Santa Catalina Island 1887-1915

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Santa Catalina Island 1887-1915 by Catherine Maclean Loud


NOTE: The author uses a self-fashioned system for footnotes, which has been preserved in this transcription. There are a few errors and omissions.



Avalon Town—1887

Mid-morning on Wednesday, July 13, 1887, two trimly attired gentlemen sat together on the Southern Pacific passenger steam train pulling out of Los Angeles for the port of San Pedro, California, twenty miles to the south. They viewed in silence the sprawling warehouses and lumber yards between old adobes and wooden homes. These were the result of the boom expansion now serving the building activities of the city’s gigantic progress following Northern and Transcontinental railroad completion. Gradually they steamed past the gardens and grazing lands of the old Dominguez Rancho, now spotted with occasional small farms, young orchards and homes under construction. In the distant haze toward the west, beyond the willows and green bottom grass of the Sepulveda lands, appeared the outlines of the Palos Verdes hills. Behind and to the Northeast, towering above the rolling Puente hills and dry valleys in the middle distance, stretched the Sierra Madre Mountains, circling at the last into the towering San Bernardinos, massive against the bright sky.

An hour’s travel brought them past the wharves and now disused warehouses of the Wilmington, the earlier terminus of this first of Southern California’s railroads.(1) Then, out over the sloughs and tide lands to the expanding docks, lumber yards and storage sheds of San Pedro’s busy waterfront,(2) where both men stepped briskly to the narrow deck of the Wilmington Transportation Company’s steam tug, Falcon, Captain J.W. Sirnmie, Master.(3)


(1) Built by General Phineas Banning in 1869 as the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad, and extended, following purchase by the Southern Pacific Company, to San Pedro itself, the older port, on deeper water. With this, Wilmington declined and the old town grew anew.

(2) Together with the two rail lines, the Southern Pacific from the north and the Santa Fe from the east, ships unloading at San Pedro supplied the imported substance for the boom growth of Los Angeles County whose population jumped from 11,100 in 1880 to 100,000 in 1887 (see The Boom of the 80’s in Southern California, 1944 by Glenn S. Dumke, p. 278). In June and July of 1887, 25,000,000 board feet of lumber, for example, were unloaded in San Pedro Harbor (Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1887).

(3) The Wilmington Transportation Company had been organized by Phineas Banning in January 1884 (according to Capt. William Banning in an affidavit of 1907) over a year before his death in March, 1885, in furtherance of his considerable coast-wise shipping interests. During the summer of 1887 the tug Falcon made weekly trips to Santa Catalina Island, leaving San Pedro Wednesdays, lying anchored at Timms Landing overnight and returning to the mainland Thursdays. It carried summer campers, their families and supplies for $5.00 per person (see C.A. Sumner’s article in the Los Angeles Times, May 1, 1918). Some quote fare at $4.00.




Several passengers were already aboard and a few family clusters were arranging camping equipment and supplies to their convenience when two well dressed young ladies stepped aboard. Without ceremony the Falcon slipped away from the dock and steamed slowly toward the outer roadstead. It passed to the right of the sixty foot eminence of Deadman’s Island, and many tall masted ships awaiting unloading.(4) A fresh breeze swept the starboard quarter as she passed the new breakwater under construction. At once the little vessel felt the long northwesterly swells of the open Pacific Ocean. While Shatto peered through the blue mist, the two ladies joined him in the lee of the cabin. One volunteered the joyful news (to them but surprising to him) that she was the daughter of a member of a newly formed syndicate of Pasadena, which had offered to buy Santa Catalina from the Lick Trustees. The women seemed certain their offer had been accepted, and consequently they were making this trip to look over Timms Landing and suggest the best site for the erection of a hotel and bathhouse. Shatto was amused but did not disclose the fact of his own purchase the day before with a deposit of $3,000.00.

A light haze obscured the outlines of Santa Catalina Island, over twenty-seven miles to the south. The taller of the two gentlemen eagerly awaited the first appearance of its blue-gray cliffs and serrated peaks. He was George Rufus Shatto who had the day before purchased the Island from the James Lick Estate in San Francisco with his agent, Charles A. Sumner, who accompanied him. This would be his first sight of their new domain.(5) Shatto volunteered to assist the ladies in their selection of a favorable hotel site. He leaned on the rail scanning the now dark blue island outline straight ahead. His six feet seemed even greater on account of his lithe, well-proportioned frame. His alert, handsome face beamed with the unusual new thoughts crowding his mind. He was viewing his own island on his first trip on the Pacific Ocean.


(4) Deadman’s Island was razed for earth fill and its remnant blown away as a hazard to navigation in the course of the Los Angeles Harbor development begun in 1891.

(5) About a year earlier at 36 years of age, Shatto had sold his department store in Michigan and arrived in Los Angeles at the peak of the real estate boom with his wife, Clara (Clarissa) Ruth Alward Whitney Shatto.

(5-1) Shatto in “Los Angeles Directory” 1887.
(5-2) George Rufus Shatto b. Medino County, Ohio, August 15, 1850 d. May 30, 1893.
(5-3) From Rosedale Cemetery Records, Los Angeles, “Daughters of the American Revolution Cemetery, Records from California compiled in 1940.” Vol.___?
(5-4) Clara Ruth Whitney Shatto b. April 12, 1863 d. March 10, 1942. Dates taken from Pyramid Monument in Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles.
(5-A) Charles A. Sumner b. 1846, London England. To California 1873. “Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce” by C.D. Willard.




As they neared the Island coastline, after two and one-half hours ride, flying fish sprang from the blue waters with tails shimmering, swiftly gliding from ten to thirty feet, only to drop into the massive brown kelp beds spreading out beneath the ocean’s surface. The blue haze lifted from the mountainous island mass to show the precipitous cliff walls, dripping abruptly into the ocean depths, protecting here and there a few shallow canyons with small rocky beaches. Charles Sumner joined Shatto at the rail, his long, thick mustache blowing in the summer breeze. A low horn-like whistle announced the arrival of the Falcon chugging into the placid, “Bay of Moons”(6).

Spread out before the curious, elated passengers lay a low valley, like an alluvial fan, gradually narrowing into a smaller wooded valley several miles distant. South of the canyon, a mesa land extended about 500 feet out of the mountainside, centrally divided by a short stream bed. Completely embracing the entire valley were the continuous steep hills protectively extending several miles around, beginning with the rugged easterly shore on their left and ending with the 80 foot Sugar Loaf Rock on the north, just passed. The tug moved into the lovely crescent bay and moored. This was Timms Landing also known as Johnston’s Harbor.

There was no wharf. The passengers had to be transported to the shore by rowboat. The few campers greeted the passengers as they arrived(7). At the north end of the beach was a “Hardware Store” where campers’ needs were supplied and alcoholic beverages. The owner George Bryant, was assisted by William Brohan, called “Billy Bruin”, a boat builder(8)(8.1).


(6) Named by the native Indians.

(7) Names of campers included: Alfred Hutchins, Mr. and Mrs. John (Annie) Pattison, their children, Edward, Mabel and Edith, Mr. and Mrs. Robert _____ Cope and others.

(8) Brohan, William A. Great Register of Voters, 1879, Los Angeles County p. 42. 1879, July 3, registered William Albert Brohan, ship carpenter and farmer b. Prussia, ca 1834. 1871, July 25 naturalized in Los Angeles County Court. Died 1914, buried in Avalon Cemetery. (8-1) Bryant, George b. New Hampshire ca 1834, Fisherman and liquor dealer, residence Wilmington. “1879 and 1884 Great Register of Voters, Los Angeles County.”





Toward center beach were two wooden shacks, temporary protection for fishermen(9). Beyond these were the tents of the campers, brought and pitched by themselves. About a long block inland, south from center shore, stood a more substantial wooden house. This was the ‘flop-house’ of sheepherders, Bill Broham and Captain Timms, its builder, and so named for him(10). A well of the valley’s best water was under a clump of trees to the east of Timms House.

The scene before them was peacefully remote and simply beautiful. They stood and breathed deeply of the sweet whiffs from the sun-baked canyon plants brought on a westerly breeze. Then came the beat of the low, friendly waves lolling in on the pebbly shore, and a lamb’s soft cry from the hillside. The new owner of the Island trampled through the dusty sheep trails between clumps of cacti to find a thin stream of water trickling eastward to the sea. There was everywhere to walk and no one to meet. The people were on the shore. The sun soon dripped behind the high hills bringing a long, lingering twilight to the bay and valley but not to the blue ocean out to the horizon. The tourists were rowed back to the Falcon for meals and to sleep. The yacht Rambler entered the bay with a party of young folks.

George Shatto well rested, awakened early to watch the dawn break over his own Island on July 14, 1887. During the morning the ladies from Pasadena with Shatto and Sumner agreed on the best location for a hotel, nearly center front beach facing the bay. The bathhouse seemed best about 300 feet farther to the east, exactly the same distance from shore as the hotel site. That same day when the Falcon docked in San Pedro the newspapers “blared the news that Catalina Island sold to George R. Shatto and C.A. Sumner for $200,000”(11)(12).


(9) Ludwig’s, Ella A, “Harbor District of Los Angeles”, San Pedro, Leonardi Record.

(10) Timms, Captain Augustus W. b. Prussia ca 1825 to San Pedro, 1852 Navigator, Merchant d. July 21, 1888.

(11) Los Angeles Daily Herald, July 14, 1887 – “J.H. Book, just returned from San Francisco reported that he had sold Santa Catalina Island to a syndicate of Pasadena parties for $175,000.”

(12) Los Angeles Times, July 15, 1887, Editorial.




The ladies representing the Pasadena Syndicate were thoroughly chagrined to read such startling facts. They hurriedly disappeared into the steam train for Los Angeles in silence, the men entered the smoker, never to meet again(13).

One week later, July 20, 1887, George Shatto, Charles Sumner with Shatto’s brother-in-law, Edwin John Whitney(14), sailed for Timms Landing. There they were met with horses loaned by Frank Whittley(15), acting as guide, who took them over the Island including Silver Canyon, and Middle Ranch to the south and center of the Island. Whittley was a genial, large framed, heavy-set man who had grown up in a saddle on the Island and knew well it’s rough terrain.

That night the men slept in the old Government Barracks at the Isthmus. The Isthmus is 14 miles by boat north from Timms Landing and twenty odd miles over the mountains by Indian Trail. Next day, they visited Wilson’s Harbor, Johnson’s Landing and inlets along the coast north of the Isthmus(16). Whittley sailed the men back to the mainland in his boat the Kee Wee.

Plans commenced for surveying the new townsite. Immediate projects were to build a wharf, the hotel and to obtain fresh water. After completing temporary plans on the mainland, Shatto returned to the Island, accompanied by his handsome wife, Clara, and Etta Marilla Tichnor Whitney, bride of Edwin Whitney. They all camped in tents on the beach while the surveyors laid out the new town. Whittley loaned them horses to ride.


(13) Los Angeles Times, May 1918 C.A. Sumner’s article.

(14) Whitney, Edwin John, studied to be a minister.

(15) Whittley, Frank Paul, son of Thomas William and Juanita Domingues (d. 1870) located on Catalina CA 1855; b. 1848 in California; m. Manuela “Nellie” Adargo; m. Lucy Brown; d. 1902

(16) All Catalina Island had been leased for sheep herding and cattle grazing from the middle 1855’s to date. At this date, three separate concerns herded their own flock, the Johnson Brothers, North of the Isthmus, Frank Whittley, Central Island, Captain A.W. Timms, eastern end.




Each week more mainland campers arrived and camped on their selected spot near the shore for a happy outing. The surveyors, George Cleveland, his wife Annie, George Pillsbury and wife, erected tents near the present corner of Marilla at Crescent Avenues, about 200 feet from the shore. It took three to four months to complete the survey. They surveyed the entire mile square area for a town with “the streets laid out to fit the land there and conditions, and these tide lines were to tie up this town site with the meander line of the Island”, so wrote surveyor Cleveland(17). At the end of the month, July, Mr. Plum came from San Francisco to Los Angeles with the deed, abstract and legal opinion for Shatto. The abstract was a bound book four inches thick, eight inches wide and twelve inches long and had been drawn up at a cost of $2,500. The town streets have some personal and quaint names. These were the wish of Shatto.

Shatto, a rigid Prohibitionist, was greatly disturbed by the sale of liquor in his new town sold by the “Hardware” tent. From both his observation and personal knowledge, he realized that the spectacular growth of both Pasadena and Long Beach near Los Angeles city was because their residents would not have fight the dreaded saloon. Families chose to live where temptation did not lurk for the unwary. Therefore, an additional clause was included in the division of each town lot with the provision that no alcoholic liquor was ever to be sold on that lot, and if so, it would revert to the original owners. However, the necessary penalty to legalize the binding clause was neglected, voiding the demand.

Sumner, in accordance with instructions from Shatto, gave orders to the surveyors to leave a strip 10 feet wide between Avenue fronting bay and high water mark of waters of the bay in order that the owner of the town and island could control the waterfront and landing of boats thereon — meaning laden with liquor. These instructions were given to Cleveland and his survey and map were made accordingly(18)(20).


(17) From affidavit of George Cleveland, 1907 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Case 55125.

(18) Sumner tells that he was retained as agent and manager for Shatto until late in 1891.

(20) Deeds issued by George R. Shatto and later with “The International Mining Syndicate Limited” read in the body of the agreement, “It is hereby Covenanted and Agreed by and between the parties hereto, in consideration of this conveyance, that the saloon business and bending of spirituous liquors shall not be carried on upon said lots(s). The above covenant to run with the land and to bind the heirs, executors, administrators and assigns of the grantee herein.”




One balmy evening, Harry Elms(21), joined the surveyors sitting in front of their tents with their wives. The surveyors spoke of the difficult masses of cacti on the rough, steep hillsides. Just then a strange burr-a-ring sound startled them near at hand. All were silent except the crickets as the burring continued. The women in their long dress skirts whizzed into the tent while the men stopped short the rattlesnake’s warning in the starlit night.

One month after Shatto’s first visit, August 13, the tug, Warrior, came into the bay towing two barges with pile drivers, lumber, two horses and a wagon. Capt. Jimmie nosed the barge on to the shore. Whitney rushed excitedly to the shore all hands joined him, including campers who unloaded the lumber for the new hotel and the wharf. It was carried high above the Hardware store on the North Beach because a dreaded Northeaster looked imminent. By August 23rd the vacation season was in full swing with six yachts in the bay(22). On that Friday evening, the campers had a huge bonfire on the beach with guitars playing and between numbers the campers recited poems. Next day, August 24th, the “Warrior” returned with hay, grain, lumber and a lighter in tow. On Sunday, August 25th when the Warrior sailed with the pile driver, a fine new yacht, Aggie, sailed into the bay carrying a large party and flags flying from both masts(22).

In early September when the campers and the Shattos returned to the mainland, Etta Whitney found herself as the only woman in the new town of “Shatto”. Her greatest loneliness came over her like a huge wave in the early evening. She recalled, “I would walk to the beach in the evening and watch the workmen around their bonfire, listen to them laugh and sing together. During the day I was very busy. There was so much to be done(23).


(21) Harry Minto A. Elms, Avalon’s first resident carpenter, lived in Avalon 1887-1904, then moved to the goldfields of Nevada. To Timms Landing in 1885 there each summer. After his August 1887 vacation he returned to Los Angeles and procured a job at the “Met” [Metropole], the new Avalon hotel. Harry’s family, all from England, came to Avalon to live — his mother Mrs. Jane Elms, sister, Laura and brother, James, “Jimmie”.

(22) Diary of Peter Jans.

(23) From Mrs. Etta Whitney to C.M. Loud. Her swift bird-like motions, her precise speech failed to reveal her inexhaustible energies, although her marvelous memory shone throughout all she recalled.





Everything was so new, so novel, and everything we did was a new experience. I was about 25 and had been a schoolteacher. We couldn’t and did not realize what the possession of an island meant. “Ed” was superintendent of the town(25) and the Island. I helped with the cooking, sewing and serving in the new hotel. I remember how excited “Ed” was when that first lumber arrived and he called to me! We had not been in California as long as Clara and George. We were stunned by the expanse of the blue, blue ocean, our first sight of the Pacific, the exciting air, the high hills, the tanned valleys, pebbled shore, - - - everything. We were actually so stunned that our perceptions were dulled into a lack of appreciation for our possessions. It was all too new, too amazing, as we stood on the shore in front of our new hotel, the Metropole, on an island in the Pacific Ocean”(23).

Mr. McKenzie, foreman for the wooden hotel structure was advised by several, one of whom was Clara Shatto, who insisted that the bedrooms be small. Other known workers were Harry Elms and Clinton Halsey. The fifty rooms filled two floors, the porches extended across the front, facing the bay with an attic for storage, plus a lean-to extension structure in the rear for cooking. Etta Whitney justified the small area in the bedrooms explaining that “they were only to sleep in” for there was out-of-doors to be in the daytime. During most of this construction work, George Shatto remained with the new hotel while Charles Sumner sent over men and supplies. The demands of the workmen were most disheartening. Carpenters wanted fresh beef daily, plumbers objected to fresh fish, bacon and eggs, while the “roustabouts” complained that they were fed “goat”, not mutton. In come cases, $9.00 per ten hour day was paid to some finishers(18A).

The tugboat continued her trips to the Island, now twice weekly, with provisions and materials. She returned usually taking disgruntled workers, bringing replacements on her next return trip. With the great Los Angeles building boom Shatto was forced to meet the difficult problem of competitive wages. When Shatto scanned the Los Angeles newspapers, with their long lists of expected Eastern tourists, all named under printed railroad reservations, he realized that accommodations must be ready for their pleasure. Also, many articles were written in magazines and newspapers praising Southern California for its “Health Resorts”(25). So Shatto persisted with high hopes unaware of difficulties yet to come.

A windmill was erected about 300 yards up the Whittley Avenue Creek, west of the hotel which pumped water to a tank on the hillside in the rear of the hotel. This water was used exclusively for hotel guests, maintenance, and lasted only about one year. Finally, in September the hotel ground floor was in readiness with the cookhouse in the rear, using Australian coal for most purposes(26). It was called “Hotel Metropole”, meaning a center of hospitality(27).

Lots were laid out and the first advertisement of the town appeared in the Los Angeles Times on September 14th, 1887, telling a portion of the exciting story of the birth of another new town in Southern California. It read:

“The new town of Shatto is now surveyed. Maps will be completed shortly. Wharf finished! Hotel ready this month. Daily steamer soon. As the number of lots is of necessity limited, intending purchasers will please register their names at our office as soon as possible to insure obtaining a location.”

C.A. Sumner and Company. 54 No. Main St. L.A.(28). George Cleveland, surveyor, is reported to have said that “when I made up the map for Shatto I put “Shatto” for town and “Shatto Harbor”. Mr. Shatto came over while I was working on the map and saw the name and said that he did not care to have it called that name and that I should change it to something else. So it was never known (officially) as Shatto.

The name of the town became a subject for family discussion. September, when both the Shattos and the Whitneys were visiting their brother, George Whitney, in Los Angeles during a Sabbath evening, the question arose. George Shatto remarked to his wife, “Clarissa, I have to name the Island town. I believe I will call it “Shattoville”, or just “Shatto” or “Town of Shatto”. George Whitney quickly spoke up, “No, George, it might be a drinking town and that would give Shatto a bad name. Let’s call it “Whitney Town”. Clara flared at her brother, George, “If Shatto is too good a name to be dragged down, Whitney is, too!” Arguments followed from both brother and sister. Finally George Shatto said to his sister-in-law, Etta Whitney, who sat listening silently, “Etta, what do you think will do? You name the town!”


(25) February 27, 27, 1907, Case No. 55125 – Affidavit of E. J. Whitney, “Resident Superintendent for G. R. Shatto from 1887–1892.

(26 ) Australian coal was freighted by the Banning’s and others into San Pedro and Wilmington.

(27) A printer omitted the “l” in Metropole by some oversight. This was not corrected for sometime.

(28) Los Angeles Times September 7, 14, 1887 “adv.” Transportation to town of Shatto during the latter part of September and October was advertised by the Steamer, Falcon, running every other day with a round trip fare of $4. Every Wednesday during the same months the “fastest yacht on the coast, Aggie, A. Willen, Master, 75 feet length, 23 feet beam, 50 T., took passengers to Avalon for the same price.

(29) J. M. Guinn, Vol. I, Los Angeles Environs, Historical and Biographical says “Shatto City”.

(30) Los Angeles Herald, October 13, 1887, p.3 – “Excursion, refers to “Avalon” formerly called Shatto”.




Etta suggested that she felt its name should be according to its location. On the first thought she considered, “Avondale”, then added that she would report her decision the following evening. All the next day she queried with herself then in the evening Etta announced her selection, “Avalon”, as taken from the “Idyll’s of the King” by Alfred Tennyson. “Avalon” is an ocean island”, added Etta, “an Isle of the Blest”! All the family agreed that Avalon was a name well chosen for it truly was a gem in the ocean(31)(32)(33)(34A). Avalon as a Celtic name means literally, “Island of the Apples”, apples being a symbol of enjoyment. In Celtic Mythology, Avalon is a terrestrial paradise, an isle in far western seas. Other names for the present town of Avalon are listed with their authentication when known(35). Confusion has been caused, at times, by interchanging the names Johnston and Johnston(36). Eleven towns were born in the boom year of 1887 in Los Angeles County(37A).


(31) From Mrs. E. J. (Etta) Whitney, and read back for her final correction on February 10, 1948 by Catherine M. Loud.

(32) Mrs. E. J. Whitney’s article, “First Days in Avalon”. Mrs. Whitney’s story written by Edwin J. Whitney, “Avalon, - It’s origin related for the, “Catalina Islander”, August 16, 1921, p.18.

(33) Brewer, E. Cobham, “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.”

(34) Names of the present Avalon:

  • 1. Catalina Harbor – photograph number 10 in “Picturesque Los Angeles County”, so named by photographer, Herve Friend.
  • 2. East End, East Cove, same volumes as above.
  • 3. Dakin’s Cove
  • 4. Johnston’s Harbor, Johnson’s Landing
  • 5. Timms Cove, Timms Landing, Timms Harbor, Timms Place
  • 6. Shatto Town, Shatto Ville, Shatto City, Shatto Bay, Shatto Harbor
  • 7 Avalon, Avalon Town
  • 8. City of Avalon, June 13, 1913, incorporated

(36) Johnston’s Landing, now Avalon, also called Johnson’s Landing and Johnston’s Harbor, as in map of June 9, 1868, request of James Lick it was Johnson’s Harbor. Johnston’s Harbor – Tide Land Book pp. 128-133, also called Johnson’s. Named for resident James C. Johnston from April 15, 1859 until 1880. He, J. C. J., was interviewed at Cactus Flat, his ranch in San Bernardino County, August 16, 1905 by Professor Joseph Grinnell, of University of California, who so wrote in his notebook No. 15, p. 193 and found by his widow, Mrs. Hilda Grinnell, Berkeley, California on March 8, 1955. Also seen by Catherine M. Loud.




Shatto recalled the fact that the newspaper in early July mentioned the need for Los Angeles, which was to be “a big and prosperous commercial city” and desirous of “a handsome place for recreation”. Adding that “she is able to pay for the best.”(38) So, with assurance, Shatto and Sumner published in the “Los Angeles Herald “of the realization of their dream, too, a beauteous place for recreation. It read:

“Excursions to Santa Catalina Island and return on Thursday, October 13, 1887, on the steamer, Los Angeles. Special train leaves Commercial Street depot at 8 A.M. and returns to Los Angeles about 7 P.M. Round trip ticket including lunch, $3.00. Fares refunded to purchasers of lots at sale. The sale of lots in the new town of Avalon, formerly called Shatto, will commence 8 A.M., Friday, October 14, in our office. Terms one-half cash, balance July 1, 1888 and January 1, 1889. C.A. Sumner and Co. 54 North Main St., Los Angeles(39)

October is the month of serene beauty on Santa Catalina Island. The reflections seen on clouds, the sky, in the sea and also found mirrored in one’s heart are the identical combination of tranquil shades found in the shell of the treasured abalone which grows on the rocky shores of Catalina.

In the Hotel Metropole, the lamps were filled with Pearl oil; new large china wash bowls held the white pitchers of water in the very few rooms made ready for occupancy; the dining room with two long tables served sixty to eighty persons; the heavy vitreous china service had been sent in from the east coast, carpets covered most of the rough wood floors; plain white curtains throughout the hotel were the handiwork of Etta Whitney. Over one dozen Boston armchair rockers lined the front veranda facing the blue bay. Ed Whitney put up tents along the southeasterly line of Crescent Avenue to define the lines of the Avenue. These tents were rented. All was in readiness(40).

On the morning of October 13th, about 200 folks gathered at the Los Angeles Station to await the train to San Pedro(41). The steamer Los Angeles, which George Shatto had contracted for this excursion, crossed the San Pedro Channel into the blue and gold scenes of Avalon Bay(42).


(38)Los Angeles Times, July 9, 1887.

(39) Los Angeles Daily Herald, October 13, 1887, p.3.

(40) From Case No. 55125 – E. J. Whitney, 1907.

(41) On October 13, 1887, 7000 people attended the Fair in Agricultural Park, Los Angeles, according to the “San Francisco Call”.

(42) Krythe, M. R., “Early Ships in San Pedro Bay”, September 5, 1948, Press-Telegram Southland Magazine of Long Beach, California. The first steamer launched in the shipyard, Wilmington, of General P. Banning was the steamer, Los Angeles, 1869. It was used many years as a lighter.




The joy of the travelers, their enthusiasm for everything surrounding them brought new hopes to the hearts of the managers and owners of the Metropole. Each guest was greeted in turn by the Shattos and the Whitneys. After the lunch of fish in variety and lamb, Sumner gave a promotion talk while all were seated, explaining that the first sale of any lots in the town of Avalon would be the next morning, October 14, in his Los Angeles office. He advised them to select the best while they were on the premises. The guests walked along the pebbly shore and were shown the deep pit where the lamb and fish had been wrapped and barbecued since early dawn for their luncheon(43)(43A). Mixed feelings tugged at the hearts of the visitors as the steamer, Los Angeles, headed northward in the mid-afternoon and they left behind them the sounds of the wild birds on the hillsides and seashore. The Shattos and the Whitneys waved their goodbyes from the little pier, then rested alone on the hotel veranda. The chatter of the shorebirds was dulled by the sharp ounce of the incoming tide on the gray and white stones.

