It’s the closest of the Channel Islands to the mainland. Yet, it’s still a mystery to most people, because they’ve never visited it. Now, Anacapa Island is the focus of a new book which looks at its habitat and history.
Marla Daily is author of the book “Images of America: Anacapa Island.”
Daily says the island is about five miles long, but only a half to a quarter of a mile wide. It’s actually made up of three islets.
The Chumash were the first known people on Anacapa Island, but because of the lack of fresh water, it’s believed they didn’t spend a lot of time there. Explorer Juan Cabrillo passed by it in 1542. In the 18th and 19th centuries, seal hunters went to Anacapa and set up camp, as they tried to take advantage of the natural resources in the islands.
Daily’s 128 page book is filled with photos of the island and its visitors dating back to the late 1800’s.
In 1912, the first lighthouse was built on East Anacapa Island, and in the 1930’s, it was replaced with a more modern one, along with a Coast Guard station.
While the island is popular with visitors, nature in a way has passed it by. Daily says there aren’t a lot of creatures living on it, with deer mice the only native mammals.
The island can be visited by hikers and campers through almost daily service by Island Packers, the National Parks Services concessionaire serving the Channel Islands.
Daily says she hopes the book inspires more people to visit the island. “Images of America: Anacapa Island” was released this month by Arcadia Publishing, and is available at selected local bookstores, and online.