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History Museums

 

HOME   |   Agricultural History Project  |  Aptos History Museum  |  Capitola Historical Museum  |  Cowell Lime Works  

The Museum of Art & History  |  Pacific Migrations, New Brighton State Beach  |  Pajaro Valley Historical Assn.

Quail Hollow Ranch  |   Rodgers house  San Lorenzo Valley Museum  |  Santa Cruz Boardwalk Historium

Santa Cruz Mission State historic Park  |  Santa Cruz Surfing  |  Soquel Pioneer & Historical Assn. 

Watsonville Fire  |  Wilder Ranch State Park  |

 

1

Agricultural History Project

 

Agricultural History Project - Watsonville

 

 

 

 

Discover the history of agriculture in this area of the country – including the crops, people, artifacts and farming practices that have made the Central Coast what it is today. View our exhibits & explore our gift shop, “Country Corner.” Families welcome.

 

Agricultural History Project

2601 East Lake Ave. • Watsonville, CA 95076

831-724-5898

Thurs – Sun, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm or by appointment.

Call for holiday hours. Groups by appointment.

Free Admission – Donations appreciated

 

Go to Agricultural History Project Website Link

2

Aptos History Museum

 

Aptos History Muesum, Aptos, California

 

 

 

 

Aptos evolved from an Indian village

to a Mexican cattle rancho, Claus

Spreckels’ thoroughbred horse ranch

(the millionaire sugar grower), a lumber town, an

apple processing center, and ultimately a resort. The

first public aeroplane flights took place here and it was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake epicenter.

 

Aptos History Museum

7605-B Old Dominion Court • Aptos, CA 95003

831-688-1467

Mon – Fri, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and by appointment

Free Admission – Donations appreciated

 

Go to Aptos History Museum Website Link

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3

Capitola Historical Museum

Capitola Historical Museum, Capitola, California

 

Capitola, the oldest resort on the Pacific Coast, is celebrated with stories and photographs in the changing exhibits of Capitola Historical Museum. Research materials may be viewed by appointment.

Community walking tours for groups of 25 persons or more can be arranged on weekdays with advance notice.

 

Capitola Historical Museum

410 Capitola Avenue • Capitola, Ca 95010

831-464-0322

Thurs thru Sun, 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Free Admission – Donations appreciated

 

Go to Capitola Historical Museum Website Link

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4

Cowell Lime Works Historic District

 

Cowell Lime Works Historic District Santa Cruz California

Cowell Lime Works Historic District, UC Santa Cruz, offers a glimpse into the workings of a 19th century rural industry.

Local limestone was heated in large redwood-fired

kilns to produce lime for making mortar and plaster. See the lime kilns, cooperage (barrel factory), worker cabins, cook house, and massive timber-framed barns.

Self-guidedwalking tour brochure

 

Cowell Lime Works Historic District

UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High St., Mailstop: PP&C

Santa Cruz, CA 95064

831-459-3732

 

Admission/Parking Fee: Daily parking permit, $6.00; free on weekends

Go to the Limeworks Website Link 

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5

Friends of the State Parks -  History
5a

Pacific Migrations, New Brighton State Beach

Pacific Migrations, New Brighton State Park Beach, Capitola, California

 

 

 

 

Explore Pacific Rim migrations, both by people and by creatures of the air and sea. Discover the stories of settlers and cultures that are a part of this region’s rich history. Park store sales support education in the parks. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks members receive 15% discount.

 

Pacific Migrations Visitor Center

1500 Park Avenue • Capitola, CA 95010

831-464-5620, or 831-685-6444.

Call or click for hours/events.

 

Go to Pacific Migrations, New Brighton State Beach Website Link

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5b

Santa Cruz Mission

State Historic Park Visitors Center

 

 Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, Santa Cruz, California

 

 

 

 

Located in the oldest building in Santa Cruz, a restored adobe, exhibits feature California Indians and life during the Spanish Mission period. Park store sales support education in the parks. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks members receive 15% discount.

 

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park Visitor Center

144 School Street • Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-425-5849

Call or click for hours/events.

 

 

Go to the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park Website Link

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5c

Wilder Ranch State Park

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, California

 

 

 

Explore the history of early ranchers and farmers through exhibits, tours and living history demonstrations. Grounds include Victorian homes, barns, blacksmith and tool shops, farm animals, and an historic adobe. Park store sales support education in the parks. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks members receive 15% discount.

 

Wilder Ranch State Park Visitor Center

1401 Old Coast Road • Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-426-0505

Call or click for hours/events.

 

Go to Wilder Ranch State Park Website Link

 

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6

The Museum of Art & History

 

The Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, California,

 

Explore Santa Cruz county history in an interactive,

family-friendly setting. The Museum of Art & History

offers hands-on exhibitions and educational programs on everything from early settlers to the 1989 earthquake.

 

The Museum of Art & History @ the McPherson Center

705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-429-1964

 

Tues – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission fees: Adult – $5, Seniors & Students over 18 – $3, Students between 12-17 – $2, and under 12 is free – Free First Friday of each month with extended hours to 9:00 pm.

 

 

 Go to The Museum of Art & History Website Link

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7

Pajaro Valley Historical Assn.

Pajaro Valley Historical Association, Watsonville, California

 

 

Pajaro Valley Historical Association manages the Bockius-Orr house and gardens, the Snyder Archive and the Volk Museum. We gather, research, preserve and display items relating to the history of the Pajaro Valley. Individual and group tours may be arranged. Facilities can be rented for events.

