: “Santa Barbara Island for rent. That Uncle Sam would make a very poor real estate agent is indicated by the advertisement for the lease of Santa Barbara Island, which the government has just issued. In the bald statement of the attractions of the little island off the coast of California, no attempt is made to gloss over its many drawbacks as a place of residence. The advertisement of a request for bids in all its brutal frankness reads as follows: ‘The island is about forty miles from the mainland, is about one and one-half miles long and one mile wide. The Pacific Coast Pilot states that there is no wharf on the island and no grass, but plenty of prickly pear and shrubs. The island rises to an elevation of 547 feet. Landing is at all times difficult and can be effected at only two places. The anchorage is in eight fathoms of water, with clean sandy bottom, but no good holding ground.” Also March 15, 1909 [SBI]
March 21, 1909 [SFCall]: “A modest request for a free advertisement comes from Major C. H. McKinstry of the engineer corps, not on behalf of himself, but to help out Uncle Sam, who is poor and needs this money. Major McKinstry, although of the army, is in some sort of concern with maritime doings in that he sets the beacon lights that guide the salty wanderer home. Major McKinstry, then, as commander of lighthouses, offers an island for lease. He does not pretend that it is a desirable island. There is neither water nor grass on its arid slopes, but plenty of cactus, not edible. To be sure, Major McKinstry calls this vegetable ‘prickly pear,’ which might suggest a relationship with something good to eat, but that is merely the inalienable right of the auctioneer to make the best of a bad bargain. If there is any man with courage sufficient to propose himself for lessee of Santa Barbara Island for the term of five years, he should communicate with Major McKinstry. From hint this daring bidder will learn not so much the things that he may do to this barren principality as what he may not do thereon. For instance: ‘That no permanent building shall be erected by the lessee upon the grounds leased, and that all buildings or structures of any kind which may be erected by the lessee, his executors or administrators, during the said term thereof, shall be removed within two (2) months from the date of the expiration of this lease, or from the date of the receipt of notice of revocation, and the grounds and adjacent waters shall be left in as good condition as when occupied by the lessee, his executors or administrators. All buildings or structures not thus removed within the limit of time above mentioned shall become the property of the United States. No excavation orders other than for building purposes shall be made, and no soil or other material whatsoever shall be removed from the lighthouse reservation, nor shall any trees or standing timber thereon be cut down.’ If an unruly tenant should undertake to dig up the island by the roots he knows what will happen, and the provision affecting his executors indicates what may be expected to happen before the lease is out. The tenant is further pledged to treat the Pacific ocean with consideration, lest his advantage of position might tempt him to spoil it. On the whole it seems as if Uncle Sam regarded his prospective tenants with no little suspicion. The Call wishes Uncle Sam a good delivery of his bargain offering and hopes that no wicked men will abuse his confidence by applying his derelict island for the purpose of a gambling resort, which appears to be almost the only form of industry not forbidden by the specifications.”
April 20, 1909 [SBI]: “Small offer for an island. When bids for the lease of Santa Barbara Island near the Mexican line were opened yesterday in the office of the lighthouse engineer for the Twelfth District, it was found that few persons were willing to relieve the government of the care of the barren island. Only four bids were submitted, and bidders offered from $10 to $26 a year for the privilege of occupying the island. In a circular which the government sent out when advertising for a tenant, brutal frankness was exhibited in describing the disadvantages of the place, and even the cheeriest optimist could hardly have been favorably impressed. The bids will be forwarded to Washington, with the recommendation that the highest be accepted, and probably the offer of $26 a year, made by J. G. Howland of Los Angeles, will be accepted.”
July 1, 1909 [SBMP]: “That the Navy Department is at last evincing an interest in our channel and shortly will install a series of safeguards for shipping is evidenced in a communication received by a prominent Santa Barbaran… Listed in the proposed safety installations are a light and fog signal station and siren costing $100,000 for Anacapa; a light and fog signal station and siren costing $20,000 for Santa Rosa Island, and a fog signal station (siren) costing $24,000 for Santa Barbara Island...”
June 27, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Charm made a somewhat mysterious cruise last week to Santa Barbara Island, one of the most distant of the channel group. Local prospectors were said to be on board, but whether they were in search of buried treasure or a coral reef is not admitted.”
