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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Santa Cruz, California
Location of Santa Cruz, California
▶ Santa Cruz County (107) ▶ Monterey County (223) ▶ San Benito County (46) ▶ San Mateo County (131) ▶ Santa Clara County (412)
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In honor of the all Black
Coast Artillery Army
Regiment that aided in
protecting the California
coast from enemy attack
during World War II
These members remained in
Santa Cruz after the war:
John Bowen . . . — — Map (db m98046) WM|
|What began in the “Summer of Love” as a teenage crush has grown into a successful family, spanning two generations. Kathy and Marshall Miller met as teenagers when they both worked at the Boardwalk in the 1960s. They began their first . . . — — Map (db m62795) HM|
|American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) recognizes Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's Giant Dipper as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.
The 75-foot high wood coaster officially opened on May . . . — — Map (db m62826) HM|
|Founder Publisher and Editor
Santa Cruz Surf
Brilliant in mind, just in judgment, valiant in spirit, for forty years leader in initiative thought and action for the public welfare.
He rests here in the place of his choice under the shadows . . . — — Map (db m62436) HM|
|The first Miss California Pageant took place at the Boardwalk in 1924, drawing huge crowds. The pageant moved to the Civic Auditorium in 1966. Santa Cruz enjoyed the economic benefits of this popular event until 1985.
Faye Lanpheir, Miss . . . — — Map (db m62812) HM|
|The Santa Cruz Beach was changed forever in 1904 when promoter and entrepreneur Fred Swanton hosted the grand opening of the Neptune Casino, a Moorish-style wonder and wedding cake of a building. The Casino was destroyed by fire in June of 1906. . . . — — Map (db m62796) HM|
|The timeless and picturesque Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has “starred” in everything from industrial films, commercials, and music videos to made-for-TV movies and feature-length big-screen releases. — — Map (db m62825) HM|
|These school grounds were the center of Villa de Branciforte founded in 1797 by Governor Diego de Borica of California on orders from Spain through Viceroy Branciforte in Mexico. The settlement existed as political entity until American occupancy of . . . — — Map (db m2347) HM|
|This is the location of one of the last known bull and bear rings in California, where the animals were placed in a wooden stockade and local settlers would bet on the outcome of their fight.
Bull and Bear fights were brought to Santa Cruz by . . . — — Map (db m100961) HM|
|The restaurant now called Surf City Grill has been known by other names and owned by several families over the years. In spite of these changes, it remains a favorite for satisfying the appetites of visitors, ravenous after a day at the Boardwalk. — — Map (db m62815) HM|
James Williams, age 29 and a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, emigrated overland to California in 1843 along with his three brothers – John, age 25; Isaac, age 20; and Squire, age 19 – in a . . . — — Map (db m62440) HM|
|Edward L. Van Cleeck Architect
The Museum of Art & History — — Map (db m62607) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m64244) HM|
Oldest family residence on Beach Hill
Victorian-Italianate Style — — Map (db m98067) HM|
|At the turn of the century, lounging couples covered the beach much as they do today. But the women were fully dressed, and men wore hats and coats. Laws prohibited sitting on the beach in bathing attire.
Today, from bikinis to tankinis, women’s . . . — — Map (db m62816) HM|
|1850 Home of Francisco Alzina,
Santa Cruz’ first sheriff
under state government — — Map (db m62502) HM|
|The Fitzsimmons & Twisselman families have been operating their concessions at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk since 1934. Over the years, Charles J. Fitzsimmons moved from games to retail food. Today, Charles’s grandson, Matt Twisselman, continues . . . — — Map (db m62829) HM|
|An intellectual, humanitarian and suffragist, Georgiana raised her family in this house from 1854 until her death in 1887. Born in England and educated in the East by America’s leading thinkers and writers. She brought to California an intellectual . . . — — Map (db m62441) HM|
|The Giant Dipper roller coaster, with its trademark red and white structure, spectacular view of the Monterey Bay, and speedy dips and curves, keeps generations of riders coming back for more.
The Giant Dipper has thrilled over 50 million . . . — — Map (db m62827) HM|
|Grove C. Cook, a native of Kentucky, came to California in 1841 as a member of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party, the first overland emigrant wagon train to set out from the United States to cross the continent to the Pacific Slope.