 

Pajaro Valley Historical Association

332 East Beach Street • Watsonville, CA 95076

831-722-0305

Tues, Wed and Thurs 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Free admission – donations appreciated

 

 

Go to Pajaro Valley Historical Association Website Link

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8

Quail Hollow Ranch County Park

 

See this historic ranch house through the eyes of the Lane family – former owners of Sunset Magazine. Learn about the history of this historic horse ranch, peruse old issues of Sunset, and see a 1950s renovated floor plan done in the way only Sunset could imagine. Then check out some of the natural history displays before going on a hike or enjoying a picnic.

 

Quail Hollow Ranch County Park

800 Quail Hollow Road • Felton, CA

831-335-9348

Saturdays (Nov-Mar) & Sundays (year round) 9 am – 4 pm

Admission/Parking Fee: Some activities require a fee and/or advance registration; parking is free.

 

www.scparks.com

 

9

Rodgers House

Rodgers House, Watsonville, California

The Rodgers House, built in the 1870’s by James Rodgers, now beautifies the front entrance to your Santa Cruz County Fair and serves as national landmark on Highway 152 East of Watsonville and West of Gilroy. The house contains archives chronicling the house’s history, including stories of the Rodgers Family and the history of the Pajaro Valley. Several notable family photographs show John Steinbeck, the brother of Esther Rodgers, including one carving the family Thanksgiving turkey.

 

Rodgers House, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds,

2601 East Lake Ave. • Watsonville, Ca 95076

831-724-5671

Mon – Fri 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Tours (10+ people) Mon – Sun by appt

Free admission – donations appreciated

 

Go to Rodgers House Website Link

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10

San Lorenzo Valley Museum

San Lorenzo Valley Museum, Boulder Creek, California

 

 

 

Explore San Lorenzo Valley history in a 1906 redwood church. Exhibits include logging & mill camps. Lumber shipped by flume, then narrow gauge. Also local early schools, vignettes of Victorian life, local pioneer biographies, & rotating exhibits. Visit our bookstore for history, local exploring, & nature books.

 

San Lorenzo Valley Museum

12547 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, CA 95006

831-338-8382

Wed, Fri – Sun 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Free Admission – Donations appreciated

 

Go to the San Lorenzo Valley Museum Website Link

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11

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Historium

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Historium

 

The Boardwalk’s rich history has been lovingly preserved inside the Boardwalk’s Historium, located on the 2nd floor of Neptune’s Kingdom. This unique exhibit details the Boardwalk’s first 100 years of amazing memories with an array of images and photographs. Whether you are visiting the Boardwalk for the first time or the 100th time, the Historium shares the Boardwalk’s amazing story during

the last century of thrills and screams.

 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Historium

400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831 423-5590

Hours vary – Call (831) 423-5590 and ask for hours of Neptune’s Kingdom

 

Admission/Parking Fee: Free admission daily. Parking rates vary depending on time of year

 

Go to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Website Link

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 12

Santa Cruz Surfing

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, Santa Cruz, California

 

 

 

This unique little museum’s exhibit chronicles over 100 years of local surfing history beginning when 3 Hawaiian princes surfed the waves off of Santa Cruz on July 5, 1885, becoming the first persons to introduce board surfing to the United States mainland. Administered by the Santa Cruz Surfing Club Preservation Society.

 

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

Mark Abbot Memorial Lighthouse

701 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-420-6289

Winter Hours: Thur – Mon 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Summer Hours: Wed – Mon 10:00 am - 5 pm

Free Admission - Donations Appreciated

Go to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum Website link

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13

Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association

Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association

The Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association has

partnered with the Porter Memorial Library where we

have our historical displays, artifacts, books and history room. The Historical Association is a community organization dedicated to preserving Soquel history and its role in the development of Santa Cruz County. We have an annual picnic the last Saturday in July. Come visit and explore our museum in the beautiful 1913 historical building located in downtown Soquel.

 

Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association

3050 Porter Street, Soquel, CA 95073

831-475-3326

 

Days/Hours Opened: Mon - Fri 12:00 – 4:00 pm, Sat. 10:00 am- 2:00 pm  Admission/Parking Fee: Free - Donations Appreciated

 

Go to the Soquel Pioneer & Historical Website Link

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14

Watsonville Fire

Watsonville Fire Museum, Watsonville, California

Our museum offers an up close and personal view of the apparatus and equipment used during the history

of the Watsonville Fire Department. Our building was in use by the fire department from 1924 until 1982 when the new building adjacent to the museum was opened. The two buildings together offer a glimpse of the past as well as the present. The museum is operated by the Watsonville Firefighters’ Association, a registered non-profit organization.

 

Watsonville Fire Department Chief Gene Friend Museum

105 Second Street, Watsonville, CA 95076

831-768-3202

Thurs – Sat, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Visits are available by appointment.

Free admission – Donations appreciated.

Free parking available behind the fire station.

 

Go to the Watsonville Fire Website Link

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  We heartedly thank our Sponsors!

  Community Foundation of Santa Cruz CountyPrintworxArts Council of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Sentinel  |  Santa Cruz County Bank  | Liberty Bank  |  Tannery Arts Center

KBK Insurance Agency

 

This website was designed by an Artist for the Santa Cruz County Museums Partnership.  (C) 2013