Drum Barracks during Civil War. Note the camel.
Jefferson Davis imported camels from Arabia during the
1850s for hauling Army freight through the desert.
Photo courtesy of Drum Barracks Civil War Museum.
Visit Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, 1052 Banning Blvd, Wilmington 90744; telephone (310) 548-7509
The Isthmus of Catalina Island, also known as Two Harbors, is the narrowest section of the island. Silver, lead and zinc mining operations took place there in the 1860s. In 1863, the U.S. Army stationed a small garrison of troops in the middle of the isthmus to guard the island from Confederate privateers (some maintain that the Army was there on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to survey the island as a possible reservation for rebellious Native Americans from Humboldt County). Upon the Army's arrival, all civilian inhabitants were ordered to vacate the island within two months. Some miners and ranchers, however, had lived on the island for more than decade. The Army later rescinded this order and allowed civilian residents to remain subject to certain conditions. Today, the Union Army barracks building remains and is now home to the Isthmus Yacht Club.