In Los Angeles, early on Friday, October 14, 87, a lively sale ensued for the first lots ever available in Avalon town. The first business lot was sold for $2,000 to J. N. Cope, father of Robert John Cope. This was the southeast corner of Crescent and Metropole Avenues, directly opposite “the Metropole”. The first resident lot purchased was Dr. S. F. Shoemaker for $150.00. Other purchasers included the surveyors, George E. Pillsbury and George C. Cleveland, who bought a block of lots for $9,000.00 on Marilla Ave., and Charles O. Rust of Anaheim who paid $1,000.00 for his lot(44). George Shatto already had heavy property investments before he purchased Santa Catalina Island in July, 1887. He had staked all on the hope of a quick turnover(45). He had felt elated with the accounts of real estate transactions.


(43) From Mrs. Henrietta Treat Compton, Los Angeles, October 1953.

(44) From “Catalina Jewfish”, 1889, newspaper published by C. A. Sumner. Note: Two addresses given for sale of lots, “54 No. Main St., and 7 So. Fort St., Los Angeles”.

(45) Los Angeles Times, July 1, 9, 1887, “Real estate transfers for six months of 1887 over 41 million”.




On June 19, the Los Angeles Times had reported, “Biggest week on record, with sales of 3½ million” followed by the July 1st account of “our boom” when it was said that “nothing among the many marvels is more marvelous than the real estate boom.” The boom extended from Los Angeles to inland towns and coast wise to San Diego. The boom was at its peak when Shatto purchased Santa Catalina Island and none could foresee that all over southern California, the bubble was ready to break.

September, real estate sales had dropped nearly two million dollars over the previous month, and some new investors began to heed the warning. October sales dropped eight million, and November sales showed a further drop of five million. This was gloomy preparation for the winter tourist season, when an influx of visitors from the east was anticipated normally. Catalina as an island resort had been designed to show these easterners the remarkable winter advantages available to them, to play, to fish and to bask in the warm, dry, sunlit air at the seashore. Rains deluged the entire countryside of Southern California(46).

When the Santa Fe Railroad first reached Los Angeles, fares from the Middle West and East were substantially reduced first to $25.00, then more on account of the competition with the Southern Pacific. Fares from Kansas City dropped from $125.00 to $1.00 on the Santa Fe, the all time low. The Santa Fee brought in four trains daily. Many expected tourists who had bought tickets and had made hotel reservations failed to arrive, because of the extent of the business depression. The few who did come found ‘muddy streets, the impositions of boarding housekeepers, and the unscrupulousness of real estate agents.’ Apparently they sought more congenial localities. Hotel Metropole in Avalon did not have the guests for which such feverish preparations had been made. Apparently the passenger steamers did not operate for several months, and the interest in the purchase and development of the island land was short-lived(47). Promoters of varying degrees of integrity persuaded a gullible public to quickly purchase real estate. There were few cash sales and only small down payments. Lots were resold over and over creating an appearance of prosperity. One surprise was that the purchasers of lots were frequently the hard working waiters, waitresses and skilled laborers of various trades. These hardy folk desired to remain near their investments and so kept working. J. M. Guinn claimed that these tourists came to make money not to build but history shows that the many who remained built in order to preserve their money.


(46) Historical Society of Southern California, 1915, 1916, p. 54-59. “The Great Los Angeles Real Estate Boom of 1887” by Joseph Netz.

(47) Glenn S. Dumke, “The boom of the Eighty’s”, p. 267.






The newspapers carried huge advertisements urging all to come to the great auction that day. Always lunch was free, transportation was supplied by Tally-ho, and a brass band accompanied each large group to keep their spirits aflame for speculation. Los Angeles beckoned as the land of heart’s desire, found always in the West. The adventurous spirits answered the call, and through them the community quickly learned an arduous lesson. Though the dazzling bubble of inflation burst yet many countless courageous men and women with uncanny insight remained to live and prove that with themselves as the stalwart foundation of faith and stability, they could and did build Los Angeles to a metropolis of unmeasurable wonder to all the world.

Contract from the Original

Taxes were not paid from 1888 and 1889 by George R. Shatto, but to be paid by the International Mining Syndicate.

All moneys to be paid by April 25, 1892 – final payment then of $200,00 due. If Shatto finds it impracticable to anticipate the payment of the last five notes of $26,666.66 made by him and held by the Trustees of the Lick Trust which becomes due and payable by its terms on August 11, 1892.

1. Lease yearly – March 31, 1888 – to Frank P. Whittley to March 31, 1891 for $2,000 payable 1 year in advance April 1 for exclusive right of pasturing cattle and other stock on Island of Santa Catalina.

2. Lease to George O. Ford, March 5, 1889 for 5 years beginning May 1, 1889 covering Hotel Metropole and Hotel site and adjacent lots, and 30 in Block 5 in Avalon town site together with the bathhouse at Avalon, control and rights in bath, boat and skiff business at yearly rent of $5,000 payable in monthly installments of $416.66 at the beginning of each month.

3. Right of government to select 20 acres for lighthouse purposes and right of way to and from at Santa Catalina Harbor.

4. Boushey Mining Claim – April 26, 1889 International Mining Syndicate, Limited, a Corporation. Charles Frederick Smith, attorney in Fact, Recorded May 4, 1889 “Recorded at request of Chas. Fred K. Smith” Bk No 561 – of Deeds, p. 295, Records of Los Angeles County. Mame B. Beatty, County Recorder.




Dec. 24, 1891 – Jan. 1892, The Banning Era

The ownership of Santa Catalina Island was in a state of complete change for the better.

1. The mortgage held by George Shatto was foreclosed.

2. The English International Mining Syndicate was dissolved because the subscribers failed to meet their contract obligations. This was the rule under the laws of Great Britain.

3. Sale of the land was adequate and a compromise was made with John Lick to sell to the Bannings. The Academy of Sciences and the California Pioneer Society were residuary legatees of the James Lick estate and Santa Catalina Island was included in that portion. It had to be liquidated.


From Westways Magazine, March 1939: California Names a Gazeteer – by Editor, P. T. H., p. 22.

“Avalon – The village of Avalon was first known as “Shatto” named in honor George Rufus Shatto who first purchased Santa Catalina Island in (July) 1887 from James Lick Estate of San Francisco. Later name changed to Avalon in Celtic mythology meaning ‘land of the blessed’. Avalon Bay in the earlier (years) was variously known as “Timms Bay, Timms Landing and Timms Cove”. The name derived from A. W. Timms who competed with Phineas Banning in staging and freighting between San Pedro and Los Angeles circa 1855. p.23

Santa Catalina Island spelled (Sahn-tah-Kah-tah-lee-nah) named by Viscaino, the eve of feast day of Saint Catharine of Alexandria who was martyred in 310 A.D. recognized Patron Saint of Christian philosophy. Vizcaino reached Island, Nov. 24, 1602.





May 1, 1891 Los Angeles Times

It is the schooner, Robert and Minnie, Capt. O’Farrell (an old time coast navigator) with a man in charge of expedition named Burch in Catalina Harbor said to be loaded with arms and ammunition, supposedly for the Chilian insurgents. President J. M. Balmacada of Chile had political discussions between himself and his congreee which began in January, 1891 and developed into a Civil War in the 1891’s. By the end of April, 1891, the whole country was in the hands of the “rebels”. p. 160 “Chilian Civil War 1891 – Encyclopedia Britannica.


May 2, 1891 Los Angeles Times

The steam sloop Hattie with Capt. Condit went to Catalina Harbor to see the Robert and Minnie at a request from a Los Angeles Times representative. Capt. Condit learned that Capt. O’Farrell and the owner of the cargo, Burch, have been making frequent trips to the stone quarries across the Island and about four miles from the harbor, since their arrival, and have evidently had some communication with the mainland through some person who crossed the channel on the steamer Kittie (Katie) O’Neil, which is towing scows loaded with rock from the island to San Pedro harbor for the breakwater. Capt. Condit got on board the schooner while Capt. O’Farrell and Burch were at the quarry on account of the San Francisco papers which were provided him from San Pedro. The crew would give no information excepting that they were loaded with only arms and ammunition. 300 to 400 cases were on deck. Several were marked “ammunition”, “Corrugated Bayonets, Spanish model “ammunition.” It also leaked out from conversation with Mr. Burch at a saloon near the harbor that he comes from Fall River, Massachusetts and that he is spending money freely. The schooner is too heavily loaded to proceed on a voyage and is awaiting a ship to relieve her of her cargo. When after several hours Capt. O’Farrell and Burch returned they were very surprised to find the “Hattie” moored. Burch supposed that Capt. Condit was “another Smuggler”. The Capt. and Burch immediately went aboard the schooner and sailed out the harbor against a head wind which was dangerous as the entrance to the harbor is extremely narrow. After making about sixteen tacks she cleared the entrance and stood off in a south easterly direction. The “Hattie” followed her out a few miles to sea, and then Capt. Condit turned back toward the west end of the Island which is the shortest route to San Pedro Harbor. Later in the day it was announced from San Diego that “a Chilean passenger steamer the Itata, Capt. Manzeum, came in for coal and provisions. She is the first Chilean steamer and the largest passenger boat that ever entered this (San Diego) harbor”.


May 3, 1891 Los Angeles Times

The Schooner Robert and Minnie of Port Madison, Washington, has been plying along the upper California coast for years. Vessels in the coast trade sailing between American ports did not clear through the Customs House, and for this reason no entry was made when she sailed from San Francisco April 22, for Eureka, and the customs office in San Pedro was alerted. The little schooner was dropped in Catalina Harbor by the Spreckels tug, Relief. Deputy C. Downing with an officer hired a sailboat and left for Catalina Island. The Wilmington Collection district extended from Newport, South, to Santa Barbara, North. The collector has no boat of any account. He did have a rowboat which is worn out and now lies in the mud by the wharf. Mr. Downing was two or three days making the trip to the Island. Mr. Burch controls the expedition and claims that he represents the owners of the cargo. Mr. Downing, acting for his sick father said the ships papers were all right. Assistant Secretary Spaulding telegraphed the collector at Wilmington that there is no reason for interference if the ammunition is transferred to a transport for reshipment to South America. “It is not in violation of neutrality laws.” Capt. Manzeum of the Itata does 12 knots per hour. The Commander is De Silva Parna. She was, he said, after provisions and coal. He claimed that he had $100,00.00 aboard the ship to purchase provisions and disclaims that he came to purchase rifles from the Robert and Minnie to take to the insurgents in Chile. He says that he is here for commerce between the two republics. The officers on the Itata refused to let anyone land on her creating a great suspicion. The number of passengers on the Itata was unusually large. It is known that the firm of Grace and Comp [?] of New York have large interests in Chile, and not long ago Mayor Grace visited San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. The fact that the Captain has $100,00 aboard in this day of checks, drafts, etc., “is a little singular”. Another fact is the sympathy declared by the passengers for the insurgents is strange indeed.
Ricardo L. Trumbull of Santiago, Chili, a representative of the Congressional Party is in San Francisco and explains the mysterious cruise of the Robert and Minnie. He says the cargo consists of 10,000 45-70 caliber Remington rifles and 2,500,000 cartridges. They were shipped from New York and arrived by rail on April 22 in San Francisco. Mr. Trumbull says the steamer Itata came to San Diego for provisions for the warships now in possession of the Congressional Party. That the Robert and Minnie was awaiting a 22 ½ ton vessel either in San Diego or San Pedro rather fits into a picture since the hurried departure of the Robert and Minnie from Catalina Harbor.
On May 6th the Itata left San Diego suddenly and steamed toward San Clemente Island. Later, it was found that she was cruising around and between the Coronado Islands and the border of Mexico. Deputy Marshall Spencer, whose real name is Spaulding, told the following story, May 7, on his return to San Diego after being put ashore from the Itata at Ballast Point. While he was aboard Deputy Spencer noticed the crew hurrying as he was invited by the Captain into his cabin from the dining room. To his amazement the steamer was already underway.
“Going into the Captain’s cabin I was joined by three passengers. They exhibited revolvers and asked me if I was armed. Capt. Manzeum said, “I have contraband goods on board and it is life or death to me.” He then, pointing a finger to his throat, said: ‘See this is what it means’, I was so dumb founded that I could not answer. “He then called two of the Chilean crew (there were 100 crew) and they stood guard near the door, each armed with revolvers and a rifle. He then told me not to be alarmed but that if I went out of the cabin during his absence he would not be responsible for what would happen. He told me also that if I attempted to give a sign or to jump overboard he would not be responsible for the result. About this time I noticed them lifting out of the hold four small steel cannons which they immediately placed in position on the upper deck, three on forward part of the vessel and one aft. All four guns were loaded in my presence. The Captain then stated that he intended putting me off at Ballast Point. He then led me out of the cabin followed by his companions, each taking their revolvers. On reaching the bridge I found on deck below one hundred Chileans all armed to the teeth, each having a repeating rifle and revolver, dressed in a uniform consisting of red cap and jackets.”
“The captain laughed and said, ‘See, we have changed to a man-of-war.’ I looked at the pilot and said, ‘Are you going to guide the ship out?’ The Captain spoke up and said, ‘No, this is going to guide it!’ (exhibiting a revolver.) The Captain gave orders to the crew to put over a ladder as we were entering the harbor. The Captain said as he escorted me, “You must excuse me for putting you to this annoyance, as I am not in command of this ship.” The Itata then passed out of the bay heading north. It is said that Deputy Spencer was give $10.00 for the service.
Two deserters from the Itata were interviewed (“today”) and they told that they were sure that the big warship, Esmeralda accompanied the Itata as far North as Cape St. Lucas and is not awaiting the return of the Itata in order to get the provisions and coal. It was learned further that Capt. Manzeum is only employed to navigate the ship and that the real commander is a native Chilean and it is he who gives all the orders. De Silva Parna is the real commander. The Itata is supposed to be with “her miniature consort the “Robert and Minnie” off San Clemente Island preparing to transfer the ammunition. Transfer of arms seemed to be in cave at So.West corner of San Clemente Island where the vessels put in. Water is rough and small boats used. It took eight hours to transfer. Detective Harry Morse of San Francisco regretted that the government red tape had kept him from intercepting the Robert and Minnie before she discharged her cargo.


May 10, 1891 Los Angeles Times

The Itata papers were in good order, and passed customs. Geo. A Burt said the Chileans were in an internal row between the Congressional and Presidential parties and the latter were so obnoxious as to cause a force of arms to expel them from office. He had spent a number of years in the country.


May 11, 1891 Los Angeles Times

U. S. Deputy Marshall J. F. Anderson captured the Robert and Minnie on May 9th by the tug, Falcon, about four miles off the entrance to San Pedro Harbor. She tried to get away. She was about 60 feet long and about 100 ton and was pained black with a broad white stripe around her gunwale. On her stern were the words, Robert and Minnie San Francisco’.



Avalon—1891

Ever since April, 1889 there was much discussion in town regarding the new owners of Santa Catalina Island, the International Mining Syndicate, Limited. High hopes were held that they would do great things for Catalina. Yet, nothing happened. New people continued to arrive, establish a home and still no definite plans were explained as to the motives of the new island owners. Silver ore from the mines at Silver Canyon continued to be shipped to mainland smelter including San Francisco Bay area beyond Richmond. Interest in the Island community seemed not to exist by the said to be new owners. Finally, the town residents ignored the stalemated condition and continued their enjoyment of the beautiful Island with either the building or improvement of their various homes and fishing.

Joseph Stamford and John MacLean in March built the planned houses, the “Owl’s Nest’, for Ed Synge and Taylor from England. Taylor was about 20 years and Ed Synge was 22 years. They were both “getting money from home”. Mrs. Joseph Stamford visited Taylor’s mother on her trip to England. An owl really lived in its nest in the home, “Owl’s Nest” on East Whittley Ave.


Early Spring – April, 1891

At the same time that the “Owl’s Nest” was being built, Robert and Sally Cope’s home was in its first stages of construction on the East corner of Crescent Ave. and Metropole Avenue. From a letter of Mrs. Sophia Wheeler to her two daughters in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, she wrote, “It is very busy here in building and they (the people) will do a great deal this year.” In her letter she described their “Avalon Home rooming house on April 4, 1891, North corner of Crescent Ave and Sumner. “It seats 64, parlor 19’ x 22’, sleeps 10 in main building, wide verandas”. By May, the letter said, “Cottages ready for June, 50 or 60 boarders. With the bakery and the store will give us a good summers work. The cottages were “2, 3, 4 and 6 rooms.” There were girls in the bakery and there were three in the Wheeler family who had to be housed. There was a brick oven and a big kitchen.

The cows were cared for by “Uncle Thof”, Theophilus Parsons. He obtained 50 qts. of milk daily with a “helper”. Three churnings each week, 18 lbs. butter, handled by a “Mrs. N.” one of the helpers. “We have 85 chickens and have 150 eggs hatching. “Papa” (Alonzo Wheeler) speaks of Mr. Eddy as having cows and that a new family are coming over to take the Catalina House, nice people with three pretty children for school and Sunday School. “There is a plasterer coming for a two weeks job for Mr. William Hunt.”

Avalon celebrated Children’s Day on June 14,1891 in the manner of most churches throughout the United States, as a floral day in the church. The Sunday School made a specialty of it on June 14th. The young folks with adults gathered flowers and assisted in the decoration of the church, a beautiful tribute to Jesus and His Children. At the Morning Church service brief addresses were given by the Superintendent of the Sunday School, Joseph Stamford, and Deacon E. J. Whitney. Rev. H. H. Cole, resting here for awhile, gave the address. At night the services were held with Bible readings, recitations and songs. Mrs. Etta Whitney at the organ was accompanied by Professor Harry Polley on the flute. The pastor, Rev. George Morris, with Rev. Cole, conducted the devotional exercises. The young folks who recited were the Misses Geneva and Annie Wheeler, Maude Francis, Jennie and Dottie Latimer and “Bertie” (Albert) Morris.

Prizes were given the scholars for the best bouquet of flowers. First prize for cultivated flowers went to Miss Matilda Ann Morris, second prize to Maude Francis. Wild flowers: 1st prize, Leota Latimer and Hattie Eddy; second prize, Annie Wheeler. Special floral pieces were donated by Mrs. Furrow, Mrs. Whitney, Mrs. Tichnor, Mrs. Stamford and Prof. Polley, and others. The entire affair was beautiful and added another “sunny memory” of Catalina (from Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1891).

Ben Rosin became restless and had returned to his native land, Austria. There he met the beautiful girl, Sally Cohn, who, as his bride, returned to Avalon in June 1891.

It was late June that Charlie Hargitt and Dr. Davidson were on their way to Avalon from the Isthmus when they passed the Catalina Quarry, about 9 miles north from Avalon. This rock was shipped for the San Pedro breakwater. To their horror, they saw tons of rock slide followed by the cry of loud groans. They hurriedly pulled a half mile to shore. Three injured men were fortunate in having a doctor so near. Peter Doyle’s badly mangled leg was sewed and Dr. Davidson set the fractured leg of Robert Gomez and the right arm of William Pagal. That midnight the men were shipped to the mainland on the steamer, Katie O’Neil. The foreman of the Quarry, David Cook, explained that the slide was unforeseen and on seeing the first rocks fall he sounded the alarm thereby saving five other men. Only a month previous, falling rocks had killed James Downey, 39 years, while he had been working there. (Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1891 and June 29)

One Sunday morning in June as many folks were strolling to church, the shrill cry went up, “Yellowtail, Yellowtail!” Everyone ran to the shore shouting, manned boats, others ran to the pier with lines, some waded in Sunday clothes out waist deep for the writhing, jumping, frantic fish of all sizes which were being chased by larger fish and seals. These yellowtails were an awesome sight in the bay making circles of boiling ocean, while jumping up on the beach where folks caught them with their bare hands, then knocked them with sticks or beach pebbles. A seething hour of excitement which even brought the church pastor gathering fish. Food on an island is usually of the first order.

Barbeques on the beach were the reward. Extra yellowtails were salted down for later use. Others were carried to the mainland for sale in boats, several tons in all. Yellowtails came and were from 15 to 80 pounds in weight.

No wonder it is that a man in his office on another year recalls such an occasion, smells the soft summer air coming in, yearns for the open sea even though he is glued to an office desk. As he dreamed, one wrote of his enthusiasm on them:

“Yellowtails a bitin”.
“Oh, the news it is excitin’ that comin’ from the beach,
How the Yellowtails are bitin’ everything that they can reach.
“For I seem to see them floppin’ over everything I write
With their Yellowtails a-shinin’ an’ a flashing in the light;
“An’ I’ll cease the weary raselin’ for glory and for wealth
(This laboring between meals, it is ruining my health)
An’ drop a line to Yellowtail to celebrate with me
‘Way down at Catalina, in the bosom of the sea.’

see Calif. Magazine 1892 – Charles A. Gardner (editor of Pasadena Newspaper)


Mrs. Mary Horn, a small wiry woman, made her home with the Wheelers. She was the widow of Capt. Horn and had sailed with her husband from England to New Zealand and India through many years. She had been loyal help in the Wheeler’s California Bakery, “Cape Ann Bakery” in Oakland, and continued to serve her best in Avalon in their rental rooms and baker. While she worked she sang countless Scotch songs which she had learned in her home on the Shetland Islands. Two songs were sung endlessly, “Four Marys” and “No, John, No.” The Four Marys was a Scotch ballad of the attendants of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1st Stanza –
“Last nicht there were four Marys,
This nicht there’ll be but three,
There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton and Mary Carmichael and me.
4th Stanza -
But little care I for a nameless grave
If I’ve hope for eternity
And I’ll pray that the Faith of the dee’in thief
May be granted through grace to me.”

Note: Recalled by Geneva Wheeler who heard Mary Horn sing.

Footnote: Mary Horn continued to sing in Avalon years after the Wheelers left Avalon.


When she closed with elaborate school graduation exercises in Los Angeles and vicinity, a new school record today was established there with a total of 137 pupils completing their scholastic work in both public and private schools. Yet Avalon had no official school. Each succeeding year brought more families to Avalon he remained there year round. These youngsters needed a primary school. Rev. George Morris, armed with this urgency for high school in a new community, including the education of his four young sons, applied in May to the Los Angeles County school district for assistance in establishing a small school in Avalon. The meaning of the firstborn chosen by the electors of the district held the first meeting July 4, 1891, as trustees of the Catalina school district.

Note: first minutes in the record of proceedings of the Board of Trustees, District of Catalina school district Los Angeles County. (Seen by permission of principle Mr. Rollo, Avalon, of grammar and high school, now Long Beach district in 1950s.)

Present were Mrs. Sophia Wheeler and E. J. Whitney, Mr. Frank P Whitley, a member being absent, the meeting was adjourned to July 4-by E. J. Whitney-clerk-pro-tem. On July 14-Mr. Whitley was chosen as chairman for president of the board and E. J. Whitney, as clerk of the district at a meeting of all three trustees. On August 20, when the Board of Trustees of the Catalina school district met, the District Court was instructed to procure the necessary schools life. Mrs. Matilda Parker Morris, wife of church pastor, any professional teacher in California, was asked to be the schoolteacher at a salary of $60 per month for eight months, September 14, 1891 to May 14, 1892.

There were 32 children in Avalon, all native born in California. (Note: from the records of statistician, Mrs. Ruth Lloyd, of superintendent’s office of the Angeles County schools.)

This first school was held in the Congregational church with the children sitting around a large table and thief taking the place of regular staff. The room was built later on the church property and regular death was in. Here the school content to need to be held until the building of the schoolhouse on upper Whitley Avenue was built with two rooms and a library. (Note: according to Mrs. Adam Whitney’s report.)

Names of children in school:

Boys

  • Tommy Whitley
  • Marion Condit
  • Ernest Morris
  • Albert Morris
  • Raymond Morris
  • Willie Allen
  • George Gemiliere
  • Lucas Moricich
  • Harry Allen
  • Fred Quigley
  • Robert Quigley
  • Nathaniel Eddie
  • Vincent Moricich, Jr. (“Chappo”)


Girls:

  • Caroline Trask
  • Yoda Latimer
  • Eugenia Latimer
  • Mary Gemiliere
  • Maude Francis


July 13, 1891 Steamer, Falcon to Avalon with Capt. Trefethan in command.

Rev. John Spence Pitman, with his wife, Sarah a. Brown Pittman, arrived in 1891. They lived three years in their blue and white tent, a novelty from solid white ones. On the east side of the church on Metropole Avenue. Rev. Pittman was a versatile fellow known as the druggist, a merchant, and a minister in the United Brethren Church, before coming to Avalon. It was the Pittman’s urgent appeal to the Banning brothers to put up a park in from the shore in some available area. Here folks could rest from the activity of the beach, enjoy the flowers, children’s playground, with many comfortable seats. As is so often the case, the far vision of one excels the short vision of many. (Note: from John and Rebecca Pittman. John’s parents Bill and Isabel Hall Pittman lost four children in a week with diphtheria before coming to Avalon. Following this, John and Rebecca were born in Los Angeles.)

The Knowles family, “Daddy”, Horace, and Mrs. Elvira Brown Knowles joining the increasing throng in Avalon, their five children, Emma, Fanny, Celia, Vivian and “Gus” Augustus. (Note: from Fanny Knowles Locke.)

Alexander, “Sandy”, Walter Macdonell brought his bride to Avalon August 4, 1891, the former, Emma Douglas. They lived in front of the rare banyon tree on Clarissa Avenue.

From one friend to another the true tale was told of the large fish being caught off the island of Santa Catalina. This, with the advertising of the Los Angeles Railways for Taurus trade and the magazine and newspaper articles written by authors, including Charles Lummis and Prof. Charles Frederick Holder, excited sportsmen. That was not amazing that sportsmen traveled from England, Europe and the eastern United States to prove for themselves the wonderful feats and novel ways of fish and sportsmen off the Southern California coastal islands.

