Chimes Tower part of the soundtrack on Catalina Island

Avalon chimes tower

Catalina Island has its own soundtrack. Music is created by the unique combination of chatting visitors, laughing children, shrieking gulls, rumbling motor boats and, beneath it all, the unending susurrus of the sea. Difficult to describe, yet impossible to forget, these distinctive Catalina sounds form the soundtrack for millions of vacations.

Beginning at 8 a.m. every morning, that soundtrack is augmented by the peaceful tolling of the chimes, which ring out every 15 minutes until 8 p.m. Perched high above Avalon Harbor, the Chimes Tower’s colorful tile roof makes it one of the most distinctive landmarks on Catalina Island. A gift to the city from Ada Wrigley, William Wrigley, Jr.’s wife, the Catalina Chimes Tower was installed in 1925 and its melodic tolling has punctuated life in Avalon ever since.

On special occasions, local resident Jani Eisenhut plays the chimes, bringing melodies and seasonal songs echoing across Avalon.

Recently the age of Chimes Tower has become apparent, with the building housing them in need of repair. The Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation has been established to raise funds to support the on-going maintenance needs of this Catalina Island institution.