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  • 1874. J. Ross Browne The Island of Santa Rosa in Overland Monthly lst series, 13(3):209-213, September;view=image
  • 1893. Martinette Kinsell Shearing Time on Santa Rosa Island in Overland Monthly 2nd Series, 21(125):492-501, May;view=image

In the News~

May, 1835: George Nidever, reported that he made at least two otter hunting trips to Santa Rosa Island:

“…8 or 10 days after I arrived here Sills [Sill] and I went to Santa Rosa Island. We had no boats so we were obliged to hunt from land. We went over about May of 1835. Two weeks later Sills was taken sick and returned to Santa Barbara. I remained about six weeks longer and killed in all 8 or 10 otters; Sills having got none. I had with me a Kanaka Indian, employed to swim out for the otter killed; at $16 a month.” » Ellison, William Henry. The Life and Adventures of George Nidever, 1802-1883, 1937.

1836: A real battle occurred on Santa Rosa Island in 1836 between Northwest Indians and the otter hunters of George Nidever's party. » Ogden, Adele. The California Sea Otter Trade: 1784-1848. (127-128)

[1836] May 28, 1860 [DAC]: “Letter from Mr. Wallace. Los Angeles, May 18, 1860. About sea otters and otter hunting… In 1836 the first license to hunt sea otter was granted by the Mexican government to William G. Dana, of Nipomo, San Luis Obispo county. Mr. Dana employed one Galbraith, a trapper, then residing at the Mission San Luis Rey, to hunt upon shares. Galbraith, taking Kanakas as assistants, passed over to Santa Rosa Island, and had remarkable success for a time. He found the otter abundant, and sometimes killed thirty per week. He hunted from the shore — no boars were used — the Kanakas securing the game by swimming. The skins at that time were worth $25 each…”

October 3, 1843: José Antonio Ezequiel Carrillo (1796-1862) and his older brother, Carlos Antonio de Jesus Carrillo (1784-1852), were granted Santa Rosa Island by Governor Micheltorena on October 3, 1843. The Carrillos were two sons of Jose Raymundo Carrillo, who had arrived in Alta California in 1769 as a soldier with Father Junipero Serra's first expedition to Alta California. The Carrillo brothers owned Santa Rosa Island for less than a month.

November 2, 1843: the Carrillo brothers sold Santa Rosa Island to Carlos Carrillo's married daughters, Maria Francisca Carrillo, who was married to American, Alpheus B. Thompson, and Manuela Antonia Carrillo, who was married to American, John C. Jones, for $3,300, “one half in silver money of good quality and the other half in goods.“ According to Alpheus B. Thompson, the Carrillo brothers received the island:

  • “provided they should occupy the [island] in one year as per the Colonization Act, built a house thereon, corals [sic], plant fruit trees, and place there on cattle, horses, etc. under the pain of losing the same if not strictly complyed [sic] with, etc. The said two brothers were not able to comply with the terms of the Grant and sold the same to me, by making a Deed of Gift to my wife, Daughter of [Carlos] Carrillo as the island could not be transferred out of the family; but it was found that the Colonization Act only allowed Eleven Leagues to any one individual, and it was agreed that the Deed of Gift should be made out to my Wife and to her Sister...the Governor of California Don Manuel Micheltorena made the transfer together with the original Deeds from Supreme Government of Mexico” [Alpheus B. Thompson to Timothy Wolcott, Esq., June 12, 1857, typescript at Santa Barbara Historical Society].

January 6, 1849 [Santa Barbara County Deeds Book Volume B pages 1-270; pages 246-247]: “John C. Jones to Henry A. Pierce. Known all men by these presents, that I, John C. Jones, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk and commonwealth of Massachussetts, in consideration of $7,000, to me paid by Henry A. Pierce of Charlestown, in the county of Middlesex and commonwealth aforesaid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged.

1852: A. D. Bache’s Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey for 1852 states Santa Rosa “is fifteen miles long, and nine miles broad. There are, it is said, now on this island 10,000 sheep, the enormous increase of 75 animals placed there about eight years ago.”

April 21, 1855 [Los Angeles Star]: “U.S. District Court. The following are the land cases in which issue has been joined, and will be tried during the present term: ...No. 56. Manuela Carrillo de Jones, et. al. vs. U.S. for Island of Santa Rosa.”

November 2, 1855 [Santa Barbara County Deeds Book Volume B pages 1-270; pages 254-255]: “Henry A Pierce & Wife to John C. Jones. Whereas John C. Jones of Boston in Massachusetts, merchant, by his deed dated the sixth of January 1849, conveyed to Henry A. Pierce, then of Charlestown, but now a citizen of Boston, merchant, certain parcels of real estate situated in California, consisting of one mority [?] or half part of the Island of Santa Rosa on the coast of California about sixteen miles from Point Conception and forming part of the western boundary of the channel of Santa Barbara on the coast aforesaid — the said island being eighteen miles in length and nine miles in breadth more or less, and being the same island conveyed by the government of Mexico to Don Carlos Carrillo and Don Jose Carrillo and by them conveyed to John Coffin Jones, aforesaid and Alpheus B. Thompson: — also a certain farm situated near the mission of Santa Barbara aforesaid and there known by the name of the Posos Farm, being three miles in length and one mile in breadth, more or less, or however otherwise the said island and farm may be described; with all the rights and privileges thereto belonging. And whereas the said conveyance by said Jones to the state Pierce, was intended to be by way of mortgage or collateral security for the payment of a promissory note for the sum of $4698.80, which the said Jones has paid and discharged. Now therefore known all men by these presents that I the said party Henry A. Pierce in consideration of the premises and of one dollar paid me by John C. Jones aforesaid do hereby grant, bargain, sell, quitclaim and convey to him and his heirs and assigns, all the lands and tenements described in said deed to me, namely the Posos Farm and one half of the Island of Santa Rosa with all the rights and privileges belonging to each of them… signed Henry A. Pierce, Susan R. Pierce”

April 17, 1858 [Los Angeles Star]: “...The Channel Islands extend from Point Conception to San Diego—the most important of them laying off and forming Santa Barbara county. The first in the chain is San Miguel, which is eight miles long, and affords excellent pasturage. It is occupied by Mr. George Neidiver [sic]. The next, four miles distant, is Santa Rosa, 25 miles long, excellent land, rather hilly, the highest not over 1500 feet, gently sloping to the north where it forms into table land; the scant rains prevent cultivation; finest kind of pasture, with an abundance of running water. There are thousands of cattle on the island, the young of which, however, are preyed upon by wild hogs—men are now employed in exterminating these pests...”

