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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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July 27, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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July 27, 2012
 

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THE FOLLOWING IS PART ONE OF AN OCCASIONAL SERIES BY THERESA CUMMINGS Local Michele Brown Bestudik has a family history on Catalina dating back to 1887: That was the year her great grandfather Alfred Brown, moved here. His sister Lucy was married to Frank P. Whittley and Brown left mainland Califor- nia to partner with his brother-in- law as manager of his extensive sheep industry on the Island. :At the time, Whittley had just signed an agreement with the Lick Trust to leas Catalina island for $2,000 per yea for his ranching interests. After the Island was sold to George Shatto in 1887, Whitfley was allowed to hold on to his Island interest for sheep herding purposes. Bestudik's great grandmother, Elizabeth Barnes, was hired as governess for the Whittley chil- dren. Exactly when she arrived is still unknown. However, Elizabeth and Alfred fell in love and married on Sept. 2, 1892. Only recently did Bestudik discover details about the wedding. Local historian Chuck Liddell presented her with a copy of a diary written by Katherine Loud that provided information. Loud's diary was written from 1885-1907 and is a valuable refer- ence for events on the Island-of that time period. "This document gave us information about the wedding we didn't know before, includ- ing the participants and location," Bestudik said. Her great grandparents were married on a boat called the Nellie and the event Was recorded in the Los. Angeles Express paper under "Society Elopement." "The party boarded the yacht Nellie, which was towed to the Isthmus on Catalina Island, and then put out to sea six or eight miles from the shore where the ceremony was performed by Captain Frank P. Whittley. Nearly all 20 people on board signed the contract that made the two lovers 'one and the same'," said the Express article. A Victorian home was built for the Whittleys and Browns located on the hill where the Catalina Country Club now stands. Further documents revealed that Bestu- dik's grandmother, Ynez Brown, was actually born in the house on Aug. 19, 1896. After Whittleys death in 1903, the family released the herding holdings and the Brown's moved back to live in Los Angeles after 26 years on the Island. But the family remained tied to the Island and returned to visit every summer. Their daughter Ynez who had been born on the Island and her sister Hazel, who made her first visit at the age of one, regularly pes- tered their father to return to live on the Island. Eventually, lots became available for purchase. Now adults, the sisters convinced their father to purchase a lot if they would "get together the funds. Alfred agreed, The herd of sheep managed by Bestudik's great grandfather in Avalon Canyon where the golf course is today. The house where Bestudik's grandmother was born in 1896 is shown with many of her family members gath- ering. The house stood where the Catalina Country Club now sits. thinking it would be impossible for them to get together the money. Ynez was a school teacher and Ha- zel a stenographer. He didn't know they had been giving money to their mother who had been placing it in a cookie jar for the girls. When they presented their father with the mon- ey, he built the house at 224 Catalina Ave. in 1921. To this day, the home continues to remain a center of the family's love for Catalina Island. Sail From page 5 in the water. Rudy continued to pi- lot us towards the harbor and I had the sails partly down. However, the strong winds put us in danger, so P udy asked me to call the Harbor Department for assistance on the Marine RadiB Emergency Chan- nel. They responded right away with a few brief questions, and then said they would send help. We continued limping along, being quite battered. Finally I got the jib bagged up and the main- sail mostly down but various things went wrong; theboom was hanging down into the cabin, the "slides" which attach the sail to the mast, began popping loose, the knurled thumbscrew, which keeps them above the widened part of the sail track, had come loose and they were flying away from the mast. Several simply broke off, freeing the sail to blossom out. By this time we were almost into the harbor, but still having a tough time because of the strong West winds coming straight down Avalon Canyon into the harbor. Rudy asked me tocontact Harbor again to try to get a mooring in the open so that we wouldn't have to try. to navigate Well, "long story short," we made it and were wearing big smiles! We took the mainsail off the boom (very unusual) and got it bagged up for repair. As we worked, I thought how amazing it was that Rudy was just three months away from a heart attack and open-heart surgery to replace 'two valves! He offered to help clean up the mess in the cabin, but I wanted to get him home and warm as soon as possible! It had been cold in that wind. The cabin was knee-deep in upside down gear: books, pots and pans, cushions, clothing, food- stuffs, etc. Unfortunately, the lid came off the Quaker Oats Cereal tube, So everything was freckled. One of the mysteries of the trip was: where did that lid go? It was not in the cabin afterwards! Sailing Lessons Learned: Before heading "out, check the cell phone for extreme weather alerts (there had been one-early that morning, before there was even a thought of sailing!) Tighten down with pliers the thumbscrew, which keeps the sail slides in the sail "track that comes clown the mast. Always lower the keel before into the fight spaces where we origi- raising the sails. nated. Even in the harbor, we had Before every anticipated moor- surprisingly little control over the ing, get the boat hook out and have boat! The Harbor Department as- it handy. signed us to Mooring No. 73 (Storm Before leaving the mooring, Maker III), but it became obvious clear the cockpit of any excess that we weren't going to make it gear. that far. The Harbor Patrol boat then Get life jactcets out and have directed us to the nearest mooting them within easy reach. for very large boats. At this time Put the emergency signaling of year, they were mostly all open, horn in the cockpit "glove box." with nothing nearby. Have a handheld VHF radio in Because of the wind, just even the "glove box." getting tied up--fore and aft Eliminate, or secure, the gear proved to be a challenge! in the cabin. We'regoing smoke free. As part of our commitment to the hiealth of our community, Catalina Island Medical Center will be a non-smoking facility. Please refrain from smoking while on hospital, property. (31o) 51o-o7oo 1oo Falls Canyon Road PO Box 1563, Avalon 90704 Island Medical Center www.CIMedicalCenter.org A destination forpatient-centered excellence and health enrichment, Friday ju'iy2 ,"26J 2 i"i:t THE CATAUNA ISLANDER