The Great Depression

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle with Fish Kleptoparasitized from a Sea Otter or an Osprey on Catalina-Pimu

Compiled by Robert Roy van de Hoek
November 2000

The prose by Blanche Trask presented below comes from an article she wrote for the LA TIMES when Charles Lummis had influence at the LA TIMES. The article was published 94 years ago in 1906. Her written passages on Catalina Island occurred between 1900 and 1905. Blanche Trask was without a doubt, in my mind, the premier naturalist of the California Channel Islands at the turn-of-the-century. She is perhaps the most important, although not widely known, woman naturalist of southern California and the California Islands at the turn-of-the-century (1895-1910). No one did better at explaining the mystical landscape and seascapes of southern California. Does the California coast have a soul and the islands at the heart? If so, Blanche Trask shows us that more than any literary and scientific naturalist of southern California. Is Santa Catalina Island a "TIME MACHINE" where time goes back in history to a time where RECOVERY of the American Bald Eagle as a year-round citizen and nesting-member of the avifauna has occurred!

Blanche Trask
May 13, 1906
Excerpts from the Article

On page 68 of Pieces of Eight Channel Islands:
... "there was a well on one of the beaches at Catalina Harbor from which water was drawn by bucket for many long years - indeed, until about five years ago ... "

On page 69 of Pieces of Eight Channel Islands:
Doran states: "Whittley had lived at the Isthmus after 1850. Whittley brought his sheep here from Mexico when the later Captain Whittley was but a child of four. With them came "Mexican Joe," and endearing nickname for a boy who was 'wild and climbing and always after goats.'"

Blanche Trask gives some insight about the artifacts which have been collected from the Isthmus. "Here the most beautiful work was found; engraved pots and many also inlaid with abalone and other shells; ... Knives and weapons of whalebone had beautiful handles of shell with carved and inlaid work, and all manner of ornaments and implements were wrought from stone with spear heads of obsidian and knives of the same stone with shell handles, as also were the arrowheads fastened to the shaft ..."

Closing Thoughts, 94 Years Later,
Another Naturalist at the Turn-of-the-21st-Century
on the
Writings of Blanche Trask
Wouldn't Catalina give more respect to Native Americans and the "GREAT DEPRESSION" if "Catalina" as a name were dropped; Blanche Trask would agree, wouldn't you?