14 CATALINA EXPRESS MAGAZINE 2019–2020 COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR COTTON ON EXPRESS FACTORY GAP FACTORY G BY GUESS H&M NIKE FACTORY STORE RESTORATION HARDWARE shop with us Introducing Catalina Born ATOURIST PLAYGROUND IS B efore therewere one-hour Catalina Express crossings to connect Islanders with the mainland, there were canoes, steamships and a seaplane. Before there were cell phones, there were carrier pigeons. Here’s a quick look at the Island’s development as a tourist playground. 1 8 8 7 The first pier and first hotel— the Metropole—are built by George Shatto, the Michigan businessman who owns the Island. By 1891, there are private homes, a dance pavilion, golf course and roads into the Island’s interior for stage coaches. 1915 1921 1921 A devastating fire destroys half of Avalon, forcing the Island’s entrepreneurs, the Banning brothers, to sell the Santa Catalina Island Company. 1 9 1 9 Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. purchases controlling interest and immediately begins improving the Island’s infrastructure, adding new steamships and attractions. Al Bombard founds the Miss Catalina Speedboat Company, which becomes popular with the crowds who travel to the Island by steamer. William Wrigley Jr. becomes the owner of the Chicago Cubs and moves the team’s spring training site to Catalina, where it remains for 30 years. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CATALINA ISLAND MUSEUM