July 27, 1910 [LAH]: “Santa Monica. July 26. Bound for the Malibu ranch country, a party of well-known citizens of the beach will leave early tomorrow morning in the launch Emma for a hunting and fishing trip… A visit to Santa Barbara Island is also included in the voyage of the Emma…”
August 6, 1911 [LAT]: “Around Santa Barbara Isle. Three fast craft start in race. At 10:30 o’clock yesterday morning the three entries of the South Coast Yacht Club for the second leg of the yacht race around Santa Barbara Island crossed the starting line off the San Pedro breakwater and, with fair breeze from the southwest, set out on their course north…”
July 21, 1912 [LAT]: “Cruising in the channel… The yawl Clipper, owned by Ben Weston, visited Santa Barbara Island and San Nicolas Island. The start was made from San Pedro breakwater… From Johnson’s Landing [Santa Catalina Island] the start was made for Santa Barbara Island… At present there is no animal life on the place with the exception of sea birds that make it their home. On the west slopes of the hill, on bluffs that drop a hundred or more feet to the water, hundreds of sea gulls, loons, shags, and pelicans have their nests and raise their young… The only sign of human life is the hut of some Jap fishermen, which is stuck in a niche in the east side. All around the island are caves and blowholes…”
October 3, 1912 [LAT]: “J. R. Slevin, of the San Francisco Academy of Science, returned today from a five days’ cruise in the launch Flyer to Santa Barbara Island. He brought back several glass jars of little reptiles and a sack full of live island lizards.”
1914: The Hyders move to Santa Barbara Island.
July 31, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “En route to Santa Barbara Island the three kelp cutters, Joplin, Bacchus, and Kenbil of the Hercules Powder Company, arrived in this port Saturday morning. It is expected that the cutting operations will commence at Santa Barbara Island about Wednesday.”
June 7, 1919 [SBMP]: “Uncle Sam has a pair of islands to rent. He wishes to lease San Nicolas and Santa Barbara for a period of five years, reserving the right to take any timer, stone, sand or other materials he may require. The highest and best bidder will get the lease, with the approval of the secretary of commerce. San Nicolas Island is 55 miles west of Santa Barbara. It is approximately seven and three-fourth miles long, and the average width is two and one-half miles. The highest point on the island is 890 feet. Most of the area, about two thirds, is covered with sand; the balance has coarse grass and scrub oak. All rights to maintain postlights, roads and landings are reserved by the government, and the lease may be revoked at any time. J. G. Howland of Los Angeles is the present holder of the lease. Santa Barbara Island, 60 miles off the coast and lying between Anacapa and Catalina, is a rather small affair, one and a half miles long and a mile wide. There is no water on the island and no grass, but plenty of prickly shrubbery. The island rises to a height of 547 feet and landing is at all times difficult.”
June 10, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Captain Ira Eaton of the Sea Wolf is mourning the loss of two valuable nets swept overboard last week while hunting seals off Santa Barbara Island. Eaton and his crew spent ten days in an unsuccessful survey of the island coves, where they went in quest of seals and sea lions to fill an order from Captain George McGuire. Weather conditions and the roughness of the water were mainly responsible for the crew’s failure and Eaton expects to return soon with new apparatus, and every hope of success.”
June 19, 1919 [SBDNI]: “Santa Barbara and San Nicolas islands that lie about midway between the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and Catalina and about sixty miles off shore are for rent. In the Ventura courthouse the terms of lease and description of the islands are filed… Santa Barbara Island is a rather small affair, one and one-half miles long and a mile wide. There is no water on the island and no grass, but plenty of prickly-peared shrub. The island rises to a height of 547 feet and landing is at all times difficult.”
January 20, 1934 [SDET]: “Isles off southern coast to get lights. Seven new lights are to be established Feb. 10 on islands off the coast, according to report by Capt. H. W. Rhodes, superintendent of lighthouses for the 18th district. Two of the lights are to be placed on San Clemente Island, one at China Point, the second at Pyramid Head and the third at the end of the headland at the northerly end of San Clemente. The other four lights are to be established on San Nicolas Island, Catalina Island (east end and west end), and Santa Barbara Island.”
1938: Santa Barbara Island is designated a National Monument under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act of 1938.
World War II: The U.S. Navy used the island as an early warning outpost, and in the 1950s they established a missile tracking station.
