WEBSTER, Heman Bayfield

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Heman Bayfield Webster & Family,
Anacapa Island c. 1910
Martha & Heman Bayfield Webster
Heman Bayfield "Bay" Webster (left) visiting with Ventura Yacht Club Staff Commodore Richard Lunsford on the fantail of M/V Velron while on a club cruise to the Channel Islands,
circa 1948.
Heman Bayfield "Bay" Webster,
Webster Point in the distance,
Santa Barbara Island, c. 1900
Frenchy (left) and H. B. Webster,
West Anacapa Island, c. 1940s
Webster Bay, Anacapa Island
H. B. and Martha Webster in front of their home in Ventura.
LeFevre Webster (father of H.B.) on his 80th birthday in Balboa.


WEBSTER, Heman Bayfield (1870-1950)[SS#551-14-3077], Ohio-born Ventura County businessman and Anacapa Island lessee from 1907-1917. Webster, paid his first visit to Anacapa Island in 1884. At that time, he said there was a shack on West Anacapa Island occupied by a Chinese fisherman. From 1890 to 1895, Webster hunted seals for their pelts and oil, but he quit the business because prices were too low. Webster sold his last skins for 75 cents per 100 pounds, and the seal oil for only 20 cents a gallon. By the end of the 19th century, the animals were no longer found in sufficient numbers to make the business profitable.

On December 9, 1898, Webster married Martha J. Morris (1879-1962), and they had two sons:

  • Morris La Fevre Webster (1899-1967)
  • Harvey B. Webster (1904-1977)

In 1907, Webster contracted with the Federal Government to run sheep and to have a fishing concession on Anacapa Island. He obtained a government lease from 1907-1917 for $25 a year. Upon taking over the lease, he purchased from previous lessee Louis LeMesnager, the 40-50 sheep already on the island. In addition, Webster purchased another 250 sheep from the neighboring Caire family who owned Santa Cruz Island. Sheep were raised on Anacapa primarily for wool. Webster was known as “King of Anacapa Island,” and he used his boat Anacapa to transport sheep from islet to islet as needed. Sheep to be moved from Middle or West Anacapa Island were hog-tied while aboard the boat, and then untied and thrown overboard to swim ashore. Shearers were imported from the mainland seasonally. By the time Webster sold his sheep interests, there were about 500 head total.

Flocks suffered from repeated poaching by fishermen, and their numbers declined heavily in years of drought due to lack of feed as well as fresh water. During his ten years on Anacapa Island, Webster, his wife Martha, and two sons, Morris and Harvey, lived at their headquarters on West Anacapa Island for much of the time. They built five huts named camps Capacity, Felicity, Simplicity, Intensity and Necessity, the outhouse. For the 1911 school year, a governess/tutor was brought out for his sons, and Anacapa Island’s only school took place in a tent. In 1917 when his lease expired, Webster lost the bid to Ira Eaton who bid $607.50 per year for the next five-year lease (1917-1922.)

Over the years, Webster's boats included: Happy; Tempest; Virginia; Anacapa; and Corliss .

Webster died in Ventura at age 79. He is buried in Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, Ventura, CA. After his death, his widow, Martha, married Chester F. Stancliff in Ventura County.


H. Bay Webster collected on:

  • Anacapa Island (1910)

Three Old Kings of Anacapa Island: H. Bay Webster, Raymond LaDreau (Frenchy) and Charlie Johnson (Swede). By Merrill Carr Allyn Pdficon small 2.gif



Island Collections~

Anacapa Island

5/29/1911

ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Anacapa Island H. B. Webster WFVZ May 15, 1910 WFVZ-80896 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs



In the News~

June 3, 1890 [SBMP]: “L. F. Webster [father] went to Anacapa Island today, carrying over the necessary hands and apparatus to establish a sealing camp. Mr. Webster expects to remain on the island until the work is well underway, when he will leave the camp in the hands of an employee.” [VFP]


September 3, 1891 [SFCall]: “The Ventura Observer has the biggest fish story for the week ending August 29th. It says:

A day or two ago, while Bay Webster and Roy Sheldon were fishing from the White Wings, about a mile and a half from the wharf, two large whales arose from the briny, and leisurely disported themselves before their astonished audience. Evidently wearying of performing, they quietly swam off towards the islands, leaving the boys much relieved.”


March 2, 1893 [LAT/VC]: “Bay Webster is visiting Los Angeles for a few days.”


May 4, 1893 [SBDI]: “The new schooner purchased in San Francisco by Mr. Webster of Ventura, passed the channel yesterday on her way south.”


May 12, 1894 [LAT/VC]: “H. Bay Webster is trying his new boat in a trip to and around Santa Cruz Island.”


October 18, 1894 [SBMP]: “Raising the Winfield Scott. From Alex. Eaton, who returned from a fishing trip at the Anacapa Island last Wednesday night, we learn that the wrecking schooner San Pedro, owned by San Francisco parties, is at work on a wreck at the island. The wreck is the Winfield Scott, a side-wheeled steamer which was sunk on the reef there forty-two years ago. The wreck was easily located and at last accounts the work of raising the machinery was progressing favorably. It is also reported that a large amount of bullion was aboard the vessel when she was sunk. On Saturday evening, Bay Webster took over a party of about a dozen persons to watch the work of the wrecking schooner.”


