Kimball Island

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Kimball Island
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USGS aerial imagery of Kimball Island; Antioch is across the San Joaquin River to the south, and Sherman Island is across Cabin Slough to the north.
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Kimball Island
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Kimball Island
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Kimball Island
Geography
Location Northern California
Coordinates 38°01′38″N121°49′00″W / 38.02722°N 121.81667°W / 38.02722; -121.81667 (Kimball Island) [1] Coordinates: 38°01′38″N121°49′00″W / 38.02722°N 121.81667°W / 38.02722; -121.81667 (Kimball Island) [1]
Adjacent bodies of water Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta
Highest elevation0 ft (0 m) [1]
Administration
United States
StateFlag of California.svg  California
County Sacramento

Kimball Island (formerly known as Hammond Island) [1] is a small island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. [2] Since its discovery, it has been used to grow barley, farm fish, cultivate cannabis, and as residential land. Currently, however, it is uninhabited; 2000 it has been left to "forever be a wetland habitat".

Contents

Geography

Kimball Island is located in the San Joaquin River, west of West Island, southwest of the submerged southern tip of Sherman Island, south of the Sacramento River, and east of Winter Island. [3] It is also south of Lobree Island (which is uncharted on USGS maps). [4] It is part of Sacramento County, California. Its coordinates are 38°01′38″N121°49′00″W / 38.02722°N 121.81667°W / 38.02722; -121.81667 (Kimball Island) [1] , and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 0 ft (0 m) in 1981. [1] Since 2000, it has been uninhabited, as county officials voted for it to "forever be a wetland habitat"; [5] Currently, it is marshland, and used for wildlife mitigation. [6] [7]

The currents of the San Joaquin River between Kimball Island and the northern shore of Antioch are strong, and the river is not passable by swimming: in 1973, the Los Angeles Times said that "the dark green current brooks few weaknesses and no errors", and that "no one, as far as the old-timers know, has ever made it across the 600 yards that separate the small, pleasant city of Antioch in Contra Costa County from Kimball Island, a verdant strip in the distance". [8]

History

The earliest reference to Kimball Island is an 1850 survey map of the San Francisco Bay area made by Cadwalader Ringgold, on which it is shown and labeled "Hammond Island". There is no relation to the Hammond Island, further downstream in Suisun Bay. [9] In 1869, a real estate transaction was recorded in which George P. Sanford sold William M. Brown several acres of swamp land "near Kimball's Island". [10] By 1871 barley was being grown there by a Captain Kimball: [11] the Daily Evening Herald of Stockton said in March that "we have seen a bunch of barley stalks, from Kimball's Island, that are nearly five feet long". [12] In July of the same year, levees protecting Kimball Island from the waters of the Sacramento River failed, with Captain Kimball saying that he would "sustain damage of five or six hundred dollars in injury to growing crops". [11]

By 1882, two ponds on Kimball Island were being used by C. Dickenson of Concord to raise German carp. [13] The ponds were said, at the time, to contain "about 3,000 fish". [13] While the carp were said to be tasty, Dickenson sold them primarily to other fish farmers who needed to stock breeding ponds. [13] By 1897, asparagus was being grown there, with the Contra Costa Gazette saying that "Kimball Island asparagus commands the best price in the San Francisco market [...] it is very large, delicious and of a most excellent flavor, and in constant demand." [14]

For some time, a navigational beacon was located at Kimball Island; it was discontinued in 1922, after having been reported missing. [15] A cruiser would run aground on the island in 1935, stranding eight people aboard for the night. [16] In 1935, Kimball Island was one of several locations along the San Joaquin River included in the Oakland Tribune Bass Derby, in which fishermen competed to catch the largest bass. [17] By the late 1940s, Kimball Island had become a location for duck hunting. [18] In 1961, the Napa Valley Register said that striper fishing was good at Kimball Island. [19] In 1964, the Oakland Tribune reported on muskrat and beaver burrows threatening the stability of levees in the Delta, including on Kimball Island. [20]