The party was forced . . . — — Map (db m62419) HM|
|The history of surfing in Santa Cruz can be traced in part to the Santa Cruz Surfing Club, founded in 1936. The following members were among the first in this area to experience the thrill of conquering a wave.
Jim Alumbauch Bill . . . — — Map (db m112987) HM|
|Isaac Graham: Born Sept. 1, 1800 in Fincastle, Virginia, was a rough and tumble trapper and mountain man, who wandered the western wilderness. He ended up in 1836 Natividad, California where he ran a Saloon and Whiskey Still.
He organized Los . . . — — Map (db m62438) HM|
|1850’s Greek Revival home of Richard C. Kirby, Tanner &
Kirby, Early Reformist — — Map (db m62442) HM|
|Here lie the remains of Marie Holmes, a lady of the night, who on the evening of May 5, 1898, met a lonely and untimely end with the quaffing of carbolic acid. Born in England, she resided in San Francisco, Salinas and Watsonville before spending . . . — — Map (db m52359) HM|
|Born a slave May 5, 1800 on a North Carolina plantation, Louden (London) Nelson worked the cotton fields until his master, Matthew Nelson brought him to the 1849 California Gold Rush. After securing his freedom, he arrived in Santa Cruz in 1856. . . . — — Map (db m62439) HM|
|Whether you call it a merry-go-round, carousel, or whirlgig, visitors have always been enchanted with the Boardwalk’s oldest ride. At the grand opening of the “hippodrome,” as the carousel and its building were called, one hundred . . . — — Map (db m62814) HM|
|First public school teacher
Mary Amney Case
1800 - 1889 — — Map (db m62497) HM|
| In 1959 Jack O'Neill came with his family to Santa Cruz and opened his 500 square foot "Surf Shop” at this location, just above Cowell Beach. The Surf Shop was O'Neill's first retail store in Santa Cruz, offering custom built foam surfboards . . . — — Map (db m123878) HM|
|A Brief History
In the mid-1800’s, the Pacific Garden Mall was simply known as “Pacific.” The corner now occupied by the Old Theatre Building contained a picturesque little pond shaded by a mammoth sycamore. Also under the tree was . . . — — Map (db m63268) HM|
|For Duncan & Alexander McPherson
Mission Revival Style
Santa Cruz Historical Trust Landmark — — Map (db m62486) HM|
|W.H Weeks, Architect
NeoClassical Revival Style
Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmark — — Map (db m62483) HM|
| Remembering Chinese Pioneers
The Santa Cruz Chinese community buried over 80 people at Evergreen Cemetery. It was customary for specialized 'bone pickers' to later exhume bones and send them home
to China. Some Chinese remain buried here. . . . — — Map (db m132265) HM|
|Saint Joseph Marello (1844-1895)
Bishop of Acqui and founder of the Oblates of Saint Joseph
Fortis of Suavis Sculpture by Thomas Marsh, March 19, 1997
Born in Turin, Italy, Joseph Marello lived as a zealous priest in the city of Asti. There . . . — — Map (db m112986) HM|
|For 145 years, Santa Cruz was a leading source of tanned hides, first in California and later throughout the world. After the Gold Rush, people were clamoring for leather goods – boots, harnesses, and machinery belts for farming and mining . . . — — Map (db m62767) HM|
|A local landmark since 1907, this boardwalk was one of the first amusement parks in California. It is now the only oceanside amusement park operating on the west coast. The boardwalk is the site of two rare attractions, the 1911 carousel and the . . . — — Map (db m78813) HM|
|These boards are part of the original Santa Cruz Boardwalk and were saved during a restoration project completed in 1984.
This project was one of many completed under Laurence P. Canfield, President of the Santa Cruz Seaside Company from 1952 to . . . — — Map (db m62813) HM|
|Civic Renaissance Center
The Great Fire of 1894 left 3 blocks of destruction around the 1866 Cooper St. Civic Center. The Civic reconstruction promoted Renaissance designs to show “Culture” had arrived in Santa Cruz, and surrounding . . . — — Map (db m62482) HM|
| (There are two markers, front and back, on this memorial.)
