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Writers in the Channel

Two of the most well known writers whose lives and writing captured the spirit of life in early California in the late 1800s and early 1900s were Helen Hunt Jackson, author of the rancho-era novel Ramona, and Zane Grey, author of adventure novels about the American Southwest, and resident of Catalina and Alta Dena California.

What these writers both did that sets them apart form other writers in their time is that they actually came to the West and experienced first hand the way of life, the cultural conflicts, and the sights, sounds and smells of this dramatically different locale. Zane was riding into areas of the Southwest never before seen by a white man, living in remote cabins, and relishing the life of a mountain man. Helen was visiting the California Missions and Indian reservations, and finding their situations deplorable, urging legislators to enact changes in the U.S. policy towards Native Americans.

Lets learn a little about these writers and their work as they captured the spirit of the Channel region.

Robinson Jeffers

Helen Hunt Jackson

Zane Grey