It was Prof. Holder, who believing that fish should have a sporting chance of survival, introduced the rod and reel with a 21 ounce thread for certain sized fish. When Prof. Holder saw men cast out a line from the beach of Avalon and bring in a fish weighing from 17 to 40 pounds, he knew he had discovered a fisherman’s paradise. He had seen the enormous waste of wonderful fish that never had a chance. Prof. Holder, fully realizing that this makes the man a poor sportsmen in that a man is given too much power which he usurps, misuses, and in time with the rare exception, becomes a wanton killer of sea life. Inwardly, this does not bring a satisfaction of worthy achievement but rather outlast for great powers.

Prof. Holder felt that a man guilt should be matched by the skill of another two more evenly give a creature’s chance for survival. Man’s conscience then becomes not only a guide that a measure of man’s mental discipline first on his own mental and muscular strength versus animal ingenuity plus endurance.

Man has a hidden strength, the strength of conviction, which when used fairly justifies his dominion over other forms of earthly life. ‘Tis and ‘twas true that men seined fish for both live bait and for food. These men of the sport world recognized that they who finished only for play or to a degree and a class of a different color. Real “sporty” was the new rule of Prof. Holder which many felt too drastic at first. However, Prof. Holder knew from his wide field of experience that it was both fair and skillful a feat to bring in a heavy fish in this new experimental way. And popular indeed it soon became until all the sporting world accepted it.

“Mexican Joe” Presciado was one who whiffed at Prof. Holder’s idea for a sporting chance for fish by using a rod and reel for fishing instead of a heavy hand line. Mexican Joe’s imagination failed to grasp how it would prove possible to “whip” those large fish into line with a reel.

Before long Prof. Holder was out with Mexican Joe in a rowboat around Church Rock on the south side of the island. Here Prof. Holder was attempting to hook is first jewfish with rod and reel. Prof. Holder caught a jewfish and all the way to Avalon, Mexican Joe reminding him that he’d caught a very young one. In Avalon the huge fish was hauled up on the shore by many willing hands, then weighed. It weighed 342 pounds! Mexican Joe lived at White’s landing. He rowed to Avalon and to Church Rock and returned many days a week.

On the last day of September, 1891, the entire town was in the morning for the death of one of their loved maidens, Laura Elms, age 21, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Elms, only sister of Harry and James Elms. Laura, a charming girl, talented in drawing, and enjoyed Catalina outings and sails to the surrounding islands in a boat, sketching as she went. She was often accompanied by her favorite escort, Harry Polley and Harry’s dog, “Chris”, a little fox terrier which was named for Christopher Columbus, “who like to sail, too!” Together, Harry, Laura and “Chris” rode the shorelines, fish, barbecued on the shore, exhilarated with life, youth and the bright future. Then she was stricken, and Harry failed to visit her. Mainly she waited. Others visited her, telling of the news of each day on the bay, the town and the Valley. Laura was saddened by this neglect. Folks only hoped, prayed, watched and waited, as did Laura while she faded away. She had contracted tuberculosis from caring for a girlfriend who had the disease and in turn, Laura’s mother, Mrs. Elms, contracted the same dread disease. The night Laura died attentive, John D. MacLean, who loved her, too, sat by her bedside all night for 2 PM is future loomed as dark as the vigil he kept. During the next morning John MacLean put pine boards together while others brought broad banana leaves from Peter Gano’s trees to cover the hoops protecting the casket. Flowers were gathered from hillsides and garden plot. The church bells rang announcing the funeral services. Mrs. Etta Whitney played Laura’s favorite hymns on the little organ to commence the services, the second funeral in Avalon’s history. The pastor, Rev. George Morris, conducted the simple service which was attended by all the townsfolk in the loving tribute of remembrance, as the church bell rang, Laura’s body was carried to the cemetery and laid next to the only other grave (Nathaniel Parson’s) also facing North. This bright North Star, in all her coastwise and other island excursions, had never failed as a pivot to bring her safely home. Two known pallbearers were Sandy Macdonell and John D. MacLean.

On November 8, ”Jack” made his last trip with mail to Avalon for a while. He was found sick on his sailboat, Sylvia, and taken to a mainland hospital. His service money was collected by Harry Elms and others who carried the mail in his place. The money was given to Jack just the same. Jack’s last name was unknown. By November 17, Charlie Hargitt brought the mail on the Hattie.

“Jack” had the contract to bring mail in 1891 during the winter months. He came and at times took three days to sail across the channel. On one occasion there was no mail during the winter for 22 days. On November 14, the Terminal Railroad was completed from Los Angeles to East Van Pedro, connecting actually Pasadena with the ocean. A celebrating excursion was held November 14. The road extended via Long Beach and Rattlesnake Island (later known as Terminal Island).


Early December, 1891 Annie and Geneva Wheeler, with other young folks, went to the hotel “Met” [Hotel Metropole] to practice for the Christmas concert to be given in the church. Mrs. Whitney was the director, as she accompanied them at the piano. (Note: from letters of Geneva Wheeler, March 25, 1953.)




Avalon—1892



Avalon—1893

February 1893

The winter brought little excitement until E. O’Leary sent word that a whale was ashore on San Clemente Island. It took fourteen men to pull it up on the beach. Harry Elms gleaned some bones from it to display in his Shell and Curiosity Shop at the north corner of Whittley and Crescent Avenues.

Jimmie Elms was in charge of the Chinese brought over to clear the cacti from both the side hills encircling Descanso Beach in preparation for the building of Joseph Banning’s new home in February. Jimmie gave detailed instructions to the men to take care in clearing the “pretty colored leaves” of poison oak bound in with the cacti. After the first day’s labor in the warm sun, the Chinese reported again for work yet they were continually scratching themselves and asking Jimmie, “What’s this?” They had not heeded his warning. One of them suffered so intensely that he was sent to Los Angeles to obtain relief. Descanso Beach was also known as “Lucky Beach”. (From Jimmie Elms to Catherine Loud.) (From Holder’s “Isle of Summer”, California Magazine, December 1892.)


Early Spring

More and more tents were demanded in Avalon.

William H. Hoegee of Los Angeles had the Avalon Agency for supplying tourists with tents of any desired size, stoves and camp furniture. These included the Gold Medal Camp Stools, the famous Daisy Folding Cot at $1.75 and other costs and chairs. Mr. Hoegee’s office and warehouse on Sumner Avenue half-way to Beacon Street was a busy spot after the arrival of any mainland vessel. Folks set up housekeeping in a hurry.


June 1, 1893

The schooner Hattie sailed into the bay of Avalon bearing the shocking news to Edwin and Etta Whitney that George Shatto had been killed the evening of May 31st in Ravenna, California by a freight train. It seemed too incredible to be true. The Hattie returned with the Whitneys who hastened to the side of Shatto’s widow, Clara, (Mrs. Whitney’s sister) in Los Angeles. There they learned that George Shatto with several companions had gone to look over some mining property above Mojave, when word was sent in to him of his wife’s illness. Knowing that he would be unable to catch the regular south bound passenger train to Los Angeles, he hurriedly boarded the caboose of the standing freight which he knew would be picked up later on a usual freight run during the night. While the freight was switching the special train, the special freight cam crashing along before the engineer of the regular freight noticed the dilemma. Other persons were also injured but it is thought that George Shatto was asleep in his bunk. As his head was hit, and he died instantly. George Shatto, former owner of Santa Catalina Island, had a beautiful residence on Orange Street in Los Angeles, now the location of the Hospital of the Good Samaritan between 6th and 7th Streets.

During the latter part of Mayor Hazard’s administration George Shatto had made an enviable reputation as a Police Commissioner in Los Angeles. He also owned many pieces of Los Angeles real estate purchased before Santa Catalina Island.

George Shatto was buried June 3, in Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles. Later his remains were placed in a pyramid vault which now protects the bodies of several of his family. He was born in the early 1850s.

  • (1) His years were short in duration but his hours were completely filled.

The third newspaper to be published in Avalon was also a weekly and was issued in a four page sheet beginning in June and was titled, “The Avalon Crusoe” with Brainerd Hanby, editor.

  • (2) Ten issues were published from June to September 2, 1893 giving the names of guests in the hotels and the news of the little town. Price was $.05 a copy or $.15 a month.
  • (3) On the front page of the second issue was the illustration of Avalon Bay, with wild Johnny-jump-up flowers in the foreground, drawn by Ella S. Goodwin which was in the poem, “Catalina, Bride of the Pacific”. This poem was written by W. L. Lunt in 1893 named
Saint Catalina – Ocean’s Bride
That dwells mid sunshine, storm and tide,
Full near far famed Los Angeles
Our much beloved abiding place
Holds out to all her welcome hands
That seek her pebble-studded strands.

Comments on news in the new “Avalon Crusoe” newspaper follows:

Glenmore restaurant, proprietor, W. A. Irwin, Jr., W. A. “Billy” Bloeser opened his “Sugar Loaf” counter on the corner of Marilla at Crescent Avenue with soft and hard drinks.

At this time William M. Hunt at his Shell Store was the agent for all Los Angeles and San Francisco newspapers.

J. M. Scanland was the Avalon reporter to the Los Angeles Times.

The church services changed under Rev. H. A. Brown, pastor, from 11 A. M. to 10:30 A. M.

  • (1) From the Saturday Times, June 3, 1893.
  • (2) From the Los Angeles County Museum Library, Vol. 1, missing.
  • (3) B. Hanby was a son of the composer of “Darling Nellie Grey”.


July 15, 1893 - “Avalon Crusoe”

Just south of Avalon Town in the valley, the Banning Brothers have tapped an underground stream for a well. The flow of water is so great that work must await more powerful pumps. Water pipes are now being laid for Avalon’s supply from the new well.

Messrs. Glover have fitted up a stand and dining room which supplies the town with many varieties of delicacies, and fancy groceries. This has long been an urgent need. Quinby (?) fresh milk served in their restaurant from Old Meadow Dairy.

Until now the only seat on the shore was at Hugo’s Stand. (1) Now the boat men have put up handsome seats along the waterfront.

The Sea Beach Hotel in center block between Catalina and Sumner Avenues fronting Crescent Avenue is open with C. E. Gordon and I. H. as managers and with Mrs. Lavinia Saum, assisting in the restaurant. (2)

The Bannings advertisement on Catalina in the Los Angeles Times offered the most to the worn business toiler with his family than any resort on the mainland. More was given than the wording implied in the transportation ticket for sale at all railroad stations. These tickets on the steamers of the Wilmington Transportation Company carried the privileges of camping ground, free water, all garbage and rubbish removal free from camp lot daily. Also, tents can be rented on the Island and there is board at restaurants at hotels at popular prices. Steamer service continued on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and Sundays on the steamer Hermosa.

The Island folk crowded the small wharf whenever the steamers arrived. When the boat whistled the people ran like to a fire. They string out in two rows so that the passengers run a gauntlet in Indian fashion. Remarks then are hurled at the incoming passengers.

A small track on the wharf was used only for moving freight to the shed on the shore.


July 22, 1893 – Yachts in Avalon Bay

Restless of San Diego
Jessie – Commodore McDonough (40 onboard, Cost $28,000, 4 yrs. ago)


  • (1) Hugo Asphlund or Aspland.
  • (2) Mrs. Lavinia Saum came from Ohio, as did her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. David Cullen and granddaughter, Mrs. Mauve Opal Cullen Concienne of Avalon and grandson, William Cullen.
Power yacht – San Diego– A. M. Hayward, Master
Ramona
Puritan – Redondo
Allie – C. R. Sumner, owner
Dawn
Rambler – part owner – Capt. W. C. Whitney
Aggie
Nellie

Catalina Yacht Club Officers for the Season 1893 were:

Commodore – W. Lacy
Vice Commodore – Hancock Banning
Secretary – E. R. Rellam


July 22, 1893

Robert Lacy, 14 years old was lost in Salt Verde Canyon. The church bell rang at 3 P. M. which was the signal that the lost boy was found. He was found by W. R. Condit and S. Oliver although many were out searching all evening and early morning. Others helping were Mexican Joe and Messrs. Swan, Anderson and Harrington.

July camps up Marilla Ave. had compelling names beginning with “Camp Made to Stay” and ending at the highest on the hillside, Camp “Got There at Last”.

There is a notion that chewing gum will prevent seasickness so on the Hermosa each trip there is a chewing gum party.

A camp of Cadets were camped at the rear of Avalon.

In the last week of July Avalon was favored by the visit of the Archdeacon of India, a British tourist. He had read of Catalina while in the hot plains of Punjab and there decided to visit such an attractive “watering place”.

Summer guests enjoyed the music of Musso’s orchestra each afternoon at 2 P. M. and 6 P. M. at the Metropole Hotel with such favorites played as “Selections from Gounod’s “Faust” waltz, “Mia Bella”, “Roeder”, “Bells of Normandy” by Plauguette, March, “Picadore”, Sousa, “Semiramis” by Rossini, “Petersburg Sleighride” by Eilenberg, Overture, “Mignon”, Thomas and a “Trip to Coney Island”, Tobani.

In the evening at the pavilion the latest hit, “After the Ball” by Dr. C. C. Calvin was repeated several times. The new waltz, Espagnole, Eulalia by Tobani were also favorites. Soloists were Clarinet, J. C. Deagon, Harp, J. Musso, and violin and director, R. V. Musso.

Two new songs of Catalina were played by R.V. Musso’s orchestra for the first time. Boettger’s, “Catalina Dudes”, and the waltz by Dr. Calvin, “La Catalina”.


July 1893

The University of California Camp under the direction of Professor W. E. Ritter and his wife, was located near the pavilion, representing the Biological Department of the University of California. In August the students dissected a seal.

Also, a Geological Class from the University of California left Catalina late in July for San Clemente Island under the care of Professor A. C. Lawson.

A fishing party early in August brought in a 325 lb. Jewfish (black sea bass) to the beach in Avalon from Church Rock with Sandy Mcdonnell. They were H. Folson, W. S. and C. E. Pimberton and E. and C. Simons.

The State Reform School for boys at Swaines Camp, also called Camp Banning, was free of charge.


August 12, 1893

A force pump was installed near the bathhouse at north beach. This salt water is to be used for pumping water for sprinkling carts on the streets and to be used in case of fire. It has the capacity of 8000 gallons an hour thrown 100 feet high which is forced by a ten horse power engine. This work is under the direction of Mr. W. L. Hobbs of Los Angeles who is making preparation for electric lights for hotels.

The bathhouse was put on North Beach. During the first week of August from ten to twenty tons of pebbles were shipped from Catalina to the World’s Fair in Chicago by the Bannings Company. Also, 10,000 sea shells of various kinds and sizes were shipped. These pretty pebbles and shells were distributed freely to visitors at the Fair. (From the “Final Report of California World’s Fair Commission including all exhibits from State of California”.)


August 1893 – Advertisement

Ho! For Catalina!

The Swift, Staunch, New Steamer Falcon, Capt. F. G. Lucas, will leave San Pedro every Saturday on the arrival of the 5:45 P.M. train from this City for Santa Catalina, arriving at the Island at 10 P. M. and returning from the Island, reaching Los Angeles at 8:10 A. M. Monday.

First Class Restaurant and Lodging House on the Island.

For Tickets Apply at U. P. R. R. Office – 243 North Main Street.

Fare for the Round Trip, including R. R. Fare, $4.

(1) The students found interesting creatures among these were Fornaria balanoglossu, a wormlike creature that grows several inches long, and Appendicularia, an animal resembling a tadpole which were not known to live there at that time.


August 1893

Dr. Haviland umpired the lawn tennis tournament in early august in the court by the pavilion. Skilled players included the Misses Eva, Maud and Mamie Tufts of Los Angeles.

During July the Island quarries which are furnishing rock to the government for the San Pedro breakwater turned out five thousand tons last month.

Besides the rock, great shipments of cattle and sheep were also sent from the Island.


August 12, 1893

The family of Joseph Banning were living in their new home at Descanso Beach. The road was constructed along the north side hill of Avalon providing another scenic walk. There were no carriages in Avalon, walking was the vogue.

A tunnel was blown through the high hill dividing Avalon from Descanso under the direction of Mr. Smith, a miner, and lined with wood.


August 19, 1893

A boathouse had been erected on the north beachhead of the Banning home. Now Descanso was called Banning’s Beach.


August 14, 1893

Allan was born to Sandy and Emma MacDonell, their second son.

J. P. Sheets, the tinsmith was Justice of the Peace.


In the middle of August the new manager of the “Met”, F. B. Prussia, installed his own cooks and bakers. No guest knew of the change and so great was their surprise at breakfast on a Tuesday morning to find an entirely new force serving them in the dining room.

The summer season continued calm, relaxing and always enjoyable.


August 22, 1893

Moonlight returned giving Dr. C. C. fowler the opportunity of a moonlight picnic on August 22nd. Three boats were towed in line with an orchestra on the first boat. As they passed they serenaded in turn, the Hermosa, the Aggie, Rambler and Hattie. Afterwards a picnic lunch was enjoyed in one of the canyons.

Improvements continued throughout the season, not least among these was the gravelling of Catalina Avenue and the streets running as right angles thereto filled with campers. Mr. Steele’s cottage on Marilla Ave. was named, “Rose Cottage” after Miss Rose Wallace who was in charge of Mr. Steele’s young folk. The name carried a spell of romance like any flower with the same name.

One day while Rev. Mr. Brown, new pastor of the Congregational Church was talking to the editor, Mr. Hanby of “The Avalon Crusoe” concerning music, he said one of his favorites was “Darling Nelly Gray” and he told Mr. Hanby a good deal about the author whom he had known, and how he had visited his grave many times. When he had finished he found that he had been talking to the musician’s son. They both were amazed and doubly to find that they both had lived in Westerville Ohio.


August 25, 1893 – Los Angeles Times

The gold, silver and lead mine at Cherry Valley gives its owners great hope. To date 45 tons which according to assays made by the smelters, Selby and Company of San Francisco, goes $156.00 to the ton. Selby’s have offered $111.00 per ton delivered to San Francisco. The offer has been accepted and shipments commence the end of August.

It is especially noticeable that so many physicians are choosing Catalina for their summer resort. Among those here are Drs. Salisbury, Kurtz and Fowler.

Beginning August 26, Saturday, a german was held in the pavilion which is the first of a series of morning german. This one was led by Hugh Vail, Miss Lucy Banning, John Schumacher and Mrs. Vail.


August 26, 1893

Tennis Tournament (from “Avalon Crusoe”)

Winners –

  • R. Parsons and Martha Tufts
  • Julia Mercerean and Dr. Haviland
  • May Sterling and E. Moody
  • Miss Lewis and H. Brown
  • W. Sterling and Maud Tufts

Ladies Singles:

  • Misses Foy

Gentlemen’s Singles:

  • A. Sterling
  • L. Wigmore
  • A. Brown
  • C. Wigmore

The coast line on the western side of the Island seemed monotonous, at first, to those on the around the Island Cruise but on acquaintance and instruction of the various forms of geologic strata, the erosion by spring rain, and sun, and the early history of smugglers, the terrain increased in interest as does each view of the face of a patriarch who sits pondering. Few wrinkles change but the lights and shadows passing over the face seem to refer to passing seasons bringing their changes.

From “The Avalon Crusoe” newspaper Stores:

Hair Dressing Parlors – Mrs. E. L. Roberts near the pavilion.
Candy kitchen – near pavilion.
Hankey’s Provision Store – Fruits from Santa Ana.
Cable Groceries – Hardware, Gents Furnishings, bathing suits, fishing tackle, books and novels, cigars, shells, curios and groceries located in front of the wharf.
Barber Shop – in rear of Elms’ Shell Store, at Whittly Avenue, Elms’ Store, Harry Elms, proprietor.
N. B. Stanton – General Grocery Store, notions, etc.
“The Garden” – Store – notions and Christopher’s Ice Cream.
Quinby’s fresh milk from Old Meadow Dairy at Messrs. O. Glovers – old restaurant men recently from Columbus, Ohio. There’s a stand and dining room. Meals, 3 for $1.00, 21 meals for $6.00.
Rice Bros. – Grocers, butter and eggs “at Los Angeles prices”.
Branch Red Shoe House in Avalon, R. J. Cope. Est. in Los Angeles, 1886.
Sugar Loaf – W. A. Bloeser.
Wm. M. Hunt – Shells, Guns, Sail and Rowboats.
Advertisement of Jones’ Book Store, W. First Street, Los Angeles, “Buy your paper bound books (for summer reading) at Avalon and exchange them (in Los Angeles) at Jones”.
Wm. H. Hoegee – “Flags, Tents, Sails and Tarpaulins, Hammocks, etc.”

Hotels

  • Avalon Home –
June chef – Chas. Councello
July chef – E. A. Harriman
Aug chef – H. A. Moody
  • Leneta – L. H Michener, Prop. and Mgr.
  • Sea Beach Hotel and Restaurant – G. E. Gordon and I. H. Miller
  • Glenmore Hotel – E. J. Whitney, proprietor
  • Glenmore Restaurant, W. A. Irwin, Jr., Prop. (Soup 10 cents a quart)
  • Spanish Hotel, and Restaurant, Mrs. Knowles – Metropole Avenue

Rooming Houses

Catalina House – Seth Eddy, prop., $3.00 per week, Whittly Avenue
Hutchins Camp – Camps for rent – canvas cottages – A. W. McDonell
John MacLean’s on upper Beacon Street

Boats to Let

C. F. Reeves
C. D. Fenton and Ringsin – Front of Hotel “Met”
Hugo with his two dogs
A. W. McDonell
Fishing in rowboat – Mexican Joe Presciado
E. M. Matson in front of Sumner Ave., corner on beach.

Living in Avalon

  • N. B. Stanton, Vails,
  • C. Bennedict
  • Dave Kelleher
  • Mexican Joe Presciado
  • Charles B. parker
  • Prof. Judson of Garvanza
  • Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Grubb
  • May Ashby (now Mrs. Bufkins) with sisters, Nellie and Myrtle and parents
  • John Douglas MacLean

Dan Baughman shared a photo and art supply shop with Louis Majonier.

George Michaelis (visitor) returned in 1900 to live.

Hotel Leneta recently built by John MacLean on Whittly Ave. for the proprietors, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Michener was named “Leneta” derived from a combination of a portion of the owners’ first names (from John MacLean to daughter, Catherine M. Loud).

The old dining room in the “Met” is now being used as a music room.

The new dining room seats over 200 persons comfortably and offers lovely vistas over the bay and shoreline.

The hotel apartments are “elegant and the management spares no pains to have everything agreeable”.

Clerk Burns here again ready to serve as he did last year.

Music – “The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo Waltz” (Dewitt) “Molly, and I and the Baby” (Dewitt)


September 12, 1893

Hotels in Avalon

  • Leneta
  • Metropole
  • Sea Beach
  • Grand View
  • Glenmore
  • Avalon Home

Eddy’s Terrace Tents on Whittly Ave. facing north.

Light housekeeping rooms at Hankey’s, also groceries shipped form Santa Ana.

Sprinkling cart kept the dust down on the streets which saving the ladies long dresses.

Colored waiters at the “Met” gave a harmonious vocal program which was much enjoyed.

Ed Synge left for residence in Riverside.

Summer visitors fell quite short of expectancy due, they felt, to the lack of tourists from the East! Many attended the Chicago Exposition instead. This did not, however, dampen the spirits of the Banning Brothers who forged ahead in improving the living conditions in Avalon.

There was talk of Avalon becoming a winter resort, and more ideas on improving the Isthmus into a resort with a park like atmosphere and water pumped from Cottonwood Canyon.

The west wind blew fiercely there during each afternoon.

Late in the fall the wife of Rev. C. A. Brown died of tuberculosis in Avalon. The funeral was in the Whitney home on Vieudelou Ave. at Marilla Ave. Burial was in the Avalon Cemetery.

The second teacher in the Avalon School was Miss Carrie Adele Hill of Pasadena. She served two years. Trustees were H. C. Condit, E. J. Whitney and W. A. Macdonell.


September, 1893

Sheriff John C. Cline of Los Angeles is visiting Avalon. Also, visiting are the Misses Ethel and Edith Shorb, Gregory Perkins, Jr.

Avalon Bay is dotted with white sailboats.

Nathaniel Nelson Eddy of the Catalina House on Whittly Ave. wrote that their five cows were kept with the Wheelers cows “on the flat opposite the mesa where the road led up to Fred Brown’s house. There was a high board fence clear across the flat which kept the cows out of the Town. They roamed the mesas and hills as will. “I would round them up at about 4:30 or 5 P. M. and into the corral where they were kept ‘til the morning feeding.”


December 9, 1893

It was announced in the Sunday/Saturday Los Angles Times and Weekly Mirror that Miss Lucy Banning was married to John Bradbury at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. She did not live in Avalon but had been there during the summer in her gayest moods.

Ruth Moricich (Griffith) was the first white girl born in Avalon, November 26, 1893, the census says. The Moricich Bible says, 1894.



Avalon—1894



Avalon—1895



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Avalon—1897



Avalon—1898



Avalon—1899



Avalon—1900



Avalon—1901
Avalon—1902

February, 1902

Tunas were seen in February, which was unusual and one was caught in March.


March, 1902

On March 13, Thursday, a son, Roderick Arthur, was born to John Douglas and Winnie S. MacLean on Beacon Street, upper.

“Avalon, with its cluster of buildings and white, sunny tents, lies snugly in the elbow of a little bight, where the hills slip down to a graded beach of shingle. Winter is its season of verdure; from May to November storms are unknown and one may wear the same weight clothing the year round.” By Maximilian Foster in the Munsey’s Magazine, from “The Greatest Game Fishing”.


April 12, 1902

The Catholic Church on upper Vieudelou Avenue had the first service of Mass in its structure. Father P. F. Byrne gave the Mass.

Miss Anna McCall gave a donation for the alter.

Pauline Adargo was the soloist in the first Catholic Church Mass. (later Mrs. McClintock Freitas) Later Pauline and her sisters, Rosie and Esquia sang together.


June, 1902 – Glass bottom Power Boats; Mon Ami

Mike Tobin and William Gurius ordered a glass bottom power boat built by Capt. J. E. Mathewson “as an experiment” against Capt. Mathewson’s better judgment. She was named the Mon Ami and launched June 17, 1902 in Avalon Bay. Her cost was between $3,500 and $4,000. In three weeks time this Mon Ami was paid for in full for the crowds were so enthusiastic and she carried them to the numerous points of interest including Moonstone Beach viewing the submarine gardens enroute. At her launching, Charles James made a few remarks and Miss Arielle Gurius, daughter of one of the owners, cracked a bottle of champagne on her bow, as she pronounced her name to be, Mon Ami. This was the first side-wheeler each of 5 ½ feet with a 6 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse gasoline engine. She was 38 feet long with a beam of 7 feet 4 inches and had two wells, each ten feet long which contained the glass boxes. These were one forward and the other aft of the engine. (From Frances Lauderbach’s dairy)


July 30, 1902

Chris Ringsin is the oldest Avalon boatman. He took the first lease of a boat stand here, 16 years ago he came and is a resident. He is a native of Denmark. He took out Naturalization papers a few days ago.