May 15, 1856 [SBG]: “A report was received from the district attorney relative to the islands on the coast of Santa Barbara county whereupon it was ordered that the Islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa be and are hereby considered as pertaining to the 2nd township of Santa Barbara county.”

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 conformity with your instructions of June 16th, I forward you a summary report of work executed the past year… Of the islands forming what is known as the Santa Barbara channel, Santa Rosa is perhaps the most valuable. It is level compared with the other islands, but mountainous on the south side, the hills there sloping gradually to the north and west, and so smooth that a horseman can ride all over them. There is no wood on the island, but a bountiful supply of water, which runs the whole year around. At the present time there are some 7,000 head of cattle upon it — 3,000 sheep, and probably as many wild hogs. Santa Rosa has been confirmed to Captain Thompson by the United States district court, and is now considered as a private estate. Upon the island is a suitable site for a short base, from which both it and San Miguel could be triangulated.”

April 17, 1858 [Los Angeles Star]: “...The Channel Islands extend from Point Conception to San Diego—the most important of them laying off and forming Santa Barbara county. The first in the chain is San Miguel, which is eight miles long, and affords excellent pasturage. It is occupied by Mr. George Neidiver [sic]. The next, four miles distant, is Santa Rosa, 25 miles long, excellent land, rather hilly, the highest not over 1500 feet, gently sloping to the north where it forms into table land; the scant rains prevent cultivation; finest kind of pasture, with an abundance of running water. There are thousands of cattle on the island, the young of which, however, are preyed upon by wild hogs—men are now employed in exterminating these pests...”

October 21, 1859: “An account of the time and pay [$2861.32] of men employed by Abel Stearns received in the case of John C. Coffin vs. A. B. Thompson, et al. At the Island of Santa Rosa, commencing May 18th, 1859 and ending October 17, 1859, being five months: Francisco Guerrero, Jose Espinosa, Jose Rafael, Benjamin Sherman, Francisco Guevarro, Francisco Lopez, Francisco Lugo, Jose Ignacio, Gabriel Pollorerro, Pico Moreno, Jose Antonio Villa, Luis Arellanes, Francisco Blas, Primo, Jesus Coco, Jacobo, Jose Antonio, Francisco Bermudez, Milquerez, Jose Duvan, Inocente Cota, Robert Teare (cook), Clemente Espinosa, Felipe Abila, Luis Cota, Reyez Lorenzana, Jose Maria Valenzuela, Demesio Romero, Francisco Cota, Ilarion Ruiz, Antonio Maria Rodriguez, Guadalupe Robles, Juan Romero, Anastacio Romero, Jose Maria, Marcelo Arias, Dixey W. Thompson, services as agent for receiver. Dixey W. Thompson, being duly sworn, says that the foregoing is a true and correct statement of the time of service and wages of men employed at the Island of Santa Rosa by Abel Stearns, receiver in the case of John C. Jones and A. B. Thompson et al… Dixey W. Thompson.” [Huntington Library, Stearns Collection, Box 87, Folder 12]

1860: Surveyor William E. Greenwell established 21 survey stations on the island in 1860, and additional 11 stations were established by Stehman Forney in 1872. By 1860, Greenwell had noted the existence “of an old corral and wharf” at Bechers Bay.

February 15, 1870 [DAC]: “The schooner Falmouth sails for Santa Rosa Island tonight; she carries down 12 passengers, mostly ranch hands and herders.”

March 27, 1873 [Santa Barbara Index]: “Correspondence On Board Schooner Falmouth March 22, 1873. Dear Index: Anything is an event to us that doesn’t happen often… We took passage on the good schooner Falmouth for the island of Santa Rosa. A favoring breeze sprung up during the night and in the cool morning we landed on Santa Rosa, from which place we will write more after we have made explorations. Our embarkment was exceedingly novel and pleasant; the horses drew us on the beach then getting into a cart, the oxen took us through the surf to the lighter, and the lighter took us to the schooner. We have five cabin passengers, no, five in the daytime, but only three at night; those in the steerage move around so fast we couldn’t count them. We have a bright little Spanish boy on board; who, when we speak to him answers in mostly musical accents, nearly sings his replies and who is the play thing of all on board. Then there is John Chinaman, who looks like a resurrected mummy, and who has been sent as Minister Plenipotentiary to the kingdom of Santa Rosa to negotiate for the bones of a dead Celestial reposing there. Ignorant and degraded with the superstitions of a thousand years clinging to him, we wonder what is the true attitude for free enlightened America to take toward these people! Here is a problem for Christianity to solve. [The rest is mostly description of the trip over water. This is an on-going correspondence] signed Seyon.”

