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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
March 6, 1924     The Catalina Islander
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March 6, 1924

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PAGE TEN ..... THE CATALINA THE KINGFISHERS By Samuel Hubbard Curator of Archaeology, Oakland, Cal. in the Los Angeles Examiner The members of the Neighborhood Nature Club were sitting about a bright fire in the drawing room, and the president was telling a fish story. When he had finished, Bob spoke up and said : "Say, Uncle Sam, you promised to tell us about that expert little fisher- man called the kingfisher." "Well, boys," said Uncle Sam, "it is not so unreasonable as it sounds. You see all wild things are on the alert for motion. Anything that moves may be an enemy, and must be investigated. They are used to seeing men either standing, sitting, walking or running; but always moving. Now this bed had a little striped tent over it. It didn't look a like man and it did not move. Hence the wild creatures were not afraid of it, and I saw more than I possibly could if I were sitting on the bank of the stream. Pair of Kingfishers "I had noticed a pair of kingfishers, soon after our arrival, flying up and down the river uttering their noisy clatter. Their favorite perch was the end of a pole fence, which reached out over the river, just above our camp. The very first morning from my van- tage place in bed I saw one of these birds on a dead willow branch, warm- ing himself in the rays of the rising sun. His white waistcoat shone like a silver escutcheon against the blue of a cloudless sky. Presently his mate ap- peared swiftly flying down stream In- stead of alighting on the fence as I fully expected her to, she flew to the out bank, just under the fence, and disappeared. The earth had swallowed her completely. "Here was another of Nature's mar- vels. The Kingfisher tribe are not waterflowl, and they are not equipped with web feet, yet they make their en- tire living by spearing fish under wa- ter. They fly swiftly through the air and they pop underground as deftly as a rabbit. Earth, air and water, they are at home in all three elements. ' Great Excitement "For several days during the laying period there was great excitement on the part of both birds. As they usually lay seven and sometimes nine eggs, this lasted a week or more. Both birds visited the nest frequently and openly during the day. Then I noticed a sub- tle change in their demeanor. They became more secretive and less noisy, and only one was in sight at a time. About this time as I lay quietly watch- ing, I saw the male bird leave his wil- low perch just after dawn and fly swiftly to the mouth of the burrow. Without attempting to enter he utter- ed apecular little cackle and flew away again. ., "I reasoned it out like this: Mrs. Kingfisher was in the end of her bur- row, six feet or more underground, and in pitch darkness. She had no means of knowing whether it was daylight or not. She must eat, and like most birds making a living from the water, she must moisten her eggs each day with her wet breast feathers. Obviously, she could not be running back and forth to see if it was daylight, so Father Kingfisher made that his busi- ness, and flying to the mouth of the nest, told her it was time to come out. Each morning I saw this act repeated at the same time and in the same way. On one occasion when she was gone overly long he became impatient and flew to the nest and to his turn on the eggs" THE SUBMARINE GARDENS THE MARINE GARDENS, as de- scribed by the eloquent editor of the Parisian journal, "Le Figaro," M. Huret: "Floating over green and blue water in the glass-bottom boats, one sees tile goings and comings of aquatic life The boatman names to you the marine plants and the fish, and tells you the different depths. One is as- tounded; one questions; one exclaimsl ttere are shell-encrusted rocks; fish. red, green and gold, zigzagging leis- urely among the waving foliage, the seaweeds gracefully balancing with the tide; on the clear bottom the sea throws beautiful reflections. Here are real trees with long branches waving as on land by a tempest; great fish of all shapes appear as in an artificial aquarium; the sea stars (star fish) shine in the shadows of tile rocks; then more luxuriant foliage, branches bearing clusters of fruit resembling the olive. One would think these were fertile fields suddenly submerged by a tempest. Leaning over the