Fishing and fishing parties and social parties and boat trips were the main entertainments.


August 1, 1902

Clarence Morris and Charles De Hegy will ride to New York on bicycles. Judge Banning will give them sweaters marked, “Catalina to New York”. Richard Fog, the sporting man in New York wants to see them. It will take them six weeks to two months to arrive in New York.

David Starr Jordon, President of Stanford University has recently written a book, “Game Fishes of America” which contains a chapter on Catalina fish written by Charles Frederick Holder.

George Farnsworth brought in 200 abalone.

Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Plummer are of the firm of Anderson and Chanslor in Avalon.

The fishing boat, Alpha took six or seven ton of sardines off Lover’s Cove and Mr. Rider is trying to find out why after his complaint to the Court.

Three young boys trapped three foxes.

Manager of the Island Buffet Restaurant is Vald Schmidt.


August 3, 1902

There was a wedding in the new Catholic Church on the hill. Mr. John C. Robarts, Mayor and Majordomo of San Clemente Island and Superintendent of the San Clemente Wool Company, and Miss Lucy A. Moricich, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vincente Moricich were married. Miss Sarah Guion, cousin of the bride, was the bridesmaid and Paul Gemilere was best man. The ceremony was performed by Father P. F. Byrne. Many guests were present.


August, 1902 First Wireless

Following the Lee De Forest Experiments in Wireless Telegraphy in 1902, Gen. F. E. New opened the first Wireless Station – Telegraph between the mainland and Santa Catalina Island.

The first Wireless Telegraphic Station ever established for communication on any coast was established here in San Pedro, Harbor City, August 2, 1902 between San Pedro and Avalon, Catalina Island.

A wireless system was installed on the steamer, Hermosa on September 3rd.


August 10, 1902

Greatest crowd that was ever seen in Avalon now here.

E. N. Dickerson’s new yacht came in today, the new Lillian with Capt. J. E. Fowler and First Officer, Al Shade.

Ernest Morris came home from San Francisco on the Lillian.

This is the second season for the “Symposium Club” here.

Yellowtail Johnny brought in a large yellowtail. It weighed over 56 lbs.


August 12, 1902

The Ping-Pong Tournament usually held every Saturday at the corner of Crescent and Clarissa Avenues was won by S. S. Salisbury when he bead Tufts, the Avalon Champion. Miss Garland won for the ladies.


August 13, 1902 Avalon

More than twenty messages received today at Avalon via Wireless Telegraph, although it is not receiving business from the public. Telegrams today included press dispatches, a call for a coroner and many complimentary messages. A lineman for Western Union says his company will have poles up and wires strung to connect White Point Station to San Pedro by the middle of next week.


August 15, 1902

The first black sea bass taken by a woman this season was Mrs. W. G. Kendall of Boston, wife of Dr. Kendall. She brought it to gaff in 37 ½ minutes. Its weight was 145 ½ lbs. Jim Gardner was the boat’s skipper.

The Japanese divers from the mainland gave up the search for the bag of lost diamonds, in the ocean, of Mrs. W. T. S. Hammond. She lost them overboard on the “Hayride” of the boat, Meteor, near Sugar Loaf. Many tried to see the diamonds through the glass bottom boats.


August 15, 1902 From the L. A. Times, August 15

The Coroner arrived this morning for the inquest on remains of W. H. Yeager shot and killed august 13. Harry Johnson, Jr., 19 years, formerly employed by A. B. Boyd was the only witness. The tabs showed that eleven rounds of liquor were served. Boyd lost $140 and $150 in cash and $50 he borrowed from Yeager on a gold watch, as well as $50 from Yeager on a diamond stud. He then asked for $50 more on a second watch. He was then refused 3 times. Johnson said Boyd fired two shots. Boyd threw the gun on the floor of the saloon and Johnson picked it up and carried it out and delivered it at the door to a passerby, H. S. Knowles.


August 18, 1902

Joe Banning, Jr. beams with joy with his new 4 horsepower, 22 ½ ft. steamer named Limma, after his baby brother, William. His cousin, Frederick Ayer is Captain.


August 19, 1902

Seals were caught for the Bolsa Gun Club. Jim Gardner had four fingers severely barked when a sea lion jumped twenty feet into the air pulling Jim’s rope.

St. Jacob’s oil and arnica were used for sore backs.

In the marble quarry at Empire Landing, J. H. Splittsstoeser, foreman, reports that since the old gang saw has been replaced by a modern one, and his steam engine has been replaced by a gasoline engine, he is able to get out slabs 4 ½ ft. x 9 feet.

Hancock Banning brought over an automobile.

Dick Key purchased J. N. Broad’s launch and named her, Old Glory. She caught in her 100 sand dabs, 1 shark, and 6 yellowtails.

Charlie Ironmonger and wife were both born on the same day of the same year. They were married last winter.

Charles A. Alexander is putting up a first class garbage crematory. The first fires have been lighted under boilers. The smokestack is 3 feet in diameter and is 70 ft. high.


August 20, 1902

At the free Museum of Charles B. Parker, the largest specimen of a mounted fish in the world can be seen. It is a record black sea bass caught by H. T. Kendall of Boston.


August 21, 1902

The launch Mon Ami took a party of seven to Moonstone Beach up the coast. They were transferred to a rowboat and it capsized and all fell into the water.


August 22, 1902

A funeral in the Avalon Church was held for Mrs. J. J. Peckham here by Rev. Charles W. Williams. She was a member of the Avalon Church. Her body was taken to Los Angeles for burial.


August 23, 1902 – Los Angeles Times

The President tonight gave out the following dispatches received and sent by him:

Avalon, Catalina Island, Calif.
President Roosevelt, White House:

Catalina Island, Calif, heretofore isolated in the Pacific Ocean, sends greeting to her American President on the occasion of her being put in communication with the entire world, brought about through the medium of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph, a purely American invention now in successful operation.

(Signed) A. L. New, General Manager
A. L. New, General Manager, Avalon, Catalina, Island, Calif:

Please extend my greetings to the citizens of Catalina Island and my cordial congratulations upon the establishment of the telegraphic communications.

(Signed) Theodore Roosevelt


August 24, 1902 – Los Angeles Sunday Times, p. 1

First “Gram” to the President -

Catalina Flashes Word to Washington, D. C. – Successful Opening of the Wireless President Roosevelt received the first telegram sent from Avalon, Catalina Island, yesterday (August 23). The occasion was the opening for business of the plant of the Pacific Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Company, under its traffic arrangement with the Western Union Telegraph Company. The message was as follows:

Avalon (Cat.), August 23. President Theodore Roosevelt, Oyster Bay, Long Island - Santa Catalina Island heretofore isolated, sends greeting to her great American President on the occasion of her being put into communication with the entire world through the medium of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph, a purely American invention, now in successful operation.
Signed – A. L. New, General Manager

This message was followed by a great number of others and the “wireless” found itself almost powerless to cope with the first onslaught of business.


August 24, 1902 – L. A. Times, Sunday, p. 1

The first message to Avalon from Riverside by a proud father to his relative in Avalon at 11 o’ clock – the arrival of a 10 lb. boy, “both doing well”.

The wireless requires an engine of large horsepower to generate its voltage. At present a gasoline engine is being used. The voltage is 100 with ¾ inch spark, this voltage carries with remarkable clearness over 25 miles of channel ocean.

The sending operator sits at a key closely resembling a Morse Key and sends it nearly exactly only he holds the key down longer to get the spark.

The receiving operator sits in a sound-proof closet, resembling a telephone booth, and has a double receiver of similar form to that used by the “central” operators in a telephone office, to each ear.

A test telegram was sent yesterday afternoon and only one word had to be repeated. It was, “Benjamin Franklin’s induction theory harnessed to chariot of commerce”.

Twenty words a minute is fair working speed.

$2000 is the approximate cost. The Banning Co. is well pleased with the showing made by the Gen.


August 24, 1902

The Catalina Island Yacht Club took a trip to the Isthmus with 40 guests of Hancock Banning. Each year the Women’s Christian Temperance Union discussed the problem of the needs of visitors in a resort town like Avalon. Water was precious, soda pop was not plentiful, and even milk was a valuable commodity. These thoughtful women realized that a free drink of water was unavailable to child or man on Crescent Ave. For this end they gave a set of Musicales over a period of several weeks netting $100 for a public drinking fountain. Later a fountain was installed by them for people and horses to drink, too. Mrs. E. J. Whitney was treasurer of the fund. It was the fountain, made of Catalina marble and cost $200.


August 29, 1902

The new Catalina crematory for disposal of garbage was built and operated for one week by Charles A. Alexander before he turned it over to its owner, the Santa Catalina Island Company.


In August, 1902

“The Citizens League” with the President, Mr. E. J. Whitney, had sent for Otto Mandel, a former police officer here, to take steps to stop the gambling games on the Island. Mandel came armed with the necessary papers and went to the necessary parties running games and laid alternatives before them to quit without serving papers or be served and arrested. All agreed to quit and took their paraphernalia and left Avalon.


August 29, 1902

Ben and Mrs. Rosin have another little man.

The reservoir for salt water was put on the west hill overlooking the town at an elevation of about 250 ft. It holds about a million gallons of water, 2 lines with 6” gal. pipe.

Santa Catalina Island had her first talk across the ocean on August 28 when a cablegram was sent to London going by wireless telegraph to San Pedro. White’s Point had a little trouble with it.


September 2, 1902

The first real burglary was in Dan Jerrue’s saloon. Two Negroes were caught. William Watkins is manager of the saloon.

Miss Lucy M. Cope gave a Musicale.

Discovery of Avalon Crime –

Yaeger was a professional crook. Gobe and Yaeger were partners in catching suckers. Gobe got drunk and lost money. This angered Yaeger. He called for a new deck of cards. These were brought and by slight of hand he pulled out his own marked cards deck and used them. These were manufactured in Los Angeles. So Boyd and Johnson lost all in the game and one of them killed him – W. H. Yeager.

A wireless system was installed on the steamer, Hermosa.


September 3, 1902

R. H. Marriott, the Chief Engineer of the Wireless Telegraph sent in on Sept. 2nd an application for a patent on the G. T. Swenson receiver used here in Avalon after a month’s trial.


September, 1902

The Catalina Card Club began in early Fall and held meetings all winter in Los Angeles. In 1903 summer they met again to play all summer.

“Chicken John” Brinkley, a native of England first raised chickens at White’s Landing. Later he moved up Avalon Valley and grew hogs as well as chickens. He supplied the Hotel Metropole with eggs. He had blue eyes that searched one. When asked if he had ever been off the Island he answered in his drawling speech, “No, I’ve just been here!” “Billy”, the large pig was killed. He larded about 945 lbs., enough for John for two years.


September 7, 1902

The Hotel “Met” manager, O. O. Orr resigned to become General Auditor of the Banning Company. Mr. G. W. Thompson is the temporary manager.

Mr. Bonner is the guard at the gate of the wharf.

Mr. William Jansen is the expressman.

Rev. Charles N. Williams married Miss Ruth Rynerson to Calvin W. Blanchard.


September 10, 1902 J. E. Tomlinson who had a restaurant in the store under the Stamford House, left with his bills unpaid. Constable Vincente Moricich attached the effects.


September 13, 1902 The band serenaded Joe B. Banning at his home on Sumner Ave. with a cornet solo. “Ave Maria” and then George S. Patton, next door, with “La Paloma”.

N. B. Nelson brought his bride to Avalon, the Mrs. Mary Smith of Denver, Colorado.

S. S. White of Philadelphia was out hinting and wanted to take home a goat that had fallen down a cliff. Joe Adargo, guide, walked back 4 ½ miles to the isthmus for a rope from beyond Silver Peak, and the goat was brought back to Avalon.

The annual Band Feast was held at the Hotel Metropole.

“Musmuckalnecegewaylo” which stand for Great Island Spirit.

C. H. Porter was the Toastmaster.

Next day, the annual parade was at 1 P. M. on Crescent Ave. when the incoming steamer Hermosa whistled.

The Crack Band of the Coast went out on the wharf and welcomed all the arrivals.

Mr. Kammermeyer, the leader, was dressed as a Gibson Girl, Porter as the prize Stanlaw girl, others were the Flora McFlimsey’s, Kate Greenaway, Dolly Varden and many others. That evening at midnight after the dance, the band played, “Home Sweet Home” for the last of the summer season, it’s 90th time.

The next day the band serenaded Hancock Banning at his Descanso Beach home and he invited them to a feast on the lawn under the trees.

At shearing time a goat pelt brought 30 cents. A sheep fleece brought $1.00 and mutton was worth about $2.50 each. The average price of a sheep was $5.00. So hunting permits were issued cautiously. The Banning Company suggested that the area surrounding Silver Canyon be made a “game preserve”.

The Santa Catalina Island Company will take over the entire management of the camping. Therefore, Andrew Swanfeldt will have to leave.

The Meteor: with its popular barbecue at the Isthmus grew big crowds all summer.

At the “Met” for the winter is the same orchestra as last winter, the Misses Bessie, Elsa and Lucy Fuhrer.

There is a grape vine at Ed Stanton’s on Sumner Ave. now 4 inches in diameter at base. It has grown from a slip planted by Pete Snyder while he was stationed at Howland’s Landing.


September 15, 1902

Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Locke (Fannie Knowles) of Los Angeles are at the Bay View Hotel.

Pete Lubetich has now disposed of his boating business and will now be in entire charge of the golflinks.


September 18, 1902

The Banning Company put out a new edict that only the easterly end of the Island would be used for hunting. They concluded that wool raising and goat raising for sport could not be carried on in the same territory. Unprincipled hunters had brought on the clash making the sheep as wild as the goats. It was increasingly difficult to round them up.


September 19, 1902

A comedy of errors came about when two brothers separated one taking a longer walk than planned, and the other waiting in Avalon. Each had planned to leave on the afternoon steamer but the walk was invigorating and on his return to town he failed to find his brother. Next morning each went to the Wireless Station, after one brother had sent a search party out for him in the hills in vain, and they met as each was preparing to send a message.


September 22, 1902

W. R. R. D. Carroll, operator at the Catalina Wireless Station went to Los Angeles. He is relieved by C. E. Howell, a Western Union operator.


September 27, 1902

George Gemilere married Miss Bertha H. Chapman. They were given a grand chivalrous time.


September 28, – L. A. Times, Sept. 29

A cannon ball of iron or steel was found at the rear of the Hotel Metropole where the Stamford House used to stand. Its weight was 4 ½ lbs. and was about baseball size. It was found at 18 inches deep.

The Avalon population of voters was few in 1900. Regular residents numbered 135. In 1902 the winter population are 195 and 60 voters.


October 3, 1902 L. A. Times, Oct. 4

On Oct. 1st, 21 year old George Seligson jumped into Avalon bay and drowned. It was a suicide. He was the son of a visitor at the Metropole Hotel.

The building has been demolished on the south corner of Crescent and Metropole Avenues, and a new three storied wooden building is being built. It is to be used at the corner by Carraher, Miller and Dye as a curio store. There will be thirty-three rooms upstairs.

Mr. Cope, owner, will build a store and shop at rear fronting on Metropole Ave. for Charles B. Parker, who will also handle shells.


October 19, 1902 – L. A. times, Oct. 20

Miss Marguerite Della Gurius married William Wallace Jameson, Jr. Rev. Charles Williams had the wedding at the “Columbia” home of the bride’s parents on Whittley Ave.


October 22, 1902

Ten or twelve witnesses from Avalon went over to the mainland for the murder case of W. H. Yeager.


October 25, 1902

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tutt are in Avalon with their daughter, Sophia, who is ill. The boatmen all agreed not to whistle their boats on entering or leafing the bay in order to let Sophia rest undisturbed.

Raffia basket making is getting to be a cult by Avalon women.

Mrs. L. Fancher and daughter, Mrs. L. J. Sa_______ went to Los Angeles to live.

Messrs. Gurius and Tobin on the Mon Ami took the school children to Seal Rocks. The teachers who also went were Mrs. McFarland and Mrs. Compton.


November 2, 1902

For the Billiard Tournament are:

  • Vincente Moricich
  • John Sarro
  • J. A. Cheney
  • Harry Bates
  • O. O. Orr
  • Billy Bloeser
  • N. B. Stanton

Every fall the Banning Company gives the streets a coat of gravel. Now the streets are being macadamized with rock six inches thick on them.


November 4, 1902

There was an unwritten law that “plug” hats could not go to Catalina and the wearer of a “stove pipe” sometimes came to grief on account of his “lid”.

On November 4th a stove pipe came off the wharf and the “guyers” were silent. Suddenly one person who failed to comprehend said in a loud voice, “See me dust the sombrero for the gentleman”, just as he saw who was under the hat. It was Robert Fitzsimmons, Robert Junior and Clark.

The loud voice hurried to the election polls.

The contestants for Judge of Avalon were N. V. Gray and William Allen and it was predicted that a lot of money would change hands that night when the count was announced.

At the aquarium is a moss crab the size of a silver dollar. Its legs are 2 inches and all covered with moss. The crab takes moss and puts it on his body by the glue it secrets.


November 8, 1902

An eel, 3 inches, caught for aquarium was found in 80 fathoms deep and nearly three miles from shore swimming on the surface of the water.

Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Nance, managers of the Bay View Hotel on Whittley Ave. are in Los Angeles.


November 12, 1902

Every bridge over canyons on the stage road was washed away near Middle Ranch, 3 inches of rain.


November 17, 1902 – L. A. Times, Nov. 18

Catalina crows as usual are up to mischief. A crow got the golf ball of William Hunt. The bird kept the ball no matter how hard and loud Hunt screeched.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Guthison are in their cottage on Whittley Avenue. Also, on Whittley Ave. are Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Gill of Hotel Windsor.

J. A. and Mrs. Ricker of “Outdoor Life” of Denver, Colorado, are here to prove what he has printed. He could not!


November 24, 1902

General Manager Mr. New and Gen. Superintendent f. W. Armstrong of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company promises the removal of the general office and head from Denver to Los Angeles. One station is to be in San Francisco where they hope to telegraph to Honolulu.


November 21, 1902 – Friday

Active work has begun on the extension of the wharf this morning.

There was a northeast storm yesterday.


November 28, 1902

A small swordfish was picked up on the beach by Harry E. Nichols. It was 1 ½ inches long but a perfect swordfish. Mr. Nichols preserved the fish.


December 1, 1902

The Belle was wrecked on Seal Rocks while the crew slept.

Capt. William Booth left after serving as bookkeeper at the Hotel “Met” for nine months.

Capt. Frank Paul Whittley died in 1902. Sheepherder of Santa Catalina Island. He brought Mexican Joe Presciado from Mexico at 6 years of age.

Jimmie Cahill, Avalon’s exclusive boat and shoe merchant, lost his roll of bills $77.00 yesterday. Mrs. Ruth Blanchard while passing the store picked up the roll that had laid there for twenty-four hours. Mr. Cahill gave her $11.00 for the roll.


December 8, 1902

Mr. Lerve reports ice on several mornings at Middle Ranch.


December 13, 1902

Mr. E. D. Hough and Mr. Herbert Carr of Los Angeles are putting steam heat in the Hotel Metropole.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Dollar of the Dollar Steamship Line are at the “Met”. Mr. Dollar landed 8 albacore and 4 bonita in the craft, Henrietta. One albacore weighed 36 lbs.

A seal took a ride on a fishing boat within 5 miles of the San Pedro breakwater, then dived off.


December 22, 1902

“The Ostrich Farm” is where the Hotel Metropole female employees are located between Metropole and Sumner Avenues. They have 15 to 20 cottages which are surrounded by high wire fence. The gate is locked at 11 P. M. Men are tabooed from the “Ostrich Farm”.

The Sunday School is to have a large Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. There will be 40 lbs. of candies donated by Charles B. Parker.

There will be a Christmas dinner and dance at the “Met”.

Neal Vickery is the purser on the steamer, Hermosa.


December 24, 1902

There are two telephone systems in Avalon. Besides the one connecting various points about Avalon there has been a line completed from the Marble Quarry, up the Coast, to Middle Ranch, 7 miles across the Island. They plan to extend one to the Isthmus from Middle Ranch. Poles have to be “snaked” in for miles over almost impassible hills and canyons.


December 28, 1902

J. Woodman of Avalon brought back a bride. Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Sever are here. Mr. Sever is Supt. of Station Wireless Telegraph.




Avalon—1903

January 1, 1903

Word was received that Charles A. MacDonnell had died in the City of Mexico on December 30. He was the son of the late General A. A. MacDonnell. He lived on Catalina for the last ten years. Before that he had been a coroner at Globe, Arizona. His sister, Mrs. A. G. Schloeser of Burlington Ave., Los Angeles survives him.


January 2, 1903

“Outsiders”, meaning non-church goers, presented Rev. Chas Williams with a purse of $175 on New Year’s Day to show their appreciation of him and his devoted Christian work in Avalon.

L. A. Times Magazine, p. 39, Jan. 1: The new electric plant broke down for the first time since it’s installation.

The hotels are doing four times more business than at this time last year.

The Hotel Metropole dining room has been enlarged, also the Grandview with its reading room and the Japanese room for a recreational hall.

The world’s wonder the wireless telegraph on the Island is now in communication with the entire world, a perfect success, (even more reliable than any telegraph service where wires are required.) Since the station opened last August there has not been a failure or delay of more than 10 minutes.

A large self winding Western Union clock has been received by Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company and the correct time will be received at noon daily and announced on the Island.


January 5, 1903 – L. A. Times, Jan. 6

Unseemly wrangling has been an issue between solicitor for boats, restaurants and hotels at the arrival of the steamer. This has become a great nuisance. The Banning Co. had stopped it on the wharf “but has no power to control them on the public streets”.

A sun parlor of glass has been completed at the “Met” and a pool table is in place.


January 6, 1903 Many bathers, very warm weather here.


January 9, 1903 – L. A. Times “William Gurius, pioneer of the glass-bottom boat business ordered a larger launch capable of seating 100 persons for delivery in June. He returned from New York and ordered a 70 foot boat, 15 x 8 beam and a 42 H. P.”

Mrs. R. J. Cope returned to Avalon with Mrs. John H. Cope.

J. K. Fowler has taken a one year lease on the Pacific Hotel on lower Marilla Ave.


January 10, 1903

Lucretia L. Rider, 17 years had a birthday party. Those present were Harold, Alma and Marion Rider and Lucy and Else Fuhrer and others.


January 20, 1903 – L. A. Times, Jan. 21

A turtle was put in the aquarium tank with “Pat” the famous sheepshead fish. The turtle weighed 40 lbs. and was two feet long.

The new launch of Arthur Sutemeier, the Flying Eagle, changed to Spread Eagle is a market fisher for sand dabs and groupers.

Mrs. Mary Allen is the present stewardess on the steamer, Hermosa.


March 14, 1903 – L. A. Times, p. 11, Mar. 15

Six hundred new canvas tents are to be in Avalon and every tent will be electrically lighted. Also, a complete new set of furniture has just been received for the tents that Joe B. Banning purchased in the East. Six carpenters are making floors. On the Nestella, the launch of “Uncle John” Nestell when he thought he saw tuna so he followed them one halfway to San Pedro before he discovered that they were porpoises. Some of them nearly leaped into his launch.

The “Central Hotel” now open above Curio store on the corner of Crescent and Metropole Avenues with new and modern rooms, also furnace heat and electric lights.

Charles E. Howell and Miss Amy E. Fowler both of Avalon were married in Los Angeles. Mr. Howell is the telegraph operator. They have fetted up an aerie home on the hill (north) at wireless station.

To Avalon:

Mr. William H. Gill

Mrs. Jessie A. Gill worked at Hotel “Met”.

At the “Met” were Mr. and Mrs. Robert N. Wilcox of New York. Mrs. Wilcox is known as Ella Wheeler Wilcox.


March 16, 1903

Mr. John Willard Northrop of Chicago, the manufacturer of Emerson pianos is here with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Coons. Both here for health.

Percy E. Mackey arrived.

Vincent L. Petrich arrived.


March 16, 1903

The boys of Avalon Castle, K. O. K. A., took Rev. Chas. W. Williams (Martin of the Castle) by surprise Saturday afternoon at their conclave by presenting him with a gold watch guard, with Maltese cross, the badge of the order, pendent. The presentation speech was made by John Hundley.


March 16, 1903

E. E. Chapman and friend, C. S. Rogers, and guide, Joe Adargo, all went goat hunting. Chapman discovered a large billy goat outline against the sky surrounded by a flock. Chapman got a bead on him and fired. The flock broke for cover and when the hunters reached their quarry they found three goats shot dead! The fatal bullet had passed through the sentinel, found a vital spot in the second, and passed into the third where it lodged and killed all three.


March 17, 1903 – L. A. Times, Mar. 18, p. 7

A Boatman’s Club was organized with three Trustees: T. J. Bolton, Harry Elms and Charles L. Tutt. The permanent officers were: president, Capt. Thomas Washburn, vice president, Jack Elcock, secretary, Frank Ogilvie Wood, treasurer, Harry Elms.


March 19, 1903

William H. Crane, the well known actor, is at the Hotel Metropole. Also, several guests from New York are at the “Met”.

Uncle John Nestell with George Farnsworth for boatman, encountered a school of tuna and barracuda yesterday that were churning the water as far as the eye from Long Point up the coast and out to sea. They got no strike for the tuna appeared to be feeding on sardines.


March 21, 1903 – L. A. Times, Mar. 22, p. 11, Col. 3

The Banning Company plan improvements at the Isthmus and Avalon during the next few months. The Company plan to expend $200,000.00. Their plan is to make the Isthmus equal to Avalon so as to accommodate the overflow of the crowds.

The trees are growing at the Isthmus, the eucalyptus. The place has been carefully laid out and perfect sanitation provided.


