Museum Lobby

Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Clam Jack

This exhibit displays historical documents about Clam Jack, who was also known as Captain John Andrews. The documents are presented in the order they were found.

[ Page updated - July 26, 2019 ]

Document 1 is a story about Clam Jack written by Frederick Hastings Rindge. The story is on page 46 of Rindge's book "Happy days in southern California", published in 1898. Rindge wrote:

"Down near Redondo a boxed Bible once floated ashore. Clam Jack, who found it, is an old-timer who earns his living by digging clams, and peddling them out in Redondo from his faithful old burro. I have often wondered whence came that fine bible, so carefully crated. Perhaps when some ship was going down it was thrown overboard by some one who knew its worth. It may have been a message from Heaven to kind old Clam Jack. May he have accepted the passport to God, so strangely sent."

[Document 1]

Document 2 is Clam Jack's 1899 obituary in the Los Angeles Times: The Times wrote:

"Death of the Hermit of the Sand Dunes.
Redondo, March 15.--[Regular Correspondence.]

Old "Clam Jack," probably the oldest inhabitant between San Pedro Hill and Ballona, is dead. He died at the County Hospital Tuesday. Jack was also know as Capt. Andrews and is said to have formerly followed a seafaring life. About twenty years ago he built himself a home among the sand dunes three miles north of where this town now is. That was before Redondo was on the map and his clams, which were the chief source of his livelihood, were sold at the little settlement at Ballona. Andrews lived the life of a hermit but his abode was not like those which men of his class are commonly supposed to occupy. The bare earth floor in his little house was kept scrupulously clean and the crude furniture was at least clean if not pretentious. Andrews had a great liking for dogs and their noisy bark, together with the booming surf a few hundred yards distant from his habitation, must have according to his peculiar views, supplied what he lacked in human companionship. He came into town ill on Tuesday and was sent to the County Hospital, at which place it is reported that his death occurred five minutes after he had arrived."

[Document 2]

Document 3 is Clam Jack's March 14, 1899 Los Angeles County Death Record:

[Document 3 - California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1830-1980. California Department of Public Health]

Name: John Andrews
Gender: Male
Race: White
Death Age: 71
Birth Place: Mass
Death Date: 14 Mar 1899
Death Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

Document 4 is Clam Jack's 1890 Los Angeles County Voter Registration Record:

[Document 4 - California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898]

Name: John Andrews
Age: 62
Country of Nativity: Massachusetts
Occupation: Captain
Local Residence: Redondo Beach
Date of Registration: September 27, 1890