Catalina Island News

The Wrigley Women, An Island Legacy

Catalina Island Conservancy

The saying goes Behind every successful man is a woman. On Sunday, September 28th,  five Wrigley women, descendants of Ada Foote Wrigley and William Wrigley Jr., told Leadership Circle members and guests their remarkable stories of growing up in a remarkable family.

Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner remembered hearing of her grandmother's fateful comment to her husband during their first visit to the Island in 1919. "I should like to live here." Thus the Wrigley/Catalina Legacy was born.

Blanny Avalon Hagenah, granddaughter of Helen and Philip Knight Wrigley, remembered how her grandmother championed the construction of the stunning Botanical Garden that serves as an entryway to the Wrigley Memorial. She recalled the long, exquisitely written letters, and especially this phrase, "I am going to my dear Island and its quiet beauty there."

Alison Wrigley Rusack particularly remembered her grandmother Helen's handwriting in distinctive turquoise ink. "Helen was a study in contrasts," Alison said. "She was handy with a pistol (as seen in a favorite family photo), while always impeccably dressed."  She said that her three boys are learning the quaintness and charm of Catalina "like we did-by example."

Many other stories were told-but will save those for another day.

Visit the Catalina Island Conservancy website below, and click on Membership, for more information about how you can become part of the Leadership Circle and attend exciting events like this one.

- Photo and story by Bob Rhein