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San Clemente Island herders, 1916


Vessels used to haul sheep and wool from San Clemente Island include:

In the News~

1793. “In 1793 Vancouver reported sheep on San Clemente [Island], but it was nearly 1850 before all of these islands were stocked...” [E. N. Wentworth. America's Sheep Trails (1948)].

[1854]. April 6, 1916 [LAT]: “...Sheep were first put on the island in 1854, and have been pastured there ever since. For half a century the animals existed without water save what they got from occasional morning dew and from a small, water-bearing plant, "siempre viva."...”

June 5, 1862 [Greenwell letter]: “[San Clemente Island has] about 150 head of wild sheep…”

February 7, 1865 [SF Bulletin]: “Matters on the Southern Coast. San Pedro, February 2, 1865. For the last ten days we have had a series of rain storms...Nearly every trip the steamer takes up fat beef from this county; and mutton from Clemente Island went up by last trip of the Senator, which must have caused surprise to many persons there, knowing as all do of the severe drought for the past two years. The mutton has but one fault—it is too fat. We killed one of the sheep recently which weighed, dressed, 109 pounds. Before cooking it was necessary to strip off the tallow which, when tried out, weighed nearly 40 pounds. The men residing on Clemente (which is 20 miles or more outside of Catalina) engaged in herding sheep, which grow to enormous size though they __ ___ to ___ without water. Several ___ ___ have prospected for mineral on San Clemente, but have not succeeded in finding any thing ___, though minerals exist there. One of the men living there, a Swede, I think, who is generally known by the name of John Brown No. 1, has a sloop, and frequently takes freight and passengers from the island. The other two men, who are Americans, have a nice vessel, nearly completed, built by themselves there, and will soon be ready to transport their own sheep and wool to a market. The climate on both Catalina and Clemente is said by all those who have resided on these islands, to be much superior to that on the mainland, not being so liable to sudden changes, neither is there much fog. I have written this much for the purpose of letting the readers of the Bulletin, and those who are invalids particularly, know of a chance to regain health without previously visiting the Islands, as many have done... ”

April 20, 1872 [PRP]: “San Clemente Island lies about twenty-five miles west of Catalina Island, and is about its equal in size. At present it is utilized as a sheep-run, there being at the time of the last shearing from ten to fifteen thousand sheep browsing on its pasturage. In consequence of its distance from the mainland, added to its isolated position, shepherds are dispensed with, and no attention is paid to the flocks by their owners from one shearing season to another. Strange to say, not a spring or stream of water has yet been discovered on any part of the island. The sheep are supposed to obtain moisture to allay their thirst from the sea fogs with which the grass is almost constantly drenched. These fogs also sustain good pasturage throughout the year, and the sheep are always in good condition. The wool season having fairly set in, sheep shearers are now on their way to the island to ease the flocks of their fleece. The wool is brought away in the schooner that conveys the shearers thither. The number of sheep on the island cannot be ascertained until the shearing, which will continue for three weeks or a month, has been completed. Unless some evil has befallen the flock, their number now is double that of last year.”

April 11, 1876 [SBMP]: “The wool clip of San Clemente Island consists of 600 bales, and has been sold in Los Angeles at from four to six cents per pound above the common price.”

March 30, 1877 [SBMP]: “The schooner Louisa Harker Captain Anderson, from San Clemente Island, arrived at Wilmington on the 25th inst., bringing one hundred sacks of wool consigned to the Southern Pacific Railroad for shipment to San Francisco.”

April 11, 1878 [SF Bulletin]: “San Clemente Island. San Clemente Island lies about twenty-five miles west of Catalina Island, and is about its equal in size. At present it is utilized as a sheep-run, there being at the time of the last shearing from ten to fifteen thousand sheep browsing on its pasturage. In consequence of its distance from the mainland, added to its isolated position, shepherds are dispensed with, and no attention is paid to the flocks by their owners from one shearing to another. Strange to say, not a spring or stream of water has yet been discovered on any part of the island. The sheep are supposed to obtain moisture to allay their thirst from the sea fogs with which the grass is almost constantly drenched. These fogs also sustain good pasturage throughout the year, and the sheep are always in good condition, the wool season having fairly set in, sheep-shearers are now on their way to the Island to ease the flocks of their fleece. The wool is brought away in the schooner that conveys the shearers thither. The number of sheep on the Island cannot be ascertained until the shearing, which will continue for three weeks or a month has been completed. Unless some evil has befallen the flock, their number is now double that of last year. (Los Angeles News.)”

May 21, 1878 [SBMP]: “A man just returned from San Clemente Island, reports that fully 9000 sheep perished there last season on account of the drought. About 7000 still remain on the Island, all of which are in a flourishing condition, the grasses being very luxuriant.”

July 27, 1879 [LAH]: “In the matter of the assessment of the Clemente Island Wool Company, assessed for 8,000 sheep.”

April 6, 1880 [San Francisco Bulletin]: “Last week a gang of 25 sheep shearers, principally Indians from San Bernardino, came over from San Clemente Island and were paid off in Los Angeles. About half of them were afterwards arrested for being drunk and for fighting.”

July 11, 1882 [LAT]: “The Board of Supervisors sat all day yesterday as a Board of Equalization. No reductions have been asked for to this date. The following corporations have been cited to appear to show cause why their assessments should not be raised: Clemente Island Wool Company…”

July 13, 1882 [LAT]: “In the matter of Clemente Island Wool Company, cited to appear and show cause why their assessment should not be raised. On motion of Supervisor Cooper, case dismissed.”

January 16, 1873 [SDU]: “When the schooner A. P. Jordan set sail from San Geronimo Island, it was compelled to leave behind four sheep that succeeded in escaping from the corral in which they had been confined after their rescue from the wreck of the Sacramento. There is a bare possibility that the poor animals will live, as the island is sparsely covered with a plant strongly resembling an ice plant, upon which it is believed they will browse. The heavy night dews and ocean fogs peculiar to all the islands along the coast may furnish them with an ample supply of moisture to quench thirst, in the same manner as the numerous flocks on San Clemente Island are supplied, there being not a drop of fresh water known to exist on it.”

August 27, 1874 [SDU]: “They are preparing for lamb-shearing over at Catalina Island. The sheep interest of this island and Clemente are of considerable magnitude. Of the former there are four bands, aggregating about 10,000 head. On the latter there are nearly 40,000. Last year 160 bales of wool were shipped from Clemente.”

1875:Salvador Ramirez, a Spaniard of the old school who came to San Clemente in 1875 as a young man to tend sheep, and who has lived for the most part on the island since then, gave me the following information…” [J. Dixon, Unpublished Field Notes, MVZ, Berkeley].

March 30, 1877 [SBDP]: “The schooner Louisa Harker, Captain Anderson, from San Clemente Island, arrived at Wilmington on the 25th inst., bringing one hundred sacks of wool consigned to the Southern Pacific Railroad for shipment to San Francisco.”

April 15, 1878 [SBDP]: “The steamer San Vicente recently took fifty sheep-shearers from Wilmington to San Clemente Island to shear the herd of 75,000 sheep at that place belonging to Messrs. Goodwin & Mace.”

May 18, 1878 [LAH]: “Oscar Macy, who has returned from a visit of some weeks’ duration at San Clemente Island, informs us that fully 9000 sheep perished there last season on account of the drouth. About 7000 still remain on the island, all of which are in a flourishing condition, the grasses being very luxuriant.”

May 21, 1878 [SBDP]: “A man just returned from San Clemente Island, reports that fully 9000 sheep perished there last season on account of the drought. About 7000 still remain on the island, all of which are in a flourishing condition, the grasses being very luxuriant.”

December 22, 1878 [NYT]: “The Lebanon (Penn.) Courier prints the following extract of a letter from Stehman Forney of the United States Coast Survey, dated on the Island of San Clemente in the Pacific, December 1, 1878:

‘I am at present engaged in making a survey of San Clemente Island. It is 40 miles from the mainland, and is 22 miles in length and 2 miles wide. It is a wild, dreary place, with no water on it, except in immense natural tanks, which are so deep and precipitous that the water in them is inaccessible. I transport the water for my men and horses from the mainland. There is no wood, either, on the island, which is of volcanic formation, and composed of lava and conglomerate. The top of the island is covered with an abundance of grass, which sustains about 10,000 sheep, and, strange to say, they live, grow very fat, and are very profitable to their owners, and yet in the summer season get no water, except in the form of dew on the grass. There is, however, a peculiar plant on the island, called the ice plant, which is filled with moisture and is eaten by the sheep to quench their thirst. They are very fat, and make the finest mutton I have ever eaten.”

May 18, 1878 [LAH]: “Mr. Oscar Macy, who has returned from a visit of some weeks duration at San Clemente Island, informs us that fully 9,000 sheep perished there last season on account of the drouth. About 7,000 still remain on the island, all of which are in a flourishing condition, the grasses being very luxuriant.”

March 27, 1879 [SBDP]: “Sheep shearing is now in full blast, and we are told that in this vicinity the clip will be very large. We see it stated in a Los Angeles paper that there are 11,000 sheep on Clemente Island, and that shearing has begun there.”