transpar- encies in the bottom oi the boats, the people go into ecstacies." A party of eastern tourists com" mented as follows: "Next to the Grand Canyon, the Catalina marine gardens are the most interesting sight we have seen." The marine gardens are shown by day and by night. In the spring of 1921 J. H. Patrick, president of the Santa Cata- lina Island Company completed experi- ments on board the glass bottom boat Empress, which enabled him to show the marine gardens at night. Sixteen, one thousand candle power searchlights were encased in pontoons attached to the side of the vessel, and these lights penetrate into the water for a depth of one hun- dred feet with a radius of two hundred feet. Night time being the time when many varieties of fish feed, the visitors on these trips see many marine wonders on the bed of the ocean as well as the hundreds of different varieties ot vege- tation. Among the marine specimens which may be viewed through the clear crys taline waters on the lava-like sea-floor ale; R ELF AND MOSSES Iodine Kelp Chenille Moss Sea Grape Kelp Irish Moss Giant Bulb Kelp Feather Boa Moss Ribbon Kelp Ruby Moss Rainbow Kelp Feather Moss Red Alga Sponge Moss Sea Lichen Heather Moss Rridal Veil Moss Corm Moss FISH AND SHELLFISH Garibaldi. or Octopus Golden Perch Sea Cucumber Blue Perch Sea Hare Blue Eyed Perch Sea Porcupine Silver Perch Jellyfish~ Wall Eyed Perch Sunfish Rock Bass Tiger Shark Opal Eyed Bass Sheepshead Striped Bass Moray Eel Ratfish Abalone Kelpfish Crawfish Candlefish Sand Crab Whitefish Starfish Sculpin Keyhole Limpet Ghostfish Sea Anemone The St. Louis Sporting News is on sale at Windle's News Stand. Watch the world come ta Ca~ali,a. "For Rent" and "For Sale" signs are on sale at Windle's News Stand. SANTA CATALINA ISLAND HISTORICALLY REVIEWED Santa Catalina Island has many oth- er names that have been given to it by writers of fame: "The Isle of En- chantment," "The Magic Isle," "Ava- lon the Beautiful," "The Isle of Si- lence," "The Fisherman's Paradise," "The Glorious Gem in the Opaline Crown of the Golden State." It is one of the most famous pleasure is- lands of the Pacifie Coast, twenty- seven miles from Los Angeles Har- bor, and politically it is in Los Angeles County. It was first discovered in 1542, then "re-discovered" in 1602. Later history records private owner- ship, dating from Spanish grants to 1892, when it was acquired by Lhe Santa Catalina Island Company, the corporation which still owns it, al- though the ownership of the company hase changed. In February, 1919, this company was reorganized, with Wm. Wrigley Jr. as its principal stockholder. The officers of the Santa Catalina Island Company for 1923 are: Wm. Wrigley Jr., chair- man of the Board of Directors; J.H. Patrick, President; Captain William Banning, Vice-President; David M. Renton, Vice-President and General Manager; John N. Stewart,Vice-Pres- ident and General Passenger Agent; David P. Fleming, Secretary and Treasurer. Immediately after the reorganization of the Santa Catalina Island Company (February, 1919), real estate in Avalon was placed on the market, and sixty days later it was announced that 9sore than $325,000 had been realized---a rec- ord-breaking'sale. Under the stately eucalyptus trees in the territory form- erly used by summer campers, the new real estate owners outrivaled each oth- er in the construction of artistic bun- galows. For weeks house-movers were busy. Every day some ancient land- mark disappeared, and in its place was commenced a permanent home. In . front of the dancing pavilion a new block of stores extended the business section of the water front. Still great- er improvements have since been made in various parts of the town. Early in October, 19!9, announce- ment was made that a new steamship, the "Avalon," would be placed in com- mission early in 1920. This vessel rep- resents the expenditure of a million and a half dollars, and it is one of the most palatial passenger carrying ves- sels on the Pacific Coast. The in- creased cross-channel business of 1919 made it necessary for the Wilmington Transportation Company to add an- other to its fleet of vessels. During 1919 and every summer since, many visitors have come to Avalon in flying boats, which are now operated by the Pacific Marine Airways. The trip from San Pedro to Avalon is fre- quently made in less than 20 minutes. Both the Island Villa and Villa Park have recently been enlarged by the addition of several hundred substan- tial bungalettes, which are rapidly taking the place of