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A New Path to the Stone Age

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island March 25, 2012

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas lived alone on the island from 1835 to 1853.

If you’ve read “Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’ Dell you should be familiar with the story.

The story begins when a schooner under Captain Charles Hubbard carried away the Natives of San Nicolas Island except for one woman who boarded the ship but then realized her child or sibling was left behind,  jumps into the sea to save the child.  18 years later she was found on the Island by Captain Nidever, she was found alone with a dog in a crude house made from whale bones and dressed in a skirt made from cormorant feathers. 

She was taken to Mission Santa Barbara, she spoke only in sign language for the many  Indians at the Mission could not understand her strange language.   The Indians at Mission Santa Barbara were Chumash and the woman was from Gabrielino descent.  Both tribes spoke very differents dialects.

The lone woman who was named Juana Maria was buried on a hill near the Santa Barbara Mission.