Santa Cruz County Local News: History


All Local History News articles contributed by our local media allies and other local newsrooms.

Image caption: The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
UPDATE: California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here

How the California mental health crisis emerged out of the state’s history of deinstitutionalization and laws designed to protect the mentally ill, as well as the communities around them.

Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, “Democracy” means “people power.” How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

Image caption: Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment

Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation projects have helped to build California, but they are also damaging the state’s environment for people, plants and animals by eliminating essential wetlands.

Image caption: How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: The California Supreme Court has defined the state’s legal and political agenda for more than 170 years.
How the California Supreme Court Blazes Legal Trails

The California Supreme Court has kept the state at the forefront of legal issues surrounding abortion, the death penalty and same-sex marriage, starting in its earliest days in the Gold Rush era.

Image caption: From nitrates to arsenic to “forever chemicals,” California’s water supply faces a serious pollution threat.
Dirty Water: California Faces a Water Contamination Crisis

Almost one million California residents are forced to drink from contaminated water supplies, or pay for bottled water. Economic inequality makes the crisis worse. What is the state doing to fix it?

Image caption: Moss Landing in Monterey Bay is the world’s largest battery storage facility for solar and other renewable energy.
Solar Power and California’s Clean Energy Goals

Solar power, and a network of giant battery storage facilities, are playing an essential role in moving California toward its goal of exclusive reliance on renewable energy sources.

Image caption: Like ripples in a pond, the hip impulse moved through Santa Cruz and beyond, and continues across generations.
How Did Santa Cruz Get So Hip?

Looking back at the Sixties and Seventies in Santa Cruz

Image caption: California transportation history runs from railroads to today’s car culture.
California’s History of Transportation: From Railroads to Highways

The history of transportation in California has shaped the state, from the railroads to today’s highways, making the need for planning increasingly urgent. Here’s how it all happened, and where we stand today.

Image caption: Over two weekends last October, residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville  participated in demonstration rides aboard an electric streetcar on rails.
The ‘Rail Trail’ Movement, Explained

Thousands of miles of railroad track, including some in Santa Cruz County, now sit idle. The fate of those largely abandoned tracks has become a burning controversy.

Image caption: California continues to work on legislation that would make voting easier.
Voting Rites

California keeps on taking legislative steps that will keep it ranked in the top 10 of voter-friendly states.

Image caption: Access to abortion in California is limited in many areas, though state laws protect a woman’s right to choose.
Abortion Rights in California, Explained

California has historically been ahead of the rest of the country in expanding the legal right to abortion services. Here’s what state laws say today, and how we got here.

Image caption: Old Sacramento Historic District Sacramento is an open-air museum of historic buildings.
Capital Collections

Sacramento’s rich past can be explored by visiting its many and varied historical museums.

Image caption: View of the architectural detail on the Palomar Hotel.
Santa Cruz Online County Historical Resources

History, writ both small and large, has been made in Santa Cruz County.
Use these online resources to learn more.

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo From San Lorenzo Valley Post...

07/09/2024
Image for display with article titled Logging History Revealed: Track-Laid Log Arch Discovered in the Santa Cruz Mountains

“The glory days of the lumber mills are history,” Santa Cruz Mountains tree expert Bruce Baker said. “What the forest chooses to reveal to the random explorer is nobody’s business. It happens when it happens. Our role is to observe and protect.”

California Local Pin Marker From Lookout Local...

07/04/2024
Originally held in 1961 to celebrate the defeat of a planned cement plant in Aptos, the parade was moved to July 4 and this year featured a marching band, politicians and sports teams and ... Darth Vader?

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo From San Lorenzo Valley Post...

06/20/2024
Image for display with article titled Clampers Support the SLV Museum

San Lorenzo Valley Museum Collections and Exhibitions Curator Lisa A. Robinson and SLV Museum Executive Director Laura DeAngelis accepted a generous donation from members of E Clampus Vitus Branciforte Chapter 1797 in a ceremony at the museum on Wednesday afternoon, June 19, 2024.

The Pajaronian logo From The Pajaronian...

06/13/2024
Image for display with article titled New Medallions Honor History in Memorial Park

Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti has created two mosaic medallions for the City of Watsonville, which were installed recently at Memorial Park, located at the confluence of Freedom Boulevard and Main Street.

The Pajaronian logo From The Pajaronian...

06/13/2024
Image for display with article titled Fully Restored Castro Adobe Ready for Visitors

It was 17 years ago that a group of volunteers began to restore the Rancho San Andreas Castro Adobe, a structure whose endurance over its 176-year lifespan helps paint a picture of California history.

KSQD logo From KSQD...

06/07/2024
Image for display with article titled Happy 100th Giant Dipper!

The Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk turned 100 years old on May 17th, 2024.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo From Hilltromper Santa Cruz...

06/04/2024
Image for display with article titled The Stories of the Castro Adobe

With the unveiling of new interpretive exhibits, the once-crumbling Castro Adobe emerges as a first-rate State Historic Park.

Good Times logo From Good Times...

05/14/2024
Image for display with article titled Giant Dipper Celebrates a Century of Thrills

The great roller coaster arose amid screams above the golden strand of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk—a tooth-loosener, eyeball-popper, and one long shriek.

KSQD logo From KSQD...

05/12/2024
Image for display with article titled Two Founding Mother’s of the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Collective Reflect on Its History and Legacy

Santa Cruz has a powerful activist history, and one of the most impressive outcomes for our county emerged from the Women’s Health Collective of the early 70’s.

Good Times logo From Good Times...

04/24/2024
Image for display with article titled Up From Underground: The IUMA Story

As the end of the first quarter of the 21st century nears, creating and consuming music is easier and cheaper than ever.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

04/23/2024
An exhibit at the Capitola Historical Museum celebrates the founding of Camp Capitola 150 years ago.

Good Times logo From Good Times...

04/16/2024
Image for display with article titled Remembering John Sinclair — Poet, Protestor and Pot Activist

Activist, poet and music manager John Sinclair died last week at 82. He was someone about whom everybody concerned about cannabis reform, of any age, should know.

California Local Pin Marker From Times Publishing Group...

04/06/2024
A new exhibit opening April 12 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History tells the story of Filipino migration and labor in Watsonville and the greater Pajaro Valley from the 1930s to the present.

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo From San Lorenzo Valley Post...

03/30/2024
Image for display with article titled Inside a Hippie Commune

Holly Harman’s Tale of 1960s Life at Ben Lomond’s Holidays Cabins

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo From Hilltromper Santa Cruz...

03/21/2024
Image for display with article titled Fossil Sloth Bone Found in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Local students find Jefferson’s ground sloth fossil in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the first fossil evidence for this species reported in Santa Cruz county history.

California Local Pin Marker From Lookout Local...

03/19/2024
A celebration of Women’s History Month highlighting 15 Santa Cruz County women.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

03/14/2024
In a celebration of the old and the new the theme of the upcoming Santa Cruz County Fair September 11-14 will be "Pioneer Days and Modern Ways."

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo From Hilltromper Santa Cruz...

03/12/2024
Image for display with article titled Fossil-Hunting Fun in Santa Cruz

Traces and remains of ancient creatures—from whale-ribs to a famous mastodon tooth—frequently surface on Santa Cruz beaches and in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The Pajaronian logo From The Pajaronian...

03/08/2024
Image for display with article titled International Women’s Day: A Conversation With Watsonville’s Mayor and Vice-Mayor

When Vanessa Quiroz-Carter and Maria Orozco were sworn in late last year as Watsonville’s Mayor and Vice-Mayor, it was only the second time in the city’s history two women have held the roles.

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