May 7, 1873 [SBMP]: “A Picture of Santa Rosa Island. Professor James and a party left about 11 A.M. today (Thursday) in the schooner Star of Freedom, Captain Chase, for Santa Rosa Island. The Professor and his assistants will take a picture of the island and views of objects of interest thereon, under the auspices of the Press, this being the beginning of the proposed work heretofore announced. The accompanying party was quite large. Messrs. Henry and Alexander More, the owners of the island, have manifested a substantial interest in this enterprise of illustrating Southern California, and have shown their faith in the general and special good that will result from its accomplishment by their generous pecuniary aid. Santa Rosa Island, with its varied scenery, will make a beautiful picture. We hope to obtain views of the other islands.”

April 24, 1873 [Santa Barbara Index]: “Correspondence Santa Rosa Island, April 10th 1873... [starts by talking about life on this lovely island] ...But you wish to hear about business! Santa Rosa is being improved, early as rapidly as Santa Barbara; the Messrs. More are building a wharf, five hundred feet of which are completed; they are building a new house, and laying pipes to bring the water down from the springs two miles away among the hills; and they are shearing forty thousand sheep at the rate of fourteen hundred a day. This is as far as our knowledge goes.” [speaks of caves and native Americans. First class entertainment given at the barn by Mr More’s employees. Describes the sights]. Signed Seyon. “P.S. Lighted along our voyage by the “Star of Freedom,” a star which shines night and day, we safely reached our destination, and if any of the Index reader wish to be trebly blest, let them visit Santa Rosa, return on the trim little schooner commanded by Capt. Chase, and have dinner on board with that famous duff for dessert.”

November 9, 1874 [SDU]: “Captain Wilkinson drowned. A dispatch at Los Angeles November 7 says: A correspondent at Wilmington sends the following: Night before last as the brig Hesperian was off Santa Rosa Island, and, while jibing her mainsail, the main boom struck and knocked Captain Wilkinson overboard. The vessel was hove to and boats lowered, but all efforts to rescue the captain were unavailing. Captain Wilkinson has been running to this port for a long time, and was well known and greatly respected. His family were on board at the time of the accident. His son is now in charge of the vessel.”

March 11, 1876 [SBDN]: “Santa Rosa Island is to be investigated — and that very shortly. There is a grave suspicion attaching to this sea-sentinel of Santa Barbara Bay. Things have been brought to light which strongly hint at corruption on the part of somebody or bodies. And this state of affairs has evidently been going on for a long time. It has been determined to unearth the mystery without further delay. A picked — or, rather, shovel and picked — commission of inquiring into the secret of the island has been set on foot at Washington. A distinguished professor from Girard College will arrive at Santa Barbara in a few days, and a party will be organized and proceed to the territory suspected of harboring prehistoric remains. The antiquarian treasures of this coast are just beginning to be appreciated.”

March 23, 1876 [SBDN]: “Reverend Steven Bowers and party sailed on the Star of Freedom yesterday for Santa Rosa Island. They will write an account of its geology, fossils, shells, plants, and antiquities which will be published at Washington. It is an expedition of no little importance to science. Mr. Bowers goes thoroughly prepared to make a complete survey of the island.”

April 18, 1876 [SBDN]: “The schooner Matinee arrived from Santa Rosa Island yesterday with 100 sacks of abalones, and the archaeological specimens recently made by Messrs. Bowers and party.”

April 26, 1876 [SBDN]: “The schooner Matinee arrived from Santa Rosa Island yesterday, bringing over a number of sheep shearers, there being no further business in their line to be performed on the island at present.”

May 8, 1876 [SBDN]: “Santa Rosa Island. About the year 1834 this island was deeded by the Mexican Government to one of its subjects named Carrillo. Two daughters, who married Americans, heirs the estate of their father, and from these parties it was purchased by the present owners, Messrs. A. P. and H. H. More. Both cattle and hogs have been introduced, the former in 1842, the latter ten years later, representatives of which are still found wild on the island; and it is by no means safe to surprise them in the canyons or come upon them too suddenly. The island now supports 50,000 sheep, and is capable of double that number. The island is much broken with hills rising in the central part to the height of about 1600 feet, yet nearly half of the land is suitable for cultivation. Near the landing the Messrs. More had several fine fields of barley... Birds are numerous, the most noticeable being the bald eagle and the raven. I found the nests of two of the former. The eggs, two in number, were white and nearly as large as the domestic goose...”

August 9, 1876 [DAC]: “Avila. Sailed August 8th, schooner J. N. Ingalls, Santa Rosa Island.”

August 15, 1876 [DAC]: “Sailed August 14th, schooner Matinee, Santa Rosa Island.”

May 12, 1877 [SBDP]: “A mirage in the channel brought the island of Santa Rosa apparently within five miles of the shore.”

May 28, 1877 [DAC]: “Importations. Per Los Angeles. Santa Rosa Island. 134 bales wool, 144 bundles pelts, 252 boxes tallow.”

October 8, 1878 [DAC]: “San Pedro. Per Santa Cruz. Santa Rosa Island. 1 mower, 173 bales wool.”

November 8, 1879 [SBWP]: “The Surprise returned from Santa Rosa Island Saturday night with a lot of abalones and a few otter skins for Rogers Brothers.”

June 13, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Hueneme, Captain Elliott, arrive in port Sunday, having made a very successful nine days’ run from Pugeot Sound. She is laden with pine lumber and piles for Santa Rosa Island, and for More’s wharf at Goleta, also with a full supply of lumber for Gorham & Co.”

March 24, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. March 23. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

April 7, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

April 21, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. April 20. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 40 hours from Santa Rosa Island; 1747 sheep, 3221 lambs, to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

July 12, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. July 11. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 31 hours from Santa Rosa Island; 2000 sheep to Lawrence & Levy.”

August 9, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. August 8. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island; 1955 sheep to Lawrence & Levy.”

August 27, 1885 [DAC]: “Arrived. August 26. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “It was reported by the schooner Santa Rosa, while at this port day before yesterday, that fully two thirds of the wharf at Santa Rosa Island has been washed away by the recent storm.”

