By Frederic Caire Chiles
Prehistoric foragers, conquistadors, missionaries, adventurers, hunters, and rugged agriculturalists parade around the histories of those little-known islands at the horizon of twenty-first century Southern California. This chain of 8 islands is domestic to a biodiversity unequalled wherever on the earth. additionally, the Channel Islands exhibit the complicated geology and the traditional and human historical past of this a part of the realm, from the 1st human probing of the continent we now name North the USA to modern day ranchers, vineyardists, yachtsmen, and backpackers.
now not a ways under the mostly undisturbed floor of those islands are the lines of a California that flourished sooner than historic time, vestiges of a posh forager tradition originating with the 1st people to go the Bering Land Bridge and unfold down the Pacific coast. This tradition got here to an finish a trifling 450 years in the past with the coming of Spanish conquistadors and missionaries, whose practices successfully depopulated the archipelago. The principally empty islands in flip attracted Anglo-American agriculturalists, together with Frederic Caire Chiles’s personal ancestors, who battled the weather to construct empires in accordance with livestock, sheep, wine, and wool. this present day experience tourism is the guts of the islands’ economic system, with the late-twentieth-century formation of Channel Islands nationwide Park, which opened 5 of the islands to the final public.
For viewers and armchair tourists alike, this booklet weaves the strands of common heritage, island ecology, and human recreation to inform the Channel Islands’ complete story.
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Extra resources for California's Channel Islands: A History
California's Channel Islands: A History by Frederic Caire Chiles