TRESPASSING

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Trespassing on the privately owned islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Island was an ever-present problem for the islands’ private owners. Santa Rosa Island became part of Channel Islands National Park at the end of 1986 when Vail & Vickers were paid by the government for their island, and the land became public.


San Miguel Island

February 8, 1912 [SBMP: “NOTICE! Hereby give notice that after this date any one trespassing on San Miguel Island will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. W. G. Waters. ”


Santa Cruz Island

May 23, 1891 [SBMP]: “NOTICE.—All parties whomsoever are hereby forbidden to camp or land on Santa Cruz Island for any purpose, without a written permission from the officers of the Santa Cruz Island Co. All persons disregarding this notice shall be considered as trespassers, and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. By order of the Trustees. Arthur J. Caire, Sec'y. San Francisco, May 18, 1891.”


May 19, 1892 [SBDI]: “NOTICE. All tourists, seal hunters, fishermen and others are warned not to trespass on Santa Cruz Island without first obtaining the permission of the Superintendent on the Island, or from the Directors in San Francisco. All trespassers will be dealt with according to law. Justinian Caire, President, Santa Cruz Island Company.”


November 22, 1903 [SBMP]: “NOTICE—We hereby notify the public that no camping or tresspassing [sic] will be allowed on Santa Cruz ISland, and that all persons acting in violation of this notice will be summarily ejected. No camping privileges of any kind will be allowed after this date. Santa Cruz Island Co., Santa Barbara, Cal., July 4, 1903.”


July 22, 1904 [SBMP]: “Trespass Notice. We hereby notify the public that no camping or trespassing will be allowed on Santa Cruz Island, and that all persons acting in violation of this notice will be summarily ejected. No camping privileges of any kind will be allowed after this date. Santa Cruz Island Co., Santa Barbara, Calif. July 4, 1903.” [This notice appeared during the time the Santa Cruz Island Company was negotiating a lease arrangement with Allan Fraser for recreational visits at Pelican Bay.]


August 26, 1904 [SBMP]: “…Mr. Fraser stated to a press reporter yesterday that he had notified several of the boatmen who have been accustomed to land parties there [Santa Cruz Island] that no further infringement of his privileges there would be tolerated, and that if the warning was not heeded, he would take other more stringent steps to enforce the rule…”


July 23, 1909 [SBMP]: “Ruthless slaughter of sheep causes Caire estate to forbid camping on Santa Cruz Island. Campers caught on the island without written permission from heirs of estate will be prosecuted. Signs and line riders will be employed in keeping campers off the island. Incensed at the continual and persistent slaughtering of wild and tame goats and sheep on Santa Cruz Island, a member of the Caire family of San Francisco who owns the island, was in Santa Barbara last week and stated to a prominent citizen that steps would be immediately be taken to close the island to all camping and excursion parties for all time. According to Mr. Caire, employees have been engaged for several days past in preparing huge signs which will be erected at various points on the island warning all who do not possess written permission from members of the Caire estate, that they are liable to arrest for trespassing. A number of line riders has also been recruited from among the employees on the island, and they will ride the trails and oceanfront, placing all under arrest who do not possess the necessary written permission. The above step, according to Mr. Caire, is not a new one, and has been contemplated for several months past. For years the goats and sheep have been ruthlessly slaughtered by the transient campers. The slaughtered carcasses were used by some for meat, though the animals were sometimes shot down by campers to prove their marksmanship. The former, according to Mr. Caire, even after all is considered, is not the class that has brought the change, but the latter. Aside from this considerable nuisance that has been encountered, according to Mr. Caire, is the negligence of campers to properly dispose of their refuse and in building fires. Some, in their effort to procure wood have been chopping down valuable trees and vegetation which is typical of the island. Then too, often employees of the Caire estate have been forced to extinguish fires left smoldering by careless campers. This is most dangerous, as there is no fire fighting apparatus on the island, and if a blaze obtained a good start the extensive ranch buildings and valuable vegetation, to say nothing of the thousands of sheep and goats, would be swept away. That the above announcement will cause no end of disappointment among local residents is true. For several years Santa Cruz Island has been the scene of the merriest camping parties. Its situation, many caves, canyons, slopes and ravines cannot be duplicated, and it is recognized as one of the scenic points in the vicinity of Santa Barbara. Then too, the exceptional fishing off the island has attracted anglers from all over the world. And all of whom will have to suffer if the above restrictions are enforced, for the negligence of a few non-appreciative campers.”