May 1, 1886 [SBDP]: “The work of rebuilding the wharf at Santa Rosa Island, which was washed away during the past winter, has been somewhat checked by a lodged drill. The beach where the wharf is being constructed is said to be a solid bed of rock, and a hole has to be drilled for the reception of each pile. It was while at this work that the drill became disabled. The schooner Santa Rosa, which arrived in port yesterday morning, is awaiting the arrival from San Francisco of another drill, which has been shipped there to be sharpened.”

May 7, 1886 [SBDP]: “Captain Burtis of the schooner Santa Rosa reports that work on the new wharf at the island is being prosecuted again, the lodged drill having been extracted and sent to San Francisco to be sharpened. The beach where the wharf is being built is a solid bed of sandstone and consequently slow progress is made. The structure is about half completed.”

July 19, 1886 [SBDI]: “Supervisors’ proceedings. Comparative assessment of ranches… Santa Rosa Island 51,642 acres; 1882 — $67,458; Rates of increase — 2.28; 1886 — $154,170…”

July 28, 1886 [SBDI]: “Some eight or ten days ago, a boat drifted ashore on Santa Rosa Island. It is supposed to be the one belonging to the Las Cruces fishermen who were lost.”

July 28, 1886 [SBDP]: “Mr. Albert Rule, who returned from Santa Rosa Island night before last, reports finding a disabled fishing boat on the beach at the west end of the island, last Sunday, while riding along the beach. The boat he describes as an extra good fishing boat. It was upside down in the sand with sails and fishing lines and apparatus attached, and an ugly hole stove in the bottom. An attempt was made to overturn the boat by means of a lariat, but failed. It will be remembered that three Portuguese fishermen were drowned, or supposed to have drowned, off Gaviota July 8th, and as there is said to be a current across the channel from Gaviota towards the islands. It is conjectured that this is the boat they were in.”

September 24, 1886 [SBDP]: “A report is brought from Santa Rosa Island that within the past few days a sailboat with the dead body of a man in or near it upon the beach was found by some people belonging to the island. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and was buried where found. From the evidence at hand it is believed to be one of the Italian fishermen who left Gaviota in a small boat several months ago, and were never heard from or of afterwords.”

September 25, 1886 [SBDI]: “W. S. Pierson, who has spent the summer at Mr. Stoddard’s place in Montecito, has gone over to Santa Rosa Island.”

February 22, 1889 [DAC]: “Sailed. February 21. Schooner Guide, [Captain] Thorsen, Santa Rosa Island.”

March 27, 1889 [SBMP]: “The late storm washed away a portion of the wharf at Santa Rosa Island. The schooner Glenn and a crew of men are now at the island making repairs.”

November 21, 1889 [DAC]: “Arrived. November 20. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 48 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 15, 1890 [DAC]: “Sailed. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland. Santa Rosa Island.”

May 16, 1890 [DAC]: “Among the vessels which sailed yesterday… the steamer Bonita [Captain] Leland, for Santa Rosa Island…”

May 20, 1890 [SBMP]: “The steamer Bonita will leave this morning for Santa Rosa Island for a cargo of wool for San Francisco.”

October 2, 1890 [DAC]: “Arrived. October 1. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

November 29, 1890 [DAC]: Arrived. November 28. Steamer Bonita, [Captain Leland], 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 9, 1890 [SFCall]: “A few days ago word was received here by telegraph that the steamer Undine had been lost in the Santa Barbara Channel and her crew of three drowned. Captain Tribble of the steamer Santa Cruz, which arrived on Sunday, reported that he had sighted the wreck and endeavored to rescue on of the crew who was clinging to the vessel, but was unsuccessful. Captain Leland of the steamer Bonita, which arrived yesterday, states that on the passage up he called at Santa Rosa Island, and Captain Moore, the superintendent there, told him that on Tuesday evening last he saw a schooner-rigged vessel, with mainsail and two jibs set, blow up and take fire. This was undoubtedly the Undine. She was run by means of an electric motor, the power being generated by means of naphtha or gasoline, and thus, no doubt, exploded. The Undine plied between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz Island.”

March 26, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived Wednesday, March 25. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 34 hours from Santa Rosa Island; produce, etc. to Goodall, Perkins & Co. Importations. Santa Rosa Island per Bonita — 1522 sheep, 10 lambs.”

March 26, 1891 [DAC]: “Arrived March 25. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 34 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 12, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Monday, May 11. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 12, 1891 [DAC]: “Arrived. May 11. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Leland, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 21, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Wednesday, May 20. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Nicholson, hours from Santa Rosa Island; 1610 sheep to J. Lorance.”

May 24, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Saturday, May 23. Steamer Alexander Duncan, [Captain] Tribble, 40 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock, to Goodall & Perkins.”

November 23, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Sunday, November 22. Steamer Farallon, [Captain] Bonifield, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island; 758-1/2 sacks wool; 17 bundles pelts; 100 hogs, to A. P. More.”

1892: “Santa Rosa Island has an extent of about 55,000 acres and is a very valuable island for stock growing purposes, there are said to be on the island more than 50,000 sheep and a number of thousand of horses, mules and cattle. On the west end of the island are shifting sands. To a small extent the greater portion of the island however seems to be covered with plain and stretches of level country where there grow abundances of wild oats and other grasses. Numerous canyons run from the coast to the interior. In some of these are a considerable number of live oaks and shrubs. A considerable amount of low brush also grown on some of the steep hillsides. My collections were made from the northeast side of the island from one of the best wetland and timbered cañons on the island, so Mr. John More, manager of the island, informs me. I am indebted for kindness in allowing me to accompany him on his visit to the island and also for valuable information regarding the island.” [Streator, Clark P. Santa Rosa Island, California July 1 to 3, 1892, Unpublished Field Notes. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Record Unit 7176, Box 42, Folder 2.].

