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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
April 18, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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April 18, 2014

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1892 122 years ago by Chuck Liddell The Bannings buy out developer George Shatto To call 1892 a "banner year" in the history of Catalina Island is a gross understatement. George Shatto was way over his head in debt to the Lick Foundation. He was well behind in his pay- ments for the Island and in 1889 the Banning Brothers began work- ing secretly with the Foundation to make good the payments due to the Foundation, but of course for their benefit, and not Shatto's. He must have either realized that he would never be able to make his payments on time When Shatto finally realized that his ownership had come to an end, he accepted the $25,000 from the Bannings to buy up the remaining lots that had yet to be sold. Real estate developer George Shatto sold his interest in Catalina Island to the Banning Brothers in 1892. The Bannings then paid off the remaining debt of $126,727.28 to the Lick Foundation and the island was officially theirs. This money probably went to build the California Academy Science Building on Market Street, in San Francisco, as this was the organization that controlled the NEED A HOME LOAN? R, Catalina Realtors Waltz FREE TO ALLI THIS MONDAY, APRIL 2..1. TREMONT HAIL ELEMENTARY (z -s 4-SPM NIPPLE SCHOOL 5':.1L5 - 6:.1.5" PM HICiH SCHOOL & ADULT CLASS 6:30 - 8:00 PM For mot6 i 'orn t ovt, e Cfi l Hall: Lick Estate. You could almost hear the joy- ful shout from the father of Judge Joseph Banning, Capt. William Banning, and Hancock Banning, Phineas. After all, the patriarch had been responsible for the naming of Wilmington, California (the fam- ily had come from Wilmington, Delaware) and he had also deeded land to the U. S. Government, so that they could build the Civil War Army Barracks between the Isthmus and Catalina Harbor. Although Judge Banning didn't live to see the ownership by his family of his favorite Island, it was he who first got his boys interested in investing in their cross channel boating enterprise, Wilmington Transportation Co., which got them excited about the possibility of owning this destina- tion. They officially purchased Catalina on Jan. 18, 1892, and Avalon Bay, in the late 1880s or early 1890s. were brought over on Jan. 23, on their cross-channel boat, the "Falcon" to touch the land, for the first time, as owners. It must have been a very joyous arrival. The Bannings had BIG plans for their new Island. They needed to do major repairs on the Metropole Hotel, completely reconstruct the flimsy pier, install a major sewage and domestic water system, and create space for free camping and free water. The steamer Falcon was converted from a tug to a passenger boat and it would soon be joined by the Warrior to make the Sunday runs that the visitors DRE: 00698852 NMLS: 249784 CONTACT: BRYAN TAYLOR SPECIALIZING IN: Conventional, FHA and Government Loans Refinance, Rate Reduction and Cash Out Loans 2nd Home Financing, Investment Properties and Harp II Mortgages and Reverse Mortgages DIRECT: 562.756,5559 FAX: 562,920.7465 EMAIL: "SERVICE IS MY COMMITMENT" ~"~" Advantage One Home L oa n $ April 18 - April 24 Shows Nightly at 7:30pm Rated PG-13 Admission: Adult $15.00, Senior or Child $13.00 Matinee - Saturday & Wednesday 4:30pm Admission: Adult $10.00, Senior or Child $8.00 Every Tuesday $8.00 Admission demanded. The streets were grad- ed and trees were planted. In April, John MacLean; Vincente Moricich, and others planted "pencil size" eucalyptus trees bordering all of the streets in the center of town and the lower portion of Whittley Avenue. John had pleaded in vain with the Bannings to plant walnut trees instead, as they would give sum- mer shade, winter sun, and act as an additional food source. The popular new "gum" trees won out. A fence was placed around Avalon to keep the foraging ani- mals out, which included the sheep and cattle being raised by Frank Whittley, and the promise of three new hotels; anything they could do to entice tourists to the Island to make it the best sum- mer ever. It was obvious that a lot of "planning" had been done, in anticipation of their takeover. Seeing that the Metropole Hotel had been the first building built by their predecessor, they then had to come up with their own major construction project, the dance Pavilion, which would act as its own center of commercial activities. The 90-foot diameter structure was started up in March. It had a porch entirely encircling it, was located on the East side of Avalon, between Catalina and Clarissa Avenues (where the pres- ent Pavilion, previously referred to as the Pavilion Lodge, is located: at 513 Crescent). Ever wonder why the building was called the Pavilion? Now you know why. Not having any idea of the cost of this project, the Bannings sim- ply knew that they had to have it. This new structure came with its own set of problems. The founda- tion lumber was specially ordered at exactly 12 foot x16 foot, but when it arrived, John MacLean observed that the wood was too short for the foundation, but too long for firewood. To be continued-- If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please send them to me, Chuck LiddeU, chuckliddell.catalina @ gmail. corn. If you would like to be a Facebook "friend," please sub- mit that request: www.facebook. com/chuck.liddell2. That is a good way to be kept advised to any historical work that I am doing. Also, if you would like any copies of 1887-91, I will hap- pily email them to any interested readers. I am feverishly working on my new book, about growing up on Catalina, and it should be out late spring, and hopefully no later than summer. For More Information Ca 310-510-( 79 10 ; Friday, April 18, 2014 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER