The Shack by the Sea

My Weekend Getaway

This is a shot of a classic “Cottage” overlooking the Harbor in Avalon on Catalina Island. It was recently put on the market and went quickly for a cool 6.5 million.

By the end of the 19th century, the island was almost uninhabited except for a few  cattle herders. At that time, its location just 20 miles (30 km) from  Los Angeles—a city that had reached the population of 50,000 in 1890 and was undergoing a period of enormous growth—was a major factor that contributed to the development of the island into a vacation destination.

The first owner to try to develop Avalon into a resort destination was George Shatto, a real estate speculator from  Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shatto purchased the island for $200,000 from the Lick estate at the height of the  real estate boom in  Southern California in 1887. Shatto created the settlement that would become Avalon, and can be credited with building the town’s first hotel, the original Hotel Metropole, and pier. His sister-in-law Etta Whitney came up with the name Avalon, which was taken from  Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ” Idylls of the King,” about the legend of  King Arthur. He laid out Avalon’s streets, and introduced it as a vacation destination to the general public. He did this by hosting a real estate auction in Avalon in 1887, and purchasing a steamer ship for daily access to the island. In the summer of 1888, the small pioneer village kicked off its opening season as a booming little resort town. Despite Shatto’s efforts, he defaulted on his loan after only a few years and the island went back to the Lick estate.

5 responses

  1. What a gorgeous place. Nicely captured and processed!

    May 17, 2011 at 7:49 am

  2. Awesome capture!

    May 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

  3. Astonishing image here Erik! Wow, what a place!!

    May 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

  4. Amazing stuff. Well framed.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

  5. jimdenham

    Well done Erik!

    May 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

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