One of the most valuable experiences on the island of Catalina is looking through the history of the place, which is curated and preserved over the past 60 years. The Catalina Island Museum is a place that really impresses visitors about the cultural richness of island.
Located at the on the ground floor of the Casino Building, which of itself is a place to spend at least a whole day inside, the Catalina Island Museum has 7,000 years of history waiting to engage and excite you. It is just over a 5-minute walk via the Casino way from Hotel Metropole, one of the finest hotels on Catalina Island.
No one will argue the fact that Catalina has a unique and substantial history. If you are new to the concept of living on an island like this one, this offers a fresh peek into how culture developed over the decades. Get there by taxi or trolley, and check out collections comprising of artifacts from all around the island.
You have an extensive collection of Catalina pottery and tile dating back to the period between 1927-1937, when these materials were manufactured locally. Then there are over 10,000 photographs and negatives, which show island life as it used to be back in the 1880’s and to date. You can see boat models, sports fishing items, artifacts from around the place, and a lot more.
Catalina Island Museum is a storehouse for numerous archeological digs as well, including one of the largest collections of Tongva and Gabrielino artifacts on the globe.
Philip K. Wrigley, the late chewing gum magnate, is famous for his part in transforming the island of Catalina into what it is today. Some of his major efforts were to establish a standing museum to catalog the heritage of the area, which he noticed was being lost in many ways. Visitors back then were curious to learn about the island’s history, but left mostly disappointed in the regard.
Bringing art and culture to the island was another goal Wrigley had, and shared with his father, who hoped to create an ambience allowing all sorts of people to relax as well as educate themselves. The original charter of the museum focused on making the institution ‘well rounded’, with varied exhibition.
The museum was inaugurated on the ground floor of the Casino Building on 29 November 1953, and continues to preserve and showcase the local heritage. It is an essential part of the Catalina Casino tour, so don’t miss it when you are there for vacation.