“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The Plunge

Neptune’s Kingdom

The Plunge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
1. The Plunge Marker
Photo captions, center, top to bottom:
In the 1920s and 30s crowds were enthralled by Duke Kahanamoku’s aquatic prowess. He proclaimed that the Plunge was his favorite pool; Don “Bosco” Patterson with young Water Carnival performers in 1938; These beaming stars are Beverly Graham and Ditty Thomas; Shirley Wightman performs the difficult one-arm catch. Water Carnival clowns (left). The Plunge in 1907 (top, right).
Inscription. Less than a year after fire destroyed the original Casino and Plunge, construction began on new buildings to include an indoor natatorium. The original ceiling arches can be seen today. The main pool measured 144 feet by 64 feet and featured a 40-foot slide. It was one of the largest heated, salt water swimming pools on the West coast. The pool’s two tanks, with a combined capacity of 408,000 gallons, were replenished daily from the Pacific Ocean. The chilly water was heated from a breathtaking fifty degrees to a comfortable eighty-three degrees.

Today, the Plunge building houses Neptune’s Kingdom Amusement Center which sports a pirate-themed miniature golf course as the centerpiece of a modern entertainment complex. The two-story course, with talking pirates, booming cannons, and a rumbling volcano is the only miniature golf course in Santa Cruz County.

Upstairs a Historium showcases Boardwalk history with a display of photographs that capture major highlights of past eras. A game deck offers pool, air hockey, ping-pong, video games, and a snack bar.

The Water Carnival
Thirty thousand people witnessed the Plunge Water Carnival performances each summer. This was the home of the world record-holding Underwater Natators (human submarines), flying trapeze artists, fire divers, Stratosphere Plungers,
The Plunge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
2. The Plunge Marker
water ballets, and Slide for Life daredevils.
Erected by Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Location. 36° 57.855′ N, 122° 1.157′ W. Marker is in Santa Cruz, California, in Santa Cruz County. Marker can be reached from Beach Street. Touch for map. This marker is located at the Beach Street entrance to Neptune's Kingdom. There is a duplicate marker located at the beach side entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (within shouting distance of this marker); The Santa Cruz Seaside Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Before the Boardwalk (within shouting distance of this marker); A Love Story (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cocoanut Grove (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and the Beach (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burgers at the Beach (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Cruz.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the grounds of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Categories. EnvironmentSports
<i>Interior of Natatorium, Santa Cruz, California</i> image. Click for full size.
3. Interior of Natatorium, Santa Cruz, California
This hand-tinted postcard is based on the same photo as the postcard displayed on the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 24, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 485 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 24, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   3. submitted on November 17, 2015. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.