Skip to comments.Navy Has Probably Found the Island of the Blue Dolphins Cave
Posted on 11/02/2012 3:35:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Your pre-adolescent dreams have been dashed: some other person has found the supposed cave from Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins. To be fair, you were not quite as dedicated to the cause as Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz, who scoured San Nicolas Island (one of the Channel Islands, controlled by the Navy) for more than 20 years for the cave that "was believed to be home to the island's most famous inhabitant, a Native American woman who survived on the island for 18 years, abandoned and alone," according to the LA Times (O'Dell based his story on her). Last week at the California Islands Symposium, Schwartz said "We're 90% sure this is the Lone Woman's cave," although they'll still need to do more excavation.
There's evidence that people have lived on San Nicolas for more than 8,000 years; the Nicoleño tribe were the main inhabitants until the early 1800s, when their already-small population was decimated by Alaskan sea otter hunters. In 1835, Franciscans from the mainland sent a ship for the last remaining islanders, but one woman was left behind, for 18 years. In 1853, a Santa Barbara rancher and fur trader finally found her (she was about 50 at the time) and eventually took her back to Santa Barbara; she died of dysentery after seven weeks.
Separately, researchers also "stumbled across two redwood boxes" on San Nicolas--they contain blades, harpoon points, bone fishhooks, and other tools, possibly stashed by the Lone Woman.
(Excerpt) Read more at la.curbed.com ...
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
It had caves and beaches as well as some lagoons. I often go to googlemaps and look at it again.
It had some of the best fishing I have ever experienced.
Unfortunately, it is not opened to the general public. Or, perhaps fortunately so. LOL
I remember having to watch that movie several times in elementary school. It was heartbreaking. Decades later, even realizing that the movie was probably highly fictionalized, I am still haunted by the memory.
It’s amazing that the woman survived for so many years alone, and sad that she died so soon after being rescued. This cave, if it is indeed where she survived, should yield some very interesting details on her life.
Here’s a story I haven’t thought about since gradeschool.
I was hoping someone had heard of this — I’m pretty certain that I had not.
There was a cheesy movie based on the book, also.
Make some more history: Put a boom box in that cave and play the Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive,” full blast.
"...What's known is that a solitary woman lived in the sand and fog of San Nicolas for the next 18 years. On the mainland, her legend grew. A time or two, fishermen reported seeing a fleeting figure on the deserted island. In 1850, a padre at the Santa Barbara Mission commissioned a sea captain to find her.
"The captain sailed to the island but found nothing to indicate the woman was still alive. However, his account of the plentiful seals and sea otters piqued the interest of George Nidever, a Santa Barbara rancher and fur trader. In 1852, Nidever found footprints on the beach. The next year, he found the Lone Woman.
"The old woman was of medium height but rather thick," he later reported. "She must have been about 50 years old but she was still strong and active. Her face was pleasing, as she was continuously smiling. Her teeth were entire but worn to the gums."
"The woman, who was skinning a seal when she was found, shared some roasted roots with Nidever and his men. She was staying above rolling dunes, in a hut she'd built from whale bones and brush.
"According to Schwartz, her people probably lived in more substantial houses, but tribal taboos would have kept females from learning to build them. The hut was no more than a windbreak, he said, and Nidever's accounts said she lived in a cave nearby.
"Just where was an open question until UC Berkeley archaeologist Scott Byram showed Schwartz the field notes written by a U.S. Coast Survey mapmaker who was sent to San Nicolas. One of his survey stations, he noted, was "100 yards eastward of the large cave formerly inhabited by a wild Indian woman who lived there alone for 18 years." The surveyor helpfully provides compass bearings that led Schwartz to a spot he had previously rejected, a shallow depression beneath a rock overhang.
"So began a long, frustrating dig. Beneath a thick layer of sandstone, Schwartz and his crew found a vast deposit of sand. Scooping out the sand, they found what began to look like the opening of a cave. Digging further, they came across a tapered glass bottle the kind that held pepper sauce that spiced the bland fare of seamen between 1840 and 1865.
"That's when we got really excited," he said.
"It was evident they'd started to dig out a cave that had been filled in with sand by the fierce San Nicolas winds...
Must have been, the 50's were all about "Ol' Yeller".
I loved this book when I was a kid. Maybe I’ll read it again now...
50 isn’t an old woman, although in the 1800s it may have been considered old.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.