March 25, 1903

“The Wireless” newspaper gave the news of the Island and surrounding ocean areas on March 25, 1903. They were quickly sold to many on the Island.

It reported that fishing launches could be chartered for $5.00 per half day and $9.00 per day. Rowboats were 25 cents an hour and a liberal reduction if they were taken for any considerable length of time.

Golf – The view from any point on the course of 18 links is an inspiration in itself. Visitors are charged 25 cents per day for the privilege of the grounds and the clubhouse; $1.00 per week, $3.00 per month.

The aquarium with its interesting fishes which are native to the Island and Channel waters could be viewed with many rare and curious creatures from the ocean’s depths were seen so close at hand.

At the Bath House one could have a hot or cold bath of salt or fresh water in tubs or in the ocean sea.


March 27, 1903

The Times published the first Wireless Newspaper, a special edition printed at Avalon and made up of news dispatches sent from the mainland over the New Pacific Wireless Telegraph Co. transmitters to Santa Catalina Island. It said editorially:

“We believe that this achievement of the Times in presenting to the people of all lands the first daily journal to publish actual dispatches sent by wireless telegraph to be only the beginning and the forerunner of greater things.”


March 29, 1903

It is said that Marconi stuffs cotton in his ears while sending messages as told by Laurence Perry in “World’s Work”.


April 4, 1903 San Pedro

Arrangements are nearly completed for the removal of the Wireless Telegraph Station from White’s Point into San Pedro. The Wireless Company plan to erect a one story brick building on Front Street, San Pedro.

J. Jay Nestell is out fishing with his nieces, the Misses Molly and Gertrude Holland. The first flying fish of the season came in yesterday. The flying fish are late this year.

G. T. Suison, chief electrician of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company, is installing his improved receiver in the station on Northwest hill.


April 5, 1903 – Easter

Easter returned with the annual assurance through the growth and blossoming of the plants, flowers and all nature that God has prepared new life eternal for all who follow in his footsteps. As a reminder of the load of life the Boston Transcript carried a poem without an author’s name, “Golgotha”.

“Golgotha”
“Our crosses are hewn from different trees,
But we all must have our Calvaries;
We may climb the height from a different side.
But we each go up to be crucified;
As we scale the steep, another may share
The dreadful load that our shoulders bear.
But the costliest sorrow is all our own –
For on the summit we bleed alone.”
- Boston Transcript


April 5, 1903

David Wilson got another of strange deep water fish on Saturday. Dr. Jordan wrote early that these were new to him and unclassified. It is in the aquarium.


April 8, 1903 – San Pedro

The city Trustees granted permission to Pacific Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Co. to erect a 75 foot mast on a lot owned by the City just west of the library building at 7th and Palos Verdes Streets. The new station will be on a lot adjoining the Wetherby Opera House on 6th Street.


April 9, 1903

The first failure in dispatches occurred this morning (8th). The wires between Los Angeles and White’s Point were not working from White’s Point to Avalon. In a short time they were corrected.


April 11, 1903 – L. A. Times, 4-12-03, p. 11

It is said that more than one million dollars is to be spent on the Isthmus. The Olmstead Bros, the great landscape architects brothers in the country, have charge of laying out the grounds and they will also lay out a boulevard from the Isthmus to Emerald Bay, 4 miles, with half a dozen canyons en route. They will be 60 feet wide. The plan is to connect the stage road from Avalon to Eagle’s Nest with that leading from the Isthmus to Little Harbor. The connecting link to be about 6 miles. Water will be run in pipes from canyons all the way to Emerald Bay. P. R. Jones, assistant to Olmstead Brothers, and Captain Healing, have completed contour map and plans for beautifying grounds and boulevard.


“Old Ben”, the seal is a great beggar. “Clumsey”, the dog, romps and plays with the seal swimming under him in the ocean.


April 15, 1903

E. C. Chapman in his launch, Rival brought in a six foot shark. When it landed it gave birth to from 20 to 30 one inch young sharks.


April 17, 1903 In the last 24 hours, 2.36 inches of rain fell bringing the season’s total up to 15.77 inches. Middle Ranch received 3.50 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.

A benefit Church Concert was given for the piano fund.


June 6. 1903 – Avalon

William Arrison of Los Angeles is visiting. He is 6 feet 7 inches in height.

F. Burkhardt, late of the Philipines, enjoys performing stunts while waiting for a load of passengers in his glass bottom rowboat. He takes a 6 inch nail and with the palm of his hand drives it through the head of a beer keg or a 4’ x 4’ pine post. He takes a horse shoe and straightens it out like it was putty and he does that with other things.


June 7, 1903

Dr. W. A. Hart took a record yellowtail of 44 lbs. in the boat, Eva, with Will Torand, Jr.

The 28 pieces of the Catalina Band will arrive soon and Charles Streeper, cornetist, will play a solo, “Come Down Ma Evening Star”. E. B. Smith horn and W. H. Mead, flute will also return with the band.


June 11, 1903

Capt. Ernest Morris and Miss Arielle Gurius were married.


June 13, 1903 – L. A. Times, 6.14.03, p. 11

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Meriwether touring the west and now they have arrived in Avalon. Yesterday they joined the Meteor Excursion trip to the Isthmus and during the ride Mrs. Meriwether fancied she saw in a fellow passenger a resemblance in one of her brothers not seen in over 20 years. She asked if his name was Ellsworth. He admitted that it was and then mentioned his father’s name. Recognition came like a flash and brother and sister clasped each other in an affectionate embrace.

Edwin S. Ellsworth of Phoenix, Arizona, the brother, now an electrician with the Banning Company. (Later he denied the sister story!)

There were 400 sheep shipped from Empire Landing to the mainland. They were loaded on a barge and towed by the steamer, Falcon.

The Santa Catalina Island Company erected street signs for the first time.

Formerly “Swanfeldt’s Tent City”, now “Canvas City”, with R. Williams, Manager.


June 14, 1903 – L. A . Times, Illus. Weekly Magazine (Front page and cartoon)

“It seems that the summer exodus has begun. A man with a checkered cap, high collar and tie, loaded with tennis racquets, tripod, suitcase, fishing tackle, golf clubs, two umbrellas on his suite case, and a ticket to Catalina in front coat pocket with his wife following with a dog.”


June 14, 1903 – Avalon

Absence of tuna is thought to be on account of so many whales around the shores. They persisted in hanging around to within ten feet of boats out fishing greatly disturbing fishers.


June 14, 1903 – L. A. Times, June 13, Avalon

Miss Frances Lauderbach, a local artist, has been complimented by receiving from Secretary F. Wiggins, California Commissioner to the St. Louis Exposition, a special request that she enter her exhibits of some of her paintings of Catalina fishes for exhibit in the exposition and also in the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

Miss Lauderbach’s fish studies are very true to nature and have received high commendation.


June 16, 1903

Ralph Theodore Compton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph S. Compton, born, weight 10 ½ lbs.

Francis Farquhar and Mrs. Farquhar and son, F. F. Jr. are at the Grandview Hotel for awhile.

J. S. Castleman is erecting a building on Clarissa Avenue.

The Boatman’s club, the Sophia Yacht Club has cozy quarters on Metropole Ave. with rustic chairs.

Capt. Washburn was succeeded by Tad Gray as President. F. O. Wood was succeeded by S. D. Bradford as Secretary.


June 18, 1903

Beginning today there will be two mail services daily.

The Edwin Stanton’s moved to live at the Isthmus. Mr. Stanton is in charge of the improvements there. Mrs. Stanton will be greatly missed.

Miss Kathryn White, Home Telephone Company operator, has resigned. She is replaced by Miss Clara Stumpf.

The daughter, 3 months old, of Rev. and Mrs. Home L. Pitman died of pneumonia on June 21 in Avalon. The Pitman’s are recently from Dayton, Ohio. They are visiting Mr. Pitman’s father, J. S. Pitman.


June 21, 1903

The “Catalina Wireless”, the popular little daily newspaper, came out today minus its usual budget of telegraphic news on account of the wife being ill of the of the operator at White’s Point on the mainland.

Harry Elms found a shot on the beach similar to the one found a year ago in the rear of the Hotel Metropole.


June 22, 1903

Charles N. Daniels of St. Louis, whose nom de plume is “Neill Morit” author of Hiawatha is at the Hotel “Met”.

Mr. Daniels received $10,000 for his copyright of this popular production – a musicale.

The Catalina Island Band played his selection for two evenings as a compliment to the visiting author.


June 25, 1903

The Lorena May launched from the Avalon shipyards on Whittley Ave. It is 20 feet in length and is for fishing.

R. R. Murdock, artist of the Times staff, is here sketching.

Capt. Arthur Sanger is over here to put camp “Solazy” in readiness.


June 25, 1903 – L. A. Times

Last evening there was a cheering multitude along the beach front as the first tuna of the season was brought in by e. Atwood of Stonington, Connecticut. It is the latest date so far on record for the first tuna.

Mexican Joe was in charge of the launch, Juanita. Mr. Atwood turned the rod over to Mexican Joe so he was disqualified for a Tuna Club button.

Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Runyon of Mt. Talmalpais Railroad are at the Hotel Metropole.

E. Mehesy of Los Angeles is having a trip in Ben Rosin’s launch, Eagle with Capt. Sutemeier around Santa Catalina Island.


July, 1903

During July, 1903 the new glass bottom powerboat, Cleopatra, came into Avalon Bay from the shipyears of Herbert E. Carse of Hardison and Carse of San Pedro. The Cleo had a flat bottom so she could land directly on the beach by riding the pebbles. This would eliminate the transfer of passengers to a rowboat and then land on the rocky shore. She could carry 56 passengers.


July 5, 1903

The Tug ‘O War yesterday took only 11 minutes with George Farnsworth, Tommy Whittely, Jerry, Mike and Nick Marencovitch. The losers were Mexican Joe, “Chappie”, A. M. Keelen, Vincente Moricich and Nick Gracin.

The Wilmington Transportation Company have four boats in readiness. They are the Warrior, Falcon, Brothers and Hermosa.

Tunas are in the bay again.

The bathhouse pier has been completed at North Beach.

The Meteor Boat Company of Los Angeles was organized.

Enthusiasm grew with the popular Mon Ami, so that by June 29, 1903 the Avalon shipyards on Whittley Ave. again turned out a side wheeler, round bottom glass bottom powerboat, the Lady Lou, owned by E. M. Mathson, O. P. Smith, and Ralph s. Compton and Irving L. Newberry who were all in the Avalon boat business for several years. The Lady Lou is 45 feet long, 17 ½ foot beam, with a 20 horsepower union engine of the latest pattern housed in the center of the boat. She has a toilet and lavatory. Her side wheels were 8 feet in diameter. The plate glass windows of which there are six, three on each side of the engine, each are 20” x 38” inches and ¾ inches thick and weighed 100 lbs. each. Her capacity is for 100 persons. She has one shaft and one clutch on the engine to go ahead or astern. Her first Captain was Irving N. Newberry with Ralph Compton, Engineer. Capt. Trefethen took a hand in her launching off the Avalon shore. The maiden trip of the Lady Lou was July 14 to Seal Rocks with a load of passengers. Competition became keen on the two larger glass bottom powerboats, and to increase her popularity of the Lady Lou carried three Negro Minstrels to entertain her guests. Then the Cleopatra followed by hiring soloists for her trips with an orchestra.

Hancock Banning made the first automobile run on the stage road. He drove to Middle Ranch and back in three hours. He had to climb a 10% grade up and down the trip.

There now is a large water tank on the hillside near Moonstone Beach placed by the Banning Company for water pipe and hose attached for the use of boats.

The Schooner Brothers is unloading 5,000 fence posts at the Avalon wharf for fencing the areas on the Island, first near Avalon.

The Cleopatra has substituted glass slabs an inch thick for 3/8 inch ones on her bottom. They proved too light for the strain on them. The six new glasses weight one-half ton.

Capt. Driscoll is now on the Warrior.


July 22, 1903

Al Wiggs, local boatman and Miss Florence Ness were married in Los Angeles. They will reside in Avalon.


July 24, 1903 L. A. Times

Thousands of palm and eucalyptus trees were being set out at the Isthmus under the supervision of Ed Stanton, Island Superintendent.”


July 25, 1903

Capt. William Banning took the stage to Eagle’s Nest today. It is his first appearance in town for a long time.


July 27, 1903

Joe B. Banning gave a gift of $85 to the Avalon Congregational Church to complete the payment on the piano.

The management of the Cleopatra will soon have moonlight watermelon parties.


July 28, 1903

A sunfish was brought in to Avalon. It weighed 1460 lbs. Its loss of fluids and entrails must have lessened its weight. It must have weighed about 1800 lbs.


July 29, 1903 – L. A. Times

Abbie Stephens, the 5 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Stephens, died in Avalon. Her remains were sent to El Paso, Texas.


August 1, 1903 The schooner, Admiral, has been chartered to handle the crowds coming to Avalon for one month by the Wilmington Transportation Co.


August 2, 1903

H. E. smith of New York lost his $50 fish line when he was fishing with Harry Elms and fell overboard.


August 4, 1903

The Cleopatra has had her 2 H. P. auxiliary engine replaced by one of 5 H. P. to be used for generating electricity for illumination. This will enable her to carry out the scheme of illuminating ocean depths by powerful submerged lights.


August 7, 1903

The artist, Mr. J. B. Hamilton, is here with Mrs. Hamilton and their son, Dalton.

Also here are Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Plummer and children, Margaret, Mary and Alex. They are staying in Canvas City.


August 13, 1903

The Lady Lou minstrels on the glass bottom powerboat are a strong opposition to the band every evening when they give a free concert from the balcony of the Sea Beach Hotel on Crescent Avenue.

Chappo Moricich was accidently drowned this afternoon after he took the garbage boat out to dump and was found at the bottom of Avalon Bay by the passengers on a glass bottom powerboat. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vincente Moricich, early Avalon residents.


August 16, 1903

Master Ralph Heywood entertained friends on his 5th birthday.


August 21, 1903 – L. A. Times

A large, very large, Nautilus shell was picked up at Johnson’s Landing by picnickes. It was put on display in the aquarium.


August 30, 1903 John S. McGroarty, the Irish poet of the Times is here with his wife.

Professor H. L. Ward, curator of the Milwaukee Public Museum is in Avalon getting specimens. He also wants seals.


September 1, 1903 Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Noll are visiting here with son, Cecil. He owns the “California Independent” newspaper.

Capt. Harry Doss is taking parties out fishing in his boat, Helen.


September 7, 103

Louis Blackenhorn of Pasadena, a stock and bond dealer, is at the Hotel “Met”.

Edward Llewellyn, cornetist, caught a black sea bass with a sword. It weighted 125 lbs. and was 9 feet long.

The San Clemente Wood Co. with Judge S. C. Hubbell, President and General Manager, transferred by purchase to a company, including Charles T. Howland, attorney of Los Angeles, Frank, Henry and Oscar Werner 12,000 to 15,000 sheep on the Island. (Frank Werner is not related to the others who are brothers.) The Island is leased from the government for a term of years.


September 10, 1903 L. A. Times

The Avalon Drug Store changed ownership yesterday from E. J. Plummer, who has had it for a number of years to a new firm. “The Island Pharmacy” with Harry D. Morgan of San Francisco in charge as manager.

The Banning Company acquired the Bellevue Hotel on Crescent Avenue from the estate of the late Dr. C. MacDonnell, dentist, who died last Dec. 30, 1902, in Mexico City. He had lived in Avalon for 10 years and previously he had been a coroner in Globe, Arizona.

The Catalina Island Band will stay until September 30th.

Tom Green is getting the road ready to Little Harbor. It is 4 miles of zig-zag roads from Middle Ranch. Those helping are Capt. William Banning, Ed Stanton and the contractor, C. E. Crowley.

Pete Marilla has a new boat, the Linda.

Yellowtail Johnny (John Kassar) got two little yellowtails weighing less than one pound. There were so many little ones in the bay.


September 17, 1903

Capt. George Dimmick has been with the Meteor Boat Company for one and a half years. Harry Hubbard, the manager of the Meteor Boat Company, and Capt. George Dimmick have gone to Howland’s to be in charge of the pumping station there. Richard Markel has been in charge for 3 years since its opening.

William Slesson is the steward at the Golf Club in Avalon.

Pete Snyder, the general utility man of the Banning Company and in charge of the bathhouse for a number of years, went to the Isthmus to open a restaurant.

W. B. Hinkle is the proprietor of Delmonico Restaurant in Avalon.

The Huntington Party visiting the Island on the launch Cricket, included H. E. Huntington, and son, Howard E. Huntington, E. V. Huntington and daughter, Miss Marion Huntington. In Avalon they enjoyed the open air concert, dancing in the pavilion and early morning fishing.


September 18, 1903

J. F. Jones purchased the Arlington Restaurant on Crescent Ave. near Metropole Ave.

Louis Sentons, a Los Angeles wholesale butcher, is over to purchase Catalina mutton. He says it is superior in flavor and not strong.


September 21, 1903

School opened for grammer school classes on upper Whittley Ave.

Mrs. M. E. McFarland was teacher and principal of the four upper grades, 5 to 8th.

Miss Daisy I. Morris, teacher of first four Primary grades. There were 60 pupils enrolled. Mrs. McFarland had 75 pupils in her four upper grades. The School Trustees were, E. J. Whitney, F. W. Clark and Joe B. Banning.

Canvas City closed for the year.

The Grandview Hotel will stay open the year around.


September 22, 1903

Frank Sherman died at the Marble Quarry at Empire Landing.


September 26, 1903

Mr. J. L. Matthews, editor of the Covina “Argus” is here visiting.


September 27, 1903

A Zucer jellyfish was brought in by Emerson Roche to Al Phelps in the aquarium. It was in the form of a tube, closed at one end, pale blue and 6 to 8 inches long.

F. W. Lilly is the present operator of the Wireless Station with his wife.

Sherer’s Grading Camp is at Eagle’s Nest. He has 8 teams with big wagons drawn by 4 horses or mules and a small army of Mexican workers to build the Stage Road. One team hauling big timbers had its wagon coupled out to carry 7 x 60 ft. beams and it didn’t make the Loop on No. 2 Stage Road. Its rear wheels caved down the steep bank. The driver jumped and cut loose the traces in time to save 6 big horses from certain death 200 feet below. The wagon and timbers went down and crashed.

Forty horses were brought over to help build the Stage Road inland.

Baptisms in Catholic Church, “Mary, Star of the Sea” on Upper Vieudelou Ave. Eugene Joun Cordeau – son of Eugene and Angeline Belagamba Cordeau.

The sewer system has been extended to just around the first point east of the bay of Avalon.

Capt. C. T. Healey, civil engineer of the Santa Catalina Island Company, is looking into a tunnel through the mountain for sewage to be pumped down to Pebbly Beach. It is expected to cost $20,000 beginning at the “wash” at the east of Crescent Ave.

Now a new reservoir will have to be cemented because all the salt water leaked out.

Ed Stanton has returned to Avalon after several months at the Isthmus. He is Superintendent of the Island.

The glass bottom powerboat, Lady Lou, took a large party to the Isthmus, 14 miles. They had a fine view of the marine gardens all the way.

Dave Wilson, the local sand dab fisherman, caught a needle fish 6 inches long and the size of a darning needle. It was taken to the aquarium.

Gordon W. Cullom is a compositor on the Wireless Telegraph Station.

W. R. Byrer has been with the Island Grocery for 7 years, 4 years with Miller and Dye and 3 years with J. S. Putman where he now is employed.

The launch, Ohio, is now owned by Clark Reeves. She is 33 ft. long and has 8 horsepower. Capt. J. L. Owens owned her all summer.

Mr. H. N. Travilla returned to Avalon today.

Fred Fischbeck has closed his confectionery establishment in the Old Island Villa Building and will go to Pasadena.


September 30, 1903

The Catalina Wireless newspaper has been discontinued. It will be greatly missed.

“No paper ever published has gained more notoriety for itself, its publishers and the Wireless Telegraph in so short a time.”


October 4, 1903 John Douglas MacLean, long a resident of Avalon since early 1888, fell from a tree yesterday and injured his back and was considerably bruised. He is confined to his home and will be for some time.

Tony Moricich is the strongest and best oarsman on the Island. Mick Marencovitch is the finest fisherman.

Sarah E. Lewis is the cashier at the “Met”, while Fred H. Ross is the room clerk.


October 10, 1903 Peter Gano presented the Sophia Yacht Club with a billiard table and balls of genuine ivory from his home tower on the far east hillside, “Look Out Cot”.


October 17, 1903

F. A. Ott, the manager of Chanslor and Anderson Grocery, was married to Miss Ethel Ennis.

Horses in Avalon were Lowe’s Saddle Horse, “Dandy” and Captain Banning’s, “Peacock”, a fine grey mare.

The Banning Company brought over 32 fine cows to enlarge their dairy up Beacon Street Canyon.

Mainland bankers had an excursion here with 500 members.

Mr. William M. Hunt dissolved his firm of Hunt and Clark. Mr. Clark had been with him over 3 years.

Mr. Hunt will continue his store begun over 12 years ago.

Mrs. L. J. Savin, a former resident of Avalon is visiting again.


November 1, 1903

J. S. Pitman turned over the Island Grocery to Anderson, Chanslor Co. on a 5 year lease. Mr. Pitman owns the building.

Al Shade who for two years past has been studying mechanics in Pennsylvania and New York has now returned to Avalon.

T. J. Bolton resigned after 4 years service from the island Company Los Angeles office. He is succeeded by G. W. Short.

Rev. albert Alphons Miller was the priest in the Catholic Church, “St. Mary, Star of the Sea”, on upper Viendelou Avenue. The church had a Dedication Mass Service.


November 2, 1903 L. A. Times, San Pedro

There is now an extension of the Salt Lake Railroad wharf at East San Pedro nearly completed to the passenger station near the cannery of the California Fish Company.


November 5, 1903 Avalon The teredos have eaten away a step of the wharf built three months ago.

The Los Angeles Military Academy with 42 cadets are over here for a visit.


November 16, 1903

Messrs. Carraher, Miller and Dye of the Catalina Novelty Company were rowing past Lover’s Cove (east of Avalon Bay) where they found a large and black stump. They landed to investigate and found it to be the burl of a sourwood tree. It was as hard and heavy as iron. The root was 4 feet in diameter each way. Two stems grow from the root of sourwood, the largest is 4 inches across. This root weighed over 700 lbs.

This morning Middle Ranch had frost. They are 3 miles from the west coast while Avalon at 7 A. M. had 54 degrees.


November 18, 1903

The Wireless Telegraph broke all records this morning when a message sent to San Pedro was answered in 5 minutes. The message was sent by Hancock Banning to E. Mahon at San Pedro wharf.

Many albacore are being brought in to Avalon.


November 25, 1903

Jack Robinson, a fisher of sand dabs and grouper used on cod hook and it caught an octopus impaled on the hook. It was 5 feet across.

Sherer and Company have nearly completed the six mile road from Eagle’s Nest to Little Harbor Road. Yesterday 20 mules were shipped back to Los Angeles on the Hermosa.

Rev. M. P. Scanlan of Los Angeles and Father P. C. Yorke of San Francisco are here. Father Yorke is the eloquent Catholic Divine of the West.


November 28, 1903

A carnival event was held in the Grandview Hotel with townspeople having a ball in the Japanese Room.

Miss Frances Groff, daughter of Postmaster Groff, is here with friends.


November 30, 1903 L. A. Times, Sunday mag. Pp. 16 & 17 – illus.

“Sunny Isle of Capri.” When a Southern California first sees the faint blue outline of Capri rising from the sea, he is at once reminded of fair Santa Catalina; nor does the resemblance grow less on nearer approach; the same rugged cliffs even the familiar shape of Sugar Loaf has its counterpart in a group of rocks called the Faraglioni. The steepest slopes are terraced, and covered with vine or olive and the Californian sighs for the splendid largeness, the wild, uncultivated grandeur of the island off his country’s shore.


December 3, 1903

There is a herd of seals in the bay eating yesterday’s fish catch by anglers.

One female seal began to bleat like a sheep and astonished everyone. She continued her cried for over one hour. Mexican Joe says she is a mother seal that has lost her pup.

The Alpha boat is in the bay again getting sardines in large nets.

John Forman the golf instructor made 36 yesterday and 37 today.

The Schooner Ludlow bound for Port Blakesley had a distress signal flying.

Capt. Trefethen on the Hermosa stopped only to find that they simply wished to post some letters and get a copy of the Los Angeles times!


December 4, 1903

The Metropole Dairy office has established its quarters on Metropole Ave. Victor churn has the capacity of 150 lbs. of butter at a single churning and the De la Valle separator revolves at a rate of 6000 revolutions a minute separating 1000 lbs. of milk and cream per hour. Steam pipes have been laid from the Hotel Metropole kitchen across the street and all machinery is operated by steam.

A great northeaster storm this morning at full tide. There is a huge surf at the sea wall.

There was another attempt to stock the Island with Japanese pheasants under the care of “Chicken John” Brinkley. Two other attempts have been made. The first one was 10 years ago and 6 were liberated. All died by the Island foxes except one male bird which is frequently seen in secluded canyons. The second attempt 2 years ago with 12 birds was tried. Some were hatched form eggs and when two thirds grown were turned loose, then the foxes got them.

Mr. and Mrs. William Gill of the Windsor Hotel are on the mainland.


December 7, 1903

The Catalina Stage Company is preparing for new stock to be brought over the first of the year with 4 horses daily.

Tom Green, driver, has been six months selecting the stock of 30 head of horses. He says that “No finer 6 horse teams were ever hitched to a coach than those now being received” in Avalon.

The Grandview Hotel is converting porches into sun parlors with glass so they will be cozy for winter tourists.

The Lady Lou, the side wheel glass bottom powerboat arrived after being in San Pedro after the close of the summer season.


December 8, 1903

Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Dye have an 8 lb. son, Donald.

J. Forman did 9 holes of golf in 33.


December 9, 1903

Pete and Mrs. Marilla were married one year ago and were remarried last evening by Rev. Alphons Miller, officiating Catholic priest.


December 14, 1903 L. A. Times

L. A. Dutour, the manager of the Hotel “Met” will resign at the end of the month to be in business for himself in Los Angeles. He has been with the Banning Company nearly 5 years.

The United States Training Ship, Alert is in the Avalon Harbor.


