The Secret History of the Pajaro Valley's Redwoods

The Pajaro Valley was and is noted for its diversified agriculture, but at one time, the mountains on the north and east side of the valley provided a sizable and active forest products industry including sawed lumber and split stuff. There were several sizable lumber mills in and around Corralitos.

Beginning as early as the 1830s, redwood lumber was one of the primary products of the valley, and over the decades, millions of board feet of redwood flowed south and east to fashion buildings in Salinas, San Juan Bautista, Hