“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Santa Cruz, California

Clickable Map of Santa Cruz County, California and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Santa Cruz County, CA (107) Monterey County, CA (223) San Benito County, CA (46) San Mateo County, CA (131) Santa Clara County, CA (412)  SantaCruzCounty(107) Santa Cruz County (107)  MontereyCounty(223) Monterey County (223)  SanBenitoCounty(46) San Benito County (46)  SanMateoCounty(131) San Mateo County (131)  SantaClaraCounty(412) Santa Clara County (412)
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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1California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — 54th Coast Artillery Army Regiment War Memorial
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: Chaplin Baskerville John Bowen . . . — Map (db m98046) WM
2California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — A Love StoryThe Miller Family
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
3California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — ACE Roller Coaster LandmarkGiant Dipper
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
4California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Arthur A. Taylor
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
5California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Beauty and the BeachPageants Bring Business
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
6California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Before the Boardwalk
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
7California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Boardwalk Goes Hollywood
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
8California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — 469 — Branciforte
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
9California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Bull and Bear Fights
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
10California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Burgers at the Beachfor more than 70 years
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
11California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — California PioneersJames Williams - Mary Patterson Williams
James Williams California Pioneer 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
12California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Colonial Revival Style
Edward L. Van Cleeck Architect 1906-1907 Historic Landmark The Museum of Art & History — Map (db m62607) HM
13California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Cowell Lime Works
. . . — Map (db m64244) HM
14California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Eben Bennett Home1871 — Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmark —
Oldest family residence on Beach Hill Victorian-Italianate Style — Map (db m98067) HM
15California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Fickle FashionFrom Bloomers and Black Stockings to Baggies and Bikinis
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
16California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Francisco Alzina House
1850 Home of Francisco Alzina, Santa Cruz’ first sheriff under state government — Map (db m62502) HM
17California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Fun, Fads, and FoodFitzsimmons & Twisselman Families
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
18California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Georgiana Bruce Kirby1818 – 1887
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
19California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Giant DipperThrilling riders since 1924
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
20California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Grave of Grove C. Cook
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
21California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — History of Surfing in Santa Cruz
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
22California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Isaac Graham: “Swashbuckling Soldier of Fortune“Trapper, Hunter, Rifleman, Ranchero, Lumberman and Litigant” — 1800 – 1863 —
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
23California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Kirby House
1850’s Greek Revival home of Richard C. Kirby, Tanner & Kirby, Early Reformist — Map (db m62442) HM
24California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Lady of the Night
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
25California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Louden (London) Nelson
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
26California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Magical Merry-go-round
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
27California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Mary Amney Case1800 - 1889
First public school teacher Santa Cruz Mary Amney Case 1800 - 1889Map (db m62497) HM
28California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — O’Neill’s Surf Shop
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
29California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Old Theatre BuildingSanta Cruz — MCMXX —
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
30California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Pacific Avenue Commercial Building
For Duncan & Alexander McPherson Mission Revival Style 1868-1910 Santa Cruz Historical Trust Landmark — Map (db m62486) HM
31California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — People's Bank
W.H Weeks, Architect NeoClassical Revival Style Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmark — Map (db m62483) HM
32California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Remembering Chinese Pioneers
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
33California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Saint Joseph Marello
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
34California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Salz TanneryHistory of the Tannery
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
35California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — 983 — Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
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
36California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Boards
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
37California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz County Bank1895
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
38California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz County World War Memorial
(There are two markers, front and back, on this memorial.) Front: 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
39California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz Hall of Records 1882 / Salón de archivos de Santa Cruz 1882
English text: 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
40California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz Main Post Office1912
James Knox Taylor, Architect Italian Renaissance Style State’s Oldest In-Use P.O. Bldg. Historic Landmark Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History — Map (db m62529) HM
41California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — 342 — Site of Santa Cruz Mission
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
42California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Surfing Was First Brought Here By Hawaiian Princes
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
43California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Branciforte Adobe
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
44California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Butterfield Stage stopped here.Charley Parkhurst
”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
45California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Cocoanut GroveDancing through the years
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
46California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Hihn Building
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. General Contractor Darrow Palmer . . . — Map (db m62488) HM
47California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The PlungeNeptune’s Kingdom
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
48California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk1907 - 2007
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
49California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — The Santa Cruz Seaside Company
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
50California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Theatre Del Mar
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
51California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — To the Chinese men and women who came to Gold Mountain
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
52California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Tom Scribner1899 – 1982
Lumber jack, writer, political activist, musician, editor, humorist Sculpture by Marghe McMahon — Map (db m62484) HM
53California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — University Town CenterA Site History — 1856 – 1999 —
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
54California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Whiting’s Games
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
55California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Willey House
Erected 1887 for Henry Willey First President Peoples Bank Santa Cruz Historical Society — Map (db m62501) HM
56California (Santa Cruz County), Santa Cruz — Williams
California Pioneers James Williams - Chiles-Walker Party 1843 Mary Patterson - Stephens-Murphy Party 1844 Married August 24, 1845 by Thomas O. Larkin Monterey, Ca. Twin Sons James Andrew Apr 4, 1851 – Jan 4, 1852 Andrew James . . . — Map (db m62420) HM
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Mar. 1, 2021