Santa Cruz seems to be not a necessarily large place, however, it has a rich and long history filled with interesting facts. Here, you will find some of the fact which are not particularly well-known, however, they are quite curious. That is shy if you feel an urge to learn more about Santa Cruz, you are in the right place!
The treasures hidden in the mountains
Undeniably, you are aware of the fact people regularly find some peculiar things from the past in the mountains. Santa Cruz is a no exception to this rule and people came across various treasures in the rocks located in the area. Yet, you might be wondering which finding was the most impressive.
So far, there is hardly anything which has more significance than the mega shark buried in the mountains of Santa Cruz. Well, in fact, only a tooth of this prehistoric beast was found in the mountains of Santa Cruz, but this means a lot to the archaeologists.
The mega shark which lost its tooth somewhere in the waters which were covering Santa Cruz around eleven million years ago. This shark is known as Megalodon and, according to the estimations of the scientists, it might have been around three times larger than a great white.
Today, you can see this tooth in the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum. This is a great place to explore many other interesting exhibits and artefacts which will tell you about the native people of Santa Cruz as well as about the local geology and animals.
The history of agriculture in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is regarded to be one of the most picturesque places of entire California and it is definitely famous for its beautiful beaches. Yet, a hundred of years ago, this place was more well-known to the residents of other places of the United States for its highly developed agriculture.
Today, the county has around 14,000 acres with apple gardens. There are 152 dairies operating commercially in the area of the county. there are even seven plants specialising in frozen food.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of agriculture in this area, you should refer to the Agricultural History Project which hosts a very family-friendly museum. One of the most popular exhibits especially loved by children is a virtual tractor.
If you would like to visit this museum, you should be aware of the fact it is opened exclusively on the second Saturday of a month, so basically, you can come here only once a month. Yet, you can make an advance appointment and visit the place with a guided tour on other days.
The birthplace of surfing on mainland
Have you ever thought about the place where people started to surf for the first time? It turns out that for the mainland surfing, the place of birth was Santa Cruz. Interestingly, three Hawaiian princes used boards which were made of redwood planks for showing the locals the way of hanging ten. This event took place in 1885.
There is nothing surprising in the fact Santa Cruz now has its own museum dedicated to surfing. The museum is known as the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and it exhibits the chronicle of an entire century of the surfing culture in this area.
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is located in Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse which is itself an iconic place worth visiting. The museum is filled with interesting items related to surfing including a collection of vintage photographs and surfboards. One of the surfboats stored in the museum even has a shark bite.
The acrobatic performances above the indoor pool at Neptune’s Kingdom
You might not know about an interesting tradition of Santa Cruz between 1927 and 1945. During this time, every week there was Water Carnival organised at Neptune’s Kingdom which is located at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
One of the major attractions of the carnival were performances of acrobats who were adults and children showing impressive moves at the level high above the pool. There are still the metal arches which were used for holding the equipment for the performances of the acrobats. Yet, the structures itself is now a house to an arcade and a mini golf course.
If you want to visit this place, do not forget to go to the second floor where you can find the Historium with an amazing collection of memories from Boardwalk right from its opening which took place in 1907.
The oldest resort town in California
Capitola laying in Santa Cruz County is the oldest resort town of California which has a beach. In 1929 there was a proposition to merge Capitola with Soquel which is a neighbouring town. As a result of the merging, the plan was to rename the new town into Sotola. This did not happen though, since the majority of voters did not support the idea.
A great place to learn more history about Capitola is the Capitola History Museum which is already 50 years old.