June 5, 1898 [LAT]: “Ventura. Two important documents have been filed for record with the County Recorder. The first is a deed whereby Ezekiel Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys to George LeMesnager of Los Angeles, in consideration of $8000, all his right, title, interest and claim in the island of Anacapa. The second is a deed whereby J. V. Elliott of Santa Barbara conveys all his title, etc. in consideration of $8000 to Peter Cazes of Los Angeles, in the island of Saint Nicholas. Both islands are off the coast of Ventura County, and are a part of this county. Captain H. Bay Webster, who has recently made many trips to both islands, says: ‘Anacapa Island lies about twenty miles south of Ventura and contains about 1000 acres of land, and is capable of supporting some 1500 head of sheep or goats. Water is too scarce to render the pasturage of other stock there profitable, and the soil is too poor to pay to farm. The island is a United States lighthouse reservation.’ The same authority states that the Saint Nicholas Island is about eighty miles from the mainland and lies due south of Ventura. It is little more than a storm-swept desert. It is much larger than Anacapa, containing about forty square miles, but is of little value. It has carried 3000 head of sheep. But the soil now must be given a rest from the ceaseless grinding of these locusts’ hooves. The island is of some historical note, having been the last island from which the aborigines were removed. The last of her race was the woman rescued by Captain Nidever, after having passed a solitary existence of eighteen years on the island. This island is not a reservation, but it has never been opened to entry. The deeds are dated November 19, 1897.”


December 10, 1898 [LAT/VC]: “The Ventura Daily Signal has changed hands, Ed. M. Sheridan purchasing the half interest of H. Bay Webster. Mr. Webster was married this noon at Tustin to Miss Martha Morris, formerly of this city, but now of Orange County. The couple will spend their honeymoon of a month at San Diego and Catalina Island.”


December 10, 1898 [LAT/OC]: “A marriage license was issued today to H. Bay Webster, a native of Ohio, aged 28 years, and a resident of Ventura, and Martha Morris, a native of Massachusetts, aged 20 years, and a resident of Tustin.”


August 3, 1901 [OC]: “Captain Merry took the yacht Daisy to Ventura Sunday, and on Monday morning left for Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands with a party from the county seat. They were: Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Webster and child, J. B. Wagner, A. J. Bell, Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Webster [parents of H. Bay Webster], Miss Lola Webster, and Messrs. Percy, Harbaugh, Sheldon and Norton.”


March 7, 1902 [LAT/VC]: “The President has sent the name of L. F. Webster to the Senate for confirmation as postmaster of this city… Webster is a native of Ohio and is a veteran of the Civil War. He came to Ventura in 1874. His son, H. Bay Webster will probably be chief deputy.”


March 8, 1902 [OC]: “L. F. Webster has been appointed postmaster at Ventura to succeed W. A. Bonestal. Bay Webster, his son, will be chief deputy. The transfer of office will be made April 1.”


July 20, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “The Board of Supervisors has appointed Captain Waters and Dr. Hester sheep inspectors for Santa Barbara County.”


August 9, 1904 [LAT/VC]: “Deputy Postmaster Bay Webster, with a steam launch and a party of friends, has gone to Anacapa on a fishing excursion. The special design of the party is to lift a jewfish out of the sea.”


August 12, 1904 [OC]: “A party of Venturans are over on Anacapa Island this week and have sent back a couple of carrier pigeons which they took over with them. The last one to arrive brought the following message as published in the Free Press: Anacapa Island, August 10, 7:30 A.M.—All well. Talbert made flapjacks and is now in favor. Viles has discovered a mermaid and is happy. Rowe, the Englishman, had a narrow escape yesterday but was rescued by Webster. Details later… Rowe has taken out the first papers and wants to be the first postmaster of Anacapa Island. De gang.”


August 14, 1904 [LAT/VC]: “Deputy Fish Commissioner Pritchard of Santa Monica, and Fish License Collector Davis of San Francisco, arrived from Anacapa Island this morning on the schooner Peerless, having in charge a party arrested for violating the lobster and abalone sections of the State laws. Charles Stokes, who resides on Anacapa, was brought over for taking lobsters out of season, while Messrs. Bay Webster and Henry Ireland were charged with taking abalones less than the size allowed by law. Each pleaded guilty and cheerfully paid his fine of $20…”


September 23, 1904 [OC]: “Dear Sir, I have read your description of the Channel Islands by T. E. Walker. It is the most trustworthy article of the kind I have ever seen. However, I beg to correct one slight misstatement. Mr. Walker says no human could drink the (so called) fresh water of Anacapa and live. The only spring on the island is located in a cave about one hundred yards west of the ‘snow cave’ and yields from fifty to one hundred gallons per day. I have drank of this water many times and still live. Moreover, I am human—at least my charitably inclined friends tell me I am. Colonel E. M. Sheridan, the abalone expert, who, by the way, is scarcely less human than myself, has also defied these waters of death, and at last accounts, was getting better. Respectfully, H. Bay Webster.”


February 5, 1905 [LAT]: “Assistant postmaster Webster is a fisherman and sailor, besides being a government official. Last summer he was arrested on Anacapa Island and hauled before the court here and muleted with a heavy fine for catching smaller abalones than the law allows. Ever since his arrest he has been endeavoring to make the State authorities believe that there should be a distinction between black abalones, the kind taken at Anacapa, and abalones from other parts of the coast. He has written a letter to Assemblyman Frank O’Brien, chairman of the Committee on Fish and Game, on the subject and has received a reply stating that the prospect for the desired amendment is encouraging.”


August 13, 1905 [LAT/VC]: “Postmaster Webster is having considerable fun in his own way catching jewfish in the channel and in the neighborhood of Anacapa Island. He is an old-time fisherman, born on the island of Put-In-Bay, Lake Erie, near Sandusky, Ohio, the world’s greatest freshwater fish market. As a boy and man he followed the fishing business for years and knew all there was to know of it… He concluded his last trip to the islands in the early part of the week, to try float-fishing, and accordingly took a half dozen empty five-gallon cans and tied lines to them twenty-five feet in length. To the lines were attached stout shark hooks, and each hook was baited with a live two-pound fish of any variety. Then the postmaster allowed his boat and floats to drift with the tides and winds. It was not long before one of his cans began a lively dancing on the waters—so lively that it was almost impossible to handle it. Webster had dreams of a great shark on his hook. When the can quieted the postmaster gathered it in and pulled up the line. He found a jewfish well hooked and succeeded in landing him. He weighed, it is estimated, nearly 175 pounds. Webster captured another in the same way. He weighed as much. Since then he has taken another trip to the islands and captured another fish, after having one of his huge hooks straightened out by a sea monster which he thinks must have weighed a ton. The postmaster is now arranging for a third trip to try float fishing, which he says is the finest sport he ever had.”