June 30, 1879 [Stehman Forney to Mr. Carlile Pollock Patterson, Superintendent, U.S. Coast Survey]: “…The island of San Clemente is the property of the United States, and at present is occupied by Messrs. Goodwin and Mace of Los Angeles, Cal. They support from eight to nine thousand head of sheep upon it. Strange as it may appear, many of the sheep do not have a drop of fresh water to drink during six months of the year, and yet they are fat, and make the finest mutton I have ever eaten. During the winter and spring months they get ”

July 27, 1879 [LAH]: “In the matter of the assessment of the Clemente Island Wool Company, assessed for 8,000 sheep.”

March 29, 1881 [LAH]: “Arrived, March 23, schooner San Mateo, Sylvia, master, 24 hours from San Clemente with wool for Polaski & Co.”

March 30, 1881 [LAH]: “The San Clemente Island, as a sheep range, is a very curious region. To begin with, there is no water there. Springs and running streams are strangers to this pastoral ocean coigne of vantage. Yet there is an abundant herbage upon this strange land, which reconciles the numerous flocks to the deprivation of water, and they flourish galore without stream or spring. Last year the Messrs, Goodwin, Mace and Macy, who have large flocks upon the island, netted $25,000 from their common venture. It is said, of late, that the flocks are steadily but surely easting off the grasses and herbage that have hitherto proved abundantly sufficient for pasture, and that the time is not far distant when the flocks must either be removed to the mainland or starve. In past years the San Clemente Island has afforded pasturage for extensive flocks, whose owners have made money, but who have at last yielded to the drouth, and the bones of unnumbered flocks encumber its now verdant fields. After these drouths has come a moist season, the grasses again springing up, and years of profitable speculation have followed. The sheep, in a short time, become so wild that they have been lassoed, to gather in their fleeces. The fact of the existence of sheep, by the twenty thousand, on a pasture range absolutely without water, justifies us in penning this brief note of an eccentric freak of nature.”

April 12, 1881 [LAH]: “Arrived, April 7th, schooner San Mateo, Sylvia, master, twelve hours from San Clemente Island, with passengers and wool.”

July 11, 1882 [LAT]: “The Board of Supervisors sat all day yesterday as a Board of Equalization. No reductions have been asked for to this date. The following corporations have been cited to appear to show cause why their assessments should not be raised: Clemente Island Wool Company…”

July 13, 1882 [LAT]: “In the matter of Clemente Island Wool Company, cited to appear and show cause why their assessment should not be raised. On motion of Supervisor Cooper, case dismissed.”

June 7, 1883 [SBDP]: “The San Clemente Island wool clip amounts to 40,000 pounds of fine wool.”

June 9, 1883 [LAT]: “The sheep-shearing at San Clemente Island yields about forty thousand pounds. These sheep never drank water as a beverage in their lives, because they were raised on an island that has no water except the ocean which surrounds it.”

November 10, 1883 [PRP]: “On the Island of Santa Catalina there are supposed to be about 17,000 sheep, besides about 4000 wild goats. On the Island of San Clemente, close by, there are about 4000 sheep that have been born and raised on the island without having tasted water.”

March 8, 1884 [PRP]: “Express, March 1. The annual clip of the many thousands of sheep on San Clemente Island is progressing rapidly. Two of the owners of this stock, with a large force of assistants, have been at the island for about two weeks, and may not return for a month yet, as the number of sheep are increasing yearly. As there is no water on the island, supplies for the shearers and owners are large, and sometimes the schooner yacht which is used, is sent back to San Pedro with fleece for storage and more supplies. When only water is needed, it is sometimes obtained from wells at Santa Catalina Island, only 30 miles distant, but this supply is necessarily limited. As this clip is only made once a year, instead of twice, the fleece is long and fine, being unusually clean as compared with the fleece on the mainland, brings the top price, and nets a nice round sum for the fortunate owners. It is 80 miles from Los Angeles — 25 by rail and 55 by water.”

March 18, 1885 [DAC]: “Importations. Newport — per Newport. San Clemente Island — 403 sheep.”

April 2, 1885 [DAC]: “Importations. Newport — per Newport. San Clemente Island — 750 sheep.”

August 1888: “... After our excitement was over and the shock of a close call had subsided, we looked towards the shore and saw a man standing in front of the cabin. We learned afterwards that his name was Gallagher. He had expected to see us land on the rocks and had come out in front of his cabin to see the crash. Some of the men went ashore [from the San Diego] to see him and find out how he came to be there. They learned that he had lived there many years. As to the cause of his being a hermit, they were not able to ascertain anything. He was a man of intelligence. The first thing he asked for was for books and magazines. But he was very reticent concerning his own life. In fact he refused to give any information touching his past. We soon learned that the island contained about twenty thousand head of sheep, which belonged to a firm in Los Angeles. That it was their custom to send a ship over once a year with men to corral and shear the sheep. That no other vessel had ever visited the island up to that time. In fact, Gallagher said that we were the first pleasure party that had he had ever seen visiting San Clemente. My brother who was a good marksman, asked Mr. Gallagher if he might go out and kill a sheep, as we were getting hungry for some fresh meat. The old man said that he, himself, had no firearms, and would enjoy a mess of mutton himself. That he would be glad to have my brother kill a sheep or two. So Arthur and Billy Sexton took their Winchesters and started out. They found the sheep as wild as deer, but picked off a couple of fat lambs and were back in a short time, each with a saddle. One of these they gave to Gallagher...” [Cheetham, Francis. San Clemente — Fifty-two Years Ago in The Quarterly: Historical Society of Southern California 22(1):33-46, March, 1940]

November 25, 1888 [SF Chronicle]: “A Mysterious Island. Archaeological Treasures of San Clemente. A Visit of Exploration. What the explorers found—numerous remains on an extinct race. Pasadena, November 9, 1888. The expedition sent out by the Daily Star of this city to San Clemente Island, in the interest of archaeology and paleontology, was surprisingly successful...At present there are 25,000 sheep pastured here, owned by Messrs. Macey [sic] and Goodwin of Los Angeles. The guard of these sheep is a large, fat, good-natured Irishman from the "North Country," who has been the sole resident on this desolate isle for nearly twenty-seven years. The old man's face brightened when we came ashore and he first et eyes upon us, yet he says he never gets lonesome. The constant beating of the waves at the very foot of his cabin and the otherwise oppressive stillness, which would well nigh drive an ordinary mortal mad, never ruffles his spirit or alter the serene and complacent look on his face. Tom Gallagher—for such is his name—received for his services the extortionate sum of $15 per month in gold coin of the United States of America. Mr. Gallagher was of material assistance to our party in locating some of the ancient camp-grounds and burial mounds of the Indians who at one time inhabited the island...”

April 10, 1891 [LAT]: “Schooner San Mateo, [Captain] Sylvia, from Clemente Island, 200 sheep to Los Angeles Slaughtering Co.”

May 9, 1891 [LAT]: “From Catalina Island, sheep, to S. C. Hubbell, May 7, schooner San Mateo, [Captain] Sylvia, from Clemente Island, 20 tons wool, to S. P. Co.”

May 14, 1891 [LAT]: “Schooner San Mateo, [Captain] Gonzales, from San Clemente Island, eight tons wool to S. C. Hubbell.”

August 29, 1891 [LAT]: “The attempt to boom San Clemente fell flat, and the island will continue to be used as a sheep pasture as it has been for years.”

August 17, 1892 [LAH]: “The schooner Kewee, Captain Whitley, arrived today from San Clemente Island with 500 sheep for Oscar Macy.”

August 17, 1892 [LAH]: “The schooner Kewee, Captain Whitley, arrived today from San Clemente Island with 500 sheep for Oscar Macy.”

September 2, 1892 [LAH]: “San Clemente. The sheep men have no lease to the island. A San Diego County Surveyor enthuses over the place. Land as good as found anywhere. The climate perfect. Ex-supervisor Oscar Macy was seen by a Herald Examiner reporter yesterday and asked about San Clemente Island. He stated that the Wool Growers’ company in which he was interested had no claim to the island beyond that of using it as a pasture. He did not think, however, that people would care to settle on it to any great extent. The San Diegan, of Monday, contains the following matter apropos: ‘A good deal of interest is just now being manifested in San Clemente Island, which lies forty miles off the coast due west from Del Mar. It has been supposed by most people that the island was personal property through the operation of a Mexican land grant, but a search of the records show that it is ordinary government land, and as open to entry by homesteaders as any other unsurveyed government land. The result of this discovery is that a number of people from Los Angeles have gone “west” to San Clemente and staked out homestead claims. There is also talk here of organizing a party for the same purpose. Last May County Surveyor Allen, acting as United States deputy surveyor, went to San Clemente with a force of men and ran lines for three light house reservations and for a road to connect them all. The land lays somewhat in the form of a pyramid, the north end tapering to quite a narrow point, and the south end or base being broader. A light house reservation was staked off at the two corners of the base or south end, and at the north end, called Schubert’s Harbor. Mr. Allen said today his surveyors showed the island to be 20 miles long and from 2 to 6 miles wide. Portions of it are plenty high enough to keep people out of the mud, the altitude in places reaching 1900 feet. The shore next to San Diego is almost a wall, the bluffs rising from the water at an angle of 45 feet up to about the highest elevation of the island. From the crest of this bluff the land slopes gently to the waters’ edge on the west. The southern third of the island is broken and full of canyons, of value only as reservoirs for water caught by winter rains. The northern two-thirds is fairly level, the slope being to the west and north. At the extreme northern end the land is sandy, but the middle belt is of adobe foundation, “and when I was there,” said Surveyor Allen, “was covered with fileria two feet high. There are in fact,” he said, “thousands of acres of as good land there as there is anywhere in the world, and the climate tempered by the ocean, is perfect.” Up to a short time ago, it was supposed no fresh water could be obtained except that which was caught in the canyons, but a well was then dug and reasonably good water was found. The absence of water is the chief obstacle to a residence and cultivation of the soil, however. Tom Gallagher has for over twenty years been the sole occupant of the land, which has been used as a free sheep pasture by the San Clemente Wool Grower’s Association. Indian mounds and relics found there make the place of historic interest.”

