Hotel St Catherine, Catalina, California, 1939
The Hotel St Catherine was once a landmark on beautiful Catalina Island, California.
Built in 1918, it was built on the former estate of the Banning family, who were among the original developers of the island.
When chewing gum industrialist William Wrigley jnr purchased the island in 1919, the hotel was included in the price.
Named after the patron saint of the island and movie stars, athletes ( who appreciated a private pier that meant they could come and go without being seen) and non-celebrities flocked to the St Catherine Hotel over the next two decades.
It had its own private beach and was a short walk from the famous Catalina Casino (gambling has never taken place there – the casino name comes from the Italian word for gathering place) and had a dining room that could seat 1200 people.
The Catalina tourist economy came to a halt with WWII when cross-channel boat traffic to the island was halted by the Defense Department and the Merchant Marines took over the hotel.
After the war ended, the hotel was deemed to be outdated and in a state of disrepair and it was demolished in 1966.
This stylish menu from 1939 is from a series created by Dorothy and Otis ‘Shep’ Shepard, the masterminds behind Wrigley chewing gum’s brand.
These talented graphic designers worked on branding material for Catalina island, under the direction of Mr Wrigley who correctly foresaw this little paradise as a popular leisure destination.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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