the canvas tents formerly used. In 1920 the new Hotel Atwater was opened by the Santa Catalina Island Company. It is located on Sumner Avenue, near the water front. It is a very complete modern hostelry. That the c~ming years wild witness an even more extensive development of Avalon--the queen of Pacific Coast pleasure resorts----is certain, for it is rapidly taking its place as an all-the- year-round resort. Catalina Island's baseball park, the training grounds for the Chicago Cub~ and the Los Angeles "Angeles" is considered by experts to be the most unique of all baseball playgrounds. With the introduction of steam shovels, trucks, .etc., many of the old trails have been widened and made excellent roads. The road to Pebble Beach, the site of Graham Bros., rock quarry is a picturesque thoroughfare along the shoreline toward Seal Rocks. Since 1919 the Santa Catalina Is- land Company have spent almost half a million dollars to develope water. Plans are now under consideration to bring water from Middle Ranch. Almost 75,000,000 gallons of fresh water was used in Avalon during 1922. Topographically, the the island is a series of high, precipitous mountains and deep canyons--dangerous that have a scenic beauty almos scribable. It is sixty miles in Terence, superficially 48,438 acres. volcanic origin provided many and bays that later collected small pebbles, that now form the ous beaches so popular among itors, anglers and campers. The charm and attractiveness of the is its ideal setting in the waters of the Pacific Ocean; its and invigorating atmosphere; most daily sunshine, and the gentle breezes that fan into quietude the weary and wayfarer from the haunts of cial activity. The adjacent waters furnish wonders. Fish and marine the Marine Gardens, seen glass-bottom boats, are the and bewilderment of many thou of tourists from all over the From 1602 to 1863, historical data is available that interest. It was "just an island in Pacific Ocean," visited occasionally vessels passing up and down Captain Phineas Banning, Mr. Newmark, and a party of ited the island in 1859, and the was considered a memorable one. gold mining boom commenced in when Mr. James Lick bought property for $80,000, the title bei: Mexican grant to Jose Maria rubias, confirmed byUnited patent. Hundreds of mining were then staked outnear the mus. At Johnson's Cove streets laid out for a town to be called City. Then trouble alina Harbor became famous for glers, and for its easy California and Mexican On February 5th, 1864, Captain West, commanding the Fourth fornia Infantry, stationed at the mus, gave orders for all miners prospectors to leave. September, the troops were withdrawn, barracks at the Isthmus still the memory of those thrilling July, 1887, the trustees of the Lick estate sold Santa Catalina to Mr. George R. Shatto for the of ,$200,000. An English mining cute later took an option on the erty, and in 1892, after consider litigation with the syndicate, Mr. to sold the property directly to Banning Rrothers. Mr. Shatto ned the town of Avalon, sold of land for from $150 to $1000, ing to the location, and first hotel of importance at Previous to the opening of the Metropole, visitors camped in tents the beach, then known as Landing." October 13, 1887, the sibilities of Avalon as a pleasure --"A Fisherman's Paradise," known, and since that day it has widely advertised. More than 100,000 tourists visit enchanting isle each year. From to 1915, many hotels, apartment es and private cottages were Then followe~l a disastrous fire caused a loss 6f almost $1,000,000. historic "Metropole Hotel" was pletcly destroyed, as were many buildings located on the side of the crescent-shaped "Bay Moons." ,'Greater Avalon," more beaulif charming anI attractive, is now In making. At Descanso Canyon, erly the location of a Banning sion, now stands the magnificent tel St. Catherine, opened to the .June 29, 1919. Great features of t splendid hotel are its design and tion. The architecture is Italian, the color scheme is beautiful in simplicity, being a creamy white red roof and blue trimmings. The tire floor space of the hotel is square feet. The artistic of the grounds appeals forcibly to lover of nature who seeks its in its own domain, enhanced and touched by many varieties of ted trees and flowers. That Catalina is rapidly the "Garden Spot of the World" fact. It is predicted that in five the Isthmus, now an "Hiawaiian lage" will bid very promisingly to come a sister rival to Avalon as "Queen Pleasure Resort of the rifle.."