September 3, 1892 [LAT]: “Articles of incorporation were filed with the County Clerk yesterday by the San Clemente Wool Company, formed for the purpose of carrying on the business of raising sheep for mutton and wool, etc., with a capital stock of $50,000, all of which has been fully subscribed. Its board of directors consists of F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley of Avalon; S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy of this city, and Charles E. W. Hubbell of Compton.”

September 3, 1892 [LAT]: “Articles of incorporation were filed with the County Clerk yesterday by the San Clemente Wool Company, formed for the purpose of carrying on the business of raising sheep for mutton and wool, etc., with a capital stock of $50,000, all of which has been fully subscribed. Its board of directors consists of F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley of Avalon; S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy of this city, and Charles E. W. Hubbell of Compton.”

September 3, 1892 [LAH]: “A new wool company. Yesterday the San Clemente Wool company filed articles of incorporation in the county clerk's office. The principal place of business of the company is in Los Angeles, and the directors are F. P. Whittley and Lucy Whittley, Avalon, S. C. Hubbell and Oscar Macy, Los Angeles, and Charles E. W. Hubbell, Compton. The capital stock is $50,000, all of which has been actually subscribed.”

September 21, 1892 [LAH]: “Real estate transfers. O. Macy et al to San Clemente Wool Co. — San Clemente Island, $5000.”

December 21, 1892 [LAT]: “San Clemente Wool Company vs. Alexander O’Larrey; suit in ejectments to recover possession of part of San Clemente Island and for $500 damages.”

December 21, 1892 [LAH]: “San Clemente Wool Company vs. Alex O’Larrey. The plaintiff claims to have been in possession of all of San Clemente Island for 20 years past, and alleges that within the last year the defendant has unlawfully taken possession of Mosquito Harbor on the island. The plaintiff sues for restitution of the premises and $500 damages.”

February 27, 1894 [LAT]: “The San Clemente Wool Company gained judgment for possession against O’Larrey yesterday in Department Five.”

February 27, 1894 [LAH]: “Judge Shaw gave judgment for plaintiff yesterday in the suit of San Clemente Wool Company vs. O'Leary.”

March 2, 1894 [LAH]: “Oscar Macy, who has been in charge at the county jail for many months, resigned yesterday, and P. J. Kennedy was selected to fill the vacancy. Mr. Macy will devote his time to business interests, particularly to the vast herds of sheep he has on San Clemente Island.”

April 13, 1895 [LAH]: “Marine news. Arrived — schooner Keywe. Moreglio, master, from Clemente, 16,000 pounds wool to S. C. Hubbell.”

April 20, 1895 [LAH]: “Marine news. San Pedro April 19, 1895. Arrived: schooner Keywe. Moreglio, master, from Clemente, with 45 bales of wool to S. C. Hubbell.”

August 2, 1895 [LAT/SCat]: “Gallagher, the seer of San Clemente Island, spent last night at Avalon en route to Los Angeles on his annual visit to this city.”

September 13, 1896 [SF Chronicle]: “San Clemente, the southernmost of the Santa Barbara chain of islands. It has been devoted to sheep pasturing for thirty years and is settled by a small community. San Clemente Island, which constitutes the southernmost of the Santa Barbara archipelago, is not a popular watering place. It probably never will be, for in summer it has all the characteristics of a desert, and no hotel man, however enterprising he may be, will think it worth his while to invite them over the broad reach on an unsteady sea to the questionable delights of a desert island. During the past summer I [HARRY B. TORREY] formed one of a party of four from the University of California, and spent several weeks in scientific exploration upon the island, and we have some reason to remember a necessary dearth of modern conveniences for human comfort. There are a few mortals who gloat over Clemente's security from an invasion by society. First among these are the sheep-owners, whose policy has ever been to discourage all attempts of others to profit as they have profited by the free use of the land, for the island has not yet been opened by the Government for settlement. Thirty years ago three Los Angeles men—Macy, Goodwin and Crawford—took advantage of its favorable character as a sheep range to stock it with a small flock. An investment of only a few dollars has since yielded enormous profits, and the original flock has multiplied to about 15,000 sheep, and, in addition, the island now pastures 1000 head of cattle. To the occupants the island has been a virtual int, and with a jealous eye every acre of its seventy-two sections is guarded against further settlement, those now in possession may become the sole purchasers if possible. The others who are pleased with Clemente's undesirable character for a genial rendezvous are those who think it is enough in itself without the pleasures and excitement of social life. Curiously enough, these are not all mere visitors, whose aim is to get away for a period from civilization. The one man who would be most thoroughly chagrined at the appearance of a crowd of summer boarders is a man who never leaves the island from one year's end to the other. In fact, for months at a time he is the only inhabitant, a condition which has given him the appellation of "The Hermit of San Clemente." His real name is Gallagher—Tom Gallagher—and he is old enough to be the original of the remark, "Let her go, Gallagher!" Tom Gallagher knows more about Clemente than you can always get him to tell, for the "old man" is not always communicative. During the Civil War he was a private in the Federal Army, and was stationed for a portion of his term of enlistment at the military post which then existed on Santa Catalina. One little valley on Catalina Island is named for him. At the end of the war he came to Clemente and has since made it his home. In that time he has been associated in one or another capacity with the sheep=owners, and his duties have made him familiar with every foot of the island. At one time there were two sheep companies on the island. Gallagher was then at a point called Middle Ranch, or Halfway House, from its central position; and from that place he ranged across the island, which is here less than four miles wide, keeping sheep of one company, which fed on the eastern half of the island, separate from the flock which grazed on the western half. At that time there were about 25,000 sheep on the island. Water was then more plentiful than it is now and grass was more abundant. Now there are about 15,000 sheep there. The grass during the dry season is thin and dry, and water is very scarce. When Gallagher first landed at Wilson's Cove—or Gallagher's, as it is now called—he had to wade through grass a foot high, which grew down to the water's edge. The whole neighborhood was fertile and green. About Gallagher's now the earth produces little more than scrubby cactus and a stunted chaparral. It is dry, dusty, rocky; and a strong wind prevails from 10 o'clock in the morning until midnight nearly every day. This wind is singularly local, and due to local causes, for in other parts of the island—even the most unprotected parts, such as the crests of the hills—hardly a breath of air is stirring.... For two nights we stopped with Mr. and Mrs. Jensen, who attend to the pumping for the sheep and cattle. They are a most agreeable and hospitable couple, and, with Gallagher, constitute the regular inhabitants of the island, though they leave when the rains begin, as their work is then over...”

September 30, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “S. C. Hubbell of Los Angeles, who is a monopolist to the extent of owning all the sheep on San Clemente Island, sailed over from there this morning in the Brothers, to take the steamer for San Pedro today.”

April 16, 1898 [LAT]: “The San Pedro Times reports that there are some 5000 sheep and 1000 head of cattle on Clemente Island which will be brought to the mainland to be fed, owing to the scarcity of feed there.”

November 20, 1898 [LAH]: “Dying by the thousands. It is reported that the dry season is playing havoc with the herds of sheep on San Clemente Island, and the animals are dying rapidly owing to a lack of water and feed. Judge S. C. Hubbell of this city, is interested in the San Clemente Wool Company, and he states that within a month all of the flocks will be gone. The sheep are simply dying from starvation and thirst. There is no disease among them, and in spite of this fact, the owners, and shepherds are helpless to save them, as it is impossible to provide the animals with water or food.”