June 24, 1907 [VDFP]: “Bay Webster intends stocking Anacapa Island with quail, and to that end has applied to the State Board of Fish Commissioners for a permit to trap and keep in captivity sufficient birds to make a beginning. They will be liberated on the west end of the island near the highest peak, 930 feet above the sea. This portion of the island has cactus patches hundreds of acres in extent on the southern slope, while the northern slope is mostly grass covered and is furrowed by deep gorges fringed with brush and scrub timber. There are no wild cats, foxes, coyotes or other natural enemies of quail on the island, and there seems to be no reason why the birds, once given a start, should not thrive and multiply there.”


June 27, 1907 [SBMP]: “Anacapa may be stocked with game birds. Captain Bay Webster, lessee of Anacapa Island, will stock that little rock off in the Pacific with coast quail, if the authorities will give him permission. He has made application to the State game commissioners. If permission is granted, which is expected, Captain Webster will immediately proceed to trap a number of pairs of the little birds and take them to his preserve, twenty miles off shore. Anacapa would be a prime place for the raising of quail. There are no wild animals whatever on the island, such as foxes, wild cats, skunks, weasels or the like, nor are there any snakes or other living things, outside of rats, and it is not thought these latter would bother the birds, preferring to live in the fish leavings and about the houses of the island fishermen. The rats were left on the island by the wreck of the old steamer Winfield Scott in 1849 [1853]. At one time there were hordes of them, but they are getting scarce now. The quails put on the island would have a free run and would, it is thought, increase rapidly.”


October 31, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Webster, King of Anacapa Island, arrived yesterday in his private yacht, Tempest. He is postmaster of Ventura, and has a five-year lease on the island from the government, for which he paid $25. Captain Webster has fitted up the cottages on the middle island for the benefit of friends. He is one of the old-time settlers in this section, and had the contract for laying the foundation of the Arlington Hotel. The Tempest came in from Ventura to escape a heavy swell. Her skipper is an old associate of the late Captain Merry.”


April 17, 1908 [OC]: “Last Sunday Captain Webster took about twenty of the Oxnard boys over to the islands in his launch.”


June 19, 1908 [OC]: “On Saturday morning last L. R. Peacock rushed into the Courier office with the news that the Captain Webster launch, Tempest, had been beached at Hueneme. The launch snapped her anchor chains some time during Friday night and drifted on the beach a little below the Hueneme wharf, while the pleasure party that had chartered the craft peacefully slept on shore.”


June 22, 1908 [LAT]: “Ventura. Captain Bay Webster, the ‘King of Anacapa Island,’ has gone to the island to round up the sheep. There are about sixty head on the rock in the ocean.”


August 13, 1908 [LAT]: “Captain Bay Webster of the sloop Anacapa yesterday brought over two jewfish from Anacapa Island. The largest weighed 150 pounds. They were taken on a line attached to a five-gallon gasoline can used as a buoy.”


December 22, 1908 [LAT/SB]: “Marooned for days on a lonely island, thirty-five miles from the mainland by the wrecking of their power launch, six men were rescued today by the power fishing boat Nymphia, manned by Chris Steinberg and Ed. Foley. The rescued were Captain Webster and his crew of five of Ventura. Before the recent storm they journeyed in the launch Tempest to Santa Cruz Island, and anchored the craft in the harbor. While they were ashore, a storm arose, the moorings snapped and the craft drifted to sea. It was then washed ashore on the island, going to pieces almost immediately. Captain Webster and his men cut a tall tree, and with an old blanket raised a signal of distress. They had little food with them and as the island is not much visited at this season they were in great danger of starvation. Their grub was about gone when their signal of distress was observed yesterday by the crew of the Nymphia, who rescued them.”


December 25, 1908 [OC]: “The power launch Tempest has gone ashore on Santa Cruz and is a total wreck according to messages received from Santa Barbara. Postmaster Webster [father] has received no tidings from the captain and crew of the launch, but he believes his boat is gone beyond recovery. The dispatches state that Captain Webster was one of the survivors of the wreck, marooned on Santa Cruz, but the postmaster, busy distributing and dispatching Christmas mail, cannot agree with this statement. The five men named as occupants of the boat are Willie Rolls, and his assistant, Perry Jackson, and probably Herbert McFall, Alfred McFall and Frank Rosamond, island fishermen who have a camp on Anacapa.”


July 2, 1909 [OC]: “L. A. Gillespie will be Captain Gillespie from now until after July 5… He is to take care of a crowd of fifteen pleasure seekers who will go to Santa Cruz Island tomorrow in the Webster launch of Ventura…”


September 1, 1909 [LAT/VC]: “Anxiety is felt here today concerning the gasoline engine yacht Anacapa and the party of Ventura pleasure-seekers aboard. The Anacapa, commanded by Captain Bay Webster, left here for Anacapa Island Saturday night, and was to have returned Sunday night. The party took provisions for only four meals. Yesterday there was a high wind on the channel between here and Anacapa, with a terrific sea. Captain Webster is known to be the most careful of skippers of the Ventura mosquito fleet...”


September 2, 1909 [LAT/VC]: “The gasoline yacht Anacapa, sixty hours overdue from the islands, came into port this morning. She was delayed at Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz, by stress of weather. Captain Bay Webster of the Anacapa reports terrific blows from the west have prevailed in the Santa Barbara Channel ever since Sunday. Having twenty passengers, including a number of women, in his party, he hesitated to risk the high seas. Monday, however, he did attempt the passage, on promise of what seemed better weather, but once fairly at sea, the waves increased tremendously in size and the captain deemed it safer to put back into Pelican Bay. The party was somewhat short of provisions and some wild hogs, shot on Santa Cruz Island, proved useful.”


