Today, Santa Cruz County is regarded to be one of the most picturesque places of California. Tourists from all over the world are coming here to enjoy unique landscapes of this area whereas many scientists especially marine biologists are staying here in order to solve many mysteries of flora and fauna.
Certainly, Santa Cruz County has its own history and if you want to know more about it, you can check the historical sites described in this article. You will find a lot of interesting facts about the county as well as its beautiful towns the majority of which was founded in the 19th century. The county is full of places of historic significance which can be found on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Many of them are also official California State Historical Landmark.
Lime Kilns in the Pogonip
As you can imagine, the magnificent redwood forests of Santa Cruz played a significant role for creating the towns of Santa Cruz County. Large and solid logs of redwood were a great material for construction back in time.
Still, this was not the only material used for creating Santa Cruz County. Another crucial material used by the first residents of this place was lime which people extracted from limestone quarries. As you certainly know, lime is a crucial ingredient of concrete and mortar.
Today the lime extracting industry is not active any more in Santa Cruz County, however, you can still visit the place where the lime used for creating the towns an cities of the county was extracted from. If you would to have such an unusual experience, you should go to the Pogonip which used to be the major supply of limestone. Today, it is a nature preserve of the area of 640 acres located on a hilltop. The preserve is not the end of the trip. If you follow the Lime Kiln Trail which is leading to forests, you will find there three stone furnaces which will impress you with their massive size. Today the furnaces are covered by greenery and moss, however, they used to be applied for lime production which was needed for constructing San Francisco.
Wilder Ranch State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park is a particularly great place for celebrating the history of Santa Cruz County as well as history in general. This is a large area of 7,000 acres including various landscapes such as inland foothills and sandy seashores. The place itself is amazing for those who would like to explore the unique beauty of the nature of Santa Cruz. Yet, Wilder Ranch State Park has a lot more to offer.
Here, you will find a restored farm with beautiful apple orchards and gardens full of vegetables. There are very peculiar constructions located on the premises of the state park. For instance, here, you will have a chance of visiting a vintage shop of machinery, a blacksmith shop, stables as well as the Victorian homes of the Wilder’s family.
Furthermore, Wilder Ranch State Park is a place where you can literally get immersed into the history especially due to the Living History days which are taking place in the park on a regular bases. You will have amazing chances of celebrating history in this place watching docents wearing the costumes typical for that epoch engaging visitors into family-friendly traditional activities. Some of them are leather stamping, candle-making as well as weaving.
One more great places to feel the atmosphere of the 19th century in Santa Cruz County is the Castro Adobe located in Larkin Valley. The Castro Adobe is a perfect illustration of the Mexican rancho period.
The Castro Adobe was built around 1849. The construction has two stories and it was the home of the family of Castro. This family was well-known for fandangos.
Even though adobe constructions were pretty popular back in time, today you will find only four of the in Santa Cruz. Actually, the Castro Adobe is the only one which has two stories. Currently, the building is being under restoration, however, you can visit it even though the process is still not finished. The organisation known as Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks holds regular events in this place every month. During this time, you will be able to explore the adobe as well as its grounds and take part in themed activities.
Make sure you will see a kind of a “historic graffiti” located on the second floor of the building and preserved over generations.
The Victorian homes of Walnut Avenue
If you happen to be in Santa Cruz, make sure you visit Walnut Avenue where you will have a chance of seeing all the charm and beauty of the Victorian architecture admiring a tree-lined row of homes. Some of the 19th-century construction were restored and even illuminated with gas lamps which are creating a very impressive effect. Italianates, Queen Annes as well as Colonial Revivals are some of them.