Did You Know?

When President Harding died of a heart attack in San Francisco, his last stop on the tour was to have been Santa Catalina Island to visit his friend William Wrigley Jr. “In tribute to his fallen friend,” Mr. Wrigley planted the entire hilltop of Mt. Ada with red geraniums. People began calling it Scarlet Hill and on clear days, it could be seen from the mainland.

Over 100 Years of Quality Service

1894

  • SCICo. incorporated by Banning Brothers
  • Golf course expanded to 9 holes
  • William Banning named President

1895

  • Zahn Brothers start carrier pigeon messenger service to mainland

1896

  • “Point Loma” landing challenge to Banning transportation supremacy

1899

  • Aquarium built by Bannings near present site of Antonio’s Cabaret

1900

  • Warrior II launched
  • Isthmus township survey initiated

1902

  • Hermosa II launched
  • Electrical generation system installed
  • Cleopatra (Glass Bottom Boat) launched
  • Company assumes operation of tent housing franchise

1904

  • Cabrillo launched
  • Stage road from Avalon to Isthmus completed

1906

  • Avalon land sales by Bannings - includes flats and eastern terrace lots

1907

  • Meteor Boat Company lawsuit settlement

1908

  • Pleasure Pier built

1909

  • Avalon Freeholders Improvement Association formed, given title to Pleasure Pier

1912

  • County-wide ordinance prohibits sale of alcohol in Avalon providing initial push toward city hood, and thus self-determination on temperance issue

1913

  • City of Avalon incorporated

1914

  • Bond issue to raise funds for City to buy utility system from SCICo. fails

1915

  • Fire devastates one-third of Avalon

1917

  • Hotel St. Catherine construction starts

1918

  • Hotel St. Catherine opens for summer season

1919

  • Bannings sell SCICo. to group including William Wrigley Jr.
  • David Blankenhorn named President
  • William Wrigley Jr. acquires majority stock of SCICo. and WTCo.

1920

  • S.S. Avalon purchased
  • J.H. Patrick named President
  • Meteor Boat Company acquired
  • Hotel Atwater built

1921

  • Dance Pavilion built at Sugar Loaf
  • Ball Park built for Cubs Spring Training

1923

  • Mining operations started

1924

  • S.S. Catalina, Blanch W. and M.V. Princess launched
  • Thompson Reservoir built

1925

  • Chimes Tower built

1927

  • Mining operations halted
  • Wrigley Ocean Marathon
  • Catalina Pottery and Tile operations begin

1928

  • Pebbly Beach Road from Crescent Avenue to site of present Cabrillo Mole deeded to City for $20.

1929

  • D.M. Renton completes construction of Catalina Casino

1930

  • Catalina Jaunting Car Company acquired
  • Golf Course expanded to 18 holes
  • M.V. Emporer destroyed in storm

1931

  • M.V. Phoenix built
  • Wilmington - Catalina Airlines begins amphibian air service to Hamilton Beach

1932

  • William Wrigley, Jr. dies
  • Philip Wrigley named President
  • Otis Shepard arrives in Avalon
  • El Rancho Escondido construction starts

1934

  • Live big band music broadcasts

1935

  • M.V. Empress destroyed by storm
  • “Early California Spanish” theme restoration work begins in Avalon

1937

  • SCICo. exits tile and pottery business

1938

  • Sunshine Terrace Road street easement provided to City for $1.00

1939

  • SCICo. builds float for 1940 Rose Parade

1940

  • Work begins on Airport-in-the-Sky

1942-45

  • World War II - Catalina converted to military training base. The Maritime Service was in Avalon, Coast Guard at the Isthmus, OSS at Toyon Bay and the Signal Corps at Camp Cactus. The S.S. Catalina, S.S. Avalon and the Blanche W. were used by the government and Catalina was closed to visitors.

