Catalina Museum explores last 100 years of Avalon

The centennial of a city is cause for celebration and reflection.

To commemorate this milestone, the Catalina Island Museum will showcase some of Avalon’s most influential characters and interesting events in their new exhibition “Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating and Colorful History.”

The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, October 11.

The centennial of a city is cause for celebration and reflection.

To commemorate this milestone, the Catalina Island Museum will showcase some of Avalon’s most influential characters and interesting events in their new exhibition “Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating and Colorful History.”

The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, October 11.

Countless personalities helped shape this small but popular island city. From poet and naturalist Luella Blanche Trask who identified scores of Catalina Island’s indigenous plants to the husband and wife team of artists, Otis and Dorothy Shepard, who literally transformed the appearance of Avalon’s waterfront.

Notorious characters such as lifeguard Duke Fishman and Chicken Johnnie also influenced the city’s unique culture.

Scandal and mystery surround stories of UFOs, rumrunners, smugglers and fire. Is Catalina Island a hotbed for UFO activity? What was the real reason Avalon incorporated? Was the fire of 1915 – that nearly destroyed the entire city – set for insurance purposes, to eliminate a mother-in-law, or was it merely an accident?  You decide.

Winter storms with 25-foot waves and hurricane-like winds have ravaged Avalon’s beautiful shoreline, capsized boats and destroyed waterfront buildings.

Though extraordinary to witness, the wrath of Mother Nature has proved to be quite costly over the years. Featuring events, individuals and stories that have never been fully explored or have largely been forgotten, Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating and Colorful History showcases a glimpse into the city’s rich and complex history.

Opening Reception

The Catalina Island Museum invites you to the opening reception for “Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating” and Colorful History from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11. Tickets are free for members of the museum and $10 for the general public.

The Catalina Island Museum is Avalon’s sole institution devoted to art, culture and history.  The museum, its digital theater and store are located on the ground floor of Avalon’s historic Casino and are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at (310) 510-2414 or at CatalinaMuseum.org.

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