CIVR Blog: 100 years of Catalina Island

CIM-Avalon 100-web

Photo courtesy of Catalina Island Museum

Catalina Island’s museum has a big job. The island’s history is fascinating and tells a tale of lost cultures, intrepid explorers and daring investors. Determining what to showcase at any given time is a job for King Solomon.

That job got a bit more complicated in 2013, when the City of Avalon turned 100. Founded in 1913, Avalon has seen two fires that nearly destroyed it, a heyday in the big band era and its transformation into a military outpost in World War II.  It’s been Hollywood’s playground and backlot, a muse to thousands of artists and above all, a siren call for vacationers for generations. Its streets have transformed, its border has grown and the future brings even more changes.

The Catalina Island Museum’s staff have coalesced that history into a centennial exhibition, Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating and Colorful History. Exploring events that shaped modern Avalon, the exhibit explores periods like prohibition, natural phenomenon such as winter storms and the fascinating characters that have shaped and influenced the city.

Until its new building is completed in 2015, the Catalina Island Museum is located on the ground floor of the Catalina Casino. It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for children under 15. On exhibit until March, Avalon: 100 Years, is a not-be-missed experience for anyone interested in Catalina Island.

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