May 1, 1910 [LAT]: “Mrs. Bay Webster met with a painful accident on Anacapa Island a week ago. While walking on the beach she fell and dislocated her left ankle. For a week she was all but helpless, and suffered intense pain. As soon as she could be moved she was brought to the mainland for treatment.”


August 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Charm returned last night from a ten days’ pleasure cruise around the Santa Barbara islands... They lingered a day or two at different camping places on Santa Cruz, and the last place visited was Anacapa Island, where Mr. Webster of Ventura, the lessee of the island, has a pretty camp...”


August 19, 1910 [OC]: “Ex-postmaster Webster, enjoying his first vacation in years, has been fishing in the channel, and on Thursday sent home by his son, Bay Webster, two elegant jewfish, one weighing 100 pounds and the other 150 pounds, besides a lot of smaller fish.”


December 22, 1910 [SBMP]: “Captain Short yesterday took his Charm to Ventura to carry a party headed by H. B. Webster from that city to Anacapa Island. He expects to return Friday.”


February 16, 1911 [LAT]: “H. Bay Webster, assistant postmaster here for the last eight years, has announced himself as a candidate for city clerk.”


March 8, 1911 [SBMP]: “Ventura. Bay Webster of this city, lessee of the island of Anacapa, left for San Pedro today where he is requested to meet with the government lighthouse board. The party will take Mr. Webster to the island. The trip will be made for the purpose of investigating and starting preliminary work with the object of locating a lighthouse on the island. Congress has appropriated $100,000 for the purpose of erecting a lighthouse on the island, and the prospect is that this present move is preliminary to beginning work on the structure immediately. Anacapa is part of this county and it lies 20 miles off the coast. The island is about five miles long, and made up of three islands closely joined. It is practically a mere rock, though it is capable of carrying several hundred head of sheep during the season. There is no water on the island, except one or two seepages, but it is believed water could be developed and will be by the government. The sheep on the island get their moisture from the cactus and ice plants and other plants of that character. The lighthouse, it is thought, will be placed on the east end of the extreme eastern island of the group.”


March 27, 1911 [LAT]: “Captain Bay Webster returned yesterday, from San Pedro. Captain Webster is lessee of Anacapa Island and received word a few weeks ago to meet the lighthouse inspector at San Pedro for a trip to the island…”


May 13, 1911 [SBI]: “The fisherman who wants sport, real sport, should take a flying trip to Anacapa Island these fine spring days and troll for kelp bass. Captain Bay Webster went over to the island yesterday morning and returned last evening with eighty as fine fish as one would wish to see…”


June 14, 1911 [SBMP]: “John Sheridan is supposed to be doing a lonesome turn on Anacapa Island these days, but the latest wireless dispatch from that station is to the effect that he is chasing the eagles from Bay Webster’s patch of lambs, and when not busy at that, has a commission to herd abalones, which are swarming at this season of the year. John was a member of Captain Webster’s party Saturday, but failed to get down to the landing in time for the trip home Sunday evening. He will doubtless be ready for the return trip on the next visit Captain Webster makes to his wave-washed domain.”


February 28, 1912 [SBMP]: “Would you rent an island? Here is your opportunity. Anacapa, four miles long, will be let to the highest bidder by Inspector Moffett... Captain H. Bay Webster of Ventura has been the government’s tenant for the past five years, paying, if memory serves correctly, $25 per year for the island. The new lease will date from April 1, 1912.”


March 13, 1912 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster, present lessee of Anacapa Island, again wants that domain and will be an active bidder for the lease when the government gets ready to award it on April 1st. The conditions of the lease are that it shall be let for a term of five years, the rental being payable each year. Captain Webster says he understands that there are a number of other persons who want the island, but the general desire of the people here about is that Bay will again get control of the island. He has taken the best care of it, and could be depended upon to continue his very beautiful administration. While his returns have been great, he has made both ends meet. It is his service to the public where the people have found him everything that should be in the way of a lessee. Everybody has been welcomed on the island who observed the general rules. Situated as he is and being a capable boatman has made his possession of the island an especially pleasant one for all the people.”


March 30, 1912 [SBMP]: “Anacapa Island has again been leased by H. Bay Webster of Ventura. Mr. Moffett of the 18th district lighthouse service under the Department of Commerce and Labor, has approved Webster’s application for another five-year term as tenant of the island domain lying off the Santa Barbara coast. The Ventura Free Press say that Bay Webster is to continue in undisputed possession of Anacapa Island for another five years, and this will be good news for hundreds of people of this county who, during his past five years’ possession, have accepted his hospitality and learned of the wild beauties, the rugged scenery and the superior advantages of the rocky island. Mr. Webster has gained that which he sought and thus is in a position to gain by continuing that which he has begun in a matter of some pride and satisfaction to him and of congratulation from friends. Anacapa Island has become better known to Venturan during Mr. Webster’s ownership than ever before. That it has wonders which rival Catalina is known to those people who have spent days and weeks upon it and have been able to explore its wonders. Bay Webster is just the man to have the possession of the island. He knows it and can care for it better than any other and with him in possession, those who desire to visit it will receive better and more courteous treatment than from any other. Mr. Webster has 1000 sheep upon one section of the island at the present time and because his lease is renewed, he will be saved the trouble of moving these from the islands, where feed is plenty, to the main, and where there would be little for them. Mr. Webster plans a number of improvements at the islands, among them the building of cottages for those who visit the island during the summer.”


March 31, 1912 [LAT]: “Captain Bay Webster, present lessee of Anacapa Island, and who has been in control for the past five years, has been given a lease of the island for another five years, beginning on April 1 of this year. The rental price paid is to be $75 a year. Captain Webster does a general fishing and hunting business and has made the island a prominent summer resort for fishermen and campers. He has accumulated 600 head of sheep on the island in the past five years. Some improvements are contemplated on the island this summer, among them being the building of a number of cottages for visitors.”