1946

  • Airport-in-the-Sky completed and opened for commercial use

1947

  • M.V. Toyon launched

1948

  • Isthmus renamed Two Harbors by Philip and Helen Wrigley

1950

  • East Avalon Terrace street easements totaling over 4,000 running feet of roadways granted to City for $1.00
  • Inland Motor Tour starts

1951

  • Final Spring Training in Avalon for Chicago Cubs

1953

  • Assistance provided in formation of, and providing home for, Catalina Island Museum Society

1954

  • Range and wildlife management program started
  • Year round small boat cross-channel service experiments begin in effort to find ways for more frequent, faster service as steamer future dims

1956

  • Arthur Meyerhoff Associates establish agency office in Avalon

1957

  • Doug and Audrey Bombard take over Catalina Cove and Camp Department

1958

  • Pavilion Lodge opens

1959

  • M.V. Princess sold
  • M.V. Nautilus launched

1960

  • Long range land use planning program started

1962

  • Southern California Edison acquires water, electricity and gas utilities

1964

  • S.S. Catalina sold to MGRS

1965

  • SCICo. gives USC 5.3 acres at Big Fisherman’s Cove for a Marine Science Center

1966

  • Hotel St. Catherine demolished

1967

  • Construction begins on USC Marine Science Center
  • Cabrillo Mole shore area and Avalon Cemetery given to City
  • Casino dock sold to City for $750

1969

  • Steamer Pier demolished

1970

  • Casino Walking Tour begins

1971

  • Agreements signed for condominium project at Hamilton Cove

1972

  • Another 8.8 acres of land made available to USC for construction of housing and food service complex at the Marine Science Center
  • Santa Catalina Island Conservancy formed

1973

  • SCICo. and Southern California Edison involved in early studies into seawater desalination viability for Santa Catalina Island

1974

  • Open Space easement signed with L.A. County

1975

  • Stockholders of SCICo. plus members of Wrigley and Offield families donate shares of SCICo. to Conservancy which were redeemed for title to 86% of land area of Catalina to be preserved and protected in perpetuity.
  • SCICo. grants four ocean front parcels to City of Avalon

1977

  • Philip K. Wrigley dies
  • Claude Brooks named President

1979

  • City buys fire station location

1981

  • Local Coastal Plan for Santa Catalina Island approved and certified
  • Tour bus garage and service station relocated from Tremont Street to Pebbly Beach

1983

  • Portion of Terminal Building destroyed by fire is rebuilt and reopened as Busy Bee and Armstrong’s Seafood restaurants

1984

  • William Wrigley named President
  • Twilight Dining at Two Harbors Tour starts

1985

  • Visitors Information Center opened at corner of Crescent and Catalina
  • First units of Hamilton Cove condominium project sold

1986

  • SCICo. re-assumes operation of Pavilion Hotel and Hotel Atwater
  • Water Lines first published
  • Telephone reservations department established
  • Tugs, Tours and Tempers Golf Tournament started with 35 participants

1987

  • M.V. Toyon decommissioned
  • M.V. Moonstone launched
  • SCICo. assumes operation of Casino Ballroom

1988

  • Paxson Offield named President
  • Second phase of “Old Terminal Building” reconstruction project completed with opening of Antonio’s Cabaret, Catalina Gear and Big Olaf’s
  • SCICo. assumes operation of Avalon Theatre
  • Community Needs Assessment conducted
  • Hermit’s Gulch Campground opened

1989

  • Casino Ballroom refurbishment
  • Jazz Trax series begins
  • 15 Year Concept Plans presented to the Community
  • Desalination engineering cost study with CSE concluded

1990

  • Pavilion Lodge remodel started
  • Pointed Builders selected for Descanso Resort project
  • SCICo. works with City to enable Eucalyptus Hill housing project to happen

1991

  • Island Plaza Sightseeing area upgraded
  • Descanso Resort and 15 year Plan Environmental Impact Report completed

1992

  • Pavilion Lodge receives AAA 3-diamond award following completion of remodel project
  • City of Avalon certifies Descanso resort and 15 year Plan E.I.R.

1993

  • BBDO Catalina offices close
  • Avalon Theatre remodel project started
  • Semi-submersible glass-bottom-boat construction contract signed
  • Pebbly Beach commercial area improvements begin
  • SCICo. donates Joe Machado Softball Field and Avalon Canyon Road to City

1994

  • Santa Catalina Island Company turns 100 years old
  • Pointe Descanso resort’s development agreement to City for approval
  • Tremont Hall made available to City for 10 years as community center.

Map

E.g., 09/30/2014
E.g., 09/30/2014