TITTMANN, Otto Hilgard

From Islapedia

TITTMANN, Otto Hilgard (1850-1938), nephew of Julius Erasmus Hilgard, fifth Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey from 1881-1885. Otto Tittmann worked with Stehman Forney conducting surveys of the Santa Barbara Channel for the U.S. Coast Survey between 1873 and 1876. He collected the cactus, Opuntia littoralis on Santa Cruz Island in January 1874 [Philbrick 1963]. In 1876 on Anacapa Island he established the survey stations Anacapa and Summit Peak. In 1877, Otto Tittmann’s older brother, Edward W. Tittmann (1843-1877), died of tuberculosis on Santa Catalina Island. By the time Tittmann retired, he had worked for the Coast Survey for 48 years. He co-founded the National Geographic Society and became its president until 1919.


Tittman established the first survey station on Anacapa Island in 1876:

Anacapa (Anacapa Island, California, O. H. Tittman, 1876).—On the middle of the three islands forming Anacapa Island, not on the highest point but nearest the east end. The station was marked by an irregular pier of rough stone, built on a bed of concrete 2 feet below the surface. In the top of the per a hole was drilled, filled with lead, marked with a cross. The reference marks were copper tacks leaded into holes drilled in the outcropping rock, distant from the center as follows: to the north, 5 feet; to the northeast, 6.11 feet; to the south, 13.95 feet; to the west, 6.45 feet. [Annual Report of the Director, U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, 1904]

Island Collections~

Santa Cruz Island


In the News~

October 12, 1873 [SBDMT]: “Mr. Tittmann of the United States Coast Survey, and his party left yesterday on board the schooner Star of Freedom for San Miguel Island. In the party are Mr. Woodward and Mr. Edwards of the Survey. They are engaged in the work of main triangulations. We hope to see them soon again in Santa Barbara.”

January 30 1874 [SBDMT]: “Santa Cruz Island letter… the little camp of Tittmannville (erected during our absence)… The branch of the United States Coast Survey assigned to this party is, I believe, to measure the angles connecting the islands…”

February 14, 1877 [SBDP]: “The schooner Matinee was engaged this morning in taking a two months’ cargo of provisions, preparatory to sailing for the island of Santa Catalina. She sails in charge of Mr. Tittmann of the Coast Survey, in which work he will be engaged for that time. Mr. Tittmann is accompanied by his brother and other guests.”

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

May 8, 1877 [SBDP]: “E. Tittmann, Esq., who died last Thursday on the island of Santa Catalina, wintered in Santa Barbara last year, and spent many months among us. About two months ago he went with his brother, O. H. Tittmann, Esq., of the Coast Survey, to the island for change of air.”