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Early history[ edit ] Archaeological investigations indicate that Santa Cruz Island has been occupied for at least 10, years. It was known as Limuw place of the sea or Michumash in the Chumash language. Between and there was no recorded European contact with the island.
When Mission San Buenaventura was founded across the channel init commenced the slow religious conversion of the Santa Cruz Chumash.
Beset by diseases such as measlesthe Chumash declined in numbers until, inthe Santa cruz case of the Chumash left the island for mainland California missions. The Chumash on the next day returned a staff, topped by an iron cross, which had been inadvertently left behind by the Spanish.
Hence, the name La Isla de la Santa Cruz appeared on their exploration map of George Vancouver used the same name on his map. In an effort to increase the Mexican presence, the government began sending convicted criminals to California in Around 80 prisoners were sent to Santa Barbara where, upon arrival, 31 incorrigibles were sent to Santa Cruz Island.
They lived for a short time in an area now known as Prisoners Harbor before escaping to the mainland. When California became a state inthe United States government, through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgorequired that land previously granted by Spanish and Mexican governments be proved before the Board of Land Commissioners.
James Barron Shaw was hired to manage things, and charged by Barron to start a sheep operation. By the end of the s, some 24, sheep grazed the hills and valleys of Santa Cruz Island.
He imported cattle, horses, and sheep to the island and erected one of the earliest wharves along the California coast at Prisoners Harbor by He built corrals and houses for himself and his employees and expanded the road system.
By Caire had acquired all of the shares of the Santa Cruz Island Company which he and his colleagues had founded in He then implemented his vision of building a self-sustaining sheep and cattle ranch, vineyard, nut and fruit grove operation on the island. Inhe operated the largest private telephone system in the US at that time.
A post office operated from untilwhile there were workers on the island in The operation received water from four springs, El Pato, Gallina, The Dindos and The Peacock, which fed into a 26, gallon reservoir, tanks and dams.
The vineyard was planted in and bythe winery was maturing 86, gallons from the acre vineyard. Justinian's will stipulated his two sons, Arthur and Frederic, were to be executors of his will and continue management of operations with little change, though Justinian signed over to his wife Albina, all shares in the Justinian Caire Company and Santa Cruz Company the year before he died.
Beginning in an extended and complicated litigation was brought by Caire's two married daughters against their mother and four siblings.
This resulted in the division of the island and the forced sale of most of it in To pay their legal costs,  the majority of Caire's descendants were compelled to sell the remaining 90 percent of the island to Los Angeles oilman Edwin Stanton in After trying for a short time to continue the sheep operation, bringing in 10, head, he decided to switch to beef production.
At the time, the beef industry in California was growing rapidly, with Santa Barbara County among the top ten beef producers in the state. While retaining most of the 19th century structures dating from the Caire period, Stanton constructed a few buildings to meet the needs of his cattle ranch, the most notable of which is Rancho del Norte on the isthmus.
Pasture fencing and corrals were altered to suit the cattle operation and an extensive water system was added to provide water to the cattle.
They managed the island with resident managers and laborers and often worked as a family during shearing and during the summer.Her body was found on 12/22/ in the San Lorenzo River near the train trestle and the beach within the City of Santa Cruz, CA.
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