August 30, 1912 [OC]: “An unusual find was made recently by Captain and Mrs. Bay Webster, the well known Anacapa Island lessees. The find was that of an empty beer bottle which contained the following note: ‘Santa Cruz Island, February 19, 1912. The finder send to 7811-12 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, and receive $10 reward—A. J. Judie, longshoreman, Galveston, Texas. The note was written in pencil on the label, which had then been placed in the bottle and thrown into the water. They found the bottle off Suction Cove at the islands.”


March 13, 1913 [LAT/VC]: “L. F. Webster of this city has gone to San Pedro, where he will put the power yacht Anacapa in commission for the summer business between this city and Anacapa Island. He will sail first for the island, where he will pick up Captain H. Bay Webster and wife, who are on the island, and bring them to the mainland.”


June 6, 1913 [OC]: “For two weeks’ fishing, hunting and outing, a party of six will leave the Hueneme wharf at midnight tonight for Santa Cruz Island. They will go in the Webster launch from Ventura…”


August 1, 1913 [OC]: “Fishing has been exceptionally good around Anacapa lately, and nearly all of the parties are rewarded with excellent catches. The parties are carried across the water by Captain Webster, who has a lease on the island, and who, with his family, is the only inhabitant of the island. Mr. Webster has leased the island from the United States government and uses it for sheep grazing.”


April 17, 1914 [OC]: “Nine Oxnard fishermen yesterday made the first fishing trip of the season to Anacapa Island. They caught nearly 100 fine bass, and had a big time catching them and still a bigger time landing at the Hueneme wharf in the evening. Seven of the party, after considerable delay, finally got on the wharf, but two of them were unable to do so, and with Captain Webster of the boat and his son, they spent the night in the boat, and at 6:30 this morning, the sea still being rough, they raised anchor and went to Ventura, where a landing was finally effected…”


June 26, 1914 [OC]: “[Song] Lamenta. Oh, we all come to San Miguel, some birds’ eggs to find, we landed there by a sandy hill and quickly changed our mind. Cho. Oh San Miguel! Oh San Miguel! With your ranch house on the hill, we never want to see you more, nor camp on your windswept shore! We dined upon a sandy beach in sand up to the neck; too hot we were for decent speech, and of sand we ate a peck. Cho. Our supper consisted of beer and sand, and little or nothing more, we dragged our blankets across the strand, and slept on a wool shed floor. Next morning at dawn, we sailed away for Santa Cruz Island fair, where we would much rather spend the day than gather the birds’ eggs rare. Words and music by Captain H. B. Webster and sung by the ‘pirate crew’…”


August 28, 1914 [OC]: “A party of ten Oxnard men went to Anacapa Island yesterday in Captain Webster’s launch, Anacapa. They went to catch bass and albacore, and were fairly successful on the former, getting about 60, but only four albacore. Two of the party caught cod.”


March 13, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster left yesterday morning in his power sloop Anacapa, for his home at Ventura. The captain holds a five-year lease from the government for Anacapa Island, for which he pays an annual rental of $5. He has a flock of sheep on the island, and a camp to which he takes pleasure parties from Ventura every summer.”


April 17, 1915 [LAT]: “Ventura… and Bay Webster, recent candidate for the office of City Clerk…”


June 11, 1915 [SBMP]: “As the season progresses, the interest in water excursions on the channel increases, and Captain Bay Webster of Ventura has decided to take a hand in the island excursion business with his powerboat, the Anacapa, operating from this port.”


June 11, 1915 [SBDNI]: “A party of high school girls organized by Miss Ruth Cadwell of the high school, together with a few Carpinteria people, will go to the islands tomorrow in Captain H.B. Webster’s boat Anacapa.”


June 11, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster’s island party that left here last Saturday morning with a load of pleasure seekers composed of high school students and teachers and a number of Carpinteria people, expecting to return to the mainland the same evening, did not get back until about 11 o’clock Sunday morning. There were thirty-two people in the party, and there would have been much suspense suffered over the non-arrival Saturday evening had not the excursionists announced at the start of the voyage that if they did not return at night it would be because the water was too rough on the other side of the channel to afford comfortable sailing, in which event they would wait for the smooth water of the early part of the next day for their return home. The party reported a very enjoyable time cruising about the island shore and in camp at Dick’s Harbor. There was no suffering from hunger or cold, and no sort of a hard luck story in the whole crowd when the home port was reached, but many reports of a joyous island outing without a single discordant note.”


June 13, 1915 [SBMP]: “High school party remains at island. Captain Bay Webster’s powerboat, the Anacapa, in which a party of high school people and others went to Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning, did not return last night as was expected unless the water should be too rough for the trip home to be made with comfort. It was known on the mainland in the afternoon that the water at the islands was quite rough, so it is safe to conclude that the party adopted the alternative plan which was plainly announced by the excursionists at the start of the voyage—that, in case of rough water toward evening, they would stay on the island overnight and return home in the smooth waters of the early morning. This understanding of the party’s pre-arranged plans will, of course, obviate the suspense that might otherwise have obtained over the non-arrival of the Anacapa last night.”


June 14, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Miss Ruth Cadwell of Carpinteria, managed the arrangements for a jolly party of 31, who went to the islands Saturday in Captain H. B. Webster’s boat Anacapa. On the island and on the trip both ways the party had a fine time spending the night there, and coming home Sunday morning…”


June 24, 1915 [SBDNI]: “After passing an enjoyable week’s outing at Dick’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, a party of 17 Carpinteria students returned today in the power boat Anacapa, Captain Webster. Everything necessary for the outing, including tents, cooking equipment, provisions, and the many things which go to make camp life comfortable, were taken along and brought back by the boat. Cooking was done by Suki, a Japanese chef hired by the campers. Fishing and hunting was enjoyed by the party, and several trips to various picturesque spots in the island were made. Those going camping were: Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Beckstead and family, Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Campbell and daughter, Miss Lulu Cravens, Mrs. George Clark, Miss Margaret Gaynor, and John Fuller.”


