From Islapedia
Rose Parade Santa Catalina Island float, 1925
Santa Catalina cowboys, 1930s


In the News~

1542: Cabrillo named this island San Salvador. Bartolomé Ferrelo, pilot for Juan Rodríquez Cabrillo during his explorations of Alta California in 1542, carried on the expedition after his captain’s death somewhere near San Miguel Island. According to George Davidson of the United States Coast Survey: “Ferrelo evidently anchored off the north side of Santa Catalina Island. On his plan of Catalina Island he clearly indicates the locality of the great depression; and a small circle denotes the position of the so-called Temple to the Sun.” (Davidson Appendix No. 7, Report for 1886, 1887).

November 25, 1602: the feast day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, is the date Santa Catalina Island was named by Sebastian Vizcaino. It retained this name. Vizcaino spent the last four days of November 1602 on Santa Catalina Island.

1805-7 February 21, 1932 [LAT]: “…In 1805 Captain William Shaler of the Lelia Byrd landed at Catalina, and believing himself the first explorer, named it Port Rouissillon. He reported finding about 150 inhabitants on the island. In 1807 Jonathan Winship of the O’Cain found only fifty Indians there…”

January 1, 1808 [AR]: “Journal of a Voyage between China and the North-Western Coast of America made in 1804. Sunday morning, the 8th of February I left Canton, and arrived, in the evening, on board the Lelia Byrd, a few leagues below Whampoa; we got immediately underweigh… Directly opposite to San Pedro lies the island of Santa Catalina, on the north side of which is a small but very fine port, where ships of any burden may ride in the most perfect safety at all seasons. As it is always smooth in this port, it is peculiarly proper for careening and repairing ships: there are several springs of water in its neighborhood, which afford a sufficient supply of that necessary article at all times, and of the best quality. The proximity of this island to all this coast, from Point Conception to San Juan Capistrano, renders its port of importance, as a winter harbour, to all ships that may have any thing to do there in that season…”

1826-1827: “As early as 1826 or '27 the Mexican governor, Echeandia, appears to have entertained fears of American usurpation. Hittell* says: "The general feeling of distrust against Americans was further exhibited in 1827, in reference to a house erected in 1826 by Captain Cunningham of the American ship Courier, on Santa Catalina Island. It is not unlikely that the maintenance of this establishment, though claimed to be for hunting purposes, may have had something to do with illicit trade.” (Williamson, Mrs. M. Burton. The History of Santa Catalina Island, 1903.)

December 24, 1846 [NHP]: “Claims on Mexico. Claim No. 17. Ship Franklin and Brig Barrian of Boston— These vessels formed an expedition, owned and fitted out by sundry persons of Boston and Salem at an expense of $90,175.02. In pursuiance of their instructions they traded at various places on the coast of California, paying the customary duties. On the 16th May, 1828, they were forbid further trading till the whole cargo was landed at St. Diego and all duties paid to the Commanding General of California. Declining to do this, they proceeded to the island of St. Catalina to land and cure hides. Concluding to return to St. Diego, they then, under a written agreement with the Governor, landed all their cargo not left at the island, which was estimated at $47,292, the duties of which were $13,005.30. Eschandia, the Governor, then gave them a written permission to continue their trade and to remove the property left at St. Catalina. Subsequently, on asking for their ship’s papers, they were refused on the pretext that the vessel had been to St. Catalina, contrary to some regulation of which they knew nothing. Not withstanding the trumped up charge of smuggling was proved false, the Mexicans put a guard on board the vessel and commenced removing her cargo. The captain at length refusing to allow any more to go on shore, no condemnation of the vessel being shown, the Mexican officers and soldiers went ashore. The next day the vessels put to sea under a destructive fire from the fort. They left debts due from individuals and missions to the amount of $38,919.04, besides goods deposited as security for duties, which, with the packages taken from the ship, run up the whole claim for damages to $53,657.54. The whole property was afterwards confiscated without judicial prejudice.”

1852 Santa Catalina [George Davidson]: "This island rises to a height of about 3,000 feet, and is remarkable for the great transverse break or depression, five miles from the northern end, running partly through it, and forming an anchorage or cove at each side. The land connecting these is very low, say not over 30 feet; but the hills rise up on each side two or three thousand feet, and, when sighted from the north or south, the whole appears like two very high islands. The Coast Survey chart for 1852 shows this very beautifully, and is highly characteristic....

"The soundings around the island show bold water, from 19 to 75 fathoms, close in shore, with no outlying rocks except off the north cove. The shores are rocky, and on the southern side fearfully precipitous, but on the northern shore there are several indentations, where boats may land at almost any season. Deep and precipitous gulches are formed by the ridges of rock running diagonally across the island from NE. to SW., and occasionally a small valley varies the scene. Four or five settlers cultivate these spots, but their inconsiderable extent precludes the realizing of anything beyond a bare sustenance. About midway between the SE. point good water has been obtained by sinking wells to a depth of fifty feet or more, but in the intermediate places water found at the same depth is brackish. There is a large pond obtained for fire-wood, and a growth of thorny bushes cover the whole island, rendering travelling very difficult. The island was partially stocked with cattle and sheep, and at one time vast numbers of wild goats abounded, but they have helped to supply the California market with fresh meat."

November 12, 1852 [DAC]: “Arrived. Schooner Queen of the West, [Captain] Sweet, 11 days from Catalina Island, fish to master.”

November 16, 1852 [DAC]: “Arrived. Schooner Queen of the West, [Captain] Sweet, 11 days from Catalina Island, fish to master.”

December 7, 1852: Natural History Museum Los Angeles County. Del Valle Family Papers: 794 LG Letter from Jose Maria Covarrubias at Santa Barbara to Ygnacio del Valle requesting information on the amount of back taxed for which Castec ranch was sold in order that he might raise the money to redeem it. He also requests the same information on the Island of Santa Catalina. 2pp. Span.

January 24, 1853 [DAC]: “Arrived. Schooner J. W. Brown, [Captain] Harris, 6 days from Catalina Island, 1000 fish to master.”

February 12, 1853 [San Joaquin Republican]: “Los Angeles County Population, 7831... Goats, (principally wild on Catalina Island) 7,000...”

June 25, 1853 [NYD]: “The U.S. surveying schooner Ewing, Lieutenant Stevens, was at San Pedro on the 20th instant, and would leave next day for Catalina Island. Lieutenant George Davidson was actively engaged in the performance of his duties as Chief Assistant of the Coast Survey.”

February 18, 1854 Los Angeles Star:

February 18, 1854 Los Angeles Star

July 19, 1855 [SBG]: “The U.S. surveying schooner Ewing arrived in our harbor on Saturday evening last, from the island of Anacapa, where she has been engaged in the duties of the survey. A party have been landed here, who will proceed to the neighborhood of San Buenaventura, where they will probably remain some time. The Ewing sailed yesterday for the Island of Santa Catalina to continue the survey.”

February 21, 1856 [SBG]: “The schooner Rambler, [Captain] Woodbury, arrived on Monday from the island of Santa Catalina, and sailed the next day for the same island.”

May 29, 1856 [SBG]: “We learn from Captain Phillips that the whole amount of produce shipped this year from the island of Santa Catalina consists of three sacks of potatoes. The drought has been so severe that their fields are parched up. The settlers, fourteen in number, begin to fear that they shall be compelled to abandon their settlements and return to the mainland. The island abounds with wild goats, which do not appear to be sensibly diminished in number, though several thousand have already been caught and sold to butchers.”

July 17, 1856 [SBG]: “Died on the 27th ult., on the Island of Santa Catalina, Mr. Samuel A. Prentice, aged 83 years. The deceased was an otter hunter and had been in the country thirty years. He was buried on the island.”

January 22, 1857 [SBG]: “The schooner Victoria, [Captain] Peabody, arrived in this port on the 16th instant, from Santa Catalina Island, with a cargo of fish. Reports the Ella Fisher, [Captain Martin] Kimberly, left Santa Catalina on the 15th on a cruise down the coast after otters.”

