St Catherine Hotel Cocktails, Catalina Island, California, 1941
This is one of a series of menus created by Dorothy and Otis “Shep” Shepard, the masterminds behind Wrigley chewing gum’s branding. The couple worked on a lot of branding material for Catalina Island when owner P.K. Wrigley worked to develop it as a tourist destination.
The St Catherine Hotel in Avalon dates from 1918, when the Bannings built it on the site of their former family home, destroyed by fire in 1915. The hotel had a private beach, a 1,200-seat dining room, and was favoured by Hollywood celebrities, who appreciated being able to use the private pier to come and go with discretion.
This 1941 menu must have been one of the last in use at the hotel: that same year WW2 forced the end of leisure traffic to the island, and the hotel and other facilities were taken over by the Merchant Marines for training. After the war, despite attempts to reopen St Catherine’s Hotel, it was in too poor condition, and lacked modern amenities such as en-suite bathrooms. Parts of the hotel were repurposed, but it was finally demolished in 1966.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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