Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden – Avalon, California - Atlas Obscura

Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden

Chewing gum tycoon's memorial lies perched over wife's botanical gardens on Santa Catalina Island. 


The Wrigley Memorial was built between 1933 and 1934 to commemorate chewing gum tycoon and Santa Catalina Island visionary William Wrigley Jr.. The memorial was built by the people of Santa Catalina to honor Wrigley for all his contributions to the island, such as new steamships, a hotel, a casino, and public utilities.

The memorial is built of mostly indigenous materials and is adorned with beautiful tiles made by the Catalina Pottery plant which closed in 1937. Inside the memorial lies the Georgian marble sarcophagus of William Wrigley Jr. and his wife Ada. Due to security issues during World War II, Wrigley’s body was moved and no longer rests there. Ada’s body was never buried in the tomb.

The memorial is surrounded by an amazing collection desert plants and Santa Catalina endemics, or plants found nowhere else in the world except for on the island.

Know Before You Go

1.5 miles up Avalon Canyon Road on Santa Catalina Island, CA.

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