None
View of Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California
Björn S

Bookshelf: The Story of Santa Cruz Island

May 6, 2019

Book cover for Justinian Caire and Santa Cruz Island: The Rise and Fall of a California Dynasty by Frederic Caire Chiles - University of Oklahoma PressThe heart of this book is the epic tale of the Caire family, which at one time owned Santa Cruz Island, about 30 miles off the coast of California. Once the largest privately owned island off the coast of the United States, Santa Cruz is now under the ownership of The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service. Justinian Caire, a gold rush émigré from France, arrived on Santa Cruz in the 1880s. (It had previously been inhabited by the Native American Chumash tribe.) Through business acumen and a love of the island, he created a prosperous ranching kingdom. The author of this book is his great-grandson Frederic Caire Chiles, and this story is a labor of love, undertaken to paint a vivid picture of possession and subsequent loss. Chiles used previously unseen family archives, diaries and letters to tell a moving tale that begins in the halcyon years when Santa Cruz was a thriving enterprise, as well as a retreat for the Caire clan, and culminates with the protracted legal battles that eventually tore the family apart and forced the sale of the island in 1937. This multifaceted narrative is gripping from the first page to the last.

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who they are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
Learn more...

Premium Content

Articles from The Hideaway Report are only available to members. To view, please log in below or join.

Member Login

Become a Member

Join the Hideaway Report for access to our publications and travel benefits that can more than offset the cost of your membership.
Plans start at $250.

Contact a Travel Advisor
Hideaway Report members have access to travel advisors at our partner Andrew Harper Travel. Learn More
Call Andrew Harper Travel:
1 (800) 375-4685
OPEN M-F 8AM-6PM CST