September 28, 1857 [DAC]: “…Having visited and examined San Clemente, Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, Santa Cruz, and San Miguel, we [Coast Survey] found them offering no inducements for agriculture, and very few indeed for raising stock, whilst there are so many advantages on the main[land]. In a few words, we may characterize their disadvantages as: want of water and want of fuel, with high, bold and rugged sides, which in many places become precipitous…”

November 26, 1863 [Henry Hancock to Lieut. Col. James F. Curtis]: “Sir: I have the honor to report that at 8 P.M. of the 22nd instant I arrived at Fisherman’s Harbor, Island of Catalina, with two enlisted men of Company C… having sailed from the port of San Pedro on the sloop Ned Beal, burden 17 28/100 tons, owned by Spencer W. Wilson of Wilson’s Harbor, Island of Catalina… The population of the island is about 100, one-half of whom are miners… The present number of sheep is about 15,000, nine thousand of which belong to Mr. Spencer W. Wilson. Of goats there are some 7,000 or 8,000. Of cattle and horses there are not many… John Johnson, ten years a resident, 200 head of cattle… Spencer H. Wilson, five years a resident; 10 head of cattle… Juan Cota, 400 head cattle… Swain Lawson, 10 head cattle…”

March 5, 1864 [LAS]: “San Pedro Mining Company, located on Catalina Island, Capital stock, $54,000; No. of Shares, 5,400 at $10 each. The Trustees are Gabriel Allen, H. Dockweiler, Oscar Macy, A. R. Davis and O. W. Childs.”

April 28, 1864 [TFC]: “The Island of Santa Catalina. The San Francisco papers state that the Government has directed the military occupation of the large island of Santa Catalina, which fronts the bay of San Pedro, on the southern coast of California. The island has of late become important from the fact that numerous rich mines have been discovered there. It possesses a fine harbor, which will no doubt be made available as a naval as well as military depot. It has been rumored for some time past that this island was to be made the rendezvous of rebel pirates, who were to make an attempt at capturing some of the treasure-laden Panama steamers and then strike a blow at our whole commerce on the Pacific; and it is not impossible that these circumstances may have led to the occupation of the island.”

1867 PLAT MAP OF SANTA CATALINA ISLAND identifies the following named locations:

  • Ballast Point
  • Bird Island
  • Cherry Valley (Harbor)
  • Fisherman's Harbor
  • Howland's Harbor
  • Isthmus Harbor
  • Johnston's (Harbor)
  • July Harbor
  • Little Harbor
  • Long Point
  • Pott Valley (Harbor)
  • Santa Catalina Harbor [Cat Harbor]
  • Seal Rock
  • White's Valley (Harbor)
  • Wilson's Harbor

July 4, 1867 [Wilmington Journal]: “Catalina Island—The beauty of this island has long been conceded, by the many visitors who come hither seeking health in the soft sea air of the beach and invigorating atmosphere of the high mountains. The hospitality of the inhabitants is equally a matter of general comment, though just praise. Never, within the memory of the oldest inhabitants, has the island known such a gala day. I am so full of its many joys, that sleep refuses to be my comforter. I will, therefore, put in a little of the remaining morning, in giving your readers an imperfect hint, of the joyful manner, in which this, the eighty-first birthday of American Independence, passed. One of our big-hearted and patriotic citizens, opened wide the doors of his mansion, on the 4th, and the fatted calf was barbecued. Last night, the invited of Clemente Island arrived in the Ire Bryant. Early this morning, those from the main land and the resident Islanders, began to flock in. Capt. Louis of the brig Flying FIsh, of San Pedro, brought over some twenty persons. While the Pioneer, Ned Beale, Eliza and Lark, of the same place, were filled with the youth and beauty of Los Angeles County. One hundred and twenty shots from an old fashioned horse pistol, welcomed the arriving guests, and opened the coming festivities of the day. This was the only war-like instrument we had on the island. It was thought best to fire a good many times, so as to make up in quantity what was lacking in quality. This point was settled by the chief marshal of the day, Don Santos Cota. There was some little difficulty experienced in landing the ladies, who forgot to wear high topped waterproof boots, but this was obviated by the well known gallantry of the dozen resident bachelors, who immediately volunteered to wade into the surf and bear the beauties safely to the shore. This scene was decidedly interesting to us married men on the beach; still the bachelors seemed to like it, and the younger ladies played the vaquero with great ease and grace. The brass band of Santa Barbara, discoursed music during the day. In a beautiful grove speeches, toasts, &c. were attentively listened to, which was followed by singing patriotic airs by the glee club of Catalina Island, led by Juan Alvarado. The Declaration of Independence was read by Mr. Wm. Howard, prefaced by a speech, calling attention to that clause declaring 'all men equal.' The oration of the day was delivered by Don Pablo Reys, who declared himself for equal suffrage. This part of the days' exercises was closed by singing "rally round the flag boys", by Don Francsico Guerrero, the audience joining in the chorus. The meeting adjourned to the house, with three hearty cheers and a tiger for the nation. The dinner was superb. Wine flowed freely and a hearty good cheer was the order of the meal. After the feast of good things, the younger portion of the visitors took to the boats, and an exciting sailing match on "the waters of the glad blue sea" ensued. The Flying Fish, Capt. Louis, distanced all competitors. As the shadows of the night approached the band began their music. The old folks might repose, and the light fantastic toes kept time to the merry tunes of the band. The dancers were much startled by the display of fire works, which consisted of a bunch of fire crackers, the firing of which was enlivened by the burning of several Chinese "hair tails", cut from the heads of some Chinese fishermen of Clemente Island, for this special occasion. The dancing was kept up until the morning. The guests are gone, the joys are ended, but the hearty mirth of this day will long be recalled by the one who looked on.“

July 6, 1872 [SBT]: “Sale of Catalina Island. The largest land sale ever effected in this county was made on the 19th of this month, as appears from the records at the County Clerk’s office. The property disposed of in the indenture, which is an agreement to convey within twelve months from its date on payment of the consideration, embraces the whole of Catalina Island, opposite San Pedro bay. The consideration for which Mr. James Lick, of Santa Clara, has agreed to convey this island is $1,250,000—the largest sum ever paid for any piece of property within this county. Governor John G. Downey, Don John Foster, and Mr. Max Strobel are the purchasers. The island is now used for grazing, affording a fine pasturage for thousands of sheep. The prospective value of the island consists of its undeveloped mineral deposits, among which there are numerous veins of argentiferous galena of great richness. It also contains some of the most valuable deposits of copper ore on this coast. All these mineral deposits will sooner or later be worked, enriching the adventurous and benefiting the entire country. Los Angeles News, 30th ult.”

July 6, 1872 [SBWP]: “Catalina Island, in the Bay of San Pedro, has been sold for $1,250,000, the heaviest real estate sale ever made in this country. The purchasers are J. G. Downey, Don Juan Forster, and others.”

October 5, 1872 [Weekly Alta California]: “The Los Angeles Ranchos... Catalina Island, James Lick... San Clemente Island. Unrecorded...”

June 24, 1874 [AC]: “The fortune of James Lick, the California Peabody, is estimated at from $4,000,000 to $5,000,000. He owns the whole island of Santa Catalina, containing nearly 45,000 acres, and valued at $1,000,000…”

November 28, 1874 [NYT]: “James Lick’s estate. The greater portion sold for nearly two million dollars. The greater part of the real estate of James Lick, deeded for the benefit of the people of California to T. H. Selby and others, Trustees, was sold yesterday for the aggregate amount of $1,999,385… Santa Catalina Island, containing 45,000 acres, was withheld because important discoveries of mineral wealth are expected or hoped for there soon…”

April 2, 1876 [NYT]: “San Francisco. A statement authorized on semi-official authority asserts that frauds on the Customs amounting to from five to seven million dollars per year have been perpetrated here… It is also stated that a large amount of Mexican wool enters the country free from duty, being landed on Catalina Island, off the southern coast, where there is a fine harbor and no Customs officers, and thence shipped here as the product of the island…”

May 7, 1877 [SBDP]: “The body of Edward Tittmann, Esq., who died of consumption at Santa Catalina Island on Thursday, was brought to this city yesterday by Captain Forney and O. H. Tittmann, brother of the deceased. Mr. Tittmann was a prominent lawyer of St. Louis and had gone to the island for the benefit of his health.”

June 17, 1877 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom brought a load of wool and abalone shells from Catalina Island.”

December 15, 1877 [SBDN]: “The United States Coast Survey steamer Hassler touched at Santa Monica wharf last Friday evening, and remained until the next day, when she left for Santa Catalina Island. We have been told that the Hassler will cruise about in the waters of this locality for some time.”

