“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Juana Maria

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island

Juana Maria Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Juana Maria Marker
Inscription.  Indian woman abandoned on San Nicolas Island eighteen years. Found and brought to Santa Barbara by Capt. George Nidever in 1853.
Erected 1928 by Daughters of the American Revolution.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesNative AmericansWomen. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) series list.
Location. 34° 26.318′ N, 119° 42.787′ W. Marker is in Santa Barbara, California, in Santa Barbara County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Laguna Street and Los Olivos Street. Located inside the Mission grounds near the cemetery, open 9-4 daily. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara CA 93105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Don Jose Francisco De Ortega (within shouting distance of this marker); Moorish Fountain and Indian Community Laundry (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Santa Barbara Mission Lavanderia (about 300 feet
Juana Maria Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Juana Maria Marker
The marker is near the round window on the bell tower, facing the cemetery.
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away); Santa Barbara Mission Early Water Supply (about 500 feet away); Mission Historical Park (about 500 feet away); Old Stagecoach Route (approx. one mile away); President Reagan Meets Queen Elizabeth II (approx. 1.1 miles away); First Ruling Sovereign of Europe to Visit America (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Barbara.
Regarding Juana Maria. San Nicolas Island is 60 miles from the California mainland. It is owned by the U.S. Navy, and no visitors are allowed.

The island was inhabited by natives for thousands of years. In 1814, a party of hunters massacred most of the islanders. In 1835 the remaining natives were removed and brought to the mainland, but one woman was left behind. Later attempts to find her were not successful, until Captain Nidever’s third attempt in 1853. Seven weeks after arriving at the Mission, Juana Maria died of dysentery.

The popular children’s novel Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on the life of Juana Maria.

In 1939, archaeologists discovered Juana Maria's whale-bone hut on the highest point of the island. In 2009, two redwood cache boxes were

Santa Barbara Mission image. Click for full size.
3. Santa Barbara Mission
discovered with 200 artifacts inside. In 2012, archaeologists found and uncovered an Indian cave. All are believed to be Juana Maria’s.
Juana Maria image. Click for full size.
4. Juana Maria
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2018. This page has been viewed 332 times since then and 41 times this year. Last updated on October 14, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 26, 2022