Due to health reasons, Betsy Lester Roberti will not be able to attend the Aug. 20 lecture, “Life on San Miguel Island.” We hope to bring Betsy in at a later date for a presentation about her experiences growing up on San Miguel Island.
On Aug. 20, in addition to hearing from San Miguel Island Ranger Ian Williams, we will present a sneak preview of the Sam Tyler film West of the West: Tales From California’s Channel Islands which features Betsy Lester Roberti. This film will premiere at the Arlington Theater on Saturday, March 5.
San Miguel Island’s current park ranger, Ian Williams, will trace the island’s history from when the ranch ended with the U.S.N. military occupation to its current status as a National Park.
While much of the ranching period is well known thanks to the Lester family, the military era is not well documented and there are few things we know of this time period.
The story of San Miguel Island becoming part of the National Park system has a lot more material to draw upon. Although owned by the U.S. Navy, San Miguel opened to the public under the auspices of Channel Islands National Monument and became part of Channel Islands National Park in 1980.
The military era is significant both for the fact that it ended ranching on the island and that bombing and missile testing on the island led to the public closure that has been in effect since April 2014.
Ian Williams has been a park ranger with the National Park Service for 30 years. He has worked 10 National Park units and has been the island ranger on San Miguel Island for the past 23 years. Williams grew up in Los Angeles and has a B.A. in American studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is the home of the first-order Fresnel lens from Point Conception Lighthouse. The 7,825 square-foot Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, located at the Santa Barbara Harbor, opened to the public in July 2000.
Today, the museum is a vital part of the community, offering educational programs, interactive displays and both temporary and permanent exhibits, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
To date, more than 81,000 schoolchildren from 140 area schools have participated in the Maritime Museum’s educational programs.
The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is located at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara, California 93109.
Please visit sbmm.org for more details.
—Lydia Kaestner represents the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.