March 5, 1878 [SBDP]: “Captain Jerome, a sheep owner of Catalina Island, attempted to commit suicide the other day by cutting his throat and some of the arteries in his arms with a small pen-knife. He was looked after by his men and removed to Los Angeles.”

April 3, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Coast Survey steamer Hassler has sailed from San Diego for the island of Santa Catalina.”

April 20, 1878 [SBDP]: “The U.S. Coast Survey steamers McArthur and Hassler put in an appearance at Santa Monica Saturday and Sunday for supplies. The former is operating in the vicinity of Point Dume, and the latter around Catalina Island.”

May 4, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Matinee returned today from her trip to Mr. Senter’s ranch in Lower California. She will take a surveying party to Santa Catalina Island tonight.”

June 17, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Star of Freedom brought a load of wool and abalone shells from Catalina Island.”

June 30, 1878 [Stehman Forney to Mr. Carlile Pollock Patterson, Superintendent, U.S. Coast Survey]: “Catalina Island… In compliance with your instructions of March 21, 1878, I organized my party and resumed the survey of Catalina Island April 9th… The fieldwork of April, May and June of this year was very much retarded by fog and rains, of which we have had an unusual amount this season. I hope to complete the survey of this island by the 1st of September next…”

June 25, 1878 [SBDP]: “The McArthur left yesterday morning and the Hassler last night, the one bound for Santa Catalina Island and the other for San Diego.”

July 27, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Hassler left Santa Monica on Tuesday for Santa Catalina Island.”

August 16, 1878 [SBDP]: “A yacht now runs between Wilmington and Santa Catalina Island for the accommodation of excursionists.”

August 28, 1878 [SBDP]: “Stone for the Wilmington breakwater is to be taken from Santa Catalina Island.”

August 30, 1878 [SBDP]: “Santa Catalina Island has been somewhat of a resort for camping parties this season.”

September 7, 1878 [SBWP]: “Santa Catalina Island has been somewhat of a resort for camping parties this season.”

September 27, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Hassler, which has been at work about Catalina Island, has got through there, and for the present will work between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands, and also do some work outside the islands.”

October 14, 1878 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived Saturday afternoon from Santa Catalina Island, where she has been undergoing painting inside and out. She is loaded with fifteen tons of coarse gravel for garden walks.”

July 21, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise arrived Saturday with a cargo of mutton sheep from Catalina Island.”

1880 Santa Catalina Island Census:

  • 1. Peter Brown (c. 1841) Holland
  • 2. Frank P. Whittley (c. 1848) Lower California
  • 3. Raphael Ruis (c. 1846) California
  • 4. Nita Ruis (c. 1860) California
  • 5. Sing Lung (c. 1859) China
  • 6. Sam (c. 1854) China
  • 7. Hep Wo (c. 1838) China
  • 8. Chow (c. 1860) China
  • 9. Sin Sum (c. 1841) China
  • 10. Alex Robertson (c. 1826) Denmark
  • 11. Luce Robertson (c. 1830) California
  • 12. Robert Boag (c. 1828) Ireland
  • 13. Mary O. Boag (c. 1832) Pennsylvania
  • 14. Charles E. Boag (c. 1868) Iowa
  • 15. Francis R. Boag (c. 1872) Iowa
  • 16. Henry C. Baily (c. 1830) Kentucky
  • 17. Harriet A. Baily (c. 1829) Kentucky
  • 18. Embetta Baily (c. 1854) California
  • 19. Hattie F. Baily (c. 1856) California
  • 20. Walter S. Baily (c. 1858) California
  • 21. Ida M. Baily (c. 1860) California

[1880]: “There are two islands comprised within the limits of Los Angeles county, viz: Santa Catalina and San Clemente. Santa Catalina is the most important. It contains forty-eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-five one-hundredths acres of land, and is owned by the heirs of James Lick, deceased; this gentleman (in company with ___ Ray and others of San Francisco) having purchased it from the United States government in 1864 for $12,000. In November 1874, this land was offered for sale by Mr. Lick’s heirs. The price asked was one million dollars. It had formerly been held at one million five hundred thousand dollars. A purchaser was not found… It is now used almost entirely for sheep pasturage — formerly for cattle. There are good indications of silver and lead in different portions of the island, and persons are still living thereon, who for years have prospected for these metals without financial result. It is entirely destitute of timber and but poorly watered. The island has evidently been at one time densely populated by Indians. Many relics have been found, viz, earthen pots, stone weapons, bones and ashes of the dead. An interesting collection of these has lately been taken to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D.C. It is a place of much resort in the summertime, for fishing and bathing. A large portion of the fish used in Los Angeles are supplied from its fishing grounds. There is an excellent land-locked harbor on the west side, near the north end of the island. During the Civil War it was used as a military station.” [Thompson & West. History of Los Angeles County, 1880].

April 9, 1880 [SBDP]: “More seals wanted. The seal business of Santa Barbara is looking up. Rogers Brothers received a day or two ago a dispatch from Captain Weber of San Francisco, who, it will be remembered, was here a few weeks ago for the purpose of taking seals, but returned unsuccessful, stating that he wanted fifty seals, and also a letter from the manager of Woodward’s Gardens, San Francisco, inquiring as to the probable cost of the capture of six seals for that pleasure resort. The schooner Surprise, which is owned by the Rogers Brothers, is expected back today from Catalina Island where she has been undergoing repairs, when she will be fitted up and started with a party for the San Miguel Island or Anacapa, and make another attempt to fill the orders.”

April 12, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise came in yesterday from Catalina Island, having on board 90 seal skins, 40 sacks of abalone meat, and 40 sacks of shells.”

January 28, 1882 [LAT]: “A heavy snow storm was experienced off Catalina Island last week resulting in the loss of a large number of sheep. The schooner P. F. Whittley went ashore there and it was with only superhuman efforts that she was saved from becoming a total wreck. The result, however, is nothing worse than the loss of two anchors and part of her sails.”

May 14, 1882 [LAT]: “Mr. C. A. Mosher proposes to get up an excursion to Catalina Island, about the first week in July. The steamer, Newport, will be chartered to convey the excursionists to the island, where it is proposed to stay about two weeks, hunting, fishing, and general enjoyment.”

May 16, 1882 [LAT]: “Ho! For Catalina! Clipper yacht Ida, Captain Hillyer, will run between San Pedro and Catalina Island. The Ida was built for the San Francisco Yacht Club, has been the winner of several races, and is an extra fast vessel. Address Captain James, agent, San Pedro.”

May 18, 1882 [LAT]: “For Catalina! The well-known schooner, Sierra, will make regular trips between the ports of San Pedro and Catalina, commencing about June 1st. Parties desiring to visit the island sooner than that time can do so by applying to Captain H. Lonneis, San Pedro.”

June 4, 1882 [LAT]: “…Santa Catalina Island has the promise of many visitors this summer.”

June 6, 1882 [LAT/SP]: “Sailed. June 4th, yacht Ida, with passengers for Santa Catalina. Arrived. June 5th, yacht Ida, Santa Catalina.”

June 22, 1882 [LAT]: “San Gabrielites visit Catalina for sport… At Wilmington they engaged a fishing smack for use at the island, and a portion of the party took passage in the smack, the remainder going over on the yacht Ida, the new fast sailing clipper under command of Captain Hillyer…”

June 29, 1882 [LAT]: “A number of Los Angeleños will go over to Catalina Island next week for a ten days’ trip.”

July 4, 1882 [LAT]: “The coming on of hot weather puts everyone who can get away in motion for the seaside resorts. Catalina Island will this year receive a large delegation, and the first invoice has already gone forward, to be soon followed by a numerous one.”

July 6, 1882 [LAT]: “A party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Adams, Jr., Master Theodore Coulter, Masters Amos and Miss Effie Virgen, J. D. Ardis, J. H. Ardis, Miss Lida Ardis, A. M. Harter and J. A. Foster, went over to Catalina yesterday for a two weeks’ stay. It is a merry party, and embraces a wedding couple, Frank E. Adams, Jr., and his young wife, nee Miss Emma Virgen, who were married at Trinity M. E. Church Sunday evening…”

July 6, 1882 [LAT]: “For Catalina. Mrs. Dodsworth and family, Mrs. Speedy and family, and Mr. Salsig, went over to Santa Catalina Island.”