July 20, 1892 [SBMP]: “Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. The Board reestablished the boundaries of the third Supervisor District… including also the islands of Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Anacapa…”

May 26, 1893 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa brought Mr. Moore over from Santa Rosa Island yesterday and will return taking two Chinamen over to look for abalones.”

June 9, 1894 [SBMP]: “Messrs. Samuel Braunhart and Tom Moore expect to leave today for Santa Rosa Island to appraise that property.”

August 13, 1894 [SBDI]: “A pile driver is now undergoing construction on the wharf here. When completed it will be taken to Santa Rosa Island on the schooner and put in shape for use there.”

August 16, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa this morning took on board the pile driver recently built on the wharf, and sailed with it to Santa Rosa Island this afternoon.”

August 29, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Rosa sailed last night for Goleta where she will take on a party of workmen and sail for the island to put up the new pile driver.”

September 2, 1894 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa returned yesterday from Santa Rosa Island where the crew has been assisting in driving piles for a wharf there.”

September 6, 1894 [SBDI]: “The steamer Bonita arrived this morning about 4 o’clock… She then left for More’s Landing where she took on about fifty piles for Santa Rosa Island.”

December 23, 1894 [SFCall]: “Sailed. Saturday, December 22. Schooner S. Danielson, [Captain] Gruggel, Santa Rosa Island in tow of tug Vigilent.”

May 18, 1897 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Monday, May 17. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Nicholson, 29 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock, etc. to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 19, 1895 [SFCall]: “Redondo. Sailed. May 18. Schooner Albion, for Santa Rosa Island.”

June 30, 1895 [SFCall]: “Redondo. Sailed. June 29. Schooner Albion, for Santa Rosa Island.”

August 26, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Schooner Albion, [Captain] Mageen, 7 days from Santa Rosa Island; wreckage [Crown of England] to California Iron and Wreckage Co.”

September 11, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Monday, September 10. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Anderson, 33 hours from Santa Rosa Island and way ports; produce, etc. to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

October 8, 1895 [SFCall]: Arrived. Monday, October 7. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 50 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

October 25, 1895 [SFCall]: Arrived. Thursday, October 24. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 36 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

November 24, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Saturday, November 23. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 36 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 5, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. December 4. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 16, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. December 15. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 33 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 25, 1895 [SFCall]: “Arrived. December 24. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 30 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

February 4, 1896 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Monday, February 3. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 36 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

February 13, 1896 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Wednesday, February 12. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

February 23, 1896 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Saturday, February 22. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Smith, 22 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 18, 1897 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Monday, May 17. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Nicholson, 29 hours from Santa Rosa Island; livestock, etc. to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

June 8, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “Santa Barbara Indians. At the meeting of the Historical Society last night, Dr. Stephen Bowers delivered an address on the Santa Barbara Indians… On Santa Rosa [Island] Dr. Bowers collected a ton of relics for the government, consisting of arrowheads, various kinds of implements and discs. The disc was a perforated stone used in the games of the Indians…”

August 9, 1897 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Sunday, August 8. Steamer Bonita, [Captain] Nicholson, 32 hours from Santa Rosa Island; produce and livestock to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

July 7, 1899 [SBDI]: “A party of campers left yesterday afternoon for Santa Rosa Island where they will remain a few weeks for an outing.”

August 1, 1899 [SBMP]: “Ex-Councilman, Frank P. Moore, superintendent of Santa Rosa Island, who has been on a month’s leave of absence, returned from San Francisco Sunday and will go over to the island in a few days.”

August 3, 1899 [SBMP]: “There is no truth to the rumor that Santa Rosa Island is about to be sold.”

August 9, 1899 [SBMP]: “Frank P. Moore has returned to Santa Rosa Island after a month’s vacation which was spent in San Francisco. Moore is superintendent of the island.”

January 6, 1900 [OC]: “The More heirs are going to sell Santa Rosa Island in small tracts to colonists in order to secure a fair division of the property. This throwing open of the island to the public will be beneficial to the towns on the mainland.”

March 4, 1900 [SBMP]: “Frank P. Moore, formerly prominent in local politics, now superintendent of Santa Rosa Island, is in the city for a few days.”

March 29, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “J. S. Hanchett, a well-known San Francisco man, and his father-in-law George Crocker, left here late last night on the schooner Restless for Santa Rosa Island, one of the channel group. The purpose of the visit is a thorough inspection of the island, which Mr. Hanchett is to make for an eastern syndicate. He said last night that he was not at liberty to give the names of those interested, but that his people meant business. He is to make a report upon his return, and upon this report the transfer of the island will largely depend. From other sources it is learned that there is really a prospect that the island may change hands. The price spoken of is $400,000. Mr. Hanchett said last night that the estimate was not far wrong. No information can be obtained as to what is to be done with the island property. It is said that the scheme is an agricultural one, but it is thought that a resort is contemplated. The island is twenty-eight miles offshore and is reached across smooth water. It possesses great natural beauty, and would make a fine resort.”

March 31, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless returned last night from Santa Rosa Island with the men who went over some time ago to repair the wharf there.”

April 4, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “There seems to be some prospect that the transfer of Santa Rosa Island from the A. P. More heirs to an Eastern syndicate may go through. Mr. Hanchett of San Francisco, who left here a few days ago to make an investigation of the resources of the island, returned last night, delighted with what he had seen. His report to the people he represents will undoubtedly be a very favorable one. Mr. Hanchett is the father-in-law of George Crocker, but whether Mr. Crocker is interested or not cannot be learned. The price set upon the island is said by Mr. Hanchett to be in the neighborhood of $400,000.”

