Authors Blog

Loma Prieta Loglets sample
Sample column of the "Loma Prieta Loglets" from the November 29, 1890 issue of the Santa Cruz Surf

Loglets, Chips, Sawdust, and Other Euphemisms for News

Welcome to June 2021, a time when people can go outside again and I’m inside still, writing and editing…oh so much editing…. As usually happens with plans, they went astray and Ronald G. Powell’s The Reign of the Lumber Barons: Part Two of the History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation is delayed a few months, inevitably pushing everything else back a few months too. In reality, I always suspected this would happen, but I was very optimistic… Read More »Loglets, Chips, Sawdust, and Other Euphemisms for News

Watsonville Ice and Cold Storage, ca 1910 [UCSC]

Hunting for Freight Stops

Even as I am editing and adapting The Reign of the Lumber Barons: Part Two of the History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation, I am also working towards my future books in the Santa Cruz Trains series, especially the unexpected third book: Companies & Customers of the Santa Cruz Lines. This book is going to be chock-full of corporate histories of many of the best-known companies to have operated in Santa Cruz County. In total, there have been well… Read More »Hunting for Freight Stops

San Vicente scene from the One-Way Trail, 1919 [UCSC]

Troubles With Trains

Balance is always difficult for a researcher because they always want to research. For me, it occupies my career and free time, albeit with difference focuses. I have said before that I have split interests, but now they are a trio. Professionally, I am a general historian of the history of Auckland, New Zealand—specifically the North Shore and Rodney areas of North Auckland. Academically, I am a medieval and early modern European historian, with a… Read More »Troubles With Trains

Santa Cruz pioneers

Soquel and its Lumber Lords

With The Tragedy of Martina Castro now released, I have moved on to working on the next book in the series: The Reign of the Lumber Barons. Ronald Powell did not separate his story into volumes or separate stories, but the sheer breadth of information that he covered requires it to be divided. As a result, the middle book is a very different story than the first. Where the first focused on Soquel in the… Read More »Soquel and its Lumber Lords

castro cover

Press Release: Story of early Soquel baroness Martina Castro finally told

SANTA CRUZ, CA, October 26, 2020—The history of one of Santa Cruz County’s most famous women is finally revealed in the book The Tragedy of Martina Castro: Part One of the History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation by Ronald G. Powell, edited by Derek R. Whaley, a well-known Santa Cruz author and historian. In this historical chronicle, the Spanish property baroness Martina Castro acquires one of the largest land grants in Santa Cruz County before the annexation of… Read More »Press Release: Story of early Soquel baroness Martina Castro finally told