June 25, 1915 [SBDNI]: “A party of Carpinteria people who have been camping at Dick’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, for a week returned yesterday aboard Captain Webster’s boat Anacapa.”


June 25, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster left yesterday afternoon in his power launch, the Anacapa, for his camp on Anacapa Island with supplies for his family. He will come back today or tomorrow with a few fat sheep for one of the local markets.”


August 17, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster of Ventura, well known in this city as the owner and skipper of the powerboat Anacapa in which many Santa Barbarans have visited the islands, and who is recognized in these waters as an authority on fishes, has obtained from the State Fish & Game Commission permission to take from the channel islands waters 25 crawfish, 50 abalones and two seals for exhibition at the Ventura County Fair... Captain Webster's exhibit will also include a large variety of channel fish for the capture of which nobody needs a special license.”


August 20, 1915 [OC]: “Ventura County Fair… Another feature this year will be Bay Webster’s special exhibit from Anacapa Island. A lot of people do not know that Anacapa belongs to Ventura county. Mr. Webster, who does know and who has the island leased, has been granted permission by the state fish commissioner to take fish and seals for his exhibit, and besides will make a display of sea mosses from the submarine gardens of Anacapa and of ferns from the Anacapa hills that will make Catalina look to its laurels. This feature alone will make the fair worth a visit.”


August 27, 1915 [OC]: “The party of men going from Oxnard Saturday for a day and a half at Anacapa had a fine trip, but caught only a very few fish. They went in Captain Webster’s launch, Anacapa…”


September 16, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster of Ventura is about to take his power boat, the Anacapa, to San Pedro, and to move his family here. The captain and his staunch little craft are well known at this port, he having taken many excursion parties to the islands from here.”


September 16, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Captain Bay Webster, who with his boat Anacapa took many parties to the islands from Santa Barbara and Carpinteria this season, is now moving to San Pedro. Captain Webster is among those who have sailed longest in the Santa Barbara channel. He has many times made his home in Santa Barbara. In moving to San Pedro the captain will use his boat as a means of transporting not only his family in their new home, but also his furniture and all household goods. The boat Anacapa is well known to those who make frequent trips to the islands. The captain may bring his boat to this port again next season.”


September 17, 1915 [OC]: “Captain and Mrs. Bay Webster will move shortly to San Pedro, and the good ship Anacapa, which has been a familiar figure on the waters at Ventura and Hueneme will cease to ply between this port and the islands. Mr. Webster will load up the furniture on his ship probably today and will make the trip south.”


October 29, 1915 [OC]: “Mrs. Bay Wenster was operated upon Saturday at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, says the Ventura Free Press. She is improving according to reports received here by her friends.”


April 18, 1916 [SBDN]: “A regular flotilla of boats was off Stearn’s Wharf this morning. The steamer Breakwater called here on a northbound trip; a few fishing boats were in with good hauls and hauls, and the powerboat Barbareño, was here to start the summer work of carrying passengers to the islands. The Anacapa was in for the morning from Anacapa Island. Captain Bay Webster was in charge. The launch Golden West had a load of barracuda and the Venture had 1800 pounds of rock cod.”


June 10, 1916 [SBMP]: “Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Caldwell of Carpinteria with their children and a number of high school students and others of this city, making a party numbering twenty-six, are to leave on Captain Bay Webster's powerboat, the Anacapa, this morning, for Santa Cruz Island where they will camp and cruise for two days. The party will camp at Valdez Harbor, and will sail about from one harbor to another as pleasure dictates.”


July 29, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster, who came over from Anacapa Island last Thursday, left for San Pedro yesterday morning to bring up a party of a dozen people who are to camp for a couple of weeks on the island named.”


July 29, 1916 [SBDN]: “A dozen Los Angeles people will pitch camp on Anacapa Island next week. Captain Bay Webster left yesterday in his launch to bring the party from San Pedro to the island, where they will stay two weeks.”


August 18, 1916 [SBMP]: “Yesterday Captain Bay Webster brought over from Anacapa Island in his powerboat, the Anacapa, 1,000 pounds of mackerel.”


August 18, 1916 [OC]: “This morning some 30 campers from Camp Bard, the county Y.M.C.A. camp, under the direction of County Secretary Otis B. Read, left Ventura for a cruise on the channel to the islands in the launch Anacapa in charge of Captain Bay Webster. They boys will take dinner on Anacapa Island and it is safe to say it will be a fish dinner…”


September 5, 1916 [SBDN]: “A jolly group of young folks who have been enjoying a wonderful outing on Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands returned to the mainland last evening in the care of Captain Webster on the launch Anacapa. All were loud in their praise of the beauty of our ocean guards. In the party were the Misses Hope Weston, Vivian Miller, Rebecca Byrd, Lorde Stockston Reed and Mrs. Conway Evans. Miss Dixie, a tiny dog, was taken along on the outing. The party camped out in the open, cooked their own meals and experienced all the joys of camping out.”


November 28, 1916 [SBDN]: “Ventura, November 28. The recent east winds, which brought riches to the bean growers, carried away the Anacapa Island home of Captain Bay Webster, known as the King of the Island by reason of his lease from the United States government. The house, built in a little inlet known as Webster Bay, was carried away bit by bit. Captain Webster called at the island and found nothing but the concrete floor remaining. During the major part of the year the Webster family lives on the island, but during the storm period its members were at San Pedro. The house was built on the low ridge, which forms the backbone of the island at the harbor. The wind came down from the mainland, picked up the Webster home, and after curling up the corrugated iron roof and starting it towards the Samoan Islands, proceeded to demolish and carry away the rest of the seaside mansion. Captain Webster will rebuild immediately. Twenty lobster traps were also demolished by the wind.”