April 10, 1900 [SBMP]: “The first transactions of interest in connection with the sale and development of Santa Rosa Island, as rumored for several months, was recorded yesterday, when a deed from Eleanor H. More, one of the heirs holding an undivided eighth interest, was filed, transferring to the Santa Rosa Island Company such interest, and receiving as payment, therefore 2995 shares of the capital stock of the corporation. At the same time there was filed the articles of incorporation of the Santa Rosa Island Company. The directors and stockholders are Knox Maddox, Milton S. Hamilton, Mark Lane and A. Loessel, all of San Francisco, and C. D. Stewart of Santa Clara. The capital stock is $300,000 with 30,000 shares of $10 each. Each of the directors holds five shares of stock. The articles are dated February 10, and bear the certificate of C. F. Curry, Secretary of State, under date of March 31, further than this transaction is not explained, but it is a step in the consolidation of the several interests, with the evident intention of keeping the property intact.”

May 21, 1900 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Sunday, May 20. Steamer Alexander Duncan, [Captain] Nopander, 126 hours from Santa Rosa Island and way ports.”

May 22, 1900 [SBDI]: “Schooner Santa Rosa arrived last night from the islands with a load of sheep shearers and hides.”

May 23, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Some weeks ago a Mr. Hanchett, representing certain capitalists, spent several days here making inquiries about the Santa Rosa Island property across the channel. He made a visit of inspection to the island and returned much pleased with what he saw. He stated that he thought the property might change hands, and when asked as to price said that the figures would not be far from $400,000. He is the father-in-law of George Crocker. Today L. E. Hanchett, a son, left for Santa Rosa Island with an expert to make a more complete investigation of the resources of the place. He will ride over most of the ground, viewing it as to its value from a cattle-raiser’s standpoint. The names of those wishing to buy the property are kept secret, but it is stated that the land will be put to use purely as stock land. Cattle and sheep will be raised on a large scale if the transfer is made. Of late the island has not been very heavily stocked, but in former times it was literally covered with cattle and sheep.”

June 1, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “L. E. Hanchett, Jr., of San Francisco, has returned to Santa Barbara from a trip across the channel to Santa Rosa Island. He went over with an expert to examine the island for a syndicate which may purchase the property. He returns, however, disappointed. He has found that Santa Rosa will not support nearly so many cattle as it was thought capable of supporting. The expert has carefully collected data as to the value of the property, and the purchase may yet be made. The price has not yet been made public. It is said to be about $400,000. Mr. Hanchett left this afternoon for San Francisco.”

July 28, 1900 [SFCall]: “Conspiracy the charge made by Eliza M. Miller. Avers that effort is being made to defraud the More heirs. Charges employees in the offices of Rodgers, Paterson & Slack with being directors of a fictitious corporation. A fictitious corporation, composed of the clerk, stenographer and notary to the offices of Rodges, Paterson & Slack, and two other persons who are unknown, but all conspiring together to defraud the heirs of Eleanore H. More out of her interest in the estate of A. P. More, is the alleged status and object for the existence of the Santa Rosa Island Company. This assertion is made by Eliza M. Miller, executrix of the will of the late A. P. More, and Cornelia A. Baldwin, in a contest filed yesterday to the application of the company named for distribution to it of wool and sheep belonging to the More estate. In the contest it is alleged that Eleanor H. More, who was entitled to one-eighth of A. P. More’s estate, died in March of this year. Six months prior to her death, the contestants continue, she was mentally incompetent. Taking advantage of that fact, John F. More and Peter W. Watson entered into a conspiracy to defraud her. They induced her to execute a power of attorney to Watson authorizing him to deal with her interests. They falsely asserted to her, it is claimed, that A. P. More was in his lifetime largely indebted to them and that the contestants, Mrs. Miller and Cornelia A. Baldwin, were endeavoring to deprive them of their rights. On these assertions, it is alleged, they enlisted the sympathies of Eleanor H. More and, it is averred, to aid them in the deceased executed the power of attorney. Then John F. More and P. W. Watson induced her to make a will bequeathing them her interest, which is valued at $50,000. The alleged fictitious corporation was then formed, the contestants claim, and in view of the fact that the will of Eleanor H. More, bequeathing her property to John F. More and P. W. Watson, is being contested, they pray that the Santa Rosa Island Company, ‘which has no legal interest in the estate,’ be denied the right to receive and dispose of the property named. Shortly after this answer was filed Judge Coffey called for hearing the application of the executrix of the More estate to sell Mescaltitan Island, a tract of land consisting of sixty acres, in Santa Barbara County. The sale of the land was confirmed to C. C. Sherman and Mr. Rowe for $4100.” [Note misspelling of the name Elinor H. Miller.]

September 1, 1900 [SBMP]: “Frank Moore, superintendent of Santa Rosa Island, is spending his vacation in town.”

June 22, 1901 [SBDI]: “Santa Rosa Island sold. Vail & Vickers, cattlemen, buy the property. They take immediate possession. New owners will stock the great range to its full capacity. The majority of interests in Santa Rosa Island, which was owned for many years by the late A. P. More, was sold today to Walter L. Vail and J. V. Vickers, one of the largest cattle firms in the country, whose headquarters are in Los Angeles, but whose large interests are in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Santa Rosa Island for many years has been one of the leading sheep and cattle ranges in the west. The new owners are the owners of the great Empire and CCC ranches in Arizona and the Pan Pasture Company of Texas. The price they paid for the island has not yet been made public.”

July 12, 1901 [SBMP]: “George S. Edwards has sold to Walter L. Vail and J. V. Vickers for a consideration of $11,000 in an undivided twenty-fourth interest in Santa Rosa Island.”