July 7, 1882 [LAT]: “Thomas Strohom, of the First Street grocery store, leaves this morning with a party of others for a weeks’ recreation on Santa Catalina Island. They have provided a liberal and varied amount of provisions and are evidently bent upon having a good time.”

July 8, 1882 [LAT]: “A large party from Los Angeles and another from Santa Ana went yesterday to Catalina Island to spend a few days and escape the summer heat.”

July 12, 1882 [LAT]: “The family of G. M. Holton have gone to Catalina… T. A. Templeton and wife left yesterday for a pleasure trip to Catalina Island.”

July 12, 1882 [LAT]: “The following persons are encamped on the east end of Catalina at Timm’s Meadow: G. L. Langworthy, wife and two children, San Gabriel; C. A. Robey, Illinois; Mrs. Noyes and child, Arizona; Miss Delia Durphy, El Monte; M. B. Wilson, Mrs. J. S. Wilson, Mrs. Samuel Speedy, Miss Edith Speedy, Sammy Speedy, E. C. Salsig…” All well and highly pleased with the island.”

July 14, 1882 [LAT]: “A party of six of our young men started this morning for Catalina Island. They propose to enjoy themselves thoroughly with the sports and pastimes there afforded, and will return in about two weeks.”

July 14, 1882 [LAT]: “Mr. and Mrs. Washburn are taking a few days camp at Catalina. Mr. and Mrs. Banbury and family are also spending a few days at the same resort.”

July 14, 1882 [LAT]: “There were about seventy-five excursionists who went over to Catalina Island on the steamer Newport on the 7th instant, where they arrived about dark all right, and are now enjoying themselves hugely.”

July 16, 1882 [LAT]: “Colonel Banbury, Mr. Woodbury, Mr. Washburn and Mr. Giddings, of Pasadena, and Mr. G. A. Brandis, of Los Angeles, returned yesterday from a very enjoyable trip to Catalina Island. They caught 1225 barracudas, three Jew fish and a large number of yellowtails in about three days. About two hundred campers are now on the island. There are an abundance of sheep and some wild goats. A few years ago about 150 quail were let loose on the island which have multiplied to such an extent that they are wonderfully abundant everywhere. A large number of fishermen are engaged in the work of catching and drying barracuda, which are shipped to San Francisco, realizing four cents per pound. The party speak in the highest terms of the sailing qualities of the clipper yacht Ida, and of the uniform courtesy and ability of her commander, Captain Hillyer. There is no boarding house on the island, but a large number of cots and camps, all the occupants apparently enjoying a right royal good time. In the sweet bye and bye ye Times scribes will perhaps have an opportunity of knowing how it is themselves.”

July 22, 1882 [LAT]: “Catalina Island has only one house — that of a sheep-herder. The campers all occupy tents, which are pitched after the manner of a town, with First, Second and Third streets, and so forth. The parties there report an excellent time, and the best of order and morality prevailing…”

July 28, 1882 [LAT]: “Catalina Island… a large fleet of carpenters under the direction of Mr. S. Wilmot, are building a freight depot for the company…”

April 27, 1883 [LAT]: “Camping resorts… Catalina Island off San Pedro Bay, has its admirers, and attracts large numbers of campers during the summer season. Fishing is excellent in the waters about the island, and life in every respect is pleasant, the only drawback being the somewhat tedious voyage in a small boat to reach the island, and the total lack of shade trees for the protection of campers.”

June 13, 1883 [LAT]: “On Sunday June 24 there will be a grand excursion to Catalina Island. The steamer Amelia is chartered, and excursionists will have five hours at Catalina for fishing, boating, and bathing.

June 19, 1883 [LAT]: “The large steamer Amelia leaves next Sunday from San Pedro for Catalina Island. This steamer has been used for years as an excursion steamer on the Sacramento River, and is the largest of its kind that has ever been brought to this lower coast.”

June 26, 1883 [LAT]: “The first Sunday excursion of the season on the steamer Amelia, under command of Captain Polhemus, took place on the 24th instant, and proved to be a pronounced success in every respect.”

July 29, 1883 [LAT]: “Almost sixty passengers left for Catalina Island yesterday morning, accompanied by Wangeman’s string band, which will furnish music for the campers to dance by. They will return today.”

August 1, 1883 [LAT]: “Catalina in flames. A wretched Sunday for thousands of people. The beautiful island city lying in ashes. Immense losses, but well-insured. Factories, churches, courthouse and many residences burned. On Sunday afternoon, on the arrival of the Wilmington train, the painful particulars of a terrible fire at Catalina Island were first learned. According to General Roley, who was first on the scene, it commenced in the Chinese fish oil manufactory of Ah Lie, who was smoking opium, and carelessly knocked over his lamp, the flames being immediately conveyed to a lot of open barrels containing refined oil. Ah Lie was burned to death while lying in a state of insensibility from opium… A ball was in progress at the time, and Manager William Banning hurried all the participants on board the steamer Amelia, which was then at anchor a few feet from town…”

August 8, 1883 [LAT/SCat]: “Last Sunday two hundred excursionists from Los Angeles, Wilmington and intermediate points visited Santa Catalina Island… The party had a hearty welcome from agent Mansfield, Assistant Agent Moulthrop, Captain William Banning and others. The steamer Amelia was at the wharf, and the excursionists were soon comfortably placed on the boat… The Amelia is a safe and commodious boat, noted for her speed and sea-going qualities, and is officered as follows: A. A. Polhamus, master…”

August 28, 1883 [LAT]: “The steamer Amelia will leave San Pedro for Santa Catalina next Thursday on the arrival of the morning train from this city, returning from the island on Saturday in time for passengers to take the train back.”

August 8, 1883 [LAT]: “Last Sunday about two hundred excursionists from Los Angeles, Wilmington and intermediate points visited Santa Catalina Island… Captain Banning… the steamer Amelia…”

September 21, 1884 [SBDI]: “Catalina Island! Where the nutmeg tree, it is said, flourishes… There are now raised on it sheep, and 30,000 of them can be comfortably carried on it all year round…”

[July 10, 1885] February 19, 1896 [LAH]: “Santa Catalina Island. What it was like some ten or twelve years ago. Trip over the channel. Large abundance of springs furnish an abundance of water. An unrivaled climate and a sportsman's paradise — the meager improvements at that time. In view of the great popularity and widely extended reputation of Catalina Island, it may perhaps be of interest to known what it was like some ten or twelve years ago. The following account of a visit was made by notes taken by G. J. Griffith, July 10, 1885, with a view to the purchase of the island from the James Lick Estate, and some of the facts concerning this well-known resort are in all probability unknown now. This trip was made by yacht chartered at San Pedro from Captain Banning, the voyage of some seventeen miles over the channel, which was a smooth as a pond, being delightful and was accomplished in a very short time. A landing was effected near the northeast end of the island, at what was then known as Dayton Valley, now famous the world over as Avalon, the greatest summer resort on the Pacific coast. This voyage could be made from either San Pedro, Redondo, Santa Monica or Long Beach by fast steamer service within an hour, and is now made daily during the summer season from the two first named points. Santa Catalina Island is about twenty-one miles long and varies from one to twelve miles in width, its shore line being very irregular. It is very mountainous, there being at least half a dozen peaks nearly, if not quite, 1000 feet above sea level, and several others of lesser altitude; but it is not by any means barren, several portions of it having thick growths of interesting and highly ornamental varieties of flowering shrubs and trees. In this extremely dry part of California, where water rights are as valuable as the land itself, Santa Catalina presents a most engaging feature, there being an abundance of water. There are probably close to 200 springs on the island, some of them large, containing the purest water. This is in marked contrast to San Clemente Island, only thirty miles beyond, where, it is said, not a spring has ever been found. The great number of tree on the island includes many varieties, among them being oak, manzanita (three kinds), cottonwood, buckthorn, mountain mahogany, Lyon's flowering shrub, native evergreen, cherry, and several others. People whose experience and judgment make them competent to estimate say that at least $20,000 could be realized from this timber by making it into firewood. Perhaps the greatest point of attraction about the island, next to its unrivaled balmy climate, is the great quantity and variety of fish in the surrounding waters. In the proper seasons, jew fish, sea bass, yellowtail, barracuda, rock cod, blue fish, black perch, garabaldi, viega, flying fish, halfmoon, sunfish, smelts, sardines, mackerel, bonita, albacore, tunny, Spanish mackerel and others furnish unlimited sport for the angler, and many sea lions and sharks are seen. The island has also many birds, among the sea birds being myriads of beach plover, shags, black divers, gulls, etc., and of land birds there are to be seen two kinds of eagles, bald and grey, quail, doves, hammerheads, mocking birds, canaries, linnets, crows, gray wrens, swallows,blackbirds, gray water wagtail, thrush, and myriads of hummingbirds. The mineral resources of the island have never been properly developed, so it is impossible to say as yet what they are, but there are ledges of gold, silver, lead, iron and copper, the development of which might be profitable. Santa Catalina may justly boast of the finest little harbor on the Pacific coast. It is about a mile long by half a mile wide, and is completely landlocked. The old barracks building is situated about three hundred yards from the shore of this harbor. As a place for invalids and pleasure seekers the island has no superior. Its balmy climate, fine harbor, some twenty-five different pebbly beaches, its fishing and hunting, and its warm waters, so clear that the fish can be seen as deep as a hundred feet or more, ought to attract and satisfy almost anyone. Besides possessing all of this it has a few drawbacks. In a journey of fifty miles over and around the hills, not a single snake was encountered, and it is asserted that neither tarantulas, centipedes not any other poisonous insects or reptiles have ever been found on the island. The only pests are squirrels, which are very numerous, and there are no gophers or moles. The improvements on the island at the time this trip was made consisted of about ten small houses in which sheep herders and fishermen lived and an $18,000 building put up by the United States government for a barracks, but none of these were fit for habitation. The gentlemen who made this investigation advised his associates that by cultivating the valleys and laying out a townsite in Dayton Valley, where Avalon now is, and by building a hotel there and making it a popular resort, the island could be converted into a profitable property, paying probably a fair return on $500,000. The creation and development of this great resort in late years, its wide popularity and unqualified success, show that no mistake was make in these calculations.”