November 29, 1916 [SBMP]: “Everything but the floor of the Bay Webster home on Anacapa Island was blown away by an east wind that swept the island a few days ago, according to the Ventura Free Press. The only reason that the floor did not follow the roof and the walls, and the furniture on their cavorting Samoaward, was that it is of concrete and possessed a more clinging disposition towards its native soil. Captain Webster, who has a five year lease on the island from the United States Government, says he will rebuild; this time presumably with concrete throughout.”


December 3, 1916 [LAT]: “Captain Webster, who is King of Anacapa Island by reason of a lease from the United States government, had his home at Webster harbor on Anacapa carried away in bits, by the heavy wind which struck the harbor recently. All that remains of the house is the concrete floor. The building was situated on a low ridge which forms the backbone of the island. When the wind came down from the mainland, it simply picked up the house, completely demolishing it. Mrs. Webster with their two sons was away at the time of the occurrence. Mr. Webster will rebuild.”


1917: “There is no fresh water on Anacapa to speak of, but several hundred head of sheep are kept there the year through by the lessee, Captain Bay Webster, who has had charge of the island for nine years.” [Gidney et al. History of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, California 1917.]


January 31, 1917 [OT]: “Authorities on fish say the canneries have exhausted the tuna supply in this section, and that the attentions of canners has been turned to the Hawaiian islands, where the supply is regarded as inexhaustible, as it was regarded here a few years ago. Captain Bay Webster says that it is difficult to catch an albacore now in these waters. It is a fact that the canneries at and near San Pedro have turned their attention to sardine canning in order to keep their plants going.” Ventura Free Press.


February 12, 1917 [SBDNI]: “Island without water for rent as sheep ranch. Anacapa Island, the rocky mountain top of a submerged range that rises out of the ocean just east of Santa Cruz Island, is again offered for lease by the United States Government. Bids for the lease will be opened by the Lighthouse Inspector at San Francisco March 15, and information about the island and the government terms can be secured from the same office. For a number of years Anacapa Island has been leased by Captain Bay Webster of this city and Ventura. With his wife and his children, he has made his home on the lonesome place, and tended a large flock of sheep. In the summer time Captain Webster has taken tourists and camping parties to his island home. Anacapa Island is practically without water except for the rainfall of which Captain Webster catches large quantities in tanks to serve his family during the summer. The only fresh water spring on the island is in a sea cave, so that the islanders have to take a boat to get a pail of water. The sheep drink the rain water during the winter and spring until the rains are over and the summer weather has dried up the pools. They then have to get along with the moisture from the fogs and dew and that which they get in the grass and weeds. Captain Webster is expected to take the island lease again. Since he has houses and sheep on the place, the government will give him the preference, all other things being equal in the bidding. The island has up to the present been leased to Captain Webster at a nominal fee.”


March 31, 1917 [SBMP]: “A party of jolly adventurers will leave this morning for Anacapa Island to spend a week, providing the weather is permits. In case of unpleasant weather, the trip will be postponed until tomorrow or Monday morning. Miss Mae Crystal and Miss Mary Anderson are arranging the trip, being the two young ladies who were lost on Santa Cruz Island for several days last year. Owing to the size of Anacapa Island, however, they fear no such calamity this time. Others in the party are Mrs. Boardman, chaperone, Miss Gladys Waldon, Miss Maue Huse, Alonzo Forbush and Milton Stewart. Transportation will be provided by Captain Bay Webster on the powerboat Anacapa. The young people will return in about a week.”


March 20, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton has just been awarded by the Federal Government the lease of Anacapa Island for a term of five years beginning April 1. The last two terms, aggregating ten years, the island has been leased to Captain Bay Webster of Ventura, and he was one of the bidders for the ensuing term, but Captain Eaton's bid was higher than that of the Ventura man, and he took the prize. Captain Eaton will use the island primarily for fishing camps—the waters roundabout constituting famously good fishing grounds, better at certain seasons, than in any of the other island waters—and he will also utilize the small sheep range on the island, expecting to have a flock of about 500 of the profitable wool bearers. There are at present about 400 sheep on the range belonging to Captain Webster, and these may be bought by the new lessee, or they may not.”


March 26, 1917 [LAT]: “Ventura. Captain Bay Webster, who has reigned as King of Anacapa Island for ten years, was overbid for the possession of the island, the government giving the lease for the next five years to Ira Eaton of Santa Barbara. Webster has carried on the business of sheep raising there, and now has 500 in his flock. During the summer months the only way the sheep have of quenching their thirst is from eating vegetation, which accumulates quantities of moisture. Eaton is engaged in deep sea fishing, and will use the island principally for fishing camps.”


April 8, 1917 [SBMP]: “The camping party who left a week ago in Captain Webster’s launch, the Anacapa, returned Saturday after a splendid trip. Because of the personal and ever-present interest of Mr. and Mrs. Webster, the campers enjoyed a delightful week without the slightest mishap or inconvenience. The wildest and least frequented parts of Anacapa were explored by means of skiffs. The weather being calm. the waters around the island were accessible for several unusual sightseeing trips and fishing excursions... The Santa Barbara campers were Mrs. Boardman, Misses Maud Huse, Gladys Waldron, Mary Anderson, May Christal and Messrs. Alonzo Forbes and Milton Stewart.”


May 11, 1917 [OC]: “J. Flores, a sheepherder in the employ of Bay Webster, is still in a serious condition at the county hospital as the result of injuries received several days ago. Flores was chasing a sheep on Anacapa Island and in some way fell over the brow of a cliff. He was carrying a loaded gun in his pocket as the herders there usually do, for use in emergency cases when animals have fallen into any of the barrancas common to the island and hopelessly crippled themselves. The gun went off shattering Flores’ hip. Fortunately Webster was at the island and brought the man to the mainland for treatment. Flores has been at the hospital several days and is still unconscious.”


