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Our Old Santa Cruz... Volume 1 cover

Press Release: Our Old Santa Cruz… By Ernest Otto

New book series Our Old Santa Cruz… by Ernest Otto unveils the captivating history of Santa Cruz in the late 1800s SANTA CRUZ, CA, November 15, 2023—Our Old Santa Cruz… is a compelling retrospective book series that gazes into the history of Santa Cruz, California, through the eyes of the late Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Ernest F. Otto. Each book in this new series paints a vivid picture of the city’s bustling life at the… Read More »Press Release: Our Old Santa Cruz… By Ernest Otto

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

Full cover spread of The Shadow of Loma Prieta: Part Three of the History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation

Press Release: The Shadow of Loma Prieta

The forgotten history of The Forest of Nisene Marks is revealed at last SANTA CRUZ, CA, October 23, 2022—The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park has a long history that has been largely forgotten. But not anymore. The Shadow of Loma Prieta follows the tumultuous history of the areas now known as The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and the Soquel Demonstration State Forest from the early twentieth century to the present day. Expertly… Read More »Press Release: The Shadow of Loma Prieta

Speeder riders visiting the abandoned Loma Prieta mill, ca 1925
Speeder riders visiting the abandoned Loma Prieta mill, ca 1925. Photo by Bert Stoodley. Woods Mattingley Collection, Aptos History Museum.

The Rise and Fall of the Molino Timber Company

Editing the three volumes of The History of Rancho Soquel Augmentation by Ronald G. Powell has been an unexpected journey for me that has had some major highs and major lows. As I wrap up editing the third and final volume of the series, Powell did what he has often done to me over the past three years and thrown a curve ball. In this instance, it has to do with the history of the Molino… Read More »The Rise and Fall of the Molino Timber Company

Molino Timber Company workers on a bridge above Hinckley Gulch
Molino Timber Company workers on a bridge above Hinckley Gulch, 1910s. [Aptos Museum]

On wrapping up a trilogy

My journey from being introduced to Ronald G. Powell’s forgotten magnum opus on the history of Rancho Soquel Augmentation in May 2019 and publishing the final book derived from it—The Shadow of Loma Prieta—this autumn has been long with many unexpected turns. When Stan Stevens sent me scans of the first-draft manuscript that Powell had donated to the UC Santa Cruz McHenry Library in the late 1990s, I almost immediately set aside the work I… Read More »On wrapping up a trilogy