Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Pleasure Point, on the northern Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County, California, [4] is a world renowned surf location. Traditionally defined as the area along the coast from 41st Ave to Moran Lagoon, up 30th Ave to Portola and over to 41st Ave down to the sea at the "Hook". It is a prime example of surf culture.

From the time of the Costanoan through the Spanish missions in California, into the time of the Californios and the breakup of the Ranchos to the development of the Coastal cottages and businesses, the “Point” has had a rich and interesting past. In the more modern times of Prohibition[5], with the speakeasies that gave the area the name Pleasure Point and through the development of the surf culture, this area has been a place of distinction along the California coast.

The new Century has ushered in a new phase of development in which the beach cottages are being replaced by large houses, and the surfers being replaced by new residents and vacation rentals.

Rancho2.jpg

Early history[edit]

The Ohlone[6] were the early settlers of the Central Coast, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1769. The Spanish sent Missionaries[7] to introduce indigenous people to Christianity. The missionaries held onto their land and power for twelve years after the independence of Mexico from Spain in 1821.[8] The Mexican government seized the Mission lands and distributed it to a few powerful families, among them the Rodriguezes and the Arandas.

Mexican land grants[edit]

1879 hatch map.png

Rancho Arroyo del Rodeo was granted by Gov. Figuero[1] to Francisco Rodriguez. This area was used for cattle round ups by the Rodriguez and Castro families, in a natural amphitheater where the freeway crosses Rodeo Gulch.[9] Also known as "Los Coyotes", a one-quarter square league from Rodeo Gulch to Soquel Creek, from the sea up. Rancho Encinalitos (little live oak ranch), owned by Alejandro Rodriguez, ran from Corcoran West and included the lands to Woods Lagoon.

Daubenbiss and Hames[edit]

The conclusion of the Mexican American War in 1850 resulted in more immigration.[10] Americans and Europeans joined with the Mexican Rancho families or through purchase gained land in the area. In 1845 John Daubenbiss and John Hames bought 1,100 acres (4 km2) from Alexander Rodriguez.[2] The Daubenbiss house is on the rise coming out of Soquel Village. The 1855 grant was confirmed by the land commission. Originally surveyed as 2,353 acres (10 km2) in 1858, it was resurveyed in 1861 as 1,473.04 acres (5.9612 km2). In 1869, after a second notice they appealed yet were held to the smaller size because they didn't object in time. H. and E. Pagels patented part of the lands in 1868. Hames and Daubenbiss patented this Rancho in 1882.[11]

Nineteenth century[edit]

  • M. Leonard owned 115 acres (0.5 km2) east of Woods Lagoon- The Yacht Harbor and Arena Gulch to Schwan Lagoon- the twin lakes area.
  • Schwan owned 72 Acres from Schwan Lagoon to near Blacks Point. He built the Inn in 1892. Helped develop Twin Lakes trolley station.Property landscaped by N.A. Beckwith with naturalistic landscape including Eucalyptus.
  • Henry Johans owned 85 Acres from the Blacks Point and Sunny Cove area to 17th Ave.
  • James Corcoran [12] owned 183 Ac of land west of Rodeo Gulch, from the Sea to Santa Maria, along the SCRR (Santa Cruz Rail Road) above the Schwan's and the Johan's lands, to upper Schwan Lake, the state park area by the Simpkin swim center of 17th Ave.
  • Moran[13] Patrick Moran + Rosa Smith 1866. Blacksmith

1870 bought 237 Ac of land from Rodeo Gulch/ Corcoran Lagoon to 33rd Ave- Lynskey property. Both sides of Moran Lagoon. From the sea to the RR, including Soquel/ Pleasure Point. Barn on 26th, now in Advent / Pleasure Point Church. Ship, Helen Merrian Cap. Nelson, with cargo of telegraph poles wrecks off ranch. 1896- son Patrick, 17, died of typhoid. 1897 Divorced due to drinking. Son, Martin, drowned off Blacks Point in Jan 1901. Victorian house on beach. Burned March 1901. 1906-Son, Edward died from mistakenly drinking acid, at his grandfather’s ranch in Watsonville. Died in 1904.