July 22, 1886 [SBDI]: “The pleasure steamer plying between San Pedro and Catalina Island is doing a large business. A like vessel for Santa Barbara could be made to pay handsomely. The islands that lie in the Santa Barbara channel are full of fascinating rambles, besides the fishing and hunting is good at all times. Who is it that will invest in a like enterprise?”

July 17, 1887 [SBDI]: “Catalina Island, off the east coast of Los Angeles, has been sold by the trustees of the Lick Estate for $175,000 to a syndicate formed in Los Angeles. It is proposed to convert the island into a summer resort and steamers will be placed on the route from San Pedro to the island.”

July 19, 1887 [DDR]: “An Island purchased. Santa Catalina Island which lies off Point San Pedro, about forty-five miles north of Los Angeles, has been sold to an Eastern syndicate, whose names are withheld, for $200,000. The island is a part of the Lick estate…The syndicate proposes making Santa Catalina one of the greatest health resorts of the world, and will erect thereon a hotel of magnificent dimensions and unsurpassed accommodations. The island is particularly adapted for the purpose contemplated.”

August 14, 1887 [SBDI]: “The sale of Catalina Island for $200,000 to a Los Angeles syndicate has been confirmed by the Trustees of the Lick Estate.”

September 6, 1887 [LAT/Classified]: “Yacht Aggie! The yacht Aggie will make an excursion trip to Catalina Island every Wednesday. Fare for round trip $4…”

February 23, 1889 [MDP]: “A heavy English syndicate is reported ready to operate mines on Santa Catalina Island.”

April 6, 1889 [SBDI]: “An English company has been organized to work the mine on Santa Catalina Island. The capital is $5,000,000.”

April 10, 1889 [SBDI]: “The English syndicate which has purchased Santa Catalina Island, proposes to make it the greatest watering place on the coast — or rather, off the coast.”

September 24, 1889 [SBDI]: “Suit will be brought in the United States Court at Los Angeles to set aside the U.S. patent for the island of Catalina, issued to Mr. Covarrubias.”

November 13, 1889 [SBDI]: “The English syndicate that has purchased Santa Catalina Island has selected Johnson’s Landing as the place where the $200,000 hotel will be located. Col. Smith and his party will start this morning for that point, and determine upon the exact site of the new building, work upon which is to be commenced at once. Extensive improvements will be made at Avalon, also, we are informed. The British capitalists give out that they will spare no expense to make the resorts on the island the most attractive watering places on the Pacific Coast.”

February 19, 1890 [WDD]: “Plans are completed for a $120,000 hotel on Catalina Island.”

March 20, 1890 [SBDI]: “Colonel Charles F. Smith, who represented the British owners of Catalina Island, about 23 miles off San Pedro, has sailed for England carrying plans and specifications for the new hotel which is to be erected on a cliff at the north end of the island. He expects to be back within sixty days, when the building will be commenced. The hotel is expected to cost $100,000…”

June 20, 1890 [LAT/SCat]: “The Aggie, La Paloma and San Diego are flying their colors here [Santa Catalina Island], besides several yachts.”

May 4, 1891 [LAT]: “The steam sloop Hattie arrived from Catalina Harbor at noon today, she having passed to the south of Catalina Island from Avalon in response to a request from the representative of The Times…”

June 29, 1891 [LAT]: “Under tons of rock. Disaster at the Catalina Stone Quarry. Three men badly hurt. A serious accident occurred at the stone quarry on Catalina Island, Saturday afternoon, by which three men almost lost their lives. About 3:30 o’clock, while the men working in the quarry were engaged in loading the scow with rock for the San Pedro breakwater, the rocks above them fell. Eight men were engaged immediately beneath the break, five of whom escaped by fleeing into the water, while the other remaining three, William Pagal, Robert Gomez and Peter Doyle, all of San Pedro, were overtaken by the slide and buried under the debris. It was some little time before the men were unearthed, a rock weighing five tons being jammed on the Mexican Gomez. The fortunate part of the accident was that Charles Hargitt and the Drs. Davidson on their way to Avalon from the isthmus happened to be two miles out, saw the slide, and hearing the groans pulled immediately for the shore. The uninjured men were in a great state of excitement, not knowing what to do. On examination it was found that Doyle was suffering from an ugly lacerated wound, the leg being bared to the bone, the left ankle broken, scalp wounds, and the shoulder blade bruised. Pagal’s right arm is broken at the elbow and he has scalp injuries. Gomez, the Mexican, was in great pain and could not be moved, having a compound fracture of the left leg, left hand and head crushed. Dr. Davidson sewed the wounds and set the limbs and left him as comfortable as could be under the circumstances. The men were shipped to Los Angeles at midnight on the steamer Katie O’Neill. David Cook, foreman at the quarry, declares the accident as most unforeseen, the greatest precaution always being taken. The tunnel was fired at midnight the day before, and looked perfectly safe. He was on the scene at the time, and seeing the first rocks falling gave the alarm, thereby saving the other five.”

August 30, 1891 [LAT]: “Although Avalon has been under serious disadvantages this summer in having the hotel closed except for roomers, and the means of transport not so good as they were, seeing that the passengers had to be landed from the steamer on a scow upon the beach, with other inconveniences and lack of improvements, owing to the unsettled state of the ownership of the island, still there has been no falling off in the number of visitors and in their enjoyment on this beautiful island.”

January 20, 1892 [SBMP]: “Catalina Island sold to Banning brother of Los Angeles. To be made into a resort. Banning brothers have purchased Catalina Island from George R. Shatto. The new owners will make it a grand summer resort. An English syndicate which once purchased it failed to meet their obligation. Price to the syndicate was $400,000. The amount paid by Banning brothers is not stated. Shatto bought the island from the Lick estate four years ago and for over $150,000.”

June 5, 1893 [SBDI]: “The Southern Pacific Company have placed on sale at its Santa Barbara offices, round trip tickets to Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. These tickets are good going or returning either via San Pedro or Santa Monica. Prices are as follows: Good until November 30th $9.05. Good from Saturday until following Tuesday, $8.80.”

June 11, 1893 [SBMP]: “A big blast will be fired at Catalina Island sometime today, which will undoubtedly shake up things on that little island. It is possible for the shock to be felt here, and any tremor of the earth today can be attributed to this cause.”

July 26, 1893 [SBDI]: “The steamer Alpha arrived in the harbor yesterday from the islands. The steamer is engaged in mackerel fishing and had on board over 100 barrels of the fish caught near Catalina Island.”