January 22, 1955 [OPC]: “Three men escaped uninjured yesterday when they were forced to crash land their Piper Cub plane on rocky Santa Barbara Island, due west of Catalina… The plane had taken off from Long Beach airport, but was forced to make the emergency landing because of ignition failure… A PBM patrol bomber sighted the crashed aircraft and reported the men were apparently uninjured…"
November 26, 1955 [SHNY]: “San Diego. A U.S. Coast Guard plane bombed Santa Barbara Island. The bombs were forty 25-pound sacks of poisoned barley. Their target was 50,000 rabbits. Donald Robinson, Department of the Interior, said: ‘We had to do it. The rabbits were eating the island’s foliage faster than it can grow.’”
July 13, 1956 [Amarillo Globe-Times]: “Jack Forbes, a 22-year-old graduate student attending the University of Southern California, didn't tell the truth on the Truth or Consequences show two Friday's ago. So for the next two months, he'll be paying the consequences. He stands to win $10,000; but see what he has to go through. The bachelor will be completely isolated on Santa Barbara Island, 60 miles off the California coast, with the exception of 7,000 seals, seagulls aplenty and a few wild rabbits, according to the 1954 census. Television, radio, newspapers and periodicals are taboo. He will be without any contact with the outside world. Forbes will spend most of his time reading and working on two 40-page papers which are part of his study for a doctorate degree. A Phi Beta Kappa, Forbes has completed his Masters degree on the history of the Yuma Indians and expects to receive his Ph.D. on the Apache Indians in 1958. But how can he win the $10,000 grand prize? When Jack returns to the show on Friday, August 31, he will be asked to anticipate correctly the answer to six current event questions — covering news that occurred after he was taken to the Island.”
September 8, 1956 [Long Beach Press Telegram]:
September 8, 1956 [San Bernardino County Sun]: “TV stunt loses its fun for copter pilot. Port Hueneme - A television stunt lost its humor Friday for a helicopter pilot, who almost became a channel swimmer against his wishes. Bob Gallbreath's helicopter was forced down in the ocean between remote Santa Barbara Island and the Southern California Coast. He was en route to the island to pick up a television program contestant. The fishing boat Linda Lee picked up Gallbreath as he swam near his helicopter. An amphibian was sent for Jack Forbes, a student who had been on the desolate island since June 30 as part of a TV stunt program.”
1980 ~ Channel Islands National Park was created on March 5, 1980 when President Carter signed Public Law 96-199, which calls for the protection of
- the nationally significant natural, scenic, wildlife, marine, ecological, archaeological, cultural, and scientific values of the Channel Islands in the State of California.
March 6, 2007 [The Log]: “Santa Barbara Island remains closed due to lack of access. Recent storms significantly damaged island’s landing dock. CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK — Access to Santa Barbara Island, which was initially closed to the public more than one year ago, remains limited due to a damaged public dock. The landing dock is the only access point to the island for boaters. High surf from a couple storms initially damaged the public dock and the access ladder in December 2016 and January. The recent storms Southern California experienced caused significant damage to the pier pilings and the dock building. Waves hit the dock building and damaged a portion of the building. The island is in need of temporary as well as long-term repairs. Even the trails were damaged from the recent storms. “We are going to have to do temporary repairs to the dock and the trails before we open it up to the public,” Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Yvonne Menard stated. Before repairs can begin, a proposal with estimated costs needs to be completed. Funds will be required as well, according to Menard. “Engineers have been to the site to access both the temporary and permanent access via the dock. The final report is not out until later this month,” Menard said. “Once we get the report, we have to see if we can get any short term solutions in terms of funding support.” Park staff was on the island when the damage occurred. Staff has to be transported to and from the island via helicopter. Capt. Holly Scott, owner and publisher of Charlie’s Charts Cruising Guide, conducted a workshop about the Channel Islands at the Women’s Sailing Convention in Newport Beach Feb. 4. She pointed out there is only one cove to anchor at Santa Barbara Island and one public dock to access the island. Scott advised boaters arriving at Santa Barbara Island to have a dinghy big enough for the swells but light enough to be able to pull it up the ladder of the pier. Boaters who have tied their dinghy to the dock ended up stranded on the island when the dinghy gets punctured and deflates, Scott warned. Scott also informed the workshop attendees of the damaged landing dock and no access to Santa Barbara Island at this time. “The landing takes a lot of abuse from the swells,” Scott said in an email to The Log. Alternative methods to access the island for private boaters will be looked into, according to Menard. “I can’t say that [Santa Barbara Island will be open by summer]. It is too preliminary right now,” Menard commented. “I can say we want to open it as soon as it’s feasible and safe.”