November 24, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “Anent the proposition of taking stone for the construction of the harbor at San Pedro from San Clemente Island, Charles E. W. Hubbell, one of the owners of the sheep on that island, who spends the greater part of his time there, while at Avalon a few days ago gave expression to the opinion that Heldmaier & Neu are making a mistake in planning to get the material for the breakwater at San Clemente…”

February 5, 1899 [CDT]: “One of our desert islands. San Clemente, off the coast of California and under our flag, is as barren as Sahara… Wilson’s Cove offers a comparatively safe harbor… San Clemente forms a pasture for thousands of sheep and a smaller number of cattle, and Wilson’s Cove is the headquarters of the sheep herders when they are on the island. That is chiefly in the spring and summer…”

January 31, 1900 [LAT/SBer]: “Messrs. E. L. Doran, L. Bloodgood, E. P. Averill and Al Shade returned yesterday from a week’s outing on San Clemente Island. They explored the island from end to end, and incidentally employed a portion of their tine in searching for Indian relics, and were richly rewarded, bringing back enough to stock a small museum…”

February 27, 1900 [LAT/SCat]: “San Clemente is given over to sheep raising, C. S. Hubbell & Son owning the herds. Sheep shearing is now on, and they have some forty or fifty men there rounding up and shearing. Last season they lost a large number of sheep because of the drought, but they have fared better this season in respect to rain, and feed is plentiful. Some weeks ago, when no rain fell here, they had a copious downpour.”

March 20, 1900 [LAT]: “Contract annulled. Heldmaier & Neu lose San Pedro Harbor job. War Department approves and adopts the recommendations made by Captain J. J. Meyler, Engineer in charge… Bidders were given the option of choosing rock from government quarries on San Clemente Island, or furnishing rock from other sources. Heldmaier & Neu bid for San Clemente rock…”

March 28, 1899 [LAT]: “The San Clemente Wool Company has brought suit against one Peter Jensen, who has squatted on the island of San Clemente and is alleged to have taken up almost one hundred acres of land. The wool company claims title by long continued and undisturbed possession, and now seeks to recover damages and restitution.”

April 1, 1900 [LAH]: “The schooner Brothers, with a cargo of sheep, returned from Clemente Island on Thursday.”

April 14, 1900 [LAH]: “Arrivals since April 1: schooner Brothers, Captain Widing, from Clemente, with 82 bales of wool...”

November 6, 1900 [SBDI]: “The Saturday Post of Los Angeles is engaged in a movement to open San Clemente Island of the Santa Barbara group, to settlement… ‘The island is all public land. It is all monopolized by a wool company. It has been monopolized by this wool company for more than thirty years. The people have received nothing for their land. The island is a free pasture for the wool company. The company has houses, corrals, etc., on the island. It pays no tax or rent for the land. Settlers have been driven from these lands repeatedly. Federal officers protected the wool company…’”

November 6, 1900 [SBDI]: “The Saturday Post of Los Angeles is engaged in a movement to open San Clemente Island of the Santa Barbara group, to settlement… ‘The island is all public land. It is all monopolized by a wool company. It has been monopolized by this wool company for more than thirty years. The people have received nothing for their land. The island is a free pasture for the wool company. The company has houses, corrals, etc., on the island. It pays no tax or rent for the land. Settlers have been driven from these lands repeatedly. Federal officers protected the wool company…’”

January 7, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Several gentlemen who had drifted into Avalon got together last week and arranged a trip to San Clemente, lying about twenty-five miles southward from Santa Catalina. The island is government property, and is uninhabited, save by two young men, John and Robert Robarts, who have charge of some five or six thousand sheep belonging to S. C. Hubbell of Los Angeles, and Alec O’Leary, who has led a hermit life down near the east end for ten years past. The gentlemen were seeking adventure…”

April 6, 1901 [LAT]: “For the first time in several years San Clemente Island sheep are being sent to the market in considerable quantities for slaughter. Seventeen carloads were brought over this week by boat to San Pedro and thence by rail to this city. Part of them were sent north and the rest went to Simon Maier’s slaughter-house east of the city, where they were speedily converted into mutton and are now being served as savory roasts and chops on the tables of Los Angeles. Island mutton is reputed to be of a superior quality—the best there is, say some of the meat eaters, but very little of it was to be had during the last few years, owing to the prolonged drought, which almost denuded the Channel Islands of pasturage and made it hard for sheep to pick up a living, let alone getting fat enough to be converted into mutton. But this season’s copious rainfall has made the islands lush with forage, so that the island’s sheep are in prime condition for slaughter. Mr. Maier says other shipments of sheep from an Clemente will follow that of this week, as the demand for the island mutton is growing.”

May 8, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “Harry Olsen left San Pedro two weeks ago with the gasoline boat May, intending to bring a lot of sheep from Clemente Island. His wife became alarmed at his long absence, and Charles Foss and Al Hyder started Sunday to go in search of him, but before they had put out to sea they learned that on account of stress of weather, Olsen had been staying all the while at Avalon.”

October 17, 1901 [SBI]: “Al Shade, Ernest Morris, Jack Bryant and Sam Brown have just returned from a weeks’ cruising about San Clemente Island in the little sloop Bertha. They came over for a supply of provisions, bringing with them Robert Robarts, one of the men in charge of the island for the San Clemente Wool Company. The boys will spend a few days in going around this island and then return to Clemente and finish their outing.”

November 14, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Three or four weeks ago, when the schooner La Gironde was reported ashore on San Nicolas Island, a party of sailors came over and engaged the yacht Avalon to take them from here to San Nicolas. On her return trip the Avalon encountered some very rough weather, and when off Santa Barbara Island lost her skiff, which she was unable to pick up in the darkness. A few days since the skiff drifted into the little bay at Gallagher’s on Clemente Island, the headquarters of the San Clemente Island Wool Company, and was picked up by the Robarts brothers, who are in charge of the island. It had drifted nearly a hundred miles.”

November 14, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. John Robarts, superintendent of the San Clemente Wool Company, is spending a few days with friends here.”

March 28, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Sheep-shearing on San Clemente Island will soon be in full swing. John Robarts, majordomo of the island, is here on his way to the mainland, where he goes to engage fifty or sixty shearers. There are many exciting episodes during the progress of rounding up the sheep, which are almost as wild as deer, and one has to be an expert horseman and hill climber who tackles the job.”

June 3, 1902 [LAH]: “The schooner May, Captain Manha, is in port from San Nicolas, loaded with a cargo of 130 sheep, the property of the Clemente Wool Company.”

June 15, 1902 [LAH]: “The little schooner Nellie has been fitted up to carry sheep for the Clemente Wool Company from the islands, and sailed this afternoon for that purpose.”

June 22, 1902 [LAT]: “The scow Brothers, Captain Whitten, arrived in port Thursday with a cargo of sheep from Charles Hubbell, San Clemente Island.”

March 9, 1903 [LAH]: “Movement of local vessels. Sunday, March 8. Arrived. Schooner Brothers, from San Clemente Island with a cargo of wool.”

April 22, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “’Johnnie’ Robarts, majorodomo of San Clemente Island, accompanied by his wife, is visiting his friends here. Mr. Robarts and his brother, with their wives, are the only residents of San Clemente and life becomes rather monotonous after being marooned for a year or so at a stretch. Robarts is superintendent of the San Clemente Wool Company, and as the season of sheep shearing has just been closed, he reports a successful and prosperous year. They have had a force of fifty or sixty paisanos in rounding up and shearing, their one yearly diversion, and these were brought over with a cargo of wool on the company’s schooner, The Brothers, last Saturday.”

September 1, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “The Meteor went out this morning on what will probably be its final regular trip to San Clemente Island for this season, with the following party: G. B. Smee, Covina; Frank Lambert, Monrovia; E. W. Crowther, Placentia; Mrs. C. Driskell, Clyde N. Driskell and Alfred Hutchings, Pasadena; C. M. Smith, Avalon; and Mrs. Lucy Robarts. Mrs. Lucy Robarts, wife of superintendent of the San Clemente Island Wool Company, who has been visiting her parents here, Mr. and Mrs. Vincenti Moricich, for three weeks, returned to her home on San Clemente this morning.”

September 20, 1903 [LAT]: “The Pasadena Star recently published the following correspondence from Avalon: The San Clemente Wool Company, of which Judge S. C. Hubbell was president and general manager, has been transferred by purchase to a company composed of Charles T. Howland, an attorney of Los Angeles, and Frank Henry and Oscar Werner. Frank Werner is not related to the other two, who are brothers, and have recently arrived from Germany. The parties making the purchase have just returned from San Clemente, where they spent a week inspecting the island and the company’s affairs. There are supposedly from 12,000 to 15,000 sheep on the island, with a large ranch house, barns and corrals and several auxiliary stations about the island. San Clemente Island is about the size of Santa Catalina, but is comparatively level, its greatest drawback being its deficiency of water, requiring wells and windmills to furnish water for the sheep. The island is leased from the government for a term of years at a nominal figure, and the industry of sheep raising should be one of profit. It has always been a wonder to many people how the San Francisco company, which has leased this ‘lighthouse reservation’ for a number of years at a nominal price from the government, has been able to secure it in this manner; also as to why the government needs such a big island for lighthouses, when there are many settlers who would be glad to go and make homes there. There is something mysterious about the attitude of the government authorities in San Francisco in regard to this island, and now that investigations are in order, a little investigation into this subject might do no harm.”

