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In the middle of the 1800s, California was one of the last western frontiers - and Catalina Island was one of the most harshest. Dozens of rugged men and women braved the ocean crossing to establish cattle ranches. Hundreds of other came with their hopes and hard work to mine or to work in the quarries. Others came to fish commercially. And with them came the primary means of transportation throughout the 76 square miles of the Island, the stagecoach - an icon of early California. The stagecoach played as important a part of California history on the Island as it did on the mainland.
Whether the travel was from Wild Boar Gully, Blackjack Junction, or Shark Harbor, the place for stagecoach drivers to change their tired horses for fresh ones, and a place for overnight accommodations was Eagle's Nest Lodge. And eventually, when the beauty and excitement of the Island became known, thousands of curious visitors began arriving, and the stagecoach and Eagles's Nest Lodge became a permanent part of Catalina history.
Over the years, Eagle's Nest Lodge was also used as a hunting lodge until 1942 when the U.S. military took control of the Island during World War II. After the war, the Lodge was a stop on a motor tour of the Island until a storm washed out the access road in 1994. The building, now old and showing ravages of time, has been unused ever since.