Charles Lummis to Blanche Trask
The 1904 Letter

compiled by
Robert Roy J. van de Hoek
December 2000

May 12, 1904
Dear Mrs. Trask:
Are you coming up here before long? If so I wish you would come out and see me; there is something important I wish to speak to you about.

Meantime the Executive Committee of the Southwest Society, A.I.A extends a persona and cordial invitation to you to become a member, knowing of your interest in the line of work it is undertaking. You are familiar, I know, with our general activities, through the magazine, but these are only a beginning of what is going to be in a short time a movement of very great importance and magnitude. I think it is the sort of company in which you belong.

With all good wishes,
Sincerely yours,

Robert Roy J. van de Hoek
December 2000

Blanche Trask, poet-explorer-naturalist, did most of her California wild nature exploration and writing on the Channel Islands of Southern California. She was a resident of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in Los Angeles County, California from 1895 to 1915 (20 Years). Her winter home was located next to the Tuna Club in Avalon, but she also had a summer home at the Isthmus where the Institute of Environmental Studies of USC is currently located. She corresponded with professors and scientists at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, the Smithsonian, and at the California Academy of Sciences in San Franciso. She also corresponded with Charles Lummis, editor of the Land of Sunshine, a literary magazine.

Charles Lummis wrote at least two letters to Blanche Trask, one on May 12, 1904 and the other a year later on October 6, 1905. This correspondence took place during the time of Blanche Trask submitting poetry to LAND OF SUNSHINE. By this time in 1904, it had been four years since publishing her Catalina and San Nicolas Island articles in LAND OF SUNSHINE. Since Blanche Trask and Charles Lummis knew each other for over 10 years, it is believed that other correspondence may exist. Although it would seem likely that Charles Lummis visited Catalina Island, I am unaware of any visit to Avalon or Catalina. The above narrative and letter was written and compiled by Robert Roy van de Hoek for educational purposes in recognition of the 95th anniversary of this letter being written.

The original letter is on file at the Southwest Museum of Los Angeles in the Charles Lummis Manuscript Collection (MS.1) under the correspondence: Blanche Trask, 1899-1905, Folder Number MS.1.1.4366. I thank the Southwest Museum for their assistance in archiving the letters and for help in finding the letters.