January 27, 1904 [LAT]: “Synopsis. Thousands of sheep dying of starvation on San Clemente Island and cattlemen worried all over southern California… ”

January 29, 1904 [SFC]: “Los Angeles, January 28. Sheep starve on an island. As a result of the drought several thousand head of sheep are famishing on San Clemente Island and it is certain that many of them will die despite the efforts of their owners to save them. The island is one of the group, chief of which is Santa Catalina. It lies thirty-six miles off the coast and is barren and desolate, except in places where there are springs. These springs have dried up this season and the sheep, which at best have scanty feed found nothing upon which to graze. After the water gave out the animals began dying by hundreds. A party of the owners of the flocks returned from an inspection trip to the island today and reported that unless it rains soon there will not be a sheep left of the many thousands with which theisland is stocked. An effort will be made to remove a portion of them to the mainland, but that task will be so slow that comparatively few of the sheep will be saved.”

January 30, 1904 [SFC]: “Sheep, so says the Los Angeles Times, are dying by the hundreds on San Clemente Island. In one week more than 1000 sheep perished there. The lease of the island is held by three men who have 22,000 sheep in pasturage. They fear that they will be losers to the amount of $20,000. Hay and other fodder has been sent to the island by vessel. Some feed remains on San Clemente; it is too far from the water to be of much good to the emaciated sheep.“

February 6, 1904 [LAT]: “John Robarts, who has just left San Clemente Island after a residence there of sixteen years, says the rain will materially relieve conditions among the sheep on that island.”

February 24, 1904 [LAH]: “Gustav Werner's suit against the San Clemente Wool Company to recover $5000 was dismissed yesterday morning when the case came up for trial in department five of the superior court. The prosecution moved to dismiss the matter, stating that the plaintiff had recovered all moneys due him from the defendant company. In August, 1903, Werner advanced $5000 towards defraying the expenses of the San Clemente Wool Company, and when that sum was not forthcoming he brought suit to recover.”

April 19, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Albert M. Jones was arraigned in justice Downing’s court this morning charged by Felipe Lastra, a Clemente Island sheep shearer, with grand larceny. Lastra alleges that Jones removed $15 from his vest pocket. Jones was held on $1000 bail for examination Wednesday morning.”

April 29, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon… The schooner Santa Rosa Island was due to arrive at San Clemente to carry away a cargo of sheep last Saturday. The sheep were corralled and had been waiting five days and the boys were dispatched here to send a wireless message to the vessel’s owners to learn the cause of the delay. Before noon they received the information that the schooner got stuck in the mud at San Diego on Friday and had not yet gotten off.”

May 1, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The young men who rowed over from San Clemente Island a few nights ago found the return trip also beset with difficulties. They chartered the launch Adelaide and left here at noon of Thursday last, but after buffeting with the waves in the channel for some time, were compelled to return for safety. They made another try at midnight, and it is supposed they succeeded in reaching home, although the launch has not returned here yet. The report brought by the young men in regard to pasturage for the sheep for the coming season is not encouraging. The rainfall was a meager there as here, and the grass is consequently very short, and as that island is comparatively level, the heated period of a fortnight ago made sad havoc of it. The flocks will have to be much reduced or starvation will follow. The owners, however, are already preparing to ship a large number to the mainland, leaving only such as the prospect of feed will warrant.”

May 23, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The schooner Clemente touched here yesterday afternoon on her way from San Clemente Island to San Pedro, having on board a cargo of sheep shearers, who have just finished the spring shearing on the island.”

June 10, 1904 [LAH]: “The schooner Brothers, property of the Clemente Wool Company, which went ashore on Catalina Island last week, was brought into port by the tug Warrior last evening in a badly damaged condition. The vessel will be placed on the dry dock at Mormon Island for repairs.”

February 8, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The storm, which began last Wednesday night, culminated in a great downpour yesterday morning about 9 o’clock, which gave .92 inch, making 3.16 inches for the storm. Last year the Banning Wool Company lost over 5000 lambs because of the drought. This year the rains came just in time to prevent a similar experience, and now the mountainsides and valleys are fairly alive with the playful creatures, they and their mothers reveling in the abundant grass. There will be no loss this season.”

January 26, 1905 [LAT]: “The sensational suit of Henry Werner and his two brothers, Fritz and Oscar, against Charles T. Howland, Frank A. Werner [no relation] and Abraham Jacoby, to recover $2833.30, with interest, on the ground that fraud is on trial before Judge Conroy. This is the last of a trio of suits, one of which arose out of the sale by the San Clemente Wool Company of its holdings on the island, in which the same defendants were sued, but the other two actions were finally settled out of court…” [This suit involves a tract of land on Florence Avenue in Los Angeles.]

April 8, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Tommy Whittley, skipper of the schooner Edith, belonging to the San Clemente Wool Company, which plies between San Clemente Island and San Pedro, has returned from an adventurous trip… Today the Edith will take over some thirty or forty sheep shearers for this spring shearing.”

May 4, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “The schooner Edith, Captain Tom Whittley, owned by the San Clemente Island Wool Company, touched here this morning, having a cargo of bucks to be turned loose on San Clemente Island. They were Shropshires from George Carson’s Dominguez ranch...”

March 31, 1908 [LAT]: “Mile after mile of sheep ready for shearing, not to mention mile after mile of goats for butting, was the sight that greeted Superintendent Zimmer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when he visited San Clemente, from which Island he returned yesterday. Next month the sheep and goats will be separated; not in the old biblical way, but in modern style and after an exciting round-up. San Clemente Island is twenty-eight miles long and to Mr. Zimmer it seemed as if he saw twenty-eight miles of sheep. He was not there on business, but as the guest of the owners of the island, Robert and Charles Howland and Mrs. Howland. Where he couldn’t see sheep, he spied goats. There are nearly 25,000 of the former and 4000 of the latter. The goats are an unmitigated nuisance, because they kill so many sheep, and are being hunted. The round-up and the shearing will be great events. It will take before thirty and forty men to do the work, and their appetites will be so keen that, in addition to disposing of ten sheep a day, they will get rid of all the fish that one man can secure in each eight hour day. It takes a long time to round-up the sheep. Mr. Zimmer says they seem to know when the attempt is to be made. Just now it is easy to get near them, but as soon as they see a number of horseback riders and other indications that they are about to lose their wool, they get down into the gullies and hide and it takes strenuous effort to corral them. Far wilder than the sheep are the goats. They stay in the canyons and usually won’t mix with the former, but when the fancy seizes them, they charge down on the flocks and butt the lambs to death. The owners of the island used to have a number of cattle roaming the ranges but they have disposed of them. A large number were brought in to San Pedro yesterday to be shipped to Bakersfield. Horses are being bred on San Clemente however. In formation the island is very like the rolling country around San Pedro. It is believed to have been the burial ground of giant Indians who inhabited this coast in early times. Mr. Zimmer says that from a place 500 or 600 feet square a number of skulls of the original native sons have been taken. The indications are that the giants were buried in rows.”

April 3, 1908 [LAT/SA]: “The Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Association of this city is awaiting a copy of the bill and its amendments under which San Clemente Island has been leased to the San Clemente Wool Company, of which Mayor Harper and C. T. Howland of Los Angeles are the principal stockholders. Mayor Harper and Howland have been here to explain the terms of the lease and to meet objections likely to be voiced by the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Association and the Chamber of Commerce. They declare that under the lease plenty of reservations are made for visitors. The company pays $1500 a year rental, and herds 10,000 sheep on the island, the term of lease being twenty-five years. The protests were started on the ground that no reservations will appear when the bill and its amendments are received from Washington by Secretary N. A. Ulm of the association.”

May 4, 1908 [LAT/SP]: “The power schooner Edith, Captain John, attempted to put out for San Clemente to bring back a cargo of sheep, but when outside in the channel it was deemed wise to return.”

May 26, 1908 [LAT]: “The power schooner Edith arrived today with 230 sheep from San Clemente Island.”

May 12, 1909 [LAT]: “The power sloop Edith arrived today from San Clemente Island and is discharging seventy-five bales of wool.”

April 15, 1910 [LAH]: “Two barges of livestock arrived today. The power schooner Edith brought 266 head of sheep from San Clemente Island for the San Clemente Wool Company, and the power schooner Santa Rosa Island brought three cars of horses from Santa Rosa Island for Vail & Vickers. The Edith sailed for another cargo today.”

April 29, 1910 [LAH]: “The power schooner Edith arrived today from San Clemente Island with a cargo of sheep for Los Angeles packers, consigned by the San Clemente Wool Company.”

May 5, 1910 [LAT]: “Avalon. Crossing from San Clemente Island to San Pedro last evening, the schooner Edith, owned by the San Clemente Wool Company, encountered a severe storm and put into this port early this morning to straighten up the cargo before continuing the trip. Twenty-five sheep and several bales of wool were washed overboard and lost. The men on board the schooner were much fatigued when they arrived, and it was some hours before the boat was ready to depart.”

May 7, 1910 [LAH]: “Sheep washed overboard. The power schooner Edith lost 89 head of sheep overboard on her last trip from San Clemente Island on account of the heavy swell, which broke over her deck. The little vessel came near being swamped and shipped so much water that the crew reached port with considerable difficulty.”

July 15, 1910 [LAH]: “Avalon, July 14.—With a view to purchasing the entire stock of sheep here, C. F. Howland, lessee of San Clemente Island, and representatives of the Southwestern Packing Company have visited the stock this week and estimate there are 15,000 sheep on Catalina.”

