Isaac J. Sparks

Historic black and white photo of elderly man with black hair in black jacket.
Isaac Sparks. Sparks Family Association.
Isaac Sparks is known for sailing to San Nicolas Island in 1835 and returning to San Pedro with a group of islanders, leaving the Lone Woman behind. A Spanish document notes that Sparks and seven men sailed from Santa Barbara on the schooner Peor es Nada in 1834. A hunter, merchant, and rancher, Sparks arrived in California in 1832 and joined in many sea otter hunting trips on the California coast.

DATE OF BIRTH: About 1803
DATE OF DEATH: June 16, 1867
PLACE OF BURIAL: Santa Barbara, California, USA

Ellison, William H., ed. The Life and Adventures of George Nidever [1802–1883]: Life Story of a Remarkable California Pioneer Told in his Own Words and None Wasted Santa Barbara: McNally & Loftin, 1984: 36–39.

Morris, Susan L., John R. Johnson, Steven J. Schwartz, René L. Vellanoweth, Glenn J. Farris, Sara L. Schwebel. “The Nicoleños in Los Angeles: Documenting the Fate of the Lone Woman’s Community.” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 36, 1 (2016).

1850 US census, Santa Barbara County, California, population schedule, Santa Barbara, p. 254 (stamped), p. 507 (penned), dwelling 132, family 134, Isaac Sparks; digital images. accessed 12 December 2014), from National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 35.

“Provincial State Papers: Benicia, Military 1834–1845,” Internet Archive, digital images, ( accessed 9 December 2014), LXXIX, p. 134 (stamped) p. 73 (penned)., Find A Grave, database and digital images, ( accessed 12 December 2014), photograph, gravestone for Isaac James Sparks (1800–1867), Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara, California.

Last updated: November 17, 2018