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Goldies 2004

An A-Z Index of Santa Cruz Nicknames and Forgotten Places

Apple City: Nickname for Watsonville in 1910.

B-40: Nickname for Branciforte.

Castle Beach: Former name of Seabright Beach.

Cement Ship: Remnants of the Palo Alto, a 435-foot concrete tanker, built in an attempt to ease the shortage of steel during World War 1.


Goldies 2004 Contents:
Arts & Culture (readers' choice)
A-Z Index of Names/Places
Economic Index
Food & Drink (readers' choice)
Goods & Services (readers' choice)
Historical Index
Music & Nightlife (readers' choice)
People & Places
People & Places (readers' choice)
List of 'Stans'


Devil's Blow Hole: A hole in a small cave along West Cliff Drive.

El Potrero: Spanish for "pasture," it's the name for the supposedly cursed former grassland near Harvey West Park.

Evergreen Cemetery: Named for its surrounding evergreen trees, including coast redwoods and sempervirens ("always living").

Four Mile Beach: Four miles from what? Said to be four miles from the Santa Cruz Post Office, it is in fact 6.1 miles away from it. It is, however, four miles away from Western Road on the northern edge of Santa Cruz.

Freedom: Renamed Freedom in 1877, this town 1.5 miles northwest of Watsonville was originally named Whiskey Hill in 1852 thanks to 11 salons. Made world-famous by the radio ID, "KPIG, 107-oink-5, Freedom, California."

Garden of Eden: Swimming hole in Henry Cowell State Park.

Gunbarrel: Bicyclists' name for San Jose Avenue in Capitola, a fast straight stretch after a series of turns.

Halfway House: Mountain Charley's stagecoach station halfway between Santa Cruz and San Jose on what was then the principal road.

Hobo's Hole: Swimming hole in San Lorenzo River.

Ice Cream Grade: So-called either because local ladies, feeling sorry for the inmates who worked the road, made them ice cream, or because residents held ice cream socials to raise money to upgrade the road.

Jap Camp: Racist former name for Camp No. 2 of the Molino Timber Company, called such because Japanese workers delivered the split stuff.

Kennolynn Camp: A private summer camp for boys and girls.

Louden Nelson: We'll just say it one last time: The first name of the illiterate former slave who willed his property to the school district is actually thought to be London.

Marijuana Gulch: Nickname for a gulch in Nisene Marks Forest, which several individuals planted with the illustrious green stuff.

Mountain Charley Road: Named after a local 19th-century stagecoach operator who wore a silver plate made from two Mexican silver dollars over a hole in his skull, after a near-death experience involving an angry she-bear.

Nob Hill: Now Depot Hill in Capitola, it was called Nob Hill because of the "nobs" that developers reportedly hoped to attract to the area.

Octagon Museum: So called because of its eight-sided shape.

Piggy Beach: A beach near Majors where a farmer used to run 60-70 great big sows so they could root in the sand.

Quail Hollow: A valley where quail once roamed freely.

Red, White and Blue Beach: Named for the red, white and blue mailbox which marks the entrance to this nudist North Coast beach.

Swantocruz: Nickname of Santa Cruz when Fred Swanton was mayor.

Spud Valley: Nickname for the Pajaro Valley before the potato crop gave way to apples (and later to strawberries).

The Flats: Nickname for Beach Flats.

Uypi: Nicknamed "the Soquel People" after their captain Suquel, these Indians occupied the mouth of the San Lorenzo River before the missionaries arrived.

Valley of the Birds: Another name for the Pajaro Valley, whose sky was at one time said to darken with birds.

Waikiki of the West: Nickname for the now-defunct Capitola Airport.

Yellow Bank Beach: Nickname for Panther Beach, because of the abundance of yellow clay in the area.

Zayante: named after a former Indian tribe, the Sayante, which held Scotts Valley and the Glenwood and Laurel areas to the north and east before it went to Mission Santa Cruz between 1791 and 1795.

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From the March 31-April 7, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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