August 13, 1910 [IVP]: “The San Clemente Island Company has leased from W. P. Mansfield that portion of his ranch on the south of the Imperial Road, and 2500 sheep have been shipped from the island to feed on Imperial Valley alfalfa.”

August 27, 1910 [PRT]: “The San Clemente Island Company has leased from W. P. Marsfield, in the Imperial Valley, his alfalfa lands on which he will fatten 2500 sheep.”

October 4, 1911 [SFCall]: “The power schooner Edith arrived from San Clemente Island with a cargo of sheep for the Cudahay Packing company at Los Angeles.”

May 4, 1914 [LAT/SP]: “The power schooner Edith arrived from San Clemente Island today with a cargo of sheep. On account of the copious rains this winter, livestock on all the islands are reported in fine condition. There is plenty of grass and hay. About 3500 head of sheep will be the increase on San Clemente Island.”

October 31, 1914 [LAT]: “Accused of raiding the sheep herds of the Howland brothers, lessees of San Clemente Island, ten Norwegian and Russian fishermen were placed in the County jail yesterday afternoon by deputy sheriffs on petty larceny warrants. An armed posse was recruited during the day by the sheriff, who obtained ten additional warrants for fishermen who are to be arrested today. According to Deputy District Attorney Hammon, who issued the complaints, the sheep herders and fishermen on the island have been at swords’ points for many weeks. Many battles have been fought between the factions. It is alleged the accused men stole many sheep and goats belonging to the Howlands and sold them in Los Angeles markets. Many of the fishermen are known to be armed, and a battle is looked for when the deputies try to take the ten men away. The Howland brothers lease the island from the government.”

November 3, 1914 [LAT]: “Fourteen arrested, San Clemente now peaceful. With a deputy sheriff and a boatload of other officers after him, William Blair, rowing desperately away from San Clemente Island toward the three-mile limit and neutral waters, refused to quit when the rough seas capsized his little boat and pitched him into the ocean. Kicking off his boots and coat, he swam sturdily. To the amazement of the officers he did not turn back to land, but headed straight out to sea, seeking to get away from the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles county authorities. While the officers waited to wonder whether the man was merely fooling or possessed of exceptional courage, the fugitive secured a good lead and it was an exciting chase. Blair was caught before he could get far enough to secure immunity and, with two other men, arrested on San Clemente Island, was brought to Los Angeles yesterday morning and lodged in jail. Just what plan Blair had made for maintaining existence in the event that he succeeded in his mad dash for liberty he declined to explain to the deputy. Now he will have to explain to the court whether or not he is guilty of stealing sheep. This was the second trip made by Deputy Sheriff Jack Adams and eight deputies to the island where Howland brothers, the lessees, allege fishermen have been committing depredations on their property. Notices were served last week on the fishermen to leave the island, Howland brothers alleging that they are the sole lessees and in control of the entire island. Ten Russian and Norwegian fishermen were brought in last Friday and committed to jail. Adams furnished free transportation for many others to San Pedro. He went again to the island Saturday armed with warrants and with a force of armed men. The island is about forty miles outside of Catalina, and it was an all-night trip for the launch. Nearly all the fishermen against whom complaints had been made had observed the warning in the notices served upon them and departed. J. Randall and W. Swanson were arrested and then the deputies started after Blair. He had heard of their coming, however, and with his skiff loaded with provisions started for the high seas. This made thirteen in custody yesterday forenoon. Fritz Frye, sparring partner of Battling Johnson, and also wanted for depredations on San Clemente, was undone by his curiosity. Hovering about the sheriff’s quarters with his ears open to learn what had happened, he was detected and arrested. The fourteen prisoners will be given a hearing next Thursday morning. Four were admitted to bail, the other ten being still in jail yesterday. Deputy Adams says all is peaceful now on San Clemente and that the island tempest is permanently settled.”

November 4, 1914 [LAT]: “Flood market with crawfish. Heavy early-season catches exceed demand when offered for sale. Owing to an abundant catch of lobsters, the wholesale price dropped to 17 cents today… Since the arrest of the craw fishermen at San Clemente, the Howland brothers, lessees, announce that all is quiet once more, and that no more sheep have been stolen or killed since Deputy Constable Adams dragged fourteen of the fishermen to the County jail to await trial on Thursday.”

November 13, 1914 [Van Nuys News]: “Island Fishermen Jailed. Los Angeles, Nov. 10.—Three more fishermen from San Clemente Island were placed in the county jail by Special Deputy Constable "Jack" Adams on a charge of stealing sheep. This makes a total of thirteen men arrested on suspicion of raiding the sheep herds on the island. According to the officers, an effort will be made to oust the fishing colony from the island, as they are illegally residing there and are trespassers.”

November 24, 1914 [LAT]: “Deputy Sheriff Jack Adams, with three other deputies, will leave early this morning for San Clemente on the launch Imp to arrest ten men accused of stealing and killing sheep belonging to the lessees of the island. The men wanted are all fishermen and credited with having more or less disregard for the law, and there may be a battle before they are taken. Deputy Adams, a fighter who usually gets what he goes after, rounded up several of the same type not long ago.”

November 26, 1914 [LAT]: “Caught with the goods. Seven more Clemente Island crawfishermen are arrested on sheep stealing charge. Fresh mutton hanging outside their tent on San Clemente Island led to the arrest of seven more crawfishermen, Tuesday… This makes a total of more than twenty men who have been arrested on the island upon the charge of stealing sheep belonging to Howland Brothers. With the opening of the lobster season the island became the camping ground for nearly 100 fishermen. With plenty of sheep running at large, the temptation of fresh mutton was too much for some of them. Howland Brothers, who have a grazing lease from the government, have been making was on the fishermen to stop the raids upon their flocks.”

December 1, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Because they refused to leave San Clemente Island, twenty crawfishermen were arrested by special officers and Mr. B. Howland on board the launch Imp, last Wednesday. This makes the second roundup of fishermen during the past six weeks. Each officer carried a warrant and a miniature cannon. It is claimed by Mr. Howland that the fishermen at San Clemente wantonly and willfully kill sheep and goats. Driven from the island a number of the fishermen are now sleeping in skiffs anchored in Mosquito Harbor. The men claim that they have not been trespassing over the San Clemente Island Wool Company’s property, and that they will continue to catch crawfish, as long as the season lasts…”

December 1, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Several fishermen have been arrested on San Clemente Island, charged with unlawfully killing sheep and goats.”

May 1, 1915 [LAT]: “Avalon. A severe northwest gale is raging… The Crescent and tow barge with a cargo of sheep from San Clemente Island put into port this morning after a hard struggle.”

July 26, 1915 [LAT]: “A shipload of wool grown on San Clemente Island reached San Pedro Wednesday, and will be made into blankets.”

April 6, 1916 [LAT]: “Third of a million for San Clemente Island. Big cash deal includes twenty-five thousand head of sheep. Famous and romantic ocean rock, home of prehistoric civilization and of pirates and smugglers, is taken over by one of Montana’s biggest ranchmen and will be used for great flocks of blooded wool-bearers. The lease of San Clemente Island, 25,000 head of sheep, blooded stallions, draft mares, colts, mules, jacks, and other property on the island, were sold yesterday by the San Clemente Wool Company to Lewis Penwell of the Lewis Penwell Company & Associates. The consideration, reported as all cash, was $300,000. The deal was made through W. B. Merwin & Co. of this city… Sheep have been pastured on it for more than sixty years, and with the water system and other improvements by the San Clemente Wool Company it has been regarded as one of the best ranches in the country. Charles T. Howland, one of the principal owners of the San Clemente Wool Company, has retained an interest in the new concern and will be on the board of directors… Most of the sheep now on the island will be sold soon and replaced with purebred stock. Twenty-five thousand Hampshire Down and Ramboullet ewes will be put on the island some time this year. Mr. Howland says that an increase of not less than 80 percent a year can be depended upon from them. That the venture will be highly successful is the belief of the new owners. The sheep business all over the country is crowded for range or pasture room. Mutton and wool command an exceedingly high price on account of the world’s shortage. Mr. Penwell and Mr. Howland say conditions are ideal…”

April 27, 1916 [LAT]: “Announcement was made yesterday at the Van Nuys by Lewis Penwell, who recently leased San Clemente Island and purchased the 25,000 sheep and other livestock there, that a $300,000 corporation will shortly be formed to develop the island and the stock into the finest sheep ranch in the country. Mr. Penwell, who is sometimes called the ‘Sheep King of America,’ will go to the island tonight or tomorrow with Charles T. Howland, one of the former owners of the property. The plan of development for the island, according to Mr. Penwell, includes among other things the addition of about 5000 sheep of the Rambouillet type to the stock already there. The new animals are expected to cross with the peculiar island type of sheep now on the ranch, and to make the herd one of the most valuable in the land, as it is believed the mixed strain will produce animals of excellent wool and meat value. Regarding the incorporation, Mr. Penwell stated yesterday that very little of the stock remains unsubscribed, most of it being taken in advance by himself and his associates, including Charles T. Howland, who will be actively identified with the corporation. The money realized will be used to purchase sheep and for improvements. E. G. Blair, who will manage the ranch for the corporation, is at present on the island, with Robert Knowland, engaged in gathering the sheep, shearing, weeding out undesirable stock and making a final count. The work is expected to be completed Saturday night and plans will immediately be made to secure additional sheep. Additional fencing will be done shortly and a preliminary survey of improvements started. Mr. Penwell states that every effort will be made to breed to highest grade stock in America, since the curtailment of sheep growing in many localities, by the increase in the price of agriculture acreage, has made fine sheep growing on low-priced land one of the most profitable pursuits in America. He asserts that the number of sheep is decreasing rapidly and that he price of wool and mutton is going higher steadily. It is planned to process about 20,000 lambs annually on the island. These will be marketed through packing houses and the new corporation will devote all its attention to producing. Mr. Penwell purchased the lease of the island several weeks ago from the San Clemente Wool Company, who held it under a long-term agreement with the United States government. Mr. Penwell states that the new owners will not discourage archaeological exploration parties, and as the island is noted for its many remains of a prehistoric civilization this will be good news to persons interested in studying the island from a scientific standpoint. Many parties have conducted explorations on the land, which is said to be one of the most picturesque along the California shore.”