May 15, 1917 [SCICo]: “Mr. Bay Webster, Esq. Dear Sir: It is reported that you have been engaged in the transportation and landing of people on Santa Cruz Island without permission from this Company. Kindly take notice that we will not allow you to continue in this business and that, above all, we will not permit your patrons to engage in the practice of killing wild animals on the island. We will prosecute any person caught interfering with any portion of our property. Yours, A. J. Caire, The Santa Cruz Island Company”


May 25, 1917 [OC]: “The Ventura Free Press says: Mr. and Mrs. Bay Webster and their two sons have come to Ventura from Anacapa Island, Mr. Webster’s lease of the island having expired. Mrs. Webster will assist in caring for Mrs. L. F. Webster, who is in very critical condition.”


June 25, 1917 [SBDN]: “Captain Bay Webster yesterday took 18 men from the Universal Film Company of Los Angeles to Santa Cruz Island yesterday. This makes a total of 108 people now working on the island. A truck load of supplies was taken over in the afternoon.”


July 2, 1917 [LAT]: “Island’s new king to land on domain today… Captain H. B. Webster, who for ten years has been lord at Anacapa, will today get the last units of a herd of some 500 sheep loaded on a barge and, with 1400 pounds of wool as treasure trove, will depart for the mainland, to become an ordinary citizen once more… Captain Webster got Anacapa in 1907 for $26 a year, and in 1912 he secured the lease for $77 a year. This time Captain Eaton overbid the former sovereign of Anacapa, and will assume possession today, wind and tide allowing. Captain Webster made the Anacapa a sheep ranch that is unusual in many respects. Captain Eaton will stick to the wool business, also, with modifications. Incidentally, the island is wild and picturesque and the sheep that are raised there are teetotalers… Captain Eaton has also purchased some of the best of Captain Webster’s herds, and will the pastures well-stocked, at the same time he tries to keep the picnic grounds occupied.”


July 2, 1917 [SBDN]: “Captain Ira Eaton has succeeded in out-bidding Captain Bay Webster for the government lease on Anacapa Island, and today took possession of the island, where, since 1907 Webster with his sheep has been sole possessor. Eaton bid $607 for the lease, which extends over a period of five years. There are 800 acres on the island, mostly rugged mountain sides and, it is said, but one spring, this flowing a brackish water which the sheep do not like. Webster had 500 sheep, and came away with some of these, and 1400 pounds of wool. Eaton bought some of the flock, and will continue to raise sheep for the wool, at the same time popularizing the island as a summer camping spot. He proposes to run the Sea Wolf as a passenger boat from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Hueneme to the island, and will erect tents for his patrons. The place is said to be interesting because of the many caves.”


July 7, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain Bay Webster came over from Santa Cruz Island yesterday forenoon in his powerboat Anacapa, bringing a small company of moving picture actors who had been camping there for the purpose of their professional work. The company was met at the wharf by a big motor truck from Los Angeles which was sent to this city to transport the camp equipment used on the island.”


July 7, 1917 [SBDNI]: “A big crowd of motion picture actors of the Universal Company returned last evening from Santa Cruz Island in Bay Webster’s powerboat. They were met here by a motor truck sent from Los Angeles to transport their baggage and paraphernalia south. They had been on the island for over a month.”


July 27, 1917 [OC]: “The fishing party to the islands yesterday in Captain Bay Webster’s launch, Anacapa, had good luck taking 187 fish. R. L. Peacock led the lists in numbers caught, taking 35. H. C. Engleright was a contender for honors, but the party voted him a very poor fisherman as he took only 34. In the party were R. L. Peacock, H. C. Engleright, L. C. Engleright, H. C. Engleright Sr., C. A. Scott, James Herzikopf and John O’Brien.”


August 10, 1917 [OC]: “The Ventura Free Press says: Captain Bay Webster was unable to make his trip to the islands with excursionists on Sunday because of the damage done to his launch, the Anacapa, by the freight steamer Aurelia, Saturday afternoon. Investigation showed that the bow of the launch had been broken in by the freighter and that the boat will have to be docked before it can again be used. Captain Webster will hold the steamship company for the loss of his anchor and for the damage to the launch.”


August 17, 1917 [OC]: “Captain H. Bay Webster registered at Hotel Oxnard last evening.”


August 24, 1917 [OC]: “Captain Bay Webster of Ventura, owner of the fishing boat, is having a good season this year so far as Oxnard people are concerned. He already has had seven fishing parties from this place, and has others booked for the future. The latest party went out yesterday and comprised R. L. peacock, W. R. Ring, Dr. Metz, W. N. French, Fred Lorello and J. J. Krouser. They returned with 148 bass. Captain Webster said that last year he made no fishing trips whatever from Oxnard and only a few camping trips from Ventura.”


September 7, 1917 [OC]: “One of the most enjoyable fishing trips by Oxnard men in Captain Bay Webster’s launch, was taken yesterday. The party caught 104 sea bass… Another trip is being planned by Mr. Peacock for next Tuesday. At that time the launch will leave from Ventura wharf for Santa Cruz Island.”


September 15, 1917 [SBDN]: “The Ventura Post this morning publishes a story about the move of some Ventura men to circumvent a Santa Barbara man in the matter of landing boats on Santa Cruz Island. The Post says that to overcome a situation which has been brought about by a rivalry of boats transporting parties to Santa Cruz, certain Ventura men who have enjoyed trips to Santa Cruz before, and whose periodic journeys are now threatened unless they engage the boat of some Santa Barbara skipper, are planning on constructing a large house boat which would be anchored in any one of the harbors about the island and no one, not even the owners, could forbid men of the party from using ground within 40 feet of high tide. The difficulty, which has led to this situation, is of long standing. In the past, Bay Webster of this city has been taking parties to Santa Cruz. At one time Captain Eaton, who now leases Anacapa Island and the harbors of Santa Cruz, came here and took over a boatload of Venturans. Webster went to Santa Barbara and engaged his boat in similar work there. Up until recently Webster has