Charles Lummis to Blanche Trask
The 1905 Letter

compiled by
Robert Roy J. van de Hoek
December 2000

October 6, 1905
Dear Mrs. Trask:

Thank you for your thoughtful remembrance of the Southwest Society. The box has reached me though I shall not unpack it yet, for we have no adequate space. It will be kept safely just as it is until we secure store-room for the articles which are piling up on us.

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 October 6, 1905 and the other a year earlier on May 12, 1904. This correspondence took place during the time of Blanche Trask submitting poetry to LAND OF SUNSHINE. By this time in 1905, it had been over 8 years since publishing her "CATALINA" article 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 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 finding the letter and for also having an excellent museum archives.