June 28, 1916 [LAT]: “Articles of incorporation of the San Clemente Sheep Company were filed here day before yesterday with the following named as incorporators: Albert J. Huneke, Frank Pierce, Benjamin S. Stausbury, William B. Merwin, George W. Paisons, Charles S. Gilbert and Frank E. Bennett. The company, which is capitalized for $250,000, is controlled by Lewis Penwell of Helena, Montana, and associates. Charles T. Howland, who was one of the former owners of the island concession, retains an interest in the new organization. The lease of the island, 25,000 head of sheep, blooded stallions, draft mares, colts, jacks, mules, etc., was sold early last April for a consideration of $300,000. Mr. Penwell, who will probably be president of the new company, is owner or part owner of twenty-five ranches in Montana, and is an experienced sheepman. The island is regarded as an ideal location for a big sheep ranch. It is now larger than any sheep ranch on the Pacific Coast and the new owners expect to increase its value and productivity by improving the strain. Some time this year it is proposed to sell the sheep now there and replace them with 25,000 Hampshire Down and Rambouillet ewes, from which an annual increase of 80 percent is expected. One of the advantages of the island for a sheep ranch is that the forage is excellent, consisting mostly of red top clover and alfileria, the latter a type of pin clover that grows in a wild state in some portions of Europe and which has been naturalized in California and a few other States in this country. San Clemente Island is owned by the government and is held by the company under long-term lease. Discoveries of ancient weapons and implements indicate that in early days it was inhabited by highly civilized peoples. Its great caves and canyons are interesting and unique, particularly as they are said to have been the refuges at one time of pirates and smugglers.”

October 8, 1916 [LAT]: “’Los Angeles is the greatest lamb market in the world,’ said Louis Penwell of Helena, Montana, president of the San Clemente Sheep Company of California and directing head of the Louis Penwell Companies of Helena, Montana, last night… Mr. Penwell is one of the big sheepmen in this country. His holding on San Clemente Island, the twenty-year lease and bands he acquired last July, amount to 18,000 head…”

October 21, 1916 [LAT]: “Lorenzo Higuera, a range rider for the San Clemente Island Wool Company, was found dead on the trail leading to White Rock, San Clemente Island, Thursday morning. Higuera was found in a sitting position with his gun close by his side. The horse he had been riding has not been found. Higuera was 75 years of age and for the past ten years had been a faithful and trusted employee for the island company. The body will be taken to San Pedro, where a large number of relatives await it.”

October 21, 1916 [PRP]: “The day was twenty-five or thirty years ago when California was one of the leading sheep states in the country. She should come to her own again in sheep production. Los Angeles is one of the greatest lamb markets in the country; and instead of sending to distant states for our lambs, we should raise them nearer home, says Louis Penwell of the San Clemente Sheep Company of California. ‘The sheep business of today,’ he adds, ‘offers the greatest opportunity for profit of any business in the United States… Mr. Penwell, besides being one of the big sheep men of Montana, where his holdings are said to amount to 100,000 sheep, has recently leased San Clemente Island for twenty years. On this island there are 18,000 to 20,000 sheep, hence his views on sheep raising are those of an expert and should carry weight.”

October 23, 1916 [LAT]: “Sitting bolt upright on a pile of rock, with a gaping wound in his left breast made by a bullet from a rifle which he was carrying and which accidentally discharged when he pitched headlong from one of the narrow sheep trails on San Clemente Island, the dead body of Lorenzo Higuera, a sheep herder, was found Friday by a searching party that had been out for four days looking for him. The unfortunate man was carrying a rifle and revolver and about his waist a heavily-loaded cartridge belt. It is thought that he stumbled on one of the steep narrow sheep trails, and after plunging down the hillside, struck the pile of rock on which his body was found with such force as to cause the rifle which he carried in his hand to discharge with fatal effect. The bullet pierced his heart and physicians say that death was instantaneous. The remote spot in which the body was found made it extremely difficult to recover, as at this point the trails are narrow and the grades steep in places. The body was finally gotten to the boat landing and brought to Wilmington in a motorboat. The funeral services were conducted at the Wilmington Catholic Church at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon with Rev. Father Elling officiating. The interment took place at Wilmington cemetery.”

March 20, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “The sheep shearing season has started at San Clemente Island.”

February 15, 1918 [LAT]: “John Lane, a deputy from the County Assessor’s office, has returned from San Clemente Island, which forms a part of the county, and which he visited to make assessments of the livestock. Mr. Lane reports that because of the scarcity of feed sheep are dying on the islands at the rate of forty to fifty a day. He found 10,000 head of sheep and ninety horses. It was also learned that there had been shipped from the islands 200 tons of hay, which sold in this city at a good price. Because of war conditions and the desire to conserve food, and also from a humanitarian standpoint, the alleged facts were reported to Ralph C. Merritt, Food Administrator for this state, and he is giving the matter attention.”

April 20, 1918 [PRP]: “Beans to replace sheep. The Hogue-Kellogg Company, large bean growers of Ventura County, purchased a Model E Sandusky tractor last week from the Los Angeles branch and shipped it to San Clemente Island, which is off the coast from San Pedro. This island has been used formerly for sheep raising and they intend to devote it to large acreage of beans this year. They also purchased a Model J Sandusky tractor, which was shipped to their holdings at Willard, New Mexico, which will be used in the experiment of beans in that part of the country.”

April 28, 1918 [LAT]: “Lewis Penwell, principal of the lease of San Clemente Island and of 25,000 sheep pastured there, has been appointed a director of the War Industries Board, with control of the acquisition of the American wool clip, according to a dispatch received at Helena, Montana, yesterday from Washington. Mr. Penwell and associates purchased the lease, sheep, horses and other stock on the island two years ago from Charles T. Howland of Los Angeles and others, the deal involving about $335,000. The San Clemente sheep ranch is larger than any in California and has fine blooded stock. Mr. Penwell is one of the biggest sheep men in the country. He is owner or part owner of twenty-five ranches in Montana. At the time he purchased the San Clemente flock it was announced that 105,000 sheep had been sheared that year on his ranches.”

June 2, 1918 [LAT]: “Los Angeles County’s most remote and least known confine is likely to elect itself to a first honor in providing the necessities of war. This situation developed yesterday with the arrival of a boatload of sheep and wool from San Clemente Island, about thirty-five miles southwest of Catalina, and rarely visited by any enthusiastic disciples of Izaak Walton. The initial contribution was not large, but before the shearing is completed of the thousands of sheep on the island there will be wool enough sent over to make uniforms for almost every man in Camp Kearney. Although under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County, San Clemente is owned by the government. Its chief industry is in operation through a lease until 1924, held by the San Clemente Sheep Company of which E. G. Blair of Long Beach is president and general manager; Lewis Penwell, vice-president, and A. J. Huenke secretary-treasurer… There are between 16,000 and 20,000 sheep on the island which is twenty-two miles long and has an average width of three miles. Except for the agricultural land that is fenced off, the sheep run wild the entire year and see no human beings until the annual shearing time which is in May and June. Each sheep produces annually a little more than enough wool for a single uniform and in addition large quantities of mutton are shipped. The animals feed on the natural soil products, but must be supplied with drink, as there is no fresh water on the island. This is provided through a system of cement reservoirs which store the rainfall. The agricultural development of the island is not being done by the sheep company, but under an operating agreement with Earl A. Holcomb and Associates, who already have several thousand acres under cultivation and are planning to cultivate the entire 6000 acres that are tillable. This year for the first time beans are being planted. Experts have declared that the climate of the island is ideal for growing the soldiers’ favorite ration...”