A number of people have lived on Kimball Island. In 1890, a Captain Mitchell had "established himself" on Kimball Island. [21] In 1893, a man named Ah Sing (who had lived there for some time) was found dead; while murder was suspected by his friends, it was eventually found that he had died of consumption. [22] In 1930, Kimball Island was home to Captain Henry Mason. [23] In 1941, two men were arrested in the act of stealing an electric motor, a tractor, a gasoline engine and two lawnmowers from Kimball Island. [24]

In 1967, a real estate development company from San Francisco made a request to Sacramento County supervisors that Kimball Island be "detached from Sacramento County and attached to Contra Costa" to develop it into a "marina-oriented subdivision". [25] This project was never undertaken: Assistant County Counsel Fred Williams would later say that "when the developer found out what a long and complicated procedure would be involved, he gave up the idea". [26] The next year, a different developer planned to "construct a 3,500-foot blacktop airplane landing strip", a public recreational area, and a pleasure craft marina on the island, which they would then call "Sky Island". [27] The rezoning, transferring the land from the recreation-flood zone to the commercial zone, was approved on the condition that "provisions for water supply, sewage disposal, fire and police protection be approved by various county departments concerned and that the proposal be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, the State Aeronautics Board and the County Board of Supervisors". It was also conditional on development being started within one year of the approval. [27]

In 1983, a cannabis "plantation" was discovered on Kimball Island, with over 300 marijuana plants. As this occurred during the period when possessing or smoking cannabis was illegal in California, police responded by taking possession of the cannabis and setting it on fire. [28]

In 2000, the Sacramento County Policy Planning Commission voted to rezone Kimball Island from "commercial recreation and flood" to "permanent agriculture and flood", in a move that was described by the Sacramento Bee as making sure it would "forever be a wetland habitat". [5] By September, 104 acres of Kimball Island was owned by Steve Morgan, the founder of Wildlands Incorporated, who used the property as a mitigation bank. [6] [7]

In 2014, three houses on the island were damaged by a fire. [29]

Related Research Articles

Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Inland river delta and estuary in Northern California

The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, or California Delta, is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The Delta is formed at the western edge of the Central Valley by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and lies just east of where the rivers enter Suisun Bay, which flows into San Francisco Bay and then the Pacific Ocean via San Pablo Bay. The Delta is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta was designated a National Heritage Area on March 12, 2019. The city of Stockton is located on the San Joaquin River on the eastern edge of the delta. The total area of the Delta, including both land and water, is about 1,100 square miles (2,800 km2). Its population is around 500,000 residents.

Sherman Island (California)

Sherman Island is an island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta at the confluence of the two rivers in Sacramento County, California, 1.2 miles (1.9 km) northeast of Antioch. The 5,500 ha island, mostly managed by Reclamation District 341, is the meeting point of Sacramento, Solano, and Contra Costa Counties, and is bordered on the north and northwest by the Sacramento River, on the northeast by Three Mile Slough, and on the east, and south west by the San Joaquin River. Sherman Island is a widely known kite and windsurfing area.

Big Break Regional Shoreline is a regional park in Oakley, Contra Costa County, northern California. It is a part of the East Bay Regional Park District system.

Winter Island (California) Restored as a tidal marsh in Suisun Bay

Winter Island is a 453-acre (183 ha) island in Suisun Bay, in the western Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. It is north of Pittsburg, separated from Browns Island to the west by a slough. It was private property, and contained one house. It is used as a duck hunting area, a wetland, and a dredging disposal area. In 2016 Winter Island was purchased by the California Department of Water Resources in order to restore the island as a tidal marsh. Winter Island is part of Contra Costa County, and managed by Reclamation District 2122. It is shown, labeled "Ruckels Island", on an 1850 survey map of the San Francisco Bay area made by Cadwalader Ringgold and an 1854 map of the area by Henry Lange.

