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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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November 4, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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November 4, 2011
 

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MYSTERIOUS ISLANd) Catalina"sfacts, folklore a%dbs The day Avalon a Imost disappeared BY JIM WATSON Back in the days when Avalon was in its infancy, at the turn of the 20th century to be exact, there was no doubt that the little city would continue to grow and attract more and more visitors from the bur- geoning City of Angels across the channel. Transportation tech- nology was improving in the form of steamships, incomes were increasing in Los Angeles, and that most important element for the leisure traveler-- free time--was on the increase for the average Angelino. But while Avalon's future was, by 1900, es- sentially assured, the exact loca- tion of where Avalon was to spend its future days was thrown greatly into question by a little-known business feud involving the Ban- nings and their competitors in the cross-channel steamship business. "The residents of Avalon are Jim Watson Columnist again very disconcerted and torn up in their minds." reads an article in the January 18, 1900, edition of the Pasadena Daily Evening Star. The article, sent to the Catalina Islander courtesy of docent Sid Gally from the Pasadena Museum of History, names a "housemover of Los Angeles" named William Knickrehn as having provided an estimate to the Banning Company for the cost of moving virtually the entire town of Avalon to the Isthmus, "Hotel Metropole being the only exception." The list of buildings to be shipped to the Isthmus included the Island Villa Hotel, with all its tent cottages, the Sea Beach Hotel, the Pavilion, and even the cottages belonging to the Hon. George S. Patton, father of future General George S. Patton, Jr. By the time this article was printed, in fact, the Banning Com- pany had already constructed a large barge of 40-feet by 250-feet for this purpose. I suppose at this point I've kept you in suspense long enough: Why, you ask, would anybody want to move Avalon to the other end of the Island? The answer, quite simply, has to do with the two factors that seem to cause most of the world's distress: politics and economics. It seems the Bannings, perhaps rightfully so, were upset at the increasing number of competing cross-channel ferry boats bringing vacationers to the Island. You see, the Bannings had in- vested a great deal of money in ho- tels and restaurants and had been generous in providing loads of free entertainment to Island visitors, including dances and concerts. It was the intention of the Ban- nings to partially recoup these ex- penses from the boat fares charged for passage on their own steam- ships. The Daily Evening Star, how- ever, clearly took the opposing side and couldn't resist getting a jab in at the Bann that "it apt Company l their old r and go elsf in our back Needlesl gration of, and it has k the plan w rather hars[ claiming ,ears that the Banning ave decided to take all g dolls and tin dishes a, here, refusing to play rard any more." tb say, the great mi- kvalon never occurred ng been suspected that s nothing more than a ploy by the Bannings to keep Avalon businesses and res- idents on their side. But what to do with a 40-foot by 250-foot barge? NEXT WEEK: THE GREAT WHITE TERROR Got a weird story about Catali- na? Email it to us at dan@cmews. us or send it to Mysterious Island c/o Catalina Islander, PO Box 428. Avalon, CA 90704. Breast Health Awareness Seminar Join the Catalina Island Medical Center & the Catalina Island Women's Forum and learn more about what you can do to stay healthy and support those impacted by this disease. Presentation by Diane Chamberlin, FNP Q & A Session m Appointments for on-island mammograms m Complimentary appetizers and no4ost bar ) On-Island Mammography Mammograms will be offered at Catalina Island Medical Center Nov. 19 to 21 by Inner Images Mammography. Most PPO insurances will be accepted and finandal assistance is available through the Catalina Island Women's Forum. Call (31o) 51o-oo96 for an appointment or more information. Catalina Island MedicalCenter On behalf $8800 to va Baseball and $, of Catalina B( to tal Su Bill Melville Billfish Tournament, the Catalina Island Yacht Club recently donated ious Avalon charities. Mayor Bob Kennedy (left) accepted $2400 for Avalon Kids 00 for the Catalina Island Medical Center, Mike Krug accepted $4300 on bghalf land Search & Rescue, Staff Commodore Barry O'Niel. Rear Commodore Lowell Dreyfus and Kathy Ponce accepted $1700 for Kid Ventures. fore you go back  the mainland... (e a little Catalina th :you. Th bsCribe Today. (TL]I ]S[D(R Avalon Veteran's Memorial Park Purchase a Brick for the Memorial $75 Contact Dave Gardner (310) 510-1484 or write: Avalon Veterans of Foreign Wars P.O. Box 1672 Avalon, Ca 90704 8  Friday, November 4. 2011 ....... _: i -:-r. .................... THE CATAUNA ISLANDER