December 18, 1903

Mr. and Mrs. Celestini Botello had a son on December 17th.

The new manager of the Hotel “Met” is G. W. Thompson.

H. A. Steele, photographer, the uncle of Dr. Roscoe Thomas is in Avalon.

“Uncle” James Cullimore is out fishing.

The Island Co. has double wires for fencing the sheep the length of the Island. They will fence it into lots to handle the sheep more effectually.


December 22, 1903

Again, Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Parker supplied all the Avalon children with Christmas candies.

Christmas holly has been picked by the Banning Company and sent to the mainland for Los Angeles homes. Twelve men picked and shipped the holly.


December 24, 1903

Catalina has a Merry Christmas.

There were festivities at the Congregational Church for the Sunday School.

Little “Pikey” Moore, the first Wireless Messenger boy on earth, came stalking into the church arrayed in his uniform and delivered a message direct from Santa Claus announcing that he would arrive on the Island at 8 P. M. sharp accompanied by his wife and two assistants.

Promptly on the minute ringing of the sleigh bells announced their arrival. The presents were distributed to everybody in the room.


December 25, 1903

At the Catholic Church this morning they had entertainment for the children and presents were distributed.

L. A. Detour was called to the dining room of the Hotel “Met” to see a man! He found there 40 employees of the hotel and was surprised when J. B. Jones in a neat speech presented him with an elegant gold bronze cathedral cloth and a pair of candlelabra to match. Mrs. Katherine Kiley, who presides over the “Officers Hall” at the “Met”, received a watch and chain from officers of the steamer, Hermosa and the Hotel Metropole.

George Gemilere, Harry Doss and J. B. Quigley remembered the old Hermit of Catalina who for 50 years has lived alone on the Island. They took him “creature comforts” – books, magazines and papers.

The Avalon Pharmacy with Harry D. Morgan, held a levee this morning in the street in front of the drug store and there distributed gifts of candies to all who came.

Johnny Hundley’s father gave him a launch.


December 26, 1903

William Meyers visiting in Avalon. He was formerly a resident for several years.


December 29, 1903

Preparations for a ball on New Year’s Eve are being held.


December 30, 1903

The Stage Company are building two barns, one at the Isthmus and one in Avalon. They each stable 30 horses and provender.

The road to the Isthmus is now completed.

Never before has Avalon had so many visitors.

William H. Gill has purchased the lease and furniture of the Bay View Hotel and he will connect the two, the Windsor Hotel and the Bay View and manage them both.

Dr. A. J. Wood and Mrs. Wood are here in their cottage on Metropole Avenue.

Mrs. Blanche Trask is here with her daughter Caroline Trask.



Avalon—1904

January 1, 1904 – L. A. Sunday Times, Mag. Section, p. 22

A “Unique Vegetable”, a strange and interesting plant life on Catalina Island. A specimen was sent to Prof. Sargent. He pronounced it a “most beautiful and most distinct of its species” – Cercocarpus traskiae. The trunk of the largest tree was sent to Mr. Jessup wood collector in New York City. In the last 5 years more than one half of these trees have died. There are no young trees. They died because they are the last survivors. The tree belongs to the rose family. The wood is hard, rosy red and the sap stains a saw like red wine. These trees were discovered and named for Mrs. Blanche Trask of Avalon.

The Rt. Rev. bishop Thomas J. Conaty of Los Angeles visited the Avalon Catholic Church and delivered an address. The church was crowded to its doors.

The Rev. Leo Boehmer, guest for weeks of Rev. Alphons Miller of the Catholic Church, left for Ohio.


January 6, 1904

There have been a long succession of beautiful days and then all at once a bad northeaster storm blew in with sudden fury. Capt. Driscoll in with the Warrior to get George W. Thompson, temporary manager of the Hotel “Met”. Mr. Thompson was taken to the mainland in a hurry to be with his seriously ill mother. The storm was great with each wave washing over the Warrior’s stern.


January 14, 1904

Travel this past Fall and Winter has been up 50%.

Drivers for the road to the Isthmus have been selected. They are Charles A. Bryant, for many years a driver in Yosemite and Lee O’Leary, a former resident of Arizona.

Mrs. Clarissa Waite, the mother of J. M. Quigley died Saturday, January 9th.

Mr. H. E. Fletcher is the new manager of the Hotel.


January 16, 1904

Alex O’Leary, for 10 years a hermit of San Clemente Island, recently died in the Philippine Islands. He lived alone there as he did here and ants almost made away with his body before he was found in his lonely cabin. Mr. O’Leary attempted to take up a government claim on San Clemente Island and in spite of government officials trying to dispose him he stayed ten years.


January 22, 1904

Dr. Macomber of Pasadena is building a stairway to the beach at the North end of Crescent Ave. There are steps covering 97 feet with 8 platforms. It is costing $350.00.

E. J. Whitney has a roof garden on the 4th floor of the Glenmore Hotel. It is above the eucalyptus trees and will receive the sun from sunrise to sunset.

The Stage run began again to the Summit.

“St. John” of Catalina, John Nestell, brought boats and presented them to George and Hawley Farnsworth and Billy Jamieson.

Dan B. Jerrie has plans for a new building on the corner of Marilla and Crescent Avenues. He has a 10 year lease. He’ll have a roof garden.


January 26, 1904

The Stage Road is now opened to the Isthmus.


February 1, 1904

Thirty-seven business men of Avalon went to the Isthmus on the steamer Torqua, with Capt. Vincent Moricich at the wheel and Jack Crow the engineer. The men visited B. F. Latimer. Ed Stanton placed the Torqua at the disposal of the men.

Mrs. C. A. Bryant, the wife of the manager of the Avalon Stage Co., is here.

Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Waller found a paper nautilus (Argonauta Pacifica) at Camp Whittier. It is 3 ½ inches across. It was placed in the aquarium.


February 10, 1904

Mrs. Lydia A. Tichnor, mother of Mrs. E. J. (Etta) Whitney died at the age of 72 years. She has been an Avalon resident for 15 years. Her funeral service is in Avalon tomorrow and concluding service in Los Angeles in Rosedale Cemetery.


February 16, 1904

In San Pedro, California, the Steamship Cabrillo was christened by Margaretha Muller, 11 years old, on February 15th. She can carry 1200 passengers.


February 24, 1904

Ischia or Iachia is the name of the beautiful new home of Mrs. Blanche Trask and daughter, Caroline, on the road to Sugar Loaf.

William M. Hunt, Jr. now is an associate of his father in the Curio Store on the corner of Crescent Ave. at Sumner Ave.

C. C. Waters is only here summers. He is an old habitué of Avalon.


February 29, 1904

There were 18 mounted fish specimens from Catalina waters and other Catalina data sent today by Charles B. Parker for the Banning Company to the St. Louis Fair.

Miss Ida Symonds was married to Arthur Sutemeir. Miss Mabel Anderson was married to George Farnsworth.

The record fish for large yellowtail was brought in by rod and reel by S. C. Smith of Akron, Ohio. It weighed 51 lbs. and is being mounted to ornament the Windsor Hotel. The record of yellowtail heretofore was 48 lbs. Yellowtail Johnny brought in a yellowtail of 57 lbs. but he used a hand line.

The two stages and one boat was inadequate for the crowd anxious to go to the Isthmus today.

The steamer brings 300 daily to Avalon. Some visitors to Avalon included Mr. and Mrs. Fred Pabst of Milwaukee, Mrs. W. H. Brown of Manchester, England, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Hart of Los Angeles, F. W. Stoll of Los Angeles, Judge Ballard, W. S. Wright, E. M. Hough, Mrs. J. C. King of New York and Curtis Glanville.

New residents were John Edmundson, M. Tobin and Cora Jerrue.


March 1, 1904

Ben rosin’s saloon was broken into by Tony Barbarich, a boatman. He was taken drunk.

The Mon Ami, “the original glass bottom powerboat now belonging to the Meteor Boat Company, arrived since she was repaired in San Pedro.


March 12, 1904

General Neu invited his friends to visit the Wireless Telegraph Station.


March 13, 1904

Quiet reigned in Avalon today. The “barker” had become such a nuisance that their vociferous soliciting drove the businessmen her to sign a petition to the Board of Supervisors asking that an ordinance be passed for either stopping or curtailing the privilege of the boat and hotel solicitors. Relief came in measure which read in part – “It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit patronage for any hotel, lodging, house, boat, vessel, stage, cab or express wagon in a loud or boisterous or officious manner or in any public street, highway or place within 200 feet of the main entrance to any passenger wharf, landing, depot or station, in any unincorporated city, town, or village in the County of Los Angeles.” Penalty $100.00 fine or 50 days in jail.

Today the ordinance went into effect. The town was silent.


March 14, 1904

Rev. Alphons Miller of the Catholic Church returned to Avalon after being ill.

Walter Fairbanks is playing golf on the links.


March 15, 1904 L. A. Times, p. 7

A mild winter seems to have fooled the fish into thinking it is summer. Today there were brought in white sea bass, yellowtail and albacore.

Albert Lieber of Indianapolis was out hunting goats this morning with guide, Joe Adargo. They corralled four billy goats.

Today there was a jail inspection by the full Board of Los Angeles County Supervisors.


March 20, 1904 L. A. Times, p. 15

Sheep shearing is in full swing at the West End of the Island. Since new wire fences girdle the Island few sheep now escape. Some wonderful fleeces have been found. One sheep sheared yielded 26 lbs. of wool, many sheep produce 12 lbs. and upward. Many lambs were lost on account of drought, the herdsmen figure 5000 lambs.


March 21, 1904

Middle Ranch had no rain while it poured at the Isthmus and other points on the Island.

A number of tents are being erected at the Isthmus around the “Barracks” for overnight stayovers.

C. B. Parker, island taxidermist, is sick in Los Angeles. Mrs. Parker went over to be with him.

Mr. and Mrs. John W. Northrop, with son and daughter from Chicago are staying three months in the Dr. Brainerd home on North hill. Mr. Northrup manufacturers Emerson pianos.


March 22, 1904

Mr. J. L. and Mrs. Corey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their Los Angeles home with son, J. J. Corey of Avalon


March 24, 1904 L. A. Times, p. 7

Rain came. The total for the season is 4.60 inches.

Capt. Jacob Willey launched a new boat which was turned out by the new boat building establishment of S. D. Bradford. It was referred to as the “skip jack variety” with a semi-flat bottom.

The former Times correspondent for Avalon, Miss Henrietta B. Freeman, is now visiting.


March 26, 1904

The launch, Donahue, captained by man of the same name and used to ply out of Avalon Bay, went to pieces in a storm at Santa Monica during the last week in March. Once she took the “Engarita Club” on a trip to the Catalina Isthmus. Capt. Donahue believes he can save the engine, 4500 lbs. She has 30 H. P., nearly new, worth $500.

Mrs. E. A. Miller is at her cottage, “Kill-Kare” on Sumner Avenue.


March 27, 1904

There are picturesque scenes on the cover page of the Los Angeles Sunday Times Illustrated Weekly Magazine of the six horse stage coming round the Loop, the Farnsworth Loop, on the Catalina Stage Line.


March 28, 1904

A daughter was born to the wife of Vincente Moricich making the 12th child in the household.

J. B. Elliott, the Editor of the first Wireless Newspaper here, came over on Sunday accompanied by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Elliott of Denton, Kansas and the Misses Dixon and Bertha Dixon of Cleveland, Ohio, and Mrs. L. B. Marshall of Los Angeles.


March 29, 1904

Mrs. Stanley J. Castleman and daughter, Murial, are in their Clarissa Ave. cottage with guests Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Lum of Newark, New Jersey and Dr. Hilga Skyberg of Riverside, Calif.

Mr. c. M. Richardson, of California Hardware Co. of Los Angeles, has a 5 room cottage on Clarissa Ave.


April 2, 1904

Nelson B. Stanton, a pioneer of Avalon Town died suddenly on April 2 of apoplexy. He was appointed postmaster in 1896. He has held this post ever since. News was sent by Dr. E. H. Way, to a coroner in Los Angeles by Wireless Telegraph and Capt. William Banning placed a steamer at the coroner’s disposal, and the undertaker’s. The funeral was held on April 4th at the Congregational Church with Rev. Charles W. Williams and Dr. Wood officiating. His wife living here and a son and daughter survive.


April 3, 1904

The Banning Company has spent over $100,000 on the Island in improvements during the past year.

Samuel McFarland is the deputy in the post office. Ed Stanton also applied. He was no relation to Nelson Stanton.

Harry Hubbard is the manager of the Meteor Boat Company’s business. He has taken a flat on Crescent Avenue.

H. L. Fletcher took Thompson’s place as manager of the Hotel Metropole.

There are flying fish in this early, April 4th.


April 3, 1904

There were special exercises by the Primary Sunday School Easter Service. Each little one found an Easter egg out among the shrubbery and the Easter song was sung out of doors in the presence of parents and friends.

The Congregational Church was filled at the morning service. There were quartette songs and a solo. A large cross of double daisies and Easter lilies stood out behind the pulpit.


April 5, 1904

Both the Falcon and the Warrior have been in service since the increase in tourist of 50% this month over last year.


April 7, 1904

The “Speedway” between the Isthmus and Emerald Bay (Johnson’s Landing) a distance of 7 miles has been completed. By water it is only 3 miles. The work required 4 months and cost between $25,000 and $30,000.

The glass bottom powerboats, Lady Lou and Cleopatra took the 100 members of the Conservancy Life Insurance Company on trips up and down the Island coast.


April 9, 1904

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Fischbeck are preparing their ice cream fountain shop for readiness this early summer.

Rev. F. X. Becker is now supplying the Catholic Church as priest of Avalon. Father A. Miller is too ill.

Judge Ballard has contracted Seth Glidden to build him a 6 room cottage on Clarissa Ave. Also, W. S. Wright, Pasadena attorney, has Seth Glidden adding on an extra 3 rooms to his Crescent Ave. home.

There are 973 more people registered at the Hotel “Met” this time this year than March last year says the manager, H. L. Fletcher.


April 8, 1904 L. A. Times

A whale, rather a thrasher shark, ruined Vincente Moricich’s net. It was 15 ft. 6 inches long, wt. 800-1000 lbs.


April 10, 1904 – L. A. Times, Sun. Mag. P. 17

Several pages, “Pacific Kelp Fields” of the Neighboring Islands by Mrs. Blanche Trask.

Seth Glidden, contractor, has built three flats for himself on Maiden Lane this year.

J. F. Hagan has made improvements on his Coronado Flats on Whittley Avenue which he recently purchased.

Harry Bates is building a 5 room cottage on Eucalyptus Ave. with the contractor, Charles Fairchild.

Manager of the aquarium, Mr. Phelps, showed the United States Steamship Albatross men the “needle fish” in the aquarium which was entirely new to the United States Fish Commission. They pleaded to take it along with them.

The steamer, Cabrillo was made ready for the Catalina run by the Wilmington Transportation Co.


April 11, 1904

Mrs. Katie F. M. Cleaves, a soloist at Avalon Congregational Church, gave a song recital at the church in the evening. She was assisted by Miss Elizabeth P. Williams, pianist, T. A. Ryles, violinist and Mrs. John D. MacLean, Reader. There were two songs and encore by guest, Mrs. J. King of New York.


April 14, 1904

The Banning Company engaged County Supervisor, Joseph Smith, to make experiments to see if separating process of disposing of sewage with salt water would do. After six weeks they said, “Yes”, they were satisfied it would in Lover’s Cove with two tanks to hold sewage several days for bacteria to work. A pumping plant will be established.


April 15, 1904

The Hunters are Hunted – Early this morning yellowtail were chasing sardines.

W. H. Gill got 3 yellowtail, Curtis Glanville caught two, “Yellowtail Johnnie” caught 4, Chappie caught 4, William Toland caught 5, Harry Nichols caught 3, I was 28 lbs. and Mr. Travilla caught one.


April 17, 1904 Sunday Times, L. A.

It’s a shame the way the yellowtail were slaughtered and wasted last year at Catalina Island.


April 20, 1904

They have 200 tons of hay at Middle Ranch.

Total rainfall for the season is 4.84 inches.


April 23, 1904

Not a single Democrat today at the Primaries.


April 25, 1904

Workmen are blasting a tunnel through the eastern end of hill in Avalon for the sewage.

Mrs. M. E. McFarland, 6 years principal of the Avalon School, Grammar, has resigned on account of ill health. Her appointment has been filled by Mrs. Green of Los Angeles.


May 3, 1904

Sidney Jehl struck a fellow solicitor. He was fined $50 and 50 days in jail or permanent banishment from the Island. They say that “he is considering”!


May 5, 1904

A black sea bass was taken.


May 11, 1904

Dr. J. J. Peckham went to Los Angeles to marry Mrs. Frances Mackey, mother of Harry D. Morgan.

Harry Mahew, earlier an Avalon resident, is here from San Francisco.


May 12, 1904

A black sea bass tournament today. There are twenty-five launches out fishing. They caught no black sea bass only 3 small shark.


May 14, 1904

The season opened with 9 P. M. steamer coming in and fireworks.

The Island Villa in full swing decked out like a Japanese Tea Garden.

There are 50 tents erected in Canvas City with 10 tents occupied.


May 19, 1904

The Yellowtail Tournament is on with thirty launches out fishing. There were twenty-five launches in the finish. “Yellowtail Johnnie” won by taking 7 large yellowtails. The prize was $75.


May 21, 1904

The largest excursion ever to visit Avalon is here today with the members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. They came on the Hermosa, Warrior and the Falcon. Fireworks from Sugar Loaf greeted the 790 members plus 40 on an earlier boat. G. E. Hughes is Chairman.

Also today there is a Bankers Excursion with 150 members.

There was a purse collection for Mrs. Murphy, the stewardess and officers on the Hermosa by the Railroad men.


May 27, 1904

Edwin Stanton received the commission as Postmaster.


May 29, 1904

Word received today by Wireless Telegraph that Fred S. Gerrish died in Los Angeles. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish had been living in Avalon.

The funeral of Harry Bates this afternoon. He died in May of pneumonia. He leaves a wife and two small children. Internment in Avalon Cemetery.


June 3, 1904

Election for school trustees is today. They are A. A. Carraher, Edwin Stanton and E. J. Whitney. The Brothers schooner went on the rocks at Empire Landing. She had two holes in her hull and her hold was full of water. She carried marble and sheep. The sheep were for Simon Maier of Los Angeles.

Tad Gray, Violet Gray with Fred Harding and T. H. Merriman caught 19 white sea bass, 2 yellowtail, 2 barracuda between the steamer wharf and the steamer buoy in Avalon Bay.


June 8, 1904

Fred Wilding, for some years steward at the Hotel “Met” will return this summer in charge of the Catering Dept. od Dan (H.) Jevne.


June 10, 1904

The new sewer connection to Lover’s Cove is nearly completed. There will be two lines of sewer pipe as a precaution. Sewage will be pumped to around the point by engine. The pipe will be in a bed of concrete.


June 11, 1904

Word was received here that Miss Lulu Sleezer formerly employed in the post office for several summers, committed suicide in Bisbee, Arizona, a few day ago.

The Yellowtail Tournament.


June 12, 1904

Gen. And Mrs. A. W. Barrett are in Avalon. Gen. Barrett is president of the Tuna Club. Tom Green, the original Catalina Stage Driver, took his friends on the ride of their lives inland.


June 15, 1904

A boom in real estate in Avalon is on. The property adjacent to John Nestell owned by Mrs. O. P. Gutterson sold to A. J. Levy of New York for $9000. He will build a fine residence.

Fiddlers Row – Clemente Ave., is nearly filled.

There was an announcement in the Los Angeles Times of the prizes awarded for the 6th Annual Tournament of the Tuna Club.


June 22, 1904

The wharf is having new piles put in for the coming of the Cabrillo.


June 23, 1904

Another black sea bass tournament today.

Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Cross are at the G. Huiscam home for the summer on the corner of Beacon Street at Metropole Ave.


June 26, 1904

In Los Angeles the Hotel Alexander at 5th and Springs Streets is to be built.


June 27, 1904

Camp Cabrillo, formerly the Isthmus is to be opened July 15. A series of literary and other entertainments are planned for the campers.

Miss Carrie Clark of Santa Barbara, the daughter of W. F. Clark of Avalon, is visiting her father.


June 28, 1904

Death of Johnny Daly in Avalon. To Avalon Cemetery.

Susie Ott, John Hundley, Walter Whitney, Clarence Hinkle all graduated in Sunday School in the progressive department.

Jessie Shaw graduated form the Primary Dept.


June 29, 1904

H. C. Sanger and son, Arthur Sanger, here.

Mr. A. W. Barrett brought a 242 lb. black sea bass to gaff in 11 minutes.


July 1, 1904

A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Green.

R. J. Cope and Mrs. Cope and daughter, Lucy, are here.

Mr. Rieder just issued a handsome book of views of Catalina Island.


July 2, 1904

The South Coast Yacht Club with 18 yachts had its second party sailing over to Avalon. The Cricket was flagship with Commander Jenkins.


July 4, 1904

The new steamer, Cabrillo came into Avalon Bay at 1 P. M. with 599 passengers, some say 700. Capt. Evan Trefethen, late Master of the Hermosa was on the bridge with Capt. William Banning, Hancock Banning and A. Young, chief engineer at Wilmington Transporation Company and William Mueller, builder of the Cabrillo and several friends.

William Brown was first mate. All the Hermosa crew were transferred to the Cabrillo. Neale Vickery is the purser and A. H. Splittstoesser is excursion agent.

There was a hilarious greeting to the incoming Cabrillo with hats, handkerchiefs, horns and voices waving their greetings.

The personnel on the Cabrillo all were wearing bright new uniforms.

The booklet of M. Rieder - June 1904 and copyrighted, June, by J. Howard Avil, Phila., PA. “Saturday night is something to be remembered. Gay Chinese lanterns, red, blue and green lights show upon nearby cliffs, the bay is a blaze of lanterns, decorated launches, and fireworks shoot form Sugar Loaf. All this is in honor of the arrival of the “Hermosa” and she in turn acknowledges the salutes with more red fire and rockets.”


July 6, 1904

Manager Phelps has a coal-black jelly fish like a Japanese umbrella at the aquarium. It has streamers of 15’ to 20 feet long. It was captured by Bert Mackey, the brother of Percy Mackey.


July 8, 1904

The steamer Cabrillo was late in getting in to Avalon Harbor.

A. H. Splittstoesser is Excursion Manager for the Banning Company.


July 11, 1904

Gen. Barrett today caught a 131 lb. tuna out fishing with George Farnsworth.

George Wiley caught his first tuna yesterday. It is to be mounted by Charles Parker and sent to England for Hampton Wick is his home.

There are many kinds of fish tales but they are all true with many witnesses.

Tuna steaks at the Hotel Metropole are all the rage now.

Capt. Quigley in his launch, Lydia is out on a shelling expedition under Mrs. Blanche Trask.


July 12, 1904

C. R. Cowan, the swimming teacher, has organized a water polo club. Players are: Andrew Glassell, Pat HIggins, A. H. Splittstoesser, Howard Salisbury, J. Cox. W. Jerrue, E. L. Gollmer, J. Loomis and C. R. Corven.

George Johnson born and reared on Catalina Island is skipper of the launch, Katherine.


July 16, 1904

The lectures at the Camp Cabrillo at the Isthmus will be on popular topics by Mr. and Mrs. Mills. In the evening the lecture will be on “The Life and Letters of Ralph W. Emerson”.

The Champion Jeffries is out fishing with Mrs. Jeffries.

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Morasco and son are here.

The new steamer, Cabrillo will make three trips daily and four on Saturdays.

Mrs. Arturo Bandini is in Avalon engaged in writing a history of Southern California.

Walter H. Hughes of San Francisco, picked up a 7 ½” nautilus at Hamilton Beach yesterday. Walter was swimming and the nautilus was making out to sea like a navigator sitting upright in his little boat enjoying the sail.

The Y. M. C. A. of Pasadena are camped at White’s Landing in their third season. Previously they camped in Avalon. There are 65 boys in camp. The only other person in camp is Sven (Swayne) Larson, the old Island hermit. Their camp name is “Merriman”.


July 17, 1904

Water polo in Avalon Bay with a Los Angeles team and the “Catalinas”, the Avalon boys drew a large crowd. The Avalon boys were Glassell, sprint, Condit and Splittstoesser, forwards, J. Albert and Cowan, backs and William Allen, goal keeper.


July 21, 1904

A baby porpoise was caught by Vincente Moricich in his nets. It weighed from 25 to 30 pounds. It is now on exhibit at the Island Buffet.

Miss Ethel Hartley, daughter of Mrs. George Greeley, married Arthur P. Smith in Pasadena on July 20th.


July 22, 1904

Rain this morning wetting things down.

Capt. Cowan of Avalon water polo team has arranged with the Long Beach team to play next Sunday.

The Meteor excursion to the Isthmus was so great that the Lady Lou had to help. There were 126 people going today, July 22.

After this one-half of the people will go up on the Meteor and exchange to a glass bottom powerboat for the return trip.

The Avalon took 40 to the Isthmus to a barbecue dinner.


July 25, 1904

Acres of tunas everywhere.

The Catalina Card Club is very active.

Note: Lost at Avalon, Saturday, July 23rd, a diamond sunburst pin. Finder please return to Mrs. E. J. Campbell, Box 275, Avalon. Reward.

“California Islands” has an article in the Los Angeles Sunday Times Magazine pp. 14, 15, by Harry H. Dunn


July 26, 1904

A fire in the Tent City from filling a gasoline stove while the stove was lighted.


July 28, 1904

Black Sea Bass Tournament with 20 boats out and 3 black sea bass taken.


July 30, 1904

A fire in the girls Camp at 1st Street, Tent City and Sumner Ave. It is called, “Avalon’s Ostrich Farm”.

Across the street, three times Judge Banning’s home was on fire but the Avalon Volunteer First Dept. saved it (across the street from the girls’ camp). It was heroic work by the firemen.

C. E. Vanlandingham is Manager of the Island Villa, a caravansary.


August 3, 1904 The new, St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, Catholic Church on Vieudelou Ave., had their church bell consecrated on August 3. This sweet toned bell gave additional calls to the townsfolk of spiritual duties near at hand. On occasion both church bells rang simultaneously, each on different sides of town with a low hill between, which brought a harmonious unisonance floating over Avalon Town, a gentle reminder that in Spiritual values there are the well known theme “in union there is strength”. It was a great celebration when a Bishop and several members of the clergy came over to consecrate and baptize the new church bell.