August 17, 1893 [SBDI]: “There is talk of a number of our people going to Catalina Island next Saturday. It is known that the United States government is in the midst of a great undertaking — the building of a breakwater at San Pedro. The rock used is quarried at Catalina Island and transported in barges from there to the spot needed at San Pedro. On next Sunday, August 24th, an entire cliff 600 feet high containing 250,000 tons of rock will be blown up by an enormous charge of dynamite. Electric wires will be connected with the steamship Hermosa and a well-known lady of Los Angeles has elected to press the button and send the electric spark which will explode the dynamite and blow up the cliff. It will be a grand spectacle and worth the cost of the trip. Full particulars can be had at the Southern Pacific office, we believe.”

April 23, 1894 [LAT]: “There is a bit of unwritten history in connection with the title to the island of Catalina, which has been received only recently, attention being called to it through the reported claim which Mexico has intended to set up to the property. Associated with this history are also a number of reminiscences which date back for their origin far into the balmy days of Pio Pico and other Californian, who flourished in those primitive times. Among the records of the county today may be found on file a patent from the United States, giving the title of Catalina to José María Covarrubias. Covarrubias came to California from Mexico before the United States acquired the coast territory, and to him was granted the island in sole proprietorship. Then when the United States made the purchase of California Covarrubias’ right was recognized as valid and he was issued the patent to the island. The date of the patent is April 10, 1867. Covarrubias settled in Santa Barbara afterwards, and later sold Catalina to Abadie brothers, merchants of that place. The purchase price was $10,000 and Covarrubias went to San Francisco to receive the money. He completed the sale satisfactorily and, after celebrating the event in a suitable manner with his friends, prepared to return home. At that time there was no railroad in the South, all coast traveling being done by steamers. Covarrubias had his money packed in a gripsack, and, after being out on the water for about a day, he discovered that he had forgotten to take the bag out of the hack, which he had hired to convey him to the wharf in San Francisco. He was much dismayed at the revelation, but nothing remained for him to do but take the steamer back on her return trip, which he did. Fortunately there were a few honest hack men in those days, and the man who had driven Covarrubias to the wharf was one of these. He had found the money and returned it to the hotel where it was placed in the safe to await the arrival of its owner. Covarrubias presented the hack man with $500 for his honesty, and after again celebrating his good luck, returned to Santa Barbara in safety, without further mishap. The subsequent ownership of Catalina Island is familiar with the public today, but old General Covarrubias, as he was familiarly called, was the original holder under both governments…”

May 27, 1895 [SBDI]: “The Santa Catalina Island Marine Band arrived in the city this noon, and will give an open air concert tonight. This is one of the best musical organizations in Southern California…”

July 11, 1895 [SBMP]: “A cable to Catalina Island is one of the projects that is just now interesting Los Angeles citizens.”

August 22, 1895 [LAT]: “Mr. And Mrs. U. S. Grant are at Catalina Island, and will return to San Diego about August 24.”

August 26, 1895 [LAT/SCat]: “Justinian Caire, wife and daughter of San Francisco left by this afternoon’s boat, expressing much regret because they were compelled by home interests to do so. Mr. Caire has been a resident of San Francisco for the past forty years. This is his first visit to Catalina, and he is much impressed with its importance as a resort.”

August 28, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “It is reported here that Justinian Caire has about consummated arrangements with the Banning brothers of Catalina whereby the latter will run their steamer Hermosa to Santa Cruz Island as soon as Mr. Caire completes the erection of his new hotel.”

July 24, 1896 [SBDN]: “Round trip tickets to Catalina Island are now on sale at the Santa Fe office. Only $9.15 and good for sixty days.”

April 6, 1898 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Restless sailed today for Catalina and Clemente islands with a lot of Chinamen who go to gather abalone shells and meat.”

September 11, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “In company with some residents of Avalon, [the boatmen] went on the Fleetwing to Swain’s Valley, about seven miles up the coast, so named after an old hermit of that name, who has resided there for thirty-five years.”

March 19, 1899 [LAT]: “The Santa Catalina Aquarium, a marine laboratory and zoological station for southern California… The Santa Catalina aquarium will open in temporary quarters and will gradually increase…”

August 20, 1899 [CT]: “Santa Catalina Island a private kingdom… There is not a lawyer on the island, no justice of the peace, no jail. Withall, several saloons are open from dawn until midnight. Disturbances, however, are rare… The steamer hold takes the place of a jail, and deportation is the punishment…”

1900 Santa Catalina Island Census, Los Angeles County Enumeration District 101, contains 487 names.

May 19, 1900 [MD]: “A postmaster has been appointed for Catalina Island with a salary of $1 a year. He is a purser of the Wilmington Transportation Company which is owned by the Bannings in connection with Catalina Island, and the Bannings secured the appointment of one of their employees to accommodate their patrons.”

December 18, 1900 [LAT]: “Sardines scarce at Santa Catalina. Supervisors asked to restrict the catching of them. Numerously signed petition filed by the people of Avalon… The fishing sloop Alpha, belonging to the San Pedro Fish Canning Company, has for several seasons been making almost daily invasions into the Bay of Avalon and dragging enormous purse nets for the capturing of smelts, sardines, anchovies, etc…”

July 7, 1901 [LAT]: “A short distance north of San Clemente Island is Catalina Island, well-known to southern Californians, and to many outsiders, as a popular resort. Some grain is grown on this island, where there are a number of fertile valleys, but most of it is given up at present to sheep and goats. There has been from time to time a mining excitement there, and recently it has been reported that some gold nuggets have been picked up. It looks as if Catalina would be a favorable location for vineyards of some fine varieties of wine grapes, such as are raised on the Mediterranean…”

August 26, 1902 [LAH]: “Hemmed in by a packed audience of hundreds of seekers after the sensational, the preliminary examination of Albert B. Boyd, charged with the murder of W. A. Yeager in a card room of the Hotel Metropole, in the early dawn of August 13, began this afternoon shortly after 2 o’clock. The great warehouse of the Santa Catalina Island Company formed the setting for the spectacular scene, the inquiry into the first murder committed in Avalon, the beautiful little village of the Magic Isle. Around the small space reserved in the further end of the building for the holding of the court, stood the mob — eager for every word of the testimony to the point of standing, during the hours of the entire afternoon, although the majority could neither see nor hear. Every available perch at the rear, on side beam or rafter, which offered a point of vantage, held a spectator, and for those who could see and hear there was not a moment when the action was not tense and the scene dramatic to a degree. The two most important witnesses in the hearing were called in the afternoon, and as much attention paid to the detail of the preliminaries as if it were a case before the supreme court. Judge W. P. James of Los Angeles presided and on his right sat Justice William Allen, who was deposed on account of having been subpoenaed as a witness, and who, unlike other witnesses in the case, was allowed to sit through the afternoon’s proceedings an interested listener, while the others were relegated to the outside, where there was neither seeing nor hearing any of the details. The prosecution was represented by Assistant District Attorney C. C. McComas, assisted by Oscar Trippet, representing the father of the murdered man, H. A. Yeager of Princeton, Indiana, who is said to be hurrying to the scene of the tragedy to ferret out and punish the man guilty of hoisting death’s pale flag over the grave of an only son in the prime of his manhood. The prisoner was represented by Attorneys Earl Rogers and Oscar Lawler. When the prisoner entered the room, he was preceded by his mother, Mrs. Haight. With her was Miss Kate Wilde, a Los Angeles attorney, who has attended here on previous occasions. Harry Johnson, Jr., the 19-year-old lad who formed the third of the trio of card players on the night preceding the tragedy and who was the only eye-witness of the crime, was the first witness called to the stand, and when he raised his hand to take the oath, he found himself looking into the eyes of the man whom he declares to be guilty of the crime. Boyd’s eyes did not flinch for an instant, but met those of Johnson with a quietly questioning gaze, and during the almost two hours Johnson was on the stand the calm inspection was continued, the latter submitting with nervous restraint and a consistent fluttering of the eyes, whose gaze could not be held for an instant. Johnsons’s father was present and seldom removed his eyes from the witness while in the chair. Johnson showed himself to be under a high nervous pressure and the bright color of a girlish complexion, so noticeably absent since the occurrence of the crime, returned to his cheeks under the hot cross-examination handed out by the defense. In the main his answers came easily, an affected ‘We-e-ll,’ which was introduced nearly every answer and an almost insolently nervous impatience which greeted every attempt to tangle him up on the part of the defense, indicating an assumed unconcern. The case presents the unusual feature of two young men of almost the same age, the only witness to the taking of a man’s life, each accusing the other of committing the deed. The attorneys for the defense had the case well in hand. Johnson told the story of the day and night of poker playing, which ended with the death of one of the three, when in the hands of the prosecution, practically the same as he had given it at the inquest, but when Attorney Rogers got through with him and had turned off his searchlight of rapid-fire questioning the thorny bypaths he had driven the witness through, discovered several which were interesting, to say the least, to the defense. Johnson told how the three had begun playing cards about 11 o’clock of the morning preceding that of the shooting and how they had continued until 2 o’clock of the thirteenth, when he had withdrawn, Boyd and Yeager continuing until the former had lost every cent he had and twice had borrowed from Yeager $50 of the money he had lost to him, the first $50 on a diamond and the second on a watch, and how, when he requested a further loan of $50 on still another watch and met refusal, he drew his pistol and fired two shots in quick succession, the wounded man nodding his head straight downward after each shot. The later feature of the testimony furnished a point which the defense will make the most of in connection with the testimony given by Dr. Garrett, who, at this juncture was put on the stand at his request in order that he might leave on the next boat. The course of the bullets, which has been the strongest point of the prosecution in placing the guilt and which had seemed, until fully brought out and demonstrated today, to point to Boyd as the guilty man, this evening at 5’oclock, when the hearing was continued until tomorrow morning, pointed with even strength to the hand of Johnson. It has been assumed at the coroner’s inquest that the three men sat at a round table, with Boyd in the center, Johnson at his left and Yeager at his right; and as the bullet entered Yeager’s left temple, which was next to Boyd. Cross examination today, however, proved the bullets to have been fired from the opposite side. Dr. Garrett testified that the bullet which entered the front and top of the head followed a course at almost right angles and must have been fired from the right side and that the bullet entering above the left eyebrow plowed into the head on a straight line for an inch, then deflected, passed out a quarter of an inch to the right of the median line of the head at the back of the brain. Johnson admitted that he and Boyd had arranged a sort of partnership in the game and that of the money lost, nearly $150, with the $20 he had lost, would make his half about $75 or $80, which he supposed he would have to pay back.”

