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Catalina Island, California

 
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Posted 01/19/2017   1:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
One of my favorite places is Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. I learned to scuba dive here in 1969. What a awesome place. My dad had an old beat up wooden inboard boat we would take out of Long Beach Harbor and I remember seeing these little guys along the way.



Here is the Island circa 1900 just before it started getting developed. Beautiful image from Detroit Photographic Co.



Here's the island a little later as it becomes more of a tourist destination. The publisher of this card is M. Rieder, Los Angeles.


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Edited by Ramblin Tim - 01/19/2017 1:17 pm

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Posted 01/19/2017   1:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There goes the neighborhood. This is a 1904 card published by Detroit Photographic Co. I don't know why there are so many tents there. Maybe this is a real estate sales extravaganza put together by a land developer. You can just smell that ocean breeze mixed with these giant Eucalyptus trees. Oh yeah!

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Edited by Ramblin Tim - 01/19/2017 1:51 pm
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Posted 01/19/2017   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Then they needed a wharf for larger vessels to dock for more tourist.



And it gave everyone a place to sit and fish.

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Posted 01/19/2017   2:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By 1905 Avalon has hotels. This postcard reflects the name change by Detroit Photographic Company to Detroit Publishing Company.

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Posted 01/19/2017   2:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This beautiful postcard is dated 1907 and is published by the Catalina Novelty Co. Avalon now has at least three wharfs and has done some landscaping along the hills for future development.



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Edited by Ramblin Tim - 01/19/2017 2:38 pm
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Posted 01/19/2017   3:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The earliest postcard I've seen with this image of the Aquarium is 1907. The beach is getting crowded with new buildings. You can see the incline railway going up the terraces on the hill.





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Posted 01/19/2017   3:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add littleriverphil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great cards Tim, keep 'em coming.
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Posted 01/20/2017   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you! Here is a view from the opposite end of the bay. They put in a new amphitheater. From this view you can see Sugar Loaf across the bay on the right.



Sugar Loaf Point was a great fishing spot but it wasn't producing any money for the island's investors.



The Catalina Casino was built on a site formerly known as Sugarloaf Point. The site was graded for the planned construction of the Hotel St. Catherine. However, it was eventually built in Descanso Canyon instead. When chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. bought the controlling stake in Catalina Island in 1919, he used this cleared site to build a dance hall he named Sugarloaf Casino. It served as a ballroom and Avalon's first high school, until it became too small for Avalon's growing population. In 1928, the Sugarloaf was razed to make room for a newer casino building. Sugarloaf Rock was further blasted away to enhance the Casino's ocean view

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Posted 01/20/2017   10:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On this first card you can see Sugar Loaf dance hall and high school. They still have the smaller of the two rocks standing.



Here's a card showing the new casino.

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Posted 01/20/2017   11:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And on it goes. This card is circa 1957 I think. I lost interest after this. There must be thousands of different postcards by dozens of publishers on Santa Catalina Island. Hope yall enjoyed the cards and the history.

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Posted 01/20/2017   11:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ramblin Tim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So I collected Catalina postcards until I lost interest. And guess what happened? Yall already know I'm sure. I got side tracked on to another subject when I saw something in the Catalina postcards that sparked a new interest. Pirates! Arrg

If you want to go on a fascinating journey of discovery. Check out the Ning-Po Pirate ship.





The Ningpo was launched in 1753 in the city of Fu Chau as a 3-masted, 291 ton junk named the Kin Tai Foong. The 138 foot long junk was said to be the "fastest and best equipped vessel afloat in Chinese waters," and it wasn't long before the merchant trader turned into a smuggler and a slaver. Her first battle was during the rebellion against the Emperor in 1796. It was just the beginning of long series of events that would follow:

1806 Seized for smuggling and piracy
1814 Captured and set on fire at Nanking
1823 Seized for smuggling silk and opium
1834 Confiscated by the British under Lord Napier for smuggling and for carrying slave girls to Canton
1841 Captured by the Chinese government and used for seven years as a prison ship for pirates and smugglers. During this time, the Chinese government found some of the prisoners too expensive to feed, and reportedly ordered 158 of them beheaded.
1861 Seized by rebels in Taiping and converted into a transport because of her size and speed. Retaken by "Chinese" Gordon, in command of the English Imperial forces against the Taiping rebel. Gordon changed her name to Ningpo meaning "calm waves" or "peaceful waves" and after the city of the same name.
1861 Wrecked in a typhoon.
pre-1884 The vessel preyed on tourists in Hong Kong. Passengers were taken of board for a few days' cruise. The unsuspecting passengers would then be robbed and set ashore. The British vessel H.M.S. Calliope captured the Ningpo imprisoned the 60 crewmembers, and sold the vessel in Hong Kong.
1911 Captured by rebels in the battle of Hankow and sold to Americans for $50,000. 1912 Wrecked in a typhoon on June 12. Wrecked again in a typhoon September 26 off Kyushi, with the loss of the sails and use of the rudder. Crew mutinied and refused to work. Four men rowed the vessel 320 miles back to port. Once in port, the crew were taken in arms. On December 22 of the same year, a new crew sailed the repaired Ningpo7,000 miles in 55 days to San Pedro.
1913 Towed to Venice Beach for display. In April, the junk was towed down to San Diego, and in October she was towed back to San Pedro. In November, the Ningpo wrecked off Dead Man's Island. While being dry-docked and repaired in Long Beach, a small silver plate was found behind one of the "eyes" of the ship. The plate had inscriptions on it that were translated to say "The eye of the dragon is bright and colorful." Put on display at Long Beach.
1915 Towed to San Diego and put on display.
Circa 1917 Towed to Catalina Harbor for display.
1938 Burned (possibly for a movie) in Catalina Harbor.

The Before her sinking, the Ningpo was one of the oldest vessels afloat, which brings about the question: How can a wood vessel remain afloat for so long? Nearly everything about the Ningpo's design and construction is unique to Western vessels. For instance, the vessel was designed to resemble a dragon. Her open bow (with her sides joined at the waterline, but widely spread apart at the deck level) was built to look like a mouth.
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Edited by Ramblin Tim - 01/20/2017 11:47 am
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Posted 01/27/2017   8:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Love Catalina! When I lived in L.A. I made several visits and recall staying at the Zane Gray Pueblo Hotel.

The Ning-Po story is fascinating. Catalina Harbor is on the seaward side of the island, at the narrow neck of the isthmus, a good ways from Avalon. There's a little village there, Two Harbors, that I've always wanted to get to. I've seen many pictures of the area and there's a very obvious pirate theme. Now I understand the origins of this!

Here are a few Catalina postcards from my collection. One is a wider shot of the amphitheatre and the incline railway tracks. There's also a view of the Sugar Loaf Casino, before the present day casino building was constructed. Thanks for the history on that, too - I never looked closely at this card until now.









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Posted 01/27/2017   8:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I did some exploring using Google Maps satellite images and located the spot the Ning-Po was moored for many years (X). Also found what appears to be the wreckage of a ship of similar size not far from the moorage. Ning-Po's final resting place? You decide.



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Posted 06/27/2018   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was going to post this on the ship cards thread, but decided it was more appropriate here.

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Posted 06/27/2018   3:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Avalon flag cancel - fairly scarce. It would be nice if poster's showed the reverse of their cards if used - that is the important side for some of us! This cancel was only used for 4 weeke in the summer of 1912.
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Edited by chasa - 06/27/2018 4:06 pm
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Posted 06/27/2018   4:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
and the front....
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