  • Walter Lynskey owned 54 Ac from 33 Ave to 38th. Died 1918 and land sold.
  • W. Hawes 1907 owned land along proposed E Cliff.
  • F. A. Hihn[14] owned around 120 Ac from 38th to 41st the sea to Capitola Road. This included the Road House/ Casa Del Mar, on E. Cliff
  • M. Leonard owned 108 more Ac The Hook to Capitola Road, Opal Cliffs.
  • G Wardwell owned 58 Ac to Capitola Rd. Lower Opal cliffs.
  • March 2, 1891, Corcoran, Moran and Johann gave 20 acres (81,000 m2) to the Catholic Ladies’ Aid Society
  • June 1892 Hotel Santa Maria Del Mar [18] opened.

Twentieth century[edit]

  • Moran sold to Nellie Houghton in 1904 in Estate Sale on Rosa’s death. She bid $2,500 in gold coins. Built a family house at the end of 30th called the Owls, because of the many owls in the area. Mr. A. D. Houghton was an engineering consultant to John D Rockefeller.

Children went to Santa Cruz high on the Capitola Street car. They planted the Eucalyptus windbreak that still shelters the area now. They also provided over wintering for the Monarch Butterfly. The house burned on 12.14, 1915.

  • 1920 Neillie owned 6.25 Ac at the end of Houghton/30th Ave.
  • 1929 John C. Kleist owned the property
  • C Thompson developed the Pleasure Point subdivision.
  • Dr Norman Sullivan renamed Eucalyptus Dr, Pleasure Point Dr.
  • The Plung was opened in 1934. The swimming pool was built in the basement of the Houghton home. 1934 managed by Mrs. Thompson. 1955 re opened by Edward Maloney. 1962 was removed because of a large crack.
  • Trolley Union Traction Twin Lakes to Capitola 1903-05 - 1925 [19]
  • 1907 East Cliff Dr proposed 15-mile (24 km) auto speedway from SC to Capitola. 75–100 feet wide.


  • 1907 Lamb and Burton owned 44 ac from UT to proposed E Cliff-33rd-38th. The Breakers.
  • 1920s had 17.5 ac that developed as THE BREAKERS 1921 Breakers Bonanza Beach

LOTS $5 down, $5 mo. 75–90 ft. Free water to lot, golden Waukesha mineral water. Free beach, 2,000 ft (610 m). long. Free camping.

  • Rodeo Club 1922 meet at Larsen house on 38th to improve E Cliff 26-41st.
  • Beltz 1920 6 acres (24,000 m2) off 30th

1929 70 ac Moran Lagoon to 38th 1948 Beltz Haven 38th-34th 1936 permission to develop water system around Breakers Beach 1938 seeks to lay water mains in Live Oak 1938 sued by Breakers for poor water.

  • 1920s Volunteer firefighters to protect the Point from fires and rowdy crowds during Prohibition 1919-1933.

At this time rumrunners dropped off on the beaches.[20]

Color rh.jpg Rumor is that the Pleasure Point roadhouse 2-3905 E-Cliff was used in these endeavors.[3]

  • 1920Nick Neary from San Francisco owned the property.[21]
  • 1926 A&E Petersontraded for their grape ranch in Chowchilla.
  • 1986 L Naslund [22]
  • Jack O'Neill of the Wetsuit patented the name Surf Shop in SF 1952. Moved to SC in 1959, first to Cowells and then to 41st Ave in Pleasure Point.
  • Gion v. City of Santa Cruz(Cal. 1970) The use of the beach from at least 1900 lead to dedication of property to public use and prescriptive rights
  • O'Neill bought Gion property along the coast of Pleasure Point. Formerly Breakers Beach owned by Hawes. 33rd-38th

