Home of the legendary 'Island of the Blue Dolphins' woman likely found

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From 1835 to 1853 San Nicolas island had a population of one. Now archaeologists believe they have discovered the residence of the island's last known resident, a woman whose involuntary, solitary, 18-year occupation inspired a kid lit classic and who became known as the "Lone Woman of San Nicolas."

The residence is a 75-foot-long cave and its discovery concludes a 20-year quest by archeologist Steven Schwartz to find the woman's island abode.

"The cave had been completely buried under several meters of sand. It is quite large and would have made a very comfortable home, especially in inclement weather," Schwartz said at the California Islands Symposium as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Christened Juana Maria at her death bed baptism, she was a member of the Nicoleno, a Native American tribe that had lived on San Nicolas for centuries. Pushed out by hunters and their numbers dwindling, a crew was sent to bring the last of the tribe to the mainland, but Juana Maria was left behind....

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