The ground on Whittley Ave. being cleared and purchased by A. Levy of New York.

Chriss Ringson found a pilot fish attached to a sleeping sunfish. It was brought to the aquarium.

L. A. Behymer, the theatrical manager of Los Angeles is visiting here.

The Meteor Boat Company gave a moonlight excursion ride for the benefit of the waitresses who lost their effects n the burning of their tent cottage last week. A very good sum was obtained.


August 4, 1904

“The Cabrillo March”, composed by Prof. E. C. Kammermeyer of the Catalina Island Band was dedicated to the Banning Company and played for the first time at the Band concert.

The Wireless newspaper to be re-begun on Tuesday, August 2, 1904. Subscription is 50 cents a month.

A small lighter or float was brought over from San Pedro and put in service at the “Pleasure Wharf” which is the Bath House wharf.

The Lady Lou together with the Meteor took 100 persons to the Isthmus barbecue and the Avalon took 50 more persons.


August 7, 1904

Avalon is having a record breaking crowd. There was a game of water polo with the Tufts Lyon’s Team. Avalon won 3 to 1.


August 13, 1904

The Sanddab Club paraded through the street of Crescent Ave. with sand dabs on a clothesline full of little fishes which required one-half dozen men to carry. There were 416 fishes. The bet was won by Joe Stevens. His partners went broke at 50 cents a corner.

Capt. Charles A. Sumner and Mrs. Sumner here in Avalon with friends.

W. W. Robinson is also here. He is secretary of the Plorotalpha Masonic Lodge of Los Angeles.


August 21, 1904

J. J. Mellus is to present a Swiss gold watch to Captain William Banning at Middle Ranch with a chain of buckskin of the leash or end of the 6 horse coaching whip. There were many donors.

Buster Brown is out on the Deep Blue Sea.

Owners of Santa Catalina Island have spent between $500,000 and $600,000 in laying out Avalon, the aquarium, building roads and the Wireless Commercial Service between Avalon and the mainland.

Last year there were 60,000 visitors on the steamers.


August 27, 1904

There was rivalry between the Meteor Boat Company and the Avalon Boat Company. They both have maintained barbecue excursions to the Isthmus twice a week. Yesterday the Meteor Boat Co. sent for a band of minstrels from Los Angeles to sing and play as well as their orchestra.

The Avalon Boat Company cut the price for the trip to 50 cents as there was a fight for supremecy.

To carry all its patrons the Avalon Boat Company engaged the boats, Ramona, and Emerald in addition to the Avalon and all were filled with passengers to the Isthmus.

About 500 people were served lunch at the Isthmus under canvas awnings, not including private parties which had come on six various boats.

The menu for the Meteor Boat Company included abalone chowder, barbecued fish, several varieties of bread, butter, salad, cake, watermelons and coffee. They returned to Avalon at 6 P. M.


August 28, 1904

Swordfish was caught by James L. Orr, 8 ft 8 inches, Billy Rugg was the boatman.

Best game of the season seemed to be the Water Polo Club, Los Angeles men won 4 by 3.

Frank V. Rider had a heart attack.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Swanfeldt are here. He was the father of “Camp Swanfeldt”.

Capt. A. W. Lewis form Johannesburg, South Africa, caught a huge shark which had swallowed both baits. It was 10 feet in length and weighed 450 lbs. He battled it for 45 minutes.

There were 500 passengers who went around the Island on the steamer Hermosa and had a barbecue at the Isthmus.


August 29, 1904

In the evening little 3 year old Elmer Rosin walked up to the band stand and kept time with the music with a stick he carried. The audience gave him a round of cheers. He also performed with a stick with the DeNubila Bros. Orchestra at the Meteor Boat Stand.


August 30, 1904

There are 700 persons who have come to Avalon today.

The Wireless Newspaper contest closed today. Miss Kate Gallagher is leading.

By tomorrow’s morning issue the “Wireless” newspaper will end publication for this season. The “Wireless” newspaper is the only paper published which receives its telegraphic news by Wireless Telegraphy solely.


August 31, 1904

Mrs. A. L. New – wife of the general manager of the Wireless station won the Wireless prize contest by a last minute avalanche of letters. She won the diamond pin from Brock and F. Seagens – 4th and Spring Strs., Los Angeles. She received 2,465 votes, Miss K. Gallagher, 1836, Miss Mollie Holland, 360, Mrs. E. C. Kammermeyer, 223 and Mrs. Katie F. M. Cleaves, 196.

L. A. Murphy, manufacturer of Converse, Indiana, and Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Baer of Bear’s Den returned to Los Angeles.


September 1, 1904

There were 500 persons fed at the Hotel “Met” yesterday when only 100 were expected.


September 2, 1904

Mr. and Mrs. B. Fay Mills closed camp at the Isthmus. There will be a dance by the S. Catalina Yacht Club.


September 4, 1904

Ed Hill is the artist for billboards in Avalon.

J. S. Pitman returned to Avalon.

Sam Robe is the boatman who owns the launch Juanita.

A St. Bernard dog owned by George W. Vansyckle at the Terrace but a boy.


September 7, 1904

Capt. C. Reeve of the “Emerald”, gave a picnic to Mme. Earhart, Manager of the Columbia House and Cottages. With Mrs. Earhart are her 6 sons and daughters.

Others were at the picnic, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Earhart and daughter, Oliver Meece of Bishop, Calif and Miss Emma and Master Martin.

The restaurant at the Isthmus is closed.

Rev. and Mrs. Robert J. Burdett are in Avalon.


September 11, 1904

The Cabrillo was in the darkness last evening. She hit a fishing smack and wrecked it. Mr. Ferguson, second official let Cabrillo’s search light and was able to pick up two men. They were G. and A. Stagnaro of San Pedro. They were seining and never thought to look for the steamer.

Los Angeles Times Magazine – September 1904 –

The Channel Islands by Blanche Trask

The largest workshop of the Indians lies far in the heart of Catalina and has never been disturbed. Here the goats roam over trails which their little feet have worn as smooth as satin, and kick out of their way many a precious things that the Indians chiseled. It is very strange, this magic drop in under the crest where the “serpentine” thrusts up its head. You pass from one projecting bit of ledge to another and see the same telltale incisions upon the soft rock. Oftentimes it has been cut clear down to the ground itself and even below, so that now a shallow basin exists where once the aboriginals were busy working.
The apparent freshness of the marks makes a strange impression. It is as if the workers had been there today. There are tiny pots small enough to have been used as a child’s bowl and other too heavy for a white man to lift! It is rarely that one has reached the final smoothness of a finished vessel. Yet you come across them in all stages, from the largest one not yet loosened from its base (which was to have been its head, when finished) and still standing firmly two feet high, to the chiseled ones rounded and modeled so that a mere touch of hand or foot will set them rolling some with rounded bottoms, some with a “square set”, wide-mouthed jars, others with the lips drawn in or tapering at both top and bottom and bulged in the middle. While many are handled with great strong handles, finished with square or rounded edges.
Then there are trays or platters or whatever you may wish to call them, peculiar to these Channel Islands, many beautifully polished and even satiny to the touch. They are oblong always, and with either square or rounded edges and corners and deep- perhaps an inch or two, or even three. Some of them are “thin as a wafer”, some an inch or two thick, and many of these are made with handles also.
The slate – stone chisels are all about here and there; yet there are not many when you consider the large number of pots over which you have stumbled, the chisels have been left to their own natural cleavage upon the edge, the other has been chipped away to bring the whole to advisable pointedness.
Some are not over three inches long, while others are eight or ten or even a foot long, and nothing else is to be seen amid these old shops but a scallop shell now and then gleaming out in snowy style under foot. What do these mean?

"“I feel disposed to place on record a few lines descriptive of some of the lesser known islands, which, from personal knowledge obtained during many trips to these isolated places, I feel qualified to indite.” B. Trask


September 11, 1904

L. B. Wood let the contract for the new building on east side of Whittley Ave. to Messrs Murphy and Crook of Los Angles. Their bid was $23,360.00. This does not include the plumbing, electric lights or cold storage plant or grading the site. This is the new Pilgrim Club. Building and furnishings will exceed $50,000.00.

L. B. Wood will superintend the building. He hopes to open the Club by the holidays.


September 12, 1904

There was a big day in Avalon for boats, curio stores and restaurants for the Knights Templar were here.

The P. G Wooster’s left for Pasadena.


September 14, 1904

Last night, September 13, without the loss of an hour the transfer of the Wireless Telegraph Station was made from the north hilltop to an office downtown next door to the post office on Crescent Avenue.

Everything is ready this morning for business. At the first call the operator said that they never had had the calls come in so clearly and so powerfully.

Mr. Eben Smith, president of the System, and Gen New left. They say that the Telegraph will be direct from Los Angeles to Avalon soon.


September 18, 1904

The last Band Concert of the season was crowded. Judge William Allen arose and tendered the thanks of the audience. Heavy applause followed.

After the band concert, the band with Japanese lanterns went through the tunnel to Bannins Beach to serenade Hancock Banning. He was not at home and little Hancock Banning on the veranda in the name of his mother and absence of his father, made a speech thanking the musicians.

Miss Louise Bosbyshell and the Miss Bertha and Miss Henry are in Avalon. Others in Avalon are John Edmundson, George Aull, M. Tobin and Cora Jerrue.


September 19, 1904

Justice William Allen married Arthur Sutemeier to Miss Ida Symonds.

Mr. Sutemeier belongs to the Island Constabulary force.

George Farnsworth just wed Miss Anderson of Compton, California.


September 21, 1904

The Grammar School opened with two new teachers, Miss Nettie Trefethen and Mrs. Dr. Hutchinson. There are 40 pupils in the primary room of 4 classes and 26 in the 4 upper grades.


September 23, 1904

Canva City being taken down, there are only a few tents left.

Capt. Walker is out in his launch, Cushman.

Capt. M. L. Nissley is the foreman of work at the Isthmus.


September 25, 1904

The Hotel Metropole will be renovated and steam heat installed and also elevators.

Two hundred came on the Cabrillo last night.


September 29, 1904

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Fischbeck are leaving for a trip to the East.

Catalina voters were listed at 205. Many failed to register.

A large majority of the population are boatman and employees of the Banning Co., and single men. The property owners register for voting.

The Odd Fellows are celebrating in Avalon.


November 9, 1904

Charles Ironmonger and Pete V. Reyes, photographers have formed a trust and will erect a 50 ft. building at the road to Sugar Loaf.


November 13, 1904

The big clubhouse of the Catalina Yacht, Gun and Rod Club (The Pilgrim Club) is being enclosed and roofed.

Gen. Barrett and Col. Wood came over for an inspection of it. To be completed by Jan. 1, 05.

Capt. K. S. Walker captured a sea butterfly (Exo-coctus volitans) never before seen here. It is 4 inches long with variegated color wing black and yellow. It flew out of the tank and died.

J. E. Munster is in charge of the Wireless Station during the visit of G. F. Krenke, regular operator to his home in Michigan.


November 23, 1904 – L. A. Times

In Hollywood, California, a cornerstone was laid for Hollywood Union High School Building on Highland Avenue.


November 30, 1904

There is steam heat in the Hotel Metropole in all rooms but the sleeping rooms.

The Hotel Metropole has a new coat of dark green paint.

The Grandview Hotel was raised and one story built underneath with office, dining room, ladies’ parlor and billiard hall.

John Douglas MacLean is building a six room house high on the hillside diagonal to the Congregational Church.

John Nestell to erect a pagoda or klosh with billiard room and observation tower on his new property on Whittley Ave., formerly Eddy Terrace.

William Judd of River Station has purchased the grocery business of Beeson Brothers. His representative is O. E. Carter.

The wife and daughter of J. L. Wood, Superintendent of the new Club House, Mrs. Wood and Miss Grace of Santa Barbara are here in Avalon to live.

A song by Blanche Trask –

Ah! What is better than this, my dear,
What is better than this?
The thought of a night which has lost its way
Between tomorrow and yesterday;
The full of the tide and the gray of the sea,
And a gull, that circleth endlessly;
The breath from a wind which bloweth well,
A sail that hasteth new ports to tell;
If ought is better than this, my dear,
I find it not here, I find it not here.



Avalon—1905

January 1, 1905

Hotel Metropole reopened today after being closed since October 1, 1904. The manager is H. E. Fletcher and C. E. Vanlandingham and C. L. Riddle behind the counter. G. W. Fitch is the steward, Jean Gaillard has charge of the Dining Room.

The Grandview Hotel has also opened.

The Catalina steamers have done 50% more business this winter even with the two large hotels closed.

John Nestell purchased two flats on Metropole Ave. from Dr. Mills.

W. H. Gill, the proprietor of the Windsor Hotel has just purchased the Catalina Hotel on Whittley Ave. A few months ago he bought the adjoining 40 ft. with the Erin Cottage giving him a frontage of 80 feet.

Ben Rosin has purchased the Farnsworth lot on the hill immediately in front of the Owl’s Nest. It is a sightly location.


January 4, 1905

The steamer Torqua passengers sighted tuna at Catalina Harbor and also off Long Point and at Blue Caverns.

Fred Healey of London is here with A. J. Levy, caterer and Gen. A. W. Barrett at the Pilgrim Club.

Pasadena – E. T. Off rode the run away chariot at the Tournament of Roses. It was “as pretty as a Greek play – “Ben Hur”.


January 5, 1905 L. A. Times

Luther Burbank of Santa Rosa has nearly a spineless cactus. Also, A. H. Dorsey of San Diego has also succeeded in the same result.

Mexican Joe (full name is Felice Jose Presciado) says, after hearing of L. Burbank’s and A. H. Dorsey’s spineless cactus that when he was on San Clemente Island 20 years ago, he was in charge of a band of sheep and he came upon a batch of spineless cacti that had neither large or tiny ones. Water was scarce so he squeezed this cactus for juice. It had a sweetish kind of water but quite palatable.


January 5, 1905

It is a big tourist season. There are 150 passengers on each steamer coming in.


January 12, 1905

The boat, Pilgrim, Jr. was launched today from Mathewson’s Boat Shop on Whittley Ave. It was made for A. L. Levy, of New York. It was 20 feet long and has a new model Union Engine and is of 5 horse power.

Chicken John Brinkley who has never been off the Island in 20 years is recovering from pneumonia.

Diners at the “Met” Hotel for breakfast rushed to the porch to watch the many whales spouting as they passed the bay.

Father Becker of the Catholic Church changed his pastorate to Santa Ana. He is succeeded here by Rev. Father Henry Brinkmeyer, a college professor of Cincinnati, Ohio. On account of his health he released his pastorate in the east. He is accompanied by his sister Miss Mary Brinkmeyer.


January 15, 1905

There was direct wireless service yesterday afternoon established between Avalon and Los Angeles by the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company. Heretofore by wireless it was to San Pedro and thence by Western Union’s wire to Los Angeles. Now with the Wireless Station at Los Angeles it is considered the greatest triumph of this system since the grand announcement about 2 ½ years ago that the wireless “worked”.

In the Los Angeles Station, corner of 7th and Alameda Streets in a vicinity filled with electric wires yet Avalon operator saw the message come in clear. It is no open yet in Los Angeles for public service.


January 25, 1905

The Banning Company put a new clause in each boatman’s renewal lease prohibiting all soliciting on all streets, wharves, and beaches of the Island under penalty of immediate forfeiture of lease. The boatmen accepted this willingly.

The faster steamer service seems accountable for the heavier visitor travel at this time of year.

Alert as a human can be and with a bucket brigade they failed to save the home of E. M. Mathson in the valley. All was lost and Mrs. Mathson was badly burned about the face and hands from an explosion of a gasoline stove.

The houses on either side were saved but the new house of E. W. Jones was partially burned.

Mr. and Mrs. John d. MacLean gave them a cottage to live in on upper Beacon Street and supplied a few clothes and necessities, then the townspeople rallied with other needed articles and foods.

The children with their parents smelled so badly of smoke that their cottage seemed smoky.

Mr. Mathson brought in the still hot silver earnings of the late Fall – all in a melted pile, stuck together in one hot mass. My family sat on the porch and silently stared with the Mathsons at all the huge jar of partially melted silver pieces.

Galen Clark, guardian of Yosemite Forest Reserve is here at the Hotel Metropole.


January 29, 1905 L. A. Times

F. E. Knapp, who installed the electric plant in Avalon on Metropole Ave., is now in real estate in Los Angeles. He is at the Windsor Hotel with Mrs. Knapp and brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. W. d. Knapp of Wakeman, Ohio.


January 30, 1905

There were 250 passengers over today and most stayed.

Tonight is the first hop of the season at the Metropole Ballroom.

The Bolsa Chica Gun Club preserves for shooting in the building of Ben Rosin on Metropole Ave. is being torn down. A new one will be replaced.


February 1, 1905 Avalon – The steamer Cabrillo started.

L. A. Times, p. 11, Col. 3 –

Dr. Charles O. Eastman, a Sioux Indian lecturer form Amherst, Mass in company with Prof. F. C. Brackett of Claremont College, Calif., are spending several days on the Island at the Hotel “Met”. Dr. Eastman is employed by the government. He is greatly interested in relics and remains of the original inhabitants of Catalina. They went to the Isthmus on the Magic Isle to investigate Indian remains.

An arroyo bridge, 30 feet wide, has been begun at the easterly end of Crescent Ave.


February 8, 1905

250 passengers on the Cabrillo.

The rains came in time to save thousands of lambs.

There was 3.16 inches in the storm in 3 days. Last year the Banning Wool Company last over 5,000 lambs because of the drought. The rain came just in time this year.

Charles F. Howland of San Clemente Wool Co. is here with Mrs. Howland and their two children.

William Mueller, the builder of steamers Cabrillo and Hermosa No. 2., and the Warrior is here and will superintend the new building of Ben Rosin opposite the Post Office on Crescent Ave.

Several paper nautiluses were found, one on Buttonshell Beach by Miss Stevenson, and one on Avalon Beach last week by Mrs. M. E. McFarland, and one on Pebbly Beach this morning, and one in front of the Avalon Boat Stand this morning.


February 11, 1905

Today the steamer Cabrillo came in with 365 passengers.

Charles H. Crocker of San Francisco is a guest at the Hotel Metropole.


February 12, 1905 L. A. Times

Capt. Walton in his launch Nettie W and with waves of 30 feet in the air the launch Ramona went bravely to the rescue of the party of nine on Buttonshell Beach. The nine had decided to walk home over the mountains. The crew who went to help were George Aull, George Herbert, George Michaelis, William Toland and Fred Walton all brave men!


February 15, 1905

H. R. Travilla died on February 14 at a Los Angeles hospital. He was the proprietor of an Avalon Curio Store. Mrs. Travilla was with him at the hospital.

Woodward D’Arce Heron, and Miss Adelaide Rockburn are here. They are members of the Hotel Metropole Orchestra.

The steamer leaves on Mondays at 7:30 A. M.

D. B. Jerrue and family are to be permanent Avalon residents.

Miss Louis C. Whitney has been two years at the Grandview Hotel.

F. G. Kendall and Mrs. Kendall of Pasadena are fishing here. He has caught 10 albacore.

Today on two steamers 400 people came to Avalon, one board one steamer was a special party. Al and Mrs. Levy, Los Angeles caterer, are here.


February 20, 1905

The Wireless Telegraph Station has been returned to old place on the northern hill and is working direct with Los Angeles.

A 70 foot mast was placed on the beach but when it came to working with Los Angeles, a higher mast was required.


February 24, 1905

The Pilgrim club on Whittley Ave., had its ice plant operating yesterday. The first cake of ice was taken to the Windsor Hotel.

The clubhouse is nearly completed. It may take a week or more to be finished, then there will be a formal opening.

A. H. Scott returned today with a bride from Los Angeles.

The glass bottom powerboat Cleopatra is unique for she requires no wharf on which to land, perhaps, she is the only ocean boat in the world. She glides on to the beach to discharge her passengers. But at Seal Rock yesterday she got stuck. Her “sister boat”, the Lady Lou tried one-half hour to drag her off the rocks. Finally, Capt. Trefethen on the steamer, Cabrillo, went to her rescue and got her off.

The Cleo was built in East San Pedro Boat Building Plant, the H. E. Carse Company. She cost $7,000.00.


March 6, 1905

J. L. Corey, the proprietor of “Jim and Joe” boat stand, died in Avalon. His daughter, Mrs. Carrie E. Ralls and son, Gordon are in Avalon. They were living with him.

Capt. Newberry, on the power glass bottom boat Lady Lou, found an 85 lbs. opah. He says they come “every 7 years”.

There was a whale and a swordfish fight several miles offshore which was seen by Capt. George Farnsworth and two cattlemen from Wyoming.

E. A. Beardsly, the manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company of Los Angeles is in Avalon.


March 15, 1905

The service water pipe to the H. Banning residence in Descanso was carried away in places by a storm. Rocks and debris to the tunnel and trail to Descanso were piled up by high waves and winds in the storm.


March 16, 1905

Mrs. Walter Cook of Portland, Oregon, was the discoverer of the sardonyx at Pebbly Beach. She walked over the hills with a party to Pebbly Beach.

Dr. E. P. Jeffries at the Isthmus broke his shoulder blade and now must go to the hospital on account of adhesions.


March 18, 1905 – San Pedro

Capt. Jorgensen, the Captain of the Schooner Oceania, lost his brother overboard, M. Jorgensen, second mate, as he went to lower a sail. He was 30 years old.


March 20, 1905 – The Isthmus

The western wind blows each afternoon unheeded and unrelenting through the Isthmus with no hills to hinder it. But on March 20 a terrific wind blew following a heavy rain laying 15,000 to 20,000 eucalyptus trees prostrate. Many can be righted again, however. No other part of the Island was known to have been hit by this wind.


March 26, 1905

Seven goats were sent on order to the Pacific Coast Forest, Fish and Game Association to San Francisco for their zoo.

With George Farnsworth, Mr. J. D. Patterson of Canada caught a 15 lb. tuna. The first flying fish was seen.

A sand dab fisherman brought the Sea Pen (Pennaltula) to the aquarium on March 26, 1905.

Miss Frances Lauderbach gained permission from the Aquarium manager to return at night to paint the Sea Pen after finding it unopened at 5 A. M. and closed like a dried carrot during the day. By night, this Sea Pen bloomed in a golden glory, blazing with a yellow rose pink light. A dark cloth was prepared to observe its strong light. These Sea Pens are dredged in 500 feet of water and found to be a community of cellular life becoming phosphorescent at night.


March 31, 1905

A waterspout was seen yesterday in the ocean off Newport Beach by the passengers on the return trip of the Cabrillo.

Billy Allen is the guide inland for Joseph P. Howe, Asst. District Attorney for New York City.

Since the rains the water level in Avalon wells supplying Avalon is up 6 inches.

No tuna have been caught but they have been seen.


April 6, 1905

Capt. George N. Cornell was married to Josephine Moll, the daughter of Fred J. Moll of Avalon.


April 7, 1905

Tommy Whittley, the dare devil not afraid of nature on the schooner Edith of the Santa Catalina Wool Company, passed Avalon on her way to San Clemente Island on a very stormy day. She, the Edith, was scudding before the wind hitting only the high areas. The next night the vessel was disabled near San Clemente Island and Tommy had to fight all day and night. They landed in San Pedro after two days with no food or drink. A crew of two came aboard and made repairs.


April 10, 1905

On the golf links there was a 9 hole play for teenagers. J. D. Standish won with a handicap of 2, score 42 and W. H. Burnham, Jr. was second with a handicap of 10, score 45.


April 12, 1905

San Pedro fishermen are transferring their business to Avalon with a fleet of six boats here. They ship more loads of fish by the steamer.

The total rain for the season is 15.52 inches.

Mrs. Warren A. Leonard, the daughter of John Nestell and her son, John Nestell Leonard of New York entertained at a luncheon at the Pilgrim club on Whittley Ave.


April 30, 1905 – L. A. Times

Uncle John Nestell now has purchased the Pacific Hotel for $11,000 on Marilla Ave. Word was received today that T. M. Mathews of Wilmington, who was the in Avalon owner of the Seal Rocks Saloon, died. He had a stroke one and half years ago in Avalon and never recovered. He was a cousin of Enos Vera’s father in the Azores.

Fifty Shropshire sheep were brought over for improvement of the various stock on Catalina Island. They were purchased from George Carson of the Dominquez Ranch.


May 3, 1905

Tommy Whittley took Shropshire bucks to San Clemente Island on the schooner, Edith. He also took materials and foods for Frank Josephs, an old Catalina fisherman who goes to San Clemente Island every 6 months on a contract to fish (with a fishing crew) for a new cannery established on San Clemente by a firm of Japanese. The capacity of the cannery is 2500 lbs. of fish a day.


May 10, 1905 – Avalon

A. J. Eddy came over from Pasadena with a loving cup he donated to the Tuna Club especially for yellowtail caught. The cup is about 10 inches high.


May 15, 1905

Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Phelps of the Avalon Aquarium left for Long Beach after being the caretakers for five years.

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union gave them a reception at the Congregational Church then escorted them in a body to the steamer.

A handsome Catalina shell curtain will be raffled tonight at the Shooting Gallery.

V. J. Rowan, civil engineer is on the Island with a corps of workmen who have been running lines across the face of the Eastern hillside. They placed numerous little white flags to mark their pathway. This has led to speculation that a carriage road will be built to Pebbly Beach. The line starts from the Barns at the end of 7th Street (Beacon St.) and winds back along the hill giving a fine view of the town.

J. B. McNab of Ventura is building a bungalow here.


May 21, 1905

Mr. T. H. Drake, the New York artist and the illustrator for Kipling’s “Jungle Book” is here at the Miramar Hotel quietly sketching island scenes.

Mrs. Charles Ironmonger of Avalon died in Los Angeles following an operation.


May 26, 1905

Capt. J. E. Mathewson is building a two storied home nearly opposite his shipyards on Whittley Ave.

Mr. A. N. Jung sold his Sumner Ave. home to Dr. D. K. Dickerson.


June 4, 1905

The Island Villa with its 200 caravansary is made gay with electric lights.

There are 1001 tents ready for Canvas City.