As the contests between the surfers from Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point increased, the Pleasure Point Surfing Association reinvigorated the PPNF in the 1960s with the inspiration from Jim Phillip's [23], renowned surf art-skate artist under Harry Contie. [24]

  • PPNF began Pack Your Trash.[25] In the 1970s Pack Your Trash Day's began as one of the first beach clean ups in response to visitors who had not learned to respect the ocean environment. This has grown to be a national phenomenon and people now work to keep our beach areas clean.
  • 1980 The PPNF Park was planted across from Elizabeth's Market, the old Port O Call market for Breakers Beach.[26]
  • Many Surfing contest are held in this location, including the no cord classic developed by Keven Cante, in response to the use of shock cords or surf cords, now called surf leashes. The early version was attached to the board with a suction cup.
  • 1970s Development of 41st Ave as a commercial district. Pleasure Businesses followed [27]

Gallery[edit]

21st century[edit]

  • 2001- The sidewalk[28] on lower 30th was the beginning of the end of the surf community, where many lived in an environment similar to that found at the State Park of Crystal Cove.[29]
Crushed house.JPG
  • 2001 Park designation for openspace on the S-Turn [32]
  • 2001 The Rodgers project is opposed with a petition signed by a 1000 people against loss of small beach cottage used by surf community and removal of trees that protect monarch butterflies of Moran lagoon.
  • 2003 Seawall proposed, but turned down by the California Coastal Commission because of a lack of consideration of alternatives to fight coastal erosion.[33]
  • 2004 Proposal to have a lower pathway along East Cliff by Coastal Commission.[34] see p. 11
  • 2004 permission to build on the beach across from Moran Lagoon turned down [35]
  • 2004-Permission to build town house next to Roadhouse [36], on one of the last undeveloped lots. Though out of compliance with Neighborhood compatibility standards for similar scale, bulk and style to the surrounding homes; the project is approved much to the dismay of many long term members of the community.
  • 2005- Attempt to list The Pleasure Point roadhouse as a Cultural Resource NR-5. The Trustees, with the help of Realtors and Developers fight the designation in opposition the community desire to save it for a museum and community center.

[37],[38] see ipetitions.com/petition/saveroadhouse/signatures


  • 2007 community meetings to decide design guidelines in keeping with the historic beach cottage environment.[39]
  • Aug 14, 2007 County investigates Roadhouse as a park site

[40]

  • Dec 2007 Coastal Commission permits Sea Wall from 33rd Ave to 36th and at the Hook on the end of 41st Ave.
  • Aug 2012 Construction finished on the Sea Wall and improved Pleasure Point Park, now with bathrooms, showers and picnic tables and garden. The Dirt Farm has also been modified to handle more parking, though most of it is left as it was, including the bench.

Surfing[edit]

The beach at O'Neill's has long been used for Surf access and gathering. Directly in front of O'Neill's house is the surf break called "O'Neill's" or "The Dirt Farm". Other famous surf spots on the Soquel Point from W to E, include Sewer Peak, First Peak, Second Peak, "once in a whiles", 38th Avenue, The Drain Pipe,The Hook, Shark's Cove, Privates and Trees. Pleasure Point has been the home and training grounds for many of the World's great American surfers, including Peter Mel[41], Jay Moriarty[42], Adam Repogle, Chris Gallagher, Kieran Horn, Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, Marcel Soros, Flea Virostko, Kevin Reed, Richard Schmidt, Tanner Beckett, Christiaan Bailey, CJ Nelson and Homer Hernard. The early big wave rider Fred Van Dyke [43] and the inventor of the wetsuit, Jack O'Neill, are historic figures associated with this area.

Two more spots surfed in the early '70's are "Little Wind & Sea" and "26th avenue". Both are just north of "Sewers" and "First Peak" at 26th Avenue.

References[edit]

External links[edit]