November 1, 1902 [LAH]: “The case of Albert Bl Boyd, charged with the murder of W. A. Yeager in Avalon last August, was given to the jury yesterday afternoon at 2:55 o’clock, and after being out two hours the jury returned a verdict of ‘not guilty...’

March 25, 1903 the first issue of Wireless, a Santa Catalina Island newspaper was published by the Los Angeles Times. It consisted of four pages, 8 x 11 inches in size, and it lasted but one season.

August 14, 1903 [LAT]: “Avalon. Catalina revisited by woman pioneer. Mother of first white child born on the island. Widow of Captain Howland sees again the scenes of many years of her life, when six families comprised population. Among the visitors to Catalina at present is one of the pioneers of the island, Mrs. S. A. Howland, the widow of Captain Howland, who, almost half a century ago, gave his name to the place now known as Howland’s Landing. In company with her husband, Mrs. Howland landed on the isthmus at a little beach three miles above the Isthmus, where he had a band of sheep. The island was then supposed to be government land, and they, as well as others on the place, took up land on what was known as ‘squatters’ rights.’ There were six families on the island at that time, and nearly all continued to live here until they could not acquire the land under the ‘squatters’ rights,’ and when James Lick gained control of the whole island, most of the families went across to the mainland. Those living here were located at what is now Johnson’s Landing, and which was then known as John Ben’s Landing; at Swayne’s, now known as White’s Landing, at the Isthmus; at Cherry Valley and at Fourth of July Valley. The men owning sheep here were Thomas Whittley, father of Captain Thomas Whittley, who succeeded to the business, and who died some two years ago. His range was the western end of the island, down to Johnson’s; Captain Howland then occupied down to the Isthmus; then came the company — Howland, L. Harris and Whittley, their territory reaching to Swayne’s, and John F. C. Johnson occupied the remainder, living at Avalon, which at that time was known as Johnson’s. Ben Weston also had a small band on the south side of the island, at what is still known as Ben Weston Beach, and Don Juan Cota, from the Santa Marguerita Rancho had a band of cattle here numbering about 400 head...”

September 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “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 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...”

September 29, 1904 [SBMP]: “Avalon is now in Santa Barbara. Twenty-five of the most prominent residents of that popular resort on Catalina Island arrived in the city yesterday morning in the gasoline sloop Avalon, and are taking in the city in a most enjoyable manner...”

October 1, 1904 [SBMP]: “The gasoline sloop Avalon, which has been in this port for two days with a party of twenty-five Catalina people, has returned to Santa Cruz Island, where the party has established a fine camp.”

July 26, 1907 [OC]: “After two months of litigation, the case of the Santa Catalina Island Company against the Meteor Boat Company was finally decided last week by Judge N. P. Conroy. Hereafter the Bannings will not be permitted to erect a fence upon the island to prevent boats other than theirs to land, according to the decision of the judge, through it is admitted by the latter that the Banning family owns the waterfront of Catalina Island. The strip of land in dispute is declared by Judge Conroy to be a free landing place. Anybody, according to the decision, will now be allowed to land at the island without paying an exorbitant charge to the owner.”

August 29, 1907 [LAH]: “Long Beach, August 28. While returning from San Clemente Island to Catalina a fishing party, all residents of Los Angeles, the launch Kea, operated between Long Beach and Catlaina by the Diamond Boat Company, was disabled by a breakdown of her engine. A fire started in the boat and was smothered, only to break out again. The passengers were thrown into a panic. The flames were finally conquered. All attempts to operate the engine proved ineffective, and the launch finally reached Catalina under sail, sixteen hours having been required for the trip, instead of three, as usual. The Kea is now at San Pedro for repairs. Local agents of the Diamond Boat Company deny that the accident was as serious as reported, and assert that the Banning interests are trying to make the Diamond boats unpopular because they interfere with the business of the larger boats operated by the Bannings from San Pedro.”

September 9, 1907 [LAH]: “Long Beach, September 8. The launch Kea of the Diamond Boat Company has been repaired and is again running between the local pier and Catalina Island. Fourteen passengers were transported across the channel yesterday. The Kea was damaged two weeks ago while running between San Clemente Island and Catalina, when a cylinder head blew out and the passengers were almost thrown into a panic. The launch made her way slowly to Avalon under sail.”

1910 Santa Catalina Island Census contains 671 names.

November 24, 1911 [LAT]: “San Clemente Reserve. Island beyond Catalina may be set aside by government to propagate game and fish. Sportsmen interested in protecting the game fish of Southern California waters are making an effort to have San Clemente Island set apart by the government as a game and fish reserve. In this way it is hoped that the rapidly-waning sport off the coast may be restored to its former greatness…”

1912-1915: Willis M. Lefavor published the Catalina Wireless (not to be confused with the Wireless of 1903).

January 27, 1914 The Islander. Number 1. Published Weekley at Avalon. In making to you our initiatory bow this morning, we wish to say that the columns of The Islander are open at all times to the consideration of progressive ideas… To introduce ourselves, the subscription price of The Islander will be ten weeks for ten cents. E. Windle, Owner; Geo. E. Esterling, Editor.”

January 5, 1915 [SBMP]: “The Supreme Court of the United States has been asked to pass upon a case that will determine whether the islands off the Santa Barbara coast are part of California or are foreign territory. The question has been called up with reference to transportation problems applying to Catalina, but the decision will touch other units of the group…”

January 23, 1915 [SBMP]: “H. D. Morgan, who has been employed in the drug business at Avalon, Catalina Island, for the past twelve years, has come to the city to enter the employ of the Sterling Drug Company, and has entered his duties…”

February 9, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “It is announced that the Fish and Game Commisison have decided to make Catalina a separate district to be known as No. 20.”

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 [Arce], ‘Mexican Joe’ [Joe Presiado], Captain Tom Whittley, Captain Harry Doss, John Brinkley [Chicken John] and Captain Al Holbrooke.”