July 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless left for Santa Rosa Island with Mr. Cook, the new superintendent, and several head of rams for the island range. The new management has recently imported over a hundred head of rams from Arizona for their island possessions.” » MORE, Alexander Peter; Alexander P. More heirs

March 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “Island resort on Santa Rosa. Chicago capitalists said to be back of the scheme. Several hotels to be built. Two large passenger boats to ply between this city and island. Another island resort is to be one of Santa Barbara's attractions according to a story emanating from Los Angeles... negotiations are reported to be under way for the purchase of Santa Rosa Island by a wealthy syndicate of Chicago capitalists from the owner W. L. Vail of Los Angeles. In fact, an option is said to have been secured... At present it is used as a cattle and sheep ranch by Vail & Vickers who bought it about three years ago from the More estate for $300,000.”

May 28, 1906 [SFCall]: “San Pedro. May 27. The schooner Bainbridge, from San Pedro, for Port Blakeley, returned here, having been in collision with the barkentine Gleaner off Santa Rosa Island, carrying away the jib boom. The Gleaner was bound from San Pedro for Coos Bay.”

November 3, 1906 [LAT]: “News reached this port today, through the captain of the sloop Fawn, of San Pedro, a vessel that has been engaged in the crawfish industry on Santa Cruz Island, that, when passing Santa Rosa Island, which is about forty miles to sea from this port, he noticed that the 200-foot wharf of Santa Rosa Island Company had been destroyed. During the early part of the present week, a nor’easter was blowing in the channel near the islands, and it is believed the wharf was destroyed at that time. The gasoline launch of Frank Pepper, superintendent of the island, was not visible, and it is believed by the captain of the Fawn that she probably broke from her moorings and was sunk by the blow. As the sea was running high at the time the Fawn was near Santa Rosa, it was not deemed advisable to try to effect a landing and make inquiries. Santa Rosa Island is owned by Vail & Vickers of Los Angeles, and is stocked with horses and sheep. It is believed that a dozen workmen are employed on the island. No word has been received in this city from the island since last week. A rescue party will leave this city this afternoon, to render any assistance that may be needed. It is not yet known whether any lives were lost.”

1910 United States Census, Santa Rosa Island:

  • 1. Frank Pepper, 41, California-born, head man;
  • 2. Allan A. Miller, 19, California-born, hired man;
  • 3. Charles W. Smith, 26, California-born, hired man;
  • 4. Frank C. Dominguez, 36, California-born, hired man;
  • 5. Sawyer Emmett, 27, Tennessee-born hired man;
  • 6. Samuel McCoy, 51, Chinese cook;
  • 7. Santiago Quintero, 73, Mexican-born hired man;
  • 8. Leon C. Maynard, 47, California-born, hired man;
  • 9. W. S. Brakfild, 32, Ohio-born, hired man.

March 10, 1910 [SBMP]: “Information has been received via the Potter wireless, that the California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Maryland, the four armored cruisers, are lying peacefully off Beecher’s Cove in the Santa Cruz passage...”

March 12, 1910 [SBMP]: “...The U.S.S. Maryland anchored off Skunk Point on the southeast end of Santa Rosa Island, the California off Frazier Point on the northwest extremity of Santa Cruz [Island], while the Pennsylvania and Colorado had anchorage in Beecher’s Cove...”

March 16, 1910 [SBMP]: “Cruising ships plainly seen from shore... The other four with the supply ship Glacier made their anchorage at Beecher’s Cove last night...”

April 10, 1910 [LAT]: “The flagship Whipple and other vessels of the torpedo-boat flotilla now engaged at gun practice in the outer harbor will leave Monday for Santa [Rosa] Island. The vessels will engage in practice and maneuvers around the Channel Islands until May 1, when they will return to this port.”

April 10, 1910 [LAT]: “The flagship Whipple and other vessels of the torpedo-boat flotilla now engaged at gun practice in the outer harbor will leave Monday for Santa [Rosa] Island. The vessels will engage in practice and maneuvers around the Channel Islands until May 1, when they will return to this port.”

April 13, 1910 [LAH]: “San Pedro. April 12. The United States ship Whipple, Lieutenant Church commanding, and the torpedo boat destroyers Truxton, Hull, Perry, Prebel, Paul Jones, Stewart, Lawrence, Goldsborough and Rowan have completed gun practice in the outer harbor, and will sail tomorrow morning for Santa [Rosa] Island.”

April 14, 1910 [SFCall]: “Los Angeles. Sailed. United States steamers Truxton, Hull, Perry, Prebel, Paul Jones, Stewart, Lawrence, Goldsborough, Rowan and Whipple for Santa [Rosa] Island, to continue gun practice.”

April 14, 1910 [SBI]: “Pacific torpedo flotilla at Beecher’s Cove…”

April 23, 1910 [LAH]: “San Pedro. April 22. Arrived. Flagship Whipple and the U.S. torpedo boat destroyers Perry, Preble, Truxton, Stewart, Lawrence, Goldsborough, Paul Jones and Hull, from Beecher’s Cove, Santa [Rosa] Island, for coal and provisions. Will remain until Monday, then returning to Santa [Rosa] Island to resume gun practice.”

May 1, 1910 [LAH]: “Sailed. Torpedo boat destroyers Perry, Preble, Paul Jones and Stewart, for Beecher’s Cove, Santa [Rosa] Island, to resume target practice; the Lawrence, Goldsborough, Truxton, Hull, Rowan and Whipple will follow tomorrow.”

May 6, 1910 [LAH]: “San Pedro. May 5. Arrived. Torpedo boat destroyers Whipple, Truxton, Hull, Perry, Prebel, Paul Jones, Stewart, Lawrence, Goldsborough and Rowan from Beecher’s Cove, Santa [Rosa] Island.”