December 29, 1914 [LAT/SB]: “Are pirates making their hide-out on Santa Cruz Island? The question is being asked by local fishermen. The Italian fishermen employed by the Larco Fish Company are certain the isolated harbors of the island are frequented by robbers of the sea. Captain George Gourley is also positive and says that reports he receives indicate that the robbers live on the fat of the land, shooting the sheep kept on the island. Mysterious disappearances of boats, supplies and boat equipment have aroused suspicions…”


November 9, 1917 [SCICo]: “[Rosaline] Vasquez has moved from Fry's to Dick's, and we are serving him with another notice. Vasquez has been in the tourist business all season, and up to a month ago, Fry's has been filled with his people. He used Eaton's buildings and equipment, and when Eaton argued with him, he told him to clear out.”


January 22, 1918 [SCICo]: “We will have to find some other means of ridding the island of trespassers than the Unlawful Detainer. If [Rosaline] Vasquez brings a camping party to Dick's for two weeks, we serve him with notice to vacate, and 30 days must elapse before the case can be brought to trial. In the mean time, the party has had their trip and left, and if the case did come up for trial, it would be thrown out of court. The next trip he lands his people at Fry's or Lady's or some other place, and the whole performance must be repeated without results. We do not believe that the law would permit a trespasser to locate on the Hope Ranch and then move his camp every two or three weeks with infinity.”


May 16, 1937 [LAT]: “No trespassing! What has happened to the Channel Islands? One of them, California’s most famous ‘feudal barony,’ is going to put up the ‘No Admittance’ sign. Wild boar hunting is doomed. And these two developments are but a fraction of the happenings that in the last few months have made practically every one of the islands a center of news interest. The event that focused attention upon them all, of course, was the sale of the fabulous Santa Cruz Island for $1,000,000 to Edwin L. Stanton of Los Angeles by the Caire estate that had held the ‘Pacific Paradise’ for three-quarters of a century... Gone, a glimmering too, is the opportunity of the State to acquire it...”


October 26, 1980 [SBNP]: “Santa Cruz Island trespassers fined. Owners of Santa Cruz Island warned that trespassers won't be tolerated and pointed to the fining of four poachers yesterday. Fined $110 each before Judge Frank P. Kearney in Municipal Court... They pled guilty to trespass for the purpose of shooting animals on property of the Stantons...”


Santa Rosa Island

June 29, 1872 [SBPr]: “Notice. All persons are hereby forbidden against trespassing upon the Island of Santa Rosa or landing upon the same for any purpose whatever. Santa Barbara, December 23, 1871. A. P. More.”


November 7, 1878 [SBDP]: “Phillips and Donnellan went over to Santa Rosa Island this morning to catch some trespassers who have been annoying the proprietors for some time.”


November 11, 1878 [SBDP]: “Trespassers on Santa Rosa Island. Constable Phillips and Deputy Marshall Donnellan arrested nine white men and Chinamen, one day last week, for trespassing, burning grass, shooting and other crimes committed on Santa Rosa Island, on complaint of the More brothers. The officers came over from the island last night, and brought three of the men and four Chinamen under arrest. The Chinamen have been discharged from arrest, and a civil suit entered against them, which they will probably settle. The white men have secured a lawyer and will test the matter in Justice Smith’s court tomorrow.”


November 11, 1878 [SBDP]: “William Percival, T. McCarthy and J. Brown, charged with having committed a misdemeanor on Santa Rosa Island, were arraigned this morning, plead not guilty, and demanded a jury trial. Their cases were set for tomorrow at 10 o’clock.”


November 11, 1878 [SBMP]: “Trespassers on Santa Rosa Island. Constable Phillips and Deputy Marshal Donellan arrested nine while men and Chinamen, one day last week, for trespassing, burning grass, shooting and other crimes committed on Santa Rosa Island, on complaint of the More brothers. The officers came over from the island, last night, and brought three of the men and four Chinamen under arrest. The Chinamen have been discharged from arrest, and a civil suit entered against them, which they will probably settle. THe white men have secured a lawyer and will test the matter in Justice Smith's court tomorrow.”


November 12, 1878 [SBDP]: “William Percival and four others, master and crew of the schooner Laura, for an alleged trespass on Santa Rosa Island, the property of H. H. and A. P. More. Trial by jury. Case called at 10 o’clock. Several witnesses were called and examined, and after a plea by Gray for the prosecution, and by Dillard for the defense, the case was given to the jury at 3 o’clock P.M. After being out ten minutes a verdict of not guilty was returned.”


July 29, 1879 [SBDP]: “Deputy Constable John Donnellan arrested eight men who were trespassing on Santa Rosa Island, and brought them over yesterday. They will be brought before Justice Crane today.”