Dedicated to those from
Santa Cruz County
who served their country in
the World War, and to the
memory of these who "gave the
last full measure of devotion" . . . — — Map (db m62527) WM|
The Octagon is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Santa Cruz. Architect John Wesley Newcum modeled the building after a $50 octagonal shaped gold piece first minted in San Francisco in 1851. The building, made . . . — — Map (db m126026) HM|
|James Knox Taylor, Architect
Italian Renaissance Style
State’s Oldest In-Use P.O. Bldg.
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History — — Map (db m62529) HM|
|Misión La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz, the 12th Franciscan mission, was consecrated by Father Fermín Lasuen in August 1791. In 1793 the adobe church was built where the Holy Cross Catholic Church is now located. The mission was damaged by several . . . — — Map (db m2344) HM|
| During the summer of 1885, three young Hawaiian princes rode the waves at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on Redwood planks the ordered cut in the shape of olo surfboards by the local timber mill.
H.M. Queen Kapi’olani’s nephews: . . . — — Map (db m71541) HM|
|The only remaining structure of the Villa de Branciforte established in 1797. The last and least prosperous of threee Spanish settlements in Alta California. Populated by paroled petty criminals from Guadalajaran juzgados and pensioned soldiers. The . . . — — Map (db m100905) HM|
|”One-eye Charley Parkhurst,” working as a driver for stage lines came to California seeking fortune in the gold fields until around 1860. Charley was small, slim and wiry. When he spoke it was in an oddly high-pitched voice. Charley died . . . — — Map (db m62585) HM|
|Early in the Casino’s history a concert band played on the beach bandstand on summer afternoons and changed into tuxedos for evening dances in the ballroom.
In 1924 Isham Jone’s band brought jazz to the Cocoanut Grove.
1932 introduced . . . — — Map (db m62791) HM|
|The medico-dental building, erected by Frederick A. Hihn in 1894, stood on this site until it was destroyed by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
This building was constructed by Gloria Hihn Welsh in 1994.
Darrow Palmer . . . — — Map (db m62488) HM|
|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 . . . — — Map (db m62792) HM|
|Towards the end of the 19th Century Fred W. Swanton, considered one of the greatest promoters and entrepreneurs of his time, laid plans for a casino and boardwalk - a "Coney Island of the West." The casino opened in 1904 but survived only 22 months; . . . — — Map (db m100908) HM|
|When the “new” Casino was built in 1907, the Boardwalk was owned by the Santa Cruz Beach Company. Local businesses experienced an economic downturn from 1912-1914, and the Beach Company went bankrupt. In 1915 the Santa Cruz Seaside . . . — — Map (db m64253) HM|
|In Memory of Chuck Volwiler (1956-2002)
Booming theatre business in Santa Cruz led the Golden State Theatre chain to replace the 700-seat Unique with the 1,500-seat Del Mar in 1936. The movie palace was a flagship of the chain, . . . — — Map (db m62489) HM|
|To the Chinese men and women who came to Gold Mountain. Site of the fourth and last Chinatown in Santa Cruz, 1894-1955. — — Map (db m128676) HM|
|Lumber jack, writer, political activist,
musician, editor, humorist
Sculpture by Marghe McMahon — — Map (db m62484) HM|
|1856 Architects Row
Farms and orchards surrounded the site’s original buildings. These were the 1856 home and office of architect Thomas Beck and 1861 home and office of architects John Morrow and John Williams north of Beck’s. Churches Morrow . . . — — Map (db m62503) HM|
|The Ross Whiting family has been part of Boardwalk history since 1927. As superintendent, Joseph “Ross" Whiting was responsible for the first widening and paving of the Boardwalk. After leaving the Seaside Company in 1946, Ross and his family . . . — — Map (db m62828) HM|
|Erected 1887 for Henry Willey
First President Peoples Bank
Santa Cruz Historical Society — — Map (db m62501) HM|
James Williams - Chiles-Walker Party 1843
Mary Patterson - Stephens-Murphy Party 1844
Married August 24, 1845
by Thomas O. Larkin
James Andrew Apr 4, 1851 – Jan 4, 1852
Andrew James . . . — — Map (db m62420) HM|