There are six boys diving for nickels. It is very entertaining for the tourists. The boys made $2.00 to $2.50 per day.

Clarence Brodie did the best on June 10 when he spit out a $5.00 gold piece with his collection of coins. $10.00 was the limit from an excursion.


June 10, 1905

The Alpha dropped a seine for sardines within the 1000 foot limit. The City Marshall was too late to reach the Alpha for she got off to San Pedro.

Herbert A. Young for several years a diver in Honolulu dived for the glass bottom powerboat Cleopatra. Capt. Clarence Jargstorff is in charge of ceremonies.


June 12, 1905

Contractor Sherer’s equipment came over on a barge and the Falcon. Work began dreading streets on the eastern hill slopes. The men are using 24 horses and mules.

There is also building going ahead with an Angel’s Flight to the top of the East End Hill, south of Peter Gano’s home, “Look-out Cottage”.

The public schools closed today with exercises, dialogues and recitations and singing.

Leonard Perrin, president of a Pasadena bank and Mrs. Hattie E. Horne of Los Angeles were married in Avalon by Rev. Charles W. Williams.

Roy Staples takes a baby seal for a pet on the glass bottom powerboat Lady Lou.

The first tuna was caught by “Sanddab Jack”, a “rank outsider” with Robinson in 300 ft. of water, tuna 18 lbs.

L. B. Wood, President of the Pilgrim club and Mrs. Wood and daughter are in Avalon.


June 13, 1905

George M. Michaelis has just received a patent on a reel for deep sea fishing. The reel is 10 inches in diameter, 22 inches long. It took him 3 years to perfect it. It is used for groupers and sand dabs.

George Michaelis and Mexican Joe have a raven for a pet and mascot of their boat stand.

Roy Walton gave a 50 cent piece to the raven and it swallowed it fast.

The Grandview Hotel was sold, one of the investors was J. P. Finnegan.


June 15, 1905

The Catalina Island Band arrived for the season with Conductor Kammermeyer and twenty players. The fine cornetist, Charles Streeper, had a hemorrhage on June 16, the day after his arrival and died in 5 minutes.

Camp Cabrillo as the Isthmus is open and in charge of E. C. Folsom. There is a restaurant, tents, grocery, general store and a bowling alley there.


June 20, 1905

An aquarium was constructed in front of the restaurant of Ben Rosin’s on Crescent Ave., east side of post office. It was Yellowtail Johnny’s delight to keep it supplied with fish.

The Anderson and Chanslor grocery and butcher shop on Crescent Ave. is a branch of the Los Angeles Grocery.

Claude Wickman is skipper on the boat, Maitland.

There are 700 passengers on the Cabrillo today.

Launch Louise, with Capt. Allison, skipper, caught a 19 ½ lb. tuna by Ernest Beck of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Meteor Boat Company began weekly barbecues to the Isthmus today with fifty passengers. G. W. Shaw, Secretary of the S. Catalina Island Company, says that more people than ever are asking for tent space.

Boatmen now taking out parties are Capt. Danielson and Nick Egan.

Jim Gardner returned after an absence of two years.


June 22, 1905

Preparations are in hand for the celebration of July 4th with the Sophia Yacht Club in charge of the Aquatic Sports. There will be a fish barbecue on the beach.

Jake Levy caught a 370 lb. black sea bass with Captain Johnson today.

Commissioner R. R. Haines, late manager of the Postal Telegraph Company of Los Angeles, and one of the oldest “Telegraph” men on the coast is here with Mrs. Haines.

Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Jeffries brought in 9 huge yellowtail and some rock bass from their Isthmus trip.


June 24, 1905

There was a black sea bass tournament yesterday. Only 2 fish were caught but 20 boats were out trying.

Mr. and Mrs. O. Sweet with daughter and son-in-law and Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Leonard are in their camp, “Camp Bonnie Blue”.


June 25, 1905

Mr. Chandeare, brother-in-law of Ben Rosin, fell over backwards from a 20 foot porch to the sidewalk breaking his leg.


June 28, 1905

A new long pier was built at Long Beach, Calif.


July 1, 1905

Last evening, June 30, John Nestell received a present from San Francisco friends of an automobile. A burro would have been safer here!

July 3, 1905

Leo Eliel could not wait until July 4th to light a big firecracker in front of his mother’s tent next to the Catholic Church on Vieudelou Ave. The tent, most of their things, bed and all is now but a memory. However, a few household goods were saved by Arthur Heineman or Sutemeier.

T. Perkins of Los Angeles brought in by rod and reel a 428 lbs. black sea bass in 57 minutes.

Last night a 150 candle powered lamp was lowered from the Cleopatra and several boat loads of passengers watched the light descend. Before it had reached bottom hundreds of fish came. The fish were blinded.


July 4, 1905

The sports began at 10 A. M.

Names of participants: Ed Robe, George Judd, Clarence Brody, Guy Travilla, Hiram Sholes, William Cline, Jr., Percy Shieldy, Frank Whittley. Tony Moricich was the best pie eater on the Island.

Ernest Ball worked on and one fourth hours on a greased pole, 40 feet high. Twenty boys tried. A collection was taken for Ernest Ball.

The South Coast Yacht Club boats are in the bay.


July 6, 1905

The Los Angeles county Grand Jury visited the County Jail in Avalon with “Billy” Rowland, sheriff. This jail sees a prisoner about once a year.

L. A. Times –

The son of Rev. H. W. Peck at MacLean Cottages was a winner at the July 4th sports.


July 7, 1905

The Pacific Wireless Telegraph Operator, Thos. E. Hill left with the June receipts. For several days the Los Angeles and Catalina Wireless Station have been trying to hear responsive ticks of the San Pedro Station but in vain. Mr. Hill was a newcomer from England.


July 9, 1905

The new Sophia Yacht Clubhouse has been completed on Metropole Ave. Open House on July 13, all are welcome.

The Cabrillo is to arrive twice daily and the Hermosa will arrive once daily.


July 12, 1905


The hermit, Swayne Larson, at White’s Landing was presented with clothing and supplies by Mrs. C. Strong of Bisbee, Arizona.

There are a large number of workmen on the hill for the tramway from Crescent Ave. to the top of Reservoir Hill.

C. J. Eastman showed 25 policemen the Wireless Station.

C. C. Paine of Cleveland, Ohio, is here, a guest of Blanche Trask. He is dredging for shells for science. He has a 1,000 foot line.


July 14, 1905

The Hotel Glenmore now has steam apparatus to serve foods better.

Tennis Tournament is on at the Club House grounds.

Mrs. Colonel Moore entertained 56 ladies at her home in “Willow Cove” lying between Camp Whittier and Moonstone Beach. All passengers went on the Lady Lou.


July 20, 1905

Little Elmer Rosin had an octopus jump on his head with tentacles of one and one half feet long. He was standing next to the miniature aquarium in his father’s restaurant when the octopus leaped out of the tank with a splash and landed on Elmer’s head. Elmer laughed. He has strong nerves.

Mrs. George R. Shatto is visiting here with her brother, Mr. Edwin J. Whitney and Mrs. Etta Whitney of the Glenmore Hotel.

A record albacore was caught by Edwin H. Clark. It weighed 43 ½ lbs.

The black sea bass record was broken by a 436 lb. being caught by L. G. Murphy, of Converse, Indiana in 43 minutes. George Michaelis was the boatman on July 17.


July 21, 1905

Avalon proposes to enlarge the aquarium. It will have 40 feet by 100 feet next to the wharf gate with a mission style exterior.

Improvements on freight sheds on the east side of the steamer wharf are to be doubled in size.

Girls who have been here at Camp Whittier leave tomorrow.

Assistant Postmaster McFarland says that their receipts are up 25%.


July 23, 1905

Water polo started again this year. Those on the Avalon team are: C. R. Cowan, Andrew Glassell, Will Allen, Banning Cline, A. H. Splittstoesser and W. Jerrue.

Trail ready to Lover’s Cove.

The excursion to the Isthmus on Sunday leaves at 10 A. M. and returns at 5 P. M. Weekdays the boat returns at 4 P. M. The second trip returns at 11 P. M.

In addition to the Tuesday and Friday barbecue excursions to the Isthmus this season, the steamer Hermosa makes daily trips in the afternoon. She carries an orchestra which furnishes dancing at the pavilion at the Isthmus from 7 P. M. to 9:30 P. M. returning to Avalon at 11 P. M.


July 26, 1905

Mrs. A. S. Crickmore chaperoned a party to White Rock Spring.

Mr. E. E. Barden and family are here at “Diaspora” Cottage with Mrs. Martha Wood on upper Metropole Ave.

Will Matthews is a boatman here.

George Patton, Jr., brought in a black sea bass with a weight of 200 lbs. and other fish.


July 28, 1905

Manager Selepigno of the aquarium is exhibiting a “trigger fish” the boat Alpha brought in.

Mrs. M. C. Weller of Pomona, California, is here in her cottage, “Idle Days”. Her home on Musicians Row, Clarissa Ave., will be the meeting place for the Christian Scientists on Sundays and Wednesday evening of each week during the summer. Mrs. Florence Mead is acting as reader.


July 30, 1905

There was an overflowing crowd at the Congregational Church. The Young Men’s Christian Association boys rowed down the coast to attend church.

Four boats arrived yesterday, Saturday.

Tom McNab and Norwood Howard were at the Metropole Hop.

C. A. Bryant is here with his brother and a nephew. Mr. Bryant is with the Pacific Electric Railway, “Seeing California Bureau”.


August 5, 1905

The verdict of a jury in a coroner’s inquest over Lewis Crawford today said he died August 4 of valvular distress of the heart. He died while seated on a bench in front of the Hotel Metropole. He was from San Bernardino.


August 6, 1905

Rev. George Morris, the first pastor of the Avalon Church, preached here this morning.

Mrs. S. A. Wheeler, early Avalon resident of 1888, was in the church congregation today.

Rev. Charles Williams announced that $500 for the church building fund was given.

Water polo was won by the Avalon Team, 8 to 3. Banning Cline was a great winner for the Avalon team.


August 7, 1905

John S. Murset is still president of the Sand Dab Club.


August 8, 1905

Gen. A. W. Barrett is still very ill.

J. B. Elliott, the first editor of the ‘Catalina Wireless” weekly newspaper here is there now with the Associated Press of Los Angeles.


August 11, 1905

Henry T. Staats and son, John, are guests at the Glenmore Hotel.

Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Wood of the Pilgrim Club are out up the coast in the yacht Pilgrim.

The Wilmington Transportation Company in conjunction with the Pacific Electric Railroad will run its eleventh excursion from Newport Beach to Catalina on August 23rd.

Leroy O. Keener (or Kuner) of Brawley, Calif., drowned at Seal Rocks. One dozen boats searched for him in vain. Search was made endlessly for days by Capt. Herbert Young in a diving suit but no trace was ever found. Capt. Clark in launch, Blue Lodge searched.

In Avalon the blasts from the eastern hillside trouble the residents of Frank Hutchings and Fiddlers’ Row. They were all moved to Canvas City after one rock crashed through the roof of Francis Hutchings cottage.


August 12, 1905

Tennis Tournament was yesterday with Cloyd Holmes of Altadena beat John Holmes of Pasadena. There were 22 players.


August 15, 1905

Here with the band are W. H. Arend, the director of the Venice orchestra, and D. C. Rosebrook, cornetist and Dr. F. J. Nutting, Trombone.

A fire from a gasoline stove burned a portion of the kitchen at the parsonage of the Rev. Charles W. Williams.

Mexican Joe has a new launch, Alert.


August 16, 1905

No word has been received from the missing proprietor of the Hermosa Hotel, John P. V. Shields. It is thought that he took $4000.


August 17, 1905

The transformers for the Angles Flight arrived today and the rails and ties laid from Lover’s Cove up to this side. The concrete work at the terminals are nearly complete. It is arranged that when one car leaves a terminal another car at the top starts down on the reserve side, requiring a modicum of power to move them.

The large force of workmen are working on the carriage road nearing Pebbly Beach, the most remarkable beach about the Island. Its remarkable pebbles have no angles and two cross currents meet there. Water is to be piped to Pebbly Beach and lots are to be put on the market.


August 18, 1905

The yellowtail tournament was held yesterday with 32 boats out in the contest. Twenty-seven fish were taken and first prize went to George Gemiliere, boatman, on the Mascot. Second prize to Capt. Enos Vera on the Lolla. First prize went to the angler, Sam C. Koney. He received six solid silver souvenir spoons.


August 21, 1905

Baseball was played at Pebbly Beach.

Father and sister of Leroy O. Kuner from the Beverly Bank where he was cashier, searched for the drowned man’s body. Capt. Herbert Young in his diving suit searched again for the body at Seal Rocks.

More blasts on the east hillside injured tenants of Mr. Hutchings house next to east hillside.


August 26, 1905

A 40,000 gallon tank was erected on the east hill 500 feet above Avalon overlooking new lots. It is several hundred feet higher than the upper roadway and it will supply salt water for fires to any point on the hill.

The Angel’s Flight drum is said to be the heaviest casting ever made in Southern California. It weighs eight tons and is from the Baker Iron Works. It was brought over to Avalon on a barge and run up the shore.

The Catalina Yacht Club had its annual outing on August 26th. The members went to Emerald Bay on the Banning boat Cricket.

W. D. Hubbard of the Meteor Boat Company purchased the Macdonell property. It is a 50 foot lot on Sumner Ave. between the Glenmore Hotel and the Island Villa for $8,000.

Stones crashed all down the eastern hill from blasting on new roads. One stone crashed through the roof of Frank Hutchings home against the foot of east hill.

The Warrior’s old cabin house was brought over and landed.


August 27, 1905

Now there are the greatest crowds in the Island history here enjoying Catalina. Frank M. Bell is here on his yacht, Aloha.

Nick Egan, boatman, keeps very busy as does “Tony the Greek” on the launch, Athena.

H. E. Huntington is here with his lawyer and with Capt. Banning and George S. Patton and Mrs. G. B. Perkins. They inspected the roads on the east hillside and then drove to Middle Ranch.


August 28, 1905

The nickel divers have a new graft. They place abalone shells between rocks in the marine gardens. They dive and bring up the shells for 25 cents. The boys make $10 per day this way.

D. J. Sankey, the singing Evangelist and his nephew are here.

W. F. Holmes of St. Louis, Missouri, was out fishing with Chappie and brought in a black sea bass weighting 345 pounds.

The Misses Edith and Ruth Holder are here. They are cousins of Prof. Charles F. Holder.

A. Kingsley Macomber also here.


August 30, 1905

Residents of east end of Avalon were very relieved to hear that blasting will stop on the east hillside until the end of the season.

For five years, A. W. Fox has been coming to Catalina to get a tuna. He has taken fish in all waters of the world. He wished to wear a Tuna Club button. He owns the largest steel plant in Birmingham, England. He is an expert golfer.

John S. McGroarty of the Los Angeles Times Editorial Staff is here.

At 2 P. M. today the highest temperature was 73 degrees.


August 31, 1905

Capt. Allan on launch, Pasqualita, has delivered the Los Angeles Times to Avalon every morning all summer. This morning he steered his boat by compass for the first time on account of thick fog.

Dr. A. S. Shorb and daughter, Mrs. F. A. Barnes returned to Los Angeles.


September 5, 1905

The Santa Catalina Island Company gave a banquet to the Catalina Band at the Hotel Metropole with covers for 50 persons.

The Wilmington Transportation company reports 50% increase in business.

The Avalon Post Office reports 30% increase.

One thousand persons came to Avalon yesterday.

Jim Jeffries out with George Gemiliere in the launch, Mascot. He caught 30 yellowtails.


September 9, 1905

Henry S. Van Dyke at the Metropole Hotel.

Miss Frances Lauderbach’s home on Whittley Ave. is named “The Bungalo”. She has painted hundreds of paintings of the fish in the aquarium.


September 6, 1905

Harry Allen brought his bride, Miss Lulu V. Schmidt on the steamer. The steamer whistled a series of 2-2-2-2 as an agreed signal to tell awaiting friends to meet them. The friends lifted Harry to the hand cart, about a dozen arrived after he ran the gauntlets.

San Pedro – The Schooner, J. M. Coleman, with Captain Charles Peterson out ten days from Everett, Washington, with 600,000 feet of lumber lies on the rocks at San Miguel Island, 45 miles from West of Santa Barbara. She is owned by Hooper Brothers of San Francisco. San Miguel Island needs a lighthouse for it has long been a menace to mariners. The tug, Seawitch went to the schooner’s rescue.


September 13, 1905

The work on the roads to Pebbly Beach is done by 50 to 60 men, teams and many tons of gunpowder.

The Banning Company decided to extend the sewer pipes down to Pebbly where the sewage will be scientifically treated.

There will be a village at Pebbly Beach.

Will Matthews has the launch, Nymph.

Ground broken for new aquarium. It is to be 47 feet by 62 feet with Charles Fairchild as the architect.


September 15, 1905

Judge Wm. Allen married Miss Tillie Johnson and R. J. Schirmer.

Eight tunas were brought in all under 50 pounds with Harry Doss, the boatman.


September 18, 1905

Contractor Sherer’s men became dissatisfied and quit work and went to Los Angeles today.


September 19, 1905

The school, grammar, had as the principle, B. B. Anderson. Raymond Shaw was talking and reproved. Mr. Anderson used a rubber hose on him. The boy’s father swore out a warrant for Anderson’s arrest and $50 fine.

R. J. Cope has a 40 foot boat with 10 foot beam, 22 horsepower engine which was built in Los Angeles.


September 20, 1905

There were 100 tunas caught this season. The tuna caught lately has a larger side fin and all its fins are shaded with yellow. They are not like the larger tunas taken in earlier years.

The old hermit of Catalina, Swayne Larsen, lives alone at White’s Landing. He came to Avalon today, Sept. 20 for provisions. His boat is old and leaky. Chris Ringsin, seeing the hermit's plight, got Mexican Joe to help and they started a subscription paper and received $51 in an hour. A new boat will be purchased and presented to the old man. It will have a sail and the dollars left will be used for stocking his larder.


September 23, 1905 – L. A. Times, Cols, 1 and 2, p. 7

There was a congregational gathering in Los Angeles. Harry Wade Hicks will visit Catalina with the object of judging its suitability for the establishment of a National Missionary Education Center at Catalina.

Charles Strong of Arizona broke the shark record today in 3 ½ hours taking a 524 lb. shark, 12 feet long.

Curtis Granville is Superintendent of the Hotel Metropole dining room.


September 26, 1905

The bay is so filled with sardines that their playing sounded like raindrops or a rushing wind. Hundreds of seagulls are after them.

The crew of the Alpha lay outside and the little fishes outwitted them by staying in among the anchored boats and moorings.

In the Los Angeles Sunday Times Magazine is a long article on “Santa Barbara Island” by Avalon’s Mrs. Blanche Trask, p. 12 + 3 cols, + p. 13.

Five big draft horses were found to have Glanders Disease when they were treated by the Banning Company Veterinarian, Mr. Roland. They were taken up the canyon and shot, then put in an open dug pit filled partially with brush and timber and then set aflame. The pit was refilled.


September 29, 1905 – L. A. Herald, p. 6

The daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Nelson Cronkhite, Miss Mabel Cronkhite was married to Mr. Benjamin H. Miller.


September 30, 1905

Capt. Johnson on tug, Warrior.


October 2, 1905

For several years at the end of the summer season Charles B. Parker has organized a camping party and chartered a vessel and sailed away to an adjacent island. This year on the schooner Edith, they will go to Santa Cruz Island with Capt. Tom Whittley. There will be a party of nineteen plus a cook, “Kito”, a Japanese. In the party were:

  • Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Parker
  • Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Ott
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Robarts
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Morris
  • Miss Mabel Newman
  • Miss Cora Jevne
  • Mr. and Mrs. Tom Whittley
  • Chriss Ringsen
  • John Kassar
  • Pete Reyes
  • Richard Huelsmann
  • Albert Anderson
  • Edward Edmondson
  • Sam Brightwell
  • Kito


October 7, 1905

Word was received that Bruce, 7 year old son of Major and Mrs. Fred Burnham died in England by drowning. Their daughter died in Africa. Their son, Roderick, their third child, is attending Throop.


October 11, 1905

There will be an extra steamer to Avalon on Saturday evenings.


October 12, 1905

Mrs. Robert Dollar and Mrs. Stanley Dollar are at the Metropole Hotel.

After one year of success in which they found three glass bottom powerboats unequal to the demands, the Meteor Boat Company has plans drawn for a unique boat. The capacity would be 270 persons and 150 can sit on the upper deck under awning, and at the glasses to view the sea. J. D. Martin drew plans to have the boat ready by next March 1st. The hull = 75 feet long, 18 ft. wide, lower deck 25 ft. wide, upper deck with be 14 ft. x 60 ft. The glasses will be 1 inch thick. There will be two rows of glasses lens 20 x 60 inches. It requires no wharf to land and can run up on the beach and by use of a gangplank, it can load passengers.


October 16, 1905 – L. A. Herald, p. 3, Col. 2

The Mormon Patriarch and Mormon pioneer, Nathan Tanner, caught a 35 lb. yellowtail. They sent the fish to Salt Lake City.


October 17, 1905

Ethel Barrymore is in Avalon and six members of her company from the Mason House in Los Angeles.

Ralph Weaver of the Grandview Hotel, married Miss Louise Whitney of Bay City, Michigan.

The Banning Company finished the Swiss Chalet at the top of the hill, east where the Angel’s Flight crosses in which to house the power plant. (This was removed in the spring of 1954).


October 22, 1905

The carriage road to Pebbly Beach is ready skirting the ocean at quite an elevation. Work is still being done in grading the three streets on the hillsides beneath the roadway. Chinese helped build the roads and Mexicans.


October 23, 1905 L. A. Times

Avalon – The carriage road to Pebbly Beach was completed.

Miss Veda Tolchard went first to Avalon in 1905, later Mrs. Rudolph Bloomley on Clarissa Ave.

J. P. Gould, the freight agent here, married Miss Nina Stonehouse of Pasadena on the mainland.

Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Stamford are here in Avalon.

Capt. Adams brought in a tuna that he caught below Seal Rocks.

Guy Travilla caught a nine foot shark in the bay today. It weighted 210 lbs.


November 2, 1905

Avalon is to have another Sugar Loaf. Men are blasting east trough Abalone Point and leaving the Point like Sugar Loaf. The roadway is 20 feet wide.

A trail is being made diagonally across the cliff from the upper corner of P. Ganos’s home down to the water’s edge near Lover’s Cove.

To survey and locate the trail the engineers were let down by ropes and did their work while suspended in the air.

There was a White Ribbon excursion to the Isthmus on the glass bottom powerboats.

E. L. Vail “roped” 26 fish instead of cattle.


November 10, 1905

The ground was broken this morning for an Island railroad. The line runs, says Superintendent Stanton from their lumber and coal yards with a switch to the rear of the Hotel Metropole for handling baggage.

An Avalon storm wrecked Mr. Doran’s boat, Pronto.

An effort is being made to save the sheepshead fish, “Pat” at the Aquarium. They have to repair the pumping plant pipes. “Pat” rose up in his tank to be petted. He was so friendly and admired.


November 14, 1905

John Nestell purchased F. Clark’s home on upper Metropole Ave. Rumor says it was for $5500.

Capt. Walton’s new boat is 25 ft. long and has a 7 foot beam with 8 horse power.

A big seal is on the Avalon shore and is totally blind. He is nearly 900 lbs.


November 17, 1905

John H. Wegmann is having a reunion with his two brothers. They all three are over six feet tall.

Capt. Walker killed a Bald Eagle last week. It measured 100 inches tip to tip wing.


November 21, 1905

Hawley and George Farnsworth came upon two dead black fish or whale killers just two weeks apart. There teeth were 2 inches, head like a hog’s only no tusks. The third black fish was seen by George Farnsworth. It looked like a sword fish impaled it from beneath. It was fighting.

1st Avalon Judge was William Allen. He held court in his butcher shop on Crescent Ave. between Sumner and Catalina Avenues.

The Seal Rock Bar in Avalon had as proprietor, Connie Wenger.


December 4, 1905

The big scow left with workmen, horses, mules and grading plunder, towed out by the Falcon. This morning is was announced that the completion of the contract for the construction of the roads over the hills to Pebbly by Robert Sherer and Company was completed. The three streets extended over one mile long around the face of the hills to Abalone Point.

The walk along the water’s edge is being done by Supt.


December 6, 1905

The father of Mrs. M. M. Grey, John Matthews died here December 6th. He was a resident here for several years. He was born at St. Catherine, Canada and lived to be 97 years old.


December 15, 1905

George Michaelis lost three launches in the heavy northeastern storm.

San Pedro, Calif – It is unprecedented to have a run of yellowtail in the inner harbor at this time of year.

Avalon – Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Levy and F. E. Kaverne of the Pilgrim Club are here from New York, accompanied by Mr. B. Sulka.

Mr. Tutt of Colorado Springs sent the Sophia Yacht Club members $50 “to be sure and spend having a good time”.


December 19, 1905

The launch, Pirate, for Enos Vera was launched by Capt. J. E. Mathewson, builder, in his shipyards on Whittley Ave. She has a 5 horsepower engine.

The Island Girls, Edith Travilla from Pomona College and Gladys Cosgrove from Los Angeles High School are home for the Christmas Holidays.


December 23, 1905

The first car to climb the Angel’s Flight went up yesterday. The opening date is awhile off for regular operation.

A newspaper party from Los Angeles could not land on account of northeaster storm. The Metropole Hotel was all aglow for them. They returned to San Pedro.


December 24, 1905

Another northeaster storm, the third this season blowing hard.


December 27, 1905

Uncle John Nestell made a Christmas present for every child on the Island for Christmas.

Rev. Charles W. Williams had his “Travel Study Club” and one of its members was Walter Tichnor Whitney celebrating his birthday.

Mrs. J. J. Peckham and daughter, Winnie, went over to Los Angeles.

Manager of the Hotel Metropole, H. E. Fletcher, gets a golf bag and golf balls from his employees.


December 29, 1905

The Pilgrim club put of $250.00 as prizes for the shoot coming up.

Mrs. Dutour, wife of Louis Dutour, ex-manager of the Hotel Metropole, is visiting her sister, Mrs. William Pipping.




Avalon—1906

Avalon—1907



Avalon—1908


Avalon—1909

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