Catalina Island
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November 25, 2017 - 8:51am

Articles by Jim Watson

It seems that all great cities of the world have at one time or another suffered a great, disastrous fire throughout their vast histories. 
Long before the advent of modern fire safety practices and firefighting technology, most of the world’s populated centers have a history of suffering such a conflagration.

In the first couple of years that I lived on Catalina Island after moving here in 1995, I found myself from time to time in the not unenviable position of having too little money to even buy a boat ticket off the Island.

My predicament never lasted for long, of course. Sooner or later, a paycheck or some other form of revenue would materialize and the cash account I kept at the Bank of Levi Strauss would right itself once again like a capsized sloop.

Last week I promised to tie up some loose ends with my series on Catalina’s mines and natural caves with a bonus column on, shall we say, the astounding legends surrounding the Island’s “underworld.” And it all has to do with a hollow earth, an advanced civilization and a race of giants.

One of the earliest accounts of Catalina Island passed down through the centuries by early Spanish explorers tells us of a mysterious religious shrine belonging to the Island Tongva; a place that the Spaniards referred to as the “Temple of the Sun.”

This temple was considered a central location for the worship of the Tongva deity Chinigchinich, which they considered to be the “sun god.”