If you had visited Santa Catalina Island in 1895, you might have taken a glorious stagecoach ride from Avalon to the Isthmus. It was the first stagecoach ride out of Avalon since that segment of the road had been completed in June of that year.
In the early 1920’s, William Wrigley Jr. and David M. Renton were driving Mr. Wrigley’s car up by the Catalina Island golf course. It had been raining earlier in the day and as the gentlemen turned the car around, it became stuck in some clay-like mud. Mr. Renton wondered if the clay was good enough to make bricks. Mr. Wrigley told him to look into it.
Our wonderfully iconic “Blanche W.” will be saying goodbye to her millions of fans after 85 years of service, at the end of this summer. Built in 1924 “The Blanche,” as we all call her, has grown old and beyond being able to repair and maintain her to the standards of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Hamilton Beach Airport (now called Hamilton Cove) was built as an amphibian seaplane airport and opened in 1931. The airline, Wilmington-Catalina Airline, LTD, flew 10-passenger Douglas Dolphins two engine amphibian seaplanes. The fare from Wilmington to Catalina in those days was $5.
In 1916 William Wrigley bought a share of Chicago's National League, and over the next five years steadily increased his stake. In 1921 as the team set up the field and clubhouse in Avalon Canyon, although never officially named, Avalon townspeople began calling the field Wrigley Field.
One of the most charming features of Avalon is the iconic and beautifully designed Chimes Tower. Wanting to do something special for the community, Ada Elizabeth Wrigley, wife of William Wrigley Jr., purchased the Deagan Westminster chimes and, in December 1925, had a tower built to house them.
The longer you live in Avalon the more you become aware of the unique and wonderful people that are your friends and neighbors. Some of these individuals are especially unique for you know that they must have wings or a halo somewhere, for they truly are angels on earth.
Lolo Saldana is an Avalon treasure. For the past 60 years he has run the local barber shop in the Island Plaza. Lolo’s is an island tradition, a place to gather and chat while waiting for your haircut and learning the latest Avalon news. Every kid in town knows that Lolo is always ready to give them a piece of bubblegum or candy when they stop in to say hello.