October 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “Six vessels will make their headquarters at Beechers Bay during October for annual drill and maneuvers. Cruisers come during the following month. Supplies will be purchased from Santa Barbara where one or more of the ships will call frequently. The torpedo flotilla leaves San Pedro today for Beechers Bay on the east end of Santa Rosa Island for a month of target practice and maneuvers. There are six boats in the fleet: the Paul Jones, Preble, Stewart, Truxton, Goldsborough and Perry… Last year when the fleet was at Beechers, there was one or more of the vessels in Santa Barbara harbor every two or three days…”

October 22, 1910 [SBI]: “The torpedo boat destroyer, Stewart, Lieutenant Lightie in command, which came into port Friday afternoon, steamed out this morning to join the flotilla at Beecher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island. It is expected that the whole flotilla will leave for San Pedro not later than Tuesday next.”

October 6, 1911 [LAT]: “The United States revenue cutter McCullouch, Captain Sill, arrived today from San Diego and will proceed tomorrow for Santa Rosa Island to spend a week in cruising around the Channel Islands.”

1912: an earthquake with its epicenter near Santa Rosa Island creates a landslide 1000 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 50 feet deep in the vicinity of Lobo Canyon.

October 11, 1914 [SBMP]: “Yesterday Captain Frank Nidever came to the mainland from Santa Rosa Island in the launch Tortuga, bringing Joe Bermudez, one of the island workmen who had fallen from the roof of a barn and dislocated an ankle in striking the ground. Superintendent Miller accompanied the victim of the accident, who was taken to his home at 625 East Haley Street, where a surgeon was called to attend to his injury.”

November 14, 1915 [SBMP]: “A crew of men is at work driving piles at the dock at Beecher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island, the location of Vail & Vickers’ principal station on the island.”

December 23, 1915 [SBMP]: “Vail & Vickers’ power schooner, the Vaquero, came over from Santa Rosa Island yesterday morning with seven of the pile driving crew at work there, and returned to her island port in the evening.”

May 3, 1918 [OC]: “The Vaquero came in on Sunday to get a crew of men and eucalyptus piles to go over to Santa Rosa Island to put in a wharf for the Santa Rosa Island company. The wharf is to be used to ship sheep and cattle. Those who went over were Charles Perdue in charge of the crew, D. L. Johnson, Emil Barsot, John Carter and Elmer Morrison. A drill is to be used to drill in the rock and then it is to be dynamited so as to put the piles in.”

July 10, 1918 [OC]: “Five Hueneme men have returned from Santa Rosa Island where they assisted in building a wharf for the company owning the island. Blue gum was used for piling. The company has several thousand head of cattle on the island. In the party were L. D. Johnson, Charles Perdue, S. Barstow, John Carter and Elmer Martin.”

1920 United States Census, Santa Rosa Island:

  • 1. Charles W. Smith, 47, New York-born, head man;
  • 2. Refugia Smith, 27, Arizona-born, wife;
  • 3. Charles W. Smith, Jr., 5, California-born, son;
  • 4. Eduard Smith, 2, California-born, son;
  • 5. George Lopez, 24, Arizona-born hired man;
  • 6. Michael Figueroa, 22, hired man;
  • 7. Charles L. Maynard, 59, California-born, hired man;
  • 8. Charles E. Conklin, 68, Arizona-born, hired man;
  • 9. Juan Sienas [Sierra], 29, Arizona-born, hired man;
  • 10. Maria Sienas [Sierra], 25, Arizona-born, wife;
  • 11. Manuela Sienas [Sierra], 7, California-born, daughter;
  • 12. Santiago Sienas [Sierra], 6, California-born, son;
  • 13. Louise Sienas [Sierra], 2, California-born, daughter;
  • 14. Tomas Sienas [Sierra], 6 months, California-born, son
  • 15. Maska Sienas [Sierra], 22, Arizona-born, brother

September 29, 1925 [SBMP]: “New light house on island in use. Operated by a 90-candle power lamp, the light house on the south point of Santa Rosa Island, 30 miles off Santa Barbara, is now in service as a warning guide to mariners. The light house which stands about 300 feet above sea level, flashes a white light every 12 seconds, the light being visible for a full second.”

1930 United States Census, Santa Rosa Island:

  • 1. Charles Smith (57)
  • 2. Charles L. Maynard (70)
  • 3. Russell Hayden (18)
  • 4. William Goodman (27)
  • 5. Joe Lopez (46)
  • 6. Juan Ayon (40)
  • 7. George Lopez (35)
  • 8. Zezeins [?] Lopez (51)

1940 United States Census, Santa Rosa Island:

November 8, 1941: “The first contingent of the Museum party left Terminal Island at 8:00 A.M. November 8, 1941, sailing on the Velero III, as guests of Captain Allan Hancock. The museum group consisted of Kenneth Stager, mammalogist and ornithologist; Mrs. Stager, as field assistant to her husband, and camp cook; King A. Richey, paleontologist; Harry Fletcher and John C. Stock, assistant paleontologists, and the writer [John A. Comstock], as coordinator. Anchorage was made in Becher’s Bay just before dusk, in a high wind. Landing dunnage and camp supplies proved difficult, but was finally completed without mishap. Mr. N. R. Vail furnished a tractor and trailer to move the equipment and supplies from the pier to a cabin which was generously placed at the disposal of the Survey party. Mr. Vail and the ranch foreman, Mr. George Haise, were very helpful in organizing facilities for the convenience and comfort of our group…” [LACM Expedition #13.] Comstock, John A. Brief notes on the expeditions conducted between March 16, 1940 and December 14, 1941 in Contributions from the Los Angeles Museum Channel Islands Biological Survey. Bulletin of the So. Cal. Acad. Sciences XLV, May-August, 1946, Part 2.

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.