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SIDETRACKED: Laurel & Glenwood cover

Getting Sidetracked with Santa Cruz Trains

Thank you to everyone who came to my talk on March 25 at the Felton Branch Library, “Off Track in Scotts Valley: Exploring the curious absence of railroads in Scotts Valley.” It was definitely one of my stranger talks, considering it was actually about why a railroad wasn’t built there rather than the history of a current or former railroad line. A YouTube version of the talk should be available sometime in late June. Most of… Read More »Getting Sidetracked with Santa Cruz Trains

Holiday Lighting Along Main Street, Watsonville, 1920s [Santa Cruz Public Libraries]
Holiday Lighting along Main Street, Watsonville, 1920s [Courtesy Santa Cruz Public Libraries – colorized using MyHeritage]

Out of Isolation and Into the World Beyond

For the past four years, I have been working on editing and publishing Ronald G. Powell’s mostly lost manuscripts into The History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation trilogy. Throughout the course of doing this, I did not forget about my first passion: Santa Cruz Trains. Indeed, editing Parts 2 and 3 reminded me of what I had set aside to finish Powell’s work, but it also gave me inspiration to move beyond what I had originally… Read More »Out of Isolation and Into the World Beyond

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

Two Trilogies to Rule Them All, Part 2

Last week I discussed my progress with Ronald G. Powell’s The History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation trilogy of books. They are all on track with the first coming out this month and the others planned to release next year (fingers crossed!). However, Santa Cruz Trains remains my core focus both online and mentally, and the Powell books are partially being done in order to make future Santa Cruz Trains books better all around, since they… Read More »Two Trilogies to Rule Them All, Part 2