Hammond Island (California) Island in California

Hammond Island is a small island in Suisun Bay, California. It is part of Solano County. Its coordinates are 38°06′18″N121°56′15″W. An 1850 survey map of the San Francisco Bay area made by Cadwalader Ringgold shows islands partially covering some of the current area of Hammond Island, labeled "Davis Island" and "Warrington Island".

Simmons Island Island in California

Simmons Island is a small island in Grizzly Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is part of Solano County, and included within Reclamation District 2127. Its coordinates are 38°05′49″N121°59′26″W. It is shown as "Simmons Island" on an 1850 survey map of the San Francisco Bay area made by Cadwalader Ringgold, and as "Simons Island" on an 1854 map of the area by Henry Lange. It is labeled, along with Deadman Island, Joice Island, Grizzly Island, Ryer Island and Roe Island, on a 1902 USGS map of the area.

Bradford Island Island in California

Bradford Island is a 2,172-acre (879 ha) island of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Bradford Island is inaccessible by roads, and is served by a ferry across the False River from nearby Jersey Island. Approximately 48 people lived on the island as of 2020; other uses of land include wheat farming, cattle grazing, and natural gas extraction.

West Island (California) Island in California

West Island is a small island in the San Joaquin River, California. It is part of Sacramento County. Its coordinates are 38°01′24″N121°46′43″W. It is shown, labeled "Webers Island", on an 1850 survey map of the San Francisco Bay area made by Cadwalader Ringgold and an 1854 map of the area by Henry Lange.

Little Mandeville Island Island in California

Little Mandeville Island is a small, mostly submerged island in the San Joaquin River delta, in California. It is part of San Joaquin County, and its coordinates are 38.0104776°N 121.5649522°W. In 1994, 376 acres (152 ha) of former farmland was inundated with water after a levee broke.

Headreach Island Island in California

Headreach Island is a small island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, in northern California. A naturally-formed island existing in a complex with Tule Island to the southeast and Fern Island to the northwest, it was used for farming as late as the 1920s. While several proposals for real estate development on the island were made in the late 20th century, it now consists mostly of marsh and submerged land. Black rails live on the island.

Liberty Island (California) Island in California

Liberty Island is a mostly-flooded island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, in Solano County, California. It is administered by Reclamation District 2093. Its coordinates are 38°17′13″N121°40′43″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 0 ft (0 m) in 1981.

Mallard Island Island in California

Mallard Island is a small island in Suisun Bay, at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. It is part of Contra Costa County, California. Its coordinates are 38°02′31″N121°55′07″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 3 ft (0.91 m) in 1981. It appears in a 1953 USGS map of the area.

Spud Island Island in California

Spud Island is a small island of the San Joaquin River, located in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta in northern California. It was once used to farm onions; while it is no longer used for agriculture, it remains inhabited. In the late 20th century it was the site of a county park, which offered camping, fishing and swimming amenities free of charge.

Empire Tract Island in California

The Empire Tract is an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, in San Joaquin County, California. It has been used for agriculture since the 1800s.

Webb Tract Island in California

The Webb Tract is an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is part of Contra Costa County, California, and managed by Reclamation District 2026. Its coordinates are 38°04′47″N121°36′32″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as −13 ft (−4.0 m) in 1981.

Terminous Tract Island in California

The Terminous Tract is an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is part of San Joaquin County, California, and managed by Reclamation District 548. Its coordinates are 38°06′45″N121°27′27″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as −7 ft (−2.1 m) in 1981. The census-designated place of Terminous, California is on the island.

Wright-Elmwood Tract Island in California

The Wright-Elmwood Tract is an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is part of San Joaquin County, California, and managed by Reclamation District 2119. Its coordinates are 37°59′23″N121°22′50″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 0 ft (0 m) in 1981.

Palm Tract Island in California

The Palm Tract is an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is part of Contra Costa County, California. It, along with Orwood Tract to the south, are managed by Reclamation District 2024. Its coordinates are 37°57′14″N121°35′22″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 10 ft (3.0 m) in 1981. It appears on 1913 and 1952 United States Geological Survey maps of the area.