October 9, 1921 [LAT]: “Karakul sheep, noted for the skins that come from their lambs, will be bred on San Clemente Island as the result of a deal just concluded between Dr. C. C. Young, who introduced the breed into this country, and the San Clemente Sheep Company, lessees of the island. The San Clemente Sheep Company already has about 12,000 Merino sheep on the island, and recently, at the insistence of Dr. Young, bought 2500 Hairy Navajo ewes at Holbrook, Arizona, for shipment to its ocean-bound range. Dr. Young himself is shipping to the island from San Bernardino county his entire flock of of Karakul purebreds, including some thirty rams. The latter will be bred to the Navajos, as it has been found by Dr. Young that these coarse-haired sheep when crossed with the best type of Karakul rams produce, in the first generation, the tight-curled lamb skin that goes under the trade name of ‘Persian lamb fur.’ For the use of his rams, it is understood, Dr. Young is to receive one-fourth of the half-blood Karakul lambs produced on the island. As a result of the arrangement, also, he expects to add much to his knowledge of the possibilities lying in the scientific crossing of the Karakul with other sheep, information which he believes will be of the utmost value to the fur industry in America…”

September 28, 1924 [LAT]: “Wild dog has isle worried. Half-dozen San Clemente inhabitants seek sheep-killer. A wild dog has the half-dozen inhabitants of San Clemente Island on the run. For three months, employees of the San Clemente Cattle Company and George Michaelis, the hermit of Mosquito Harbor, have been attempting to catch sight of the mysterious canine. The dog, apparently faring abroad only at night, is said to have killed more than 300 sheep on the island…”

'September 20, 1929 [SDET]: “San Pedro. A quarantine was placed on sheep shipped here from San Clemente Island whenit was announced by inspectors that they were infected with scabies.”

September 27, 1929 [SDET]: “Closed island because of sheep scab. Coincident with the issuance of a proclamation quarantining San Clemente Island on account of sheep scab, G. H. Hecke, director of agriculture of California, issued the following statement: 'The sheep industry is a most important branch of livestock production in California. In January of this year it was estimated there were 3,846,000 sheep and lambs in the state valued at $42,536,800. One of the oldest known, most contagious and most injurious diseases affecting sheep is known as sheep scab or scabies. It is caused by a small animal parasite, commonly called a mite, which lives on the skin. When permitted to spread, sheep scabies causes great financial loss to the industry. Loss of wool, loss of weight and in thriftiness and deaths are due to this mite. With the cooperation of sheep growers, the state department of agriculture and the U.S. bureau of animal industry have been able, after considerable effort, to eradicate successfully this pest from practically the whole state. An occasional infestation among sheep shipped from other states is found, a condition requiring constant vigilance on the part of our veterinary inspectors. However in one area in California where scab has not been eliminated due to adverse conditions is on San Clemente Island off the coast of southern California. lack of fresh water and sufficient fencing have made it difficult and considerably handicapped eradication work on this island. Nevertheless, early action will be taken to eliminate scab from this last remaining infested area in California. Pending such action, it has been decided to issue a proclamation quarantining San Clemente Island and placing restrictions on the movement of sheep thereon. This action is in line with the policy of the department of agriculture to safeguard and maintain the health of sheep in the state.”

June 13, 1931 [Calexico Chronicle]: “Many wild ones shot in lieu of capture for being dipped. Sacramento, June 13.—California's sea-girt sheep ranch, rugged San Clemente Island off the coast, today has a clean bill of health following parasitic infestation of its woolly denizens over a period of years. Setting a record for speedy clean-up campaigns, the co-operating departments of agriculture to all intents and purposes last year eradicated scab with which sheep on the island were afflicted and had, in addition to active co-operation of stock owners, the aid of Los Angeles county authorities. "This year, as a matter of precaution, sheep on San Clemente are being dipped twice," said Dr. J. P. Iverson, chief of the division of animal industry, directly in charge of the work. "However, there has been no sign of scabies on the island this season." San Clemente was for years the last stand in California territory of scabies, once a major cause of loss to the livestock industry of the state. Owners of island flocks last year built miles of fences, preparatory to corralling and dipping their sheep, which hitherto had free range of the island. Sheep and goats too wild for ordinary handling, were hunted down, and many of them shot.”

August 1931: “As a result of continuous and concerted efforts, sheep scab, a disease due to a parasite mite, has been eradicated for a number of years from the mainland of California. San Clemente Island remained the only place in the State where this disease still existed… For years, any extensive improvements on the island were discouraged for the reason that it is classed as a lighthouse reserve… Sheep scabies eradication consists primarily of two main factors. First, absolute control of each and every infested or exposed animal during the process of eradication; second, thorough and careful dipping… A plan of fencing was gradually carried out, which, though expensive, undoubtedly has proven its value. Twelve main pastures were built… Since the east half contained the roughest terrain, where the wildest sheep, and most of the goats ranged, it was readily seen a complete cleanup of this portion would take considerable time… During the winter of 1929, a representative of the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry, and a representative of the State Division of Animal Industry, met with those in control of the island… Active scabies eradication, therefore did not actually commence until May 6, 1930… A crew of riders was employed, numbering on an average 20 to 25 men armed with rifles or small arms, under charge of a man who had spent the greater part of his life on the island, who knew the range thoroughly, and whose knowledge of these particular wild island sheep was most unusual… In all over 300 sheep were destroyed during this period. Along with the work of the sheep scabies eradication the company found it advantageous to exterminate the wild goats. Their number was reduced from an estimated 3000 to 300. Fortunately the goats rarely came in contact with the sheep in the work of eradication. No cases of scabies were found among the numerous goats captured or shot… In the spring of 1931, the work of rounding up, inspecting and dipping, proceeded as in the previous year… Far healthier sheep were produced in 1931 than in 1930… Destruction of the goats has released feed for several thousand more sheep. It is estimated that the island is now capable of sustaining 18,000 to 20,000 instead of 15,000 head.” [G. A. Pfaffman Eradication of Sheep Scabies from San Clemente Island in The Monthly Bulletin. California Department of Agriculture 20:540-543]

March 30, 1933 [SDET]: “Remove quarantine on island sheep. Sacramento, March 30. — Lifting of the last scabies quarantine restriction on the sheep of San Clemente Island, announced by Director of Agriculture A. A. Brock, has permitted the free movement of sheep throughout California for the first time in many years, definitely has ended one of the nations most outstanding campaigns against an animal disease infection and means the saving of millions of dollars to the sheepmen, Brock reported. On San Clemente Island where thousands of sheep run wild, scabies campaigners had to construct a special system of corrals before all the strays could be herded. It was necessary to dip every head of sheep in the state, about 3,500,000.”

May 27, 1934 [?]: “Lamb crop from San Clemente now being marketed. Lamb chops on the hoof, destined for tables of residents of Long Beach and other Southland communities, can be seen nearly any day as they run up the gangplank from the little steamer at the Pacific and Orient docks on Pico Avenue. The lambs are the product of the San Clemente Sheep Company, now marketing its spring crop. The woolies were grown on the island fifty miles southeast of Long Beach. The company has between 16,000 and 17,000 sheep there and sells them to the Los Angeles packing houses, making Long Beach the distributive point for the traffic. The sheep, most of them lambs, are wild, never having been herded together, as they ran at will on the island. But E. G. Blair, veteran Montana sheep man, who is president and general manager of the company, and his employees, fine little difficulty in handling them. Blair, who now lives in Compton, but was formerly a resident of Long Beach, chartered a steamer [Nora] for his company and brings over 300 or 400 animals a day. The trip takes about six hours. As landing facilities on the island are meager, the trips are dependent on the high tides and are made an hour later each day. The lambs are run into a small corral on the P. & O. docks and then loaded into trucks and hauled to Los Angeles. Albert H. Huneke, Los Angeles, is the secretary of the San Clemente Sheep Company and Lewis Penwell, Helena, Montana, the vice president.”

August 22, 1934 [SDET]: “Navy men hurt taking injured herder from island. W. E. Evans, San Clemente Island sheepherder, rescued yesterday by regular and naval reserve men aboard the destroyer Philip, was at the county hospital today for treatment for a broken leg. His rescue, made hazardous because of a high surf, resulted in injuries to one officer aboard the Philip and five enlisted men. The injured officer, Lt. J. W. Kimbrough, medical corps, U.S.N. was taken to the naval hospital for treatment for an ankle injury. He received a sprained ankle when a boat from the Philip was upended by a comber on the first trip out from the beach. Minor injuries were received by W. F. Brown, chief machinist's mate; L. A. Ashley, shipfitter first class; M. G. King, seaman second class; all of the regular navy, and J. H. Royer, pharmacist's mate second class, and G. H. Walda, coxswain, of the naval reserve. Evans broke his leg Saturday when he slipped on a rock in one of the island's canyons while trying to herd a band of sheep to a waterhole. The attention of those aboard the Philip was attracted Monday evening, Lt. Comdr. H. E. Overesch, commanding officer, reported, when one of Evans' companions was seen on the beach waving his arms and firing a gun. A whaleboat from the Philip, sent ashore to investigate, upset in the breaker line, forcing those form the boat to spend the night ashore. When the rescue attempt was resumed yesterday morning volunteers were called to swim ashore with lines. K. H. Weeks, bos'n's mate first class carried the first line ashore, while H. F. Stroh, torpedoman first class carried a second line. The whaleboat was salvaged...”