Felton, California, Santa Clara, California, The University of California Santa Cruz

1965 – The University Of California Santa Cruz Began It’s First Classes

UC Santa Cruz students in French class in 1965. (Special Collections UC Santa Cruz).

In the 1950s, planning for the University of California Santa Cruz chapter began. Planners traveled to the redwood forest in Felton, California to the beaches in Western Santa Cruz. After witnessing a scenic view from the top of a hill, in Western Santa Cruz, it was decided that the campus would be developed there. In 1964, construction began and in 1965 classes were first held, with 650 students, in the eastern athletic field area.

The first UC Santa Cruz class participated in a protest against the ongoing Vietnam War.

Santa Clara, California

1936 – The Founding Of The Santa Cruz Surfing Club

In 1936, fifty one years after three Hawaiian Princes surfed in Santa’s Cruz California for their first time, the Santa Cruz Surfing Club was established.

Photograph of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club in 1941.

The Santa Cruz Surfing Club is still organized in present day and is one of the oldest continually running club of Santa Cruz.

A statue was built, near the lighthouse on Westcliff, in honor of the Santa Cruz surfers and the local Surfing Club.

Samuel Jamison, Santa Clara County, California, Santa Clara, California, Triton Museum

1866 – Gold Rush Pioneer Samuel Jamison Built The Jamison-Brown House In Santa Clara

In 1866, Samuel Jamison, who arrived in California during the Gold Rush, constructed the original house, a vernacular Italianate style home, on 50-acres on Coffin Road (near Great America Boulevard. and Highway 101). The original distinctive corner quoins still remain after several additions and remodels.

Jamison served as County Sheriff, County Supervisor and State Assemblyman, as well as the President of the Bank of Santa Clara. Following his death in 1914 Jamison’s heirs sold the house and 14 acres to Alfred I. Brown, a neighbor and notable rancher. In 1919 Brown added the distinctive pillars and balustrade of the veranda that encircles one half of the home. These architectural features came from “New Park,” the residence of James Pierce and later Judge Hiram Band, which had been demolished three years earlier to construct the Carmelite Monastery. Since Jack London was a friend of Judge Bond’s sons and visited “New Park” while he was writing “Call of the Wild,” popular myth says he wrote much of this book on this veranda.

In 1936 Alfred Brown modernized his home by completely updating the kitchen and two bathrooms. During this remodeling, craftsmen from a Santa Clara mill works, Pacific Manufacturing Company, used over 100 different kinds of wood from all over the world to panel a magnificent room on the second floor. Among the rare and unusual wood used are, zebra wood, hat berry, Brazilian rosewood, Burma ironwood, Mexican laurel, boxwood, East India rosewood, Cuban mahogany, satinwood, sandalwood, teak and cascara.

After Brown died in 1943, his nephew’s family, George M. and Lois Brown, moved into the house and lived there until they sold the land to an industrial developer in 1970. George and Lois donated the house to the City of Santa Clara, which allocated $10,000 to relocate the Jamison-Brown House to its present site, the grounds of the Triton Museum.

Mission Santa Clara, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, Mission Santa Clara de Asis, Santa Clara, California

The Mission Period In The Santa Clara Valley

In 1769, Ohlone Indians first encountered Spanish travelers in the bay area. A few years later, on January 12, 1777, Mission Santa Clara de Asis became the eighth of the Catholic California missions founded in California.

The plaques associated with “Stroll into the Past”, next to the the Santa Clara City Hall Building, where part of the city’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2002.

California’s Great America Amusement Park, Mortimer D. French House, Santa Clara, California

The Mortimer D. French House In The California’s Great America Amusement Park

In 1852, Mortimer D. French built a house on Coffin Road, a road that currently consists of Great America Parkway. The house was sold to Fess Parker, and the property around it became part of the former “Frontier Worlds” theme park. The house changed ownership again, after “Frontier Worlds” was replaced by a bigger park which currently consists of “California’s Great America”.

Santa Clara Historical Society, Santa Clara, California

Genealogy Classes with the Santa Clara Historical Society

Craig, a former resident of Maine, has three blogs and teaches classes on how to tell the story of your family history beyond just birthdates, marriages and deaths. Craig spoke at a Santa Clara Historical Society meeting, an organization that is continually offering genealogy classes, which consist of recommendations of various resources to use when conducting family research.

Sites that one can for no cost family research are:





Harris-Lass Historic Museum, Santa Clara, California

Harris-Lass Historic Museum in Santa Clara

The Harris-Lass Historic Museum consists of an Italianate house built in 1865, the last year of the American Civil War.  The names Harris and Lass, represent the last names of the two families who owned the home for 125 years.  The city of Santa Clara bought the property on the year of my birth, in 1987.

The house has a barn attached to it, and is the last standing farming site within the metropolitan city of Santa Clara.  Outside of the perimeter of the house and the barn, there are several farm tools and machines from the 1800’s.

While the City of Santa Clara owns the Harris-Lass Museum, the Historic Preservation Society of Santa Clara operates the facility.  The board of that Historic Preservation Society meets monthly at the classroom of the barn.