Chain Island Island in California

Chain Island is an island in Suisun Bay, an embayment of San Francisco Bay, downstream of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.

Middle Ground Island Island in California

Middle Ground Island is an island in Suisun Bay, an embayment of San Francisco Bay, downstream of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. It is part of Solano County, California, and not managed by any reclamation district. Its coordinates are 38°03′46″N121°58′53″W, and the United States Geological Survey measured its elevation as 0 ft (0 m) in 1981.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kimball Island
  2. California State Automobile Association (1999). San Francisco Bay Region (Map). 1:190,000. American Automobile Association.
  3. Topography, State of California: Antioch North Quadrangle, United States Geological Survey, 1978
  4. "Lost Delta Dot: Want to Buy an Island for $400?". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 1958-05-14. p. 47.
  5. 1 2 "Kimball Island to become wetland habitat". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 2000-06-01. p. 80. Retrieved 2021-11-17 via Newspapers.com.
  6. 1 2 "Wetlands". Lincoln News Messenger. Lincoln, California. 2000-09-21. p. 2.
  7. 1 2 "California remains at risk for fires". Visalia Times-Delta. Visalia, California. 2014-01-16. p. 4.
  8. "Waldie: There's a River He Has to Swim". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 1973-11-12. p. 127.
  9. Ringgold, Cadwalader; Stuart, Fred D.; Everett, Chas.; Harrison (1850). "General Chart embracing Surveys of the Farallones Entrance to the Bay of San Francisco, Bays of San Francisco and San Pablo, Straits of Carquines and Suisun Bay, and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, to the Cities of Sacramento and San Joaquin, California". David Rumsey Map Collection. San Francisco Common Council. Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  10. "Real Estate Transactions". Contra Costa Gazette. Martinez, California. 1869-11-13. p. 3.
  11. 1 2 "High Tide-Levees Broken". Daily Evening Herald. Stockton, California. 1871-07-11. p. 1.
  12. "Cattle-Fish-Barley". Daily Evening Herald. Stockton, California. 1871-03-14. p. 1.
  13. 1 2 3 "Fish farming". The Placer Herald. Rocklin, California. 1882-11-11. p. 1.
  14. "County Squibs, Gleaned from Our Exchanges in Neighboring Towns: Antioch Ledger". Contra Costa Gazette. Martinez, California. 1897-05-15. p. 3.
  15. "Sacramento River". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 1922-11-08. p. 28.
  16. "Eight Marooned On Grounded Boat". Contra Costa Gazette. Martinez, California. 1935-09-24. p. 5.
  17. "Bass Derby Waters Promise Great Sport". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 1935-07-05. p. 32.
  18. "Boy Hunter, 8, Aims At Bird, Shoots Father". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 1949-10-24. p. 17.
  19. "Out of Doors with Field & Stream". The Napa Valley Register. Napa, California. 1961-05-12. p. 9.
  20. "Delta Area Plagued By Beavers". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 1964-06-14. p. 12.
  21. "Antioch Items". Contra Costa Gazette. Martinez, California. 1890-04-30. p. 2.
  22. "A Natural Death". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1893-08-16. p. 4.
  23. "Sacramento Girl Drowned in River". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 1930-02-09. p. 15.
  24. "Capital Men Are Held For Delta Burglary". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1941-11-26. p. 7.
  25. "Firm Wants County To Let Island Go". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1967-04-19. p. 16.
  26. "Antelope May Be Stuck: No California Secession". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1975-10-28. p. 14.
  27. 1 2 "County Planners Approve Rezoning For Landing Strip On Kimball Island". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1968-07-25. p. 32.
  28. "Pot Plantation Discovered On Tiny Delta Island". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. 1983-08-27. p. 19.
  29. "California remains at risk for fires". Visalia Times-Delta. Visalia, California. 2014-01-16. p. 4. Retrieved 2021-11-17 via Newspapers.com.