November 30, 1915 [SBMP]: “Avalon, beauty of the sea, is burned. Half the town of Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island, was destroyed by fire today… The steamer Hermosa arrived at San Pedro Harbor shortly before noon with guests from one of the hotels destroyed at Avalon. The vessel left immediately with provisions and supplies for the island. It was stated that many of the 500 people from Avalon were homeless.”

March 2, 1917 [OC]: “Gathering abalones used to be quite a sport about Catalina, an old piece of buggy spring being used as a tool to pry them off the rocks at low tide. Then the Japanese cleaned the island. Now the abalones are becoming quite plentiful again, and up the Malibu coast, around the Portuguese Bend cliffs and other rocky headlands, abalone parties may be quite the thing if the ‘ten per day’ limit on black abalones is made. The red, pink and green abalones may be taken now, but are rarer here.”

1920 Santa Catalina Island Census contains only 11 names:

  • 1. George W. Gibson (c. 1884) California
  • 2. Florence M. Gibson (c. 1888) California
  • 3. William Y. Gibson (c. 1909) California
  • 4. Clyde E. Gibson (c. 1916) California
  • 5. Helen M. Gibson (c. 1918) California
  • 6. Fulmer Efroyer (c. 1852) New York
  • 7. Salvador Kamirz (c. 1854) Mexico
  • 8. Manuel Nedza (c. 1879) Texas
  • 9. Frank B. Ferra (c. 1895) Arizona
  • 10. Cormen W. Ferra (c. 1901) Arizona
  • 11. J. Martin Nelson (c. 1847) Norway

August 16, 1920 [LAT]: “Catalina yields specimens that tell of distinct race of bygone age. Two perfect skulls were exhibited yesterday as the trophies of a day’s excavating at Catalina by Mrs. George Heye, who is visiting here with her husband, George Heye, founder and president of the Museum of the American Indian in New York, Harmon W. Hendricks, vice-president of the museum and Ralph Glidden. Mr. Glidden has for several months been conducting archaeological research work on the Channel Islands for the museum. Mrs. Heye made her discoveries on the Isthmus last Friday… ‘The collection of specimens which we have secured from Catalina Island in the eight months which Mr. Glidden has devoted to Catalina Island, far exceed my highest expectations,’ said Mr. Heye last Friday…’ A year ago I had bought the E. L. Doran collection of relics gathered at the Isthmus, and a collection from a scientist at Santa Barbara which gave us much of the shell and bone work of San Miguel and San Nicolas. But all were still incomplete. It is hard to say that one find is more valuable than another’…”

September 3, 1922 [LAT]: “Novel museum for Catalina. Two hundred feet above the Pacific Ocean and overlooking Avalon, on Catalina Island, Ralph Glidden—of the staff of the Museum of the American Indian, George G. Heye Foundation, in New York—will erect a museum of his own. Mr. Glidden is an archaeological authority on the famous Channel Islands, in whose history there is a steadily increasing interest… The Museum of the American Indian, George G. Heye Foundation, opened in 1916 in New York… Mr. Heye, director, commissioned Mr. Glidden to explore the Channel Islands and collect relics of vanished Indians. Although the islands have already been dug over by repeatedly by successive expeditions for archaeological research from this country and abroad, the results attained by Mr. Glidden have been little short of remarkable, in the judgment of scientific men. He has dug up more than 1000 skeletons. Nine months work on Catalina yielded 316. In five months he obtained 343 on San Miguel and 316 from San Nicolas in four months. Ass a result of these explorations the Heye Museum has the finest exhibit of Channel Islands Indian lore existent, not surpassed even by that of the Smithsonian in Washington.”

July 28, 1930 [OT]: “Attempts were made today to salvage the fishing boat, Belle Isle, which struck a reef near the island isthmus late yesterday with 129 passengers aboard. A calm sea and lack of wind prevented what might have been a repetition of the Ameco fishing barge disaster off Santa Monica last Memorial Day, when 16 persons lost their lives. A large fleet of private yachts was near the Belle Isle when it hit the reef, and all passengers were removed quickly. Captain John Gabelith, owner and master, had launched the vessel only a few days before, and this was its maiden voyage. His wife and baby were among the passengers.”

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 adock space. The other would grant licenses to that company and two competitors. Both proposals raised concerns about the busines Nicolas Island, Catalina Island (east end and west end), and Santa Barbara Island.”

1940 Santa Catalina Island Census includes people living at: Crescent Bay; Howland’s Landing; 4th of July Cove; Isthmus; White’s Landing; Toyon Cove; Gallagher Cove; The Poultry Farm; Black Jack Camp; Middle Ranch; P. K. Ranch; Pebbly Beach. [to enter residents from census]

January 31, 2016 [LAT]: “For more than a year, a crucial question has gone unanswered on Santa Catalina Island: Who will control the freight service that brings bottled water, groceries and other essentials from the mainland, 26 miles away? Three companies are vying for the business — a vital necessity for residents and tourists — causing a heated legal and regulatory battle that has consumed the island. After months of public hearings and political maneuvering, the California Public Utilities Commission will decide next month whether to grant operating licenses to one or more of the companies. A PUC judge and commissioner issued two separate proposals last week, which the five-member commission will consider at its Feb. 25 meeting. One proposal would deny access to Avalon Freight Services, a newly formed freight carrier handpicked by Santa Catalina Island Co., the island's largest landowner, which also owns the prices low. Avalon Freight Services argued that multiple carriers operating at a small dock would create safety concerns. One ms relationship and profit-sharing arrangement between Avalon Freight Services and Santa Catalina Island Co. Who controls the pipeline of goods flowing on and off the island is one of the most crucial issues in Catalina, where business owners and residents already pay a premium for goods including gas and toilet paper. "It's a lot of money coming out of my pocket," Steve Bray, who runs a steakhouse along the waterfront in Avalon, said during a public hearing last summer. "None of these other restaurants on the mainland have to pay this." Concern over the cost of freight has intensified over the last two years, after Santa Catalina Island Co. chose to hand the sole freight delivery contract to Avalon Freight Services, which is controlled in part by Greg Bombard, the president of Catalina Express, the island's primary passenger service. It is also the only freight carrier that has been granted dock access. Santa Catalina Island Co. owns the dock site where the vast majority of goods come ashore on Catalina. There are virtually no other potential landing spots near populated sections of the island. Two of the seven losing bidders for the contract, Curtin Maritime and the incumbent, Catalina Freight Line, protested to state authorities that multiple freight com The first proposal would deny a license to Avalon Freight Services and grant one to Curtin Maritime, whose owner proposed rates that could go up or down based on competition. ajor question throughout the dispute has been whether Santa Catalina Island Co. — a private party — can dictate the terms of a public utility such as freight. Randall Herrel, the company's president declined to comment. Darwin Farrar, the PUC judge who has been researching the issue since early last year, raised similar concerns in his decision last week. Allowing a "financially interested private party" such as the Island Co. to choose the new operator would be "an inappropriate delegation of commission authority," he wrote. He also questioned the structure of Avalon Freight Services, which involves leasing arrangements for vessels and warehouse space with other related companies, including the Catalina Express passenger line. Farrar said the overlapping business interests would make it possible for Avalon Freight Services to "game the commission's rate review process." The alternate proposal before the commission, written by Commissioner Liane Randolph, raised the same questions but would allow Avalon Freight Services to operate if it disclosed all related financial transactions. "We have no problem at all showing anything they want to see," said Bombard, the president of Catalina Express and Avalon Freight Services. "We've got nothing to hide here." The first proposal would deny a license to Avalon Freight Services and grant one to Curtin Maritime, whose owner proposed rates that could go up or down based on competition. The current freight provider, Catalina Freight Line, would need to reapply for a license. The alternate proposal would allow all three companies to operate. Martin Curtin, chief executive of Curtin Maritime, said he was pleased that both proposals granted a license to his company. But he is still concerned about the revenue-sharing arrangement between Avalon Freight Services and the Island Co., which he believes could give that operator an unfair advantage. "It doesn't create open competition if a company like the Island Co. is fiscal partners with Avalon Freight," he said. Rich Coffey, chief executive of Catalina Freight Line, the island's current operator, said any decision is an improvement over his current situation – going out of business in April once his contract ends. "I want to work with the Island Co., and I'm happy to compete for my customers' business," he said. "But let's do what's right for community, and if we can make that happen then everybody should be good."”