Catalina Island History
Santa Catalina Island has been inhabited for at least 8000 years. At the time of first European contact in 1542, it is thought that the Native Americans living on Santa Catalina Island called their island Pimu and themselves Pimungans (or Pimuvit).
In 1542 the Pimungans greeted the Spanish galleon that bore the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to their shores. Thus began the start of the Spanish discovery of the Island. In 1602, on November 24, the eve of St. Catherine's Day, the ship of the second Spanish explorer, Sebastian Viscaino, sighted the Island. Viscaino renamed it Santa Catalina in honor of Saint Catherine.
In the years following Catalina was used by otter hunters, smugglers, and ranching, mining and military operations. In 1846, Santa Catalina Island was awarded to Thomas Robbins by Mexican Governor Pio Pico as a Mexican land grant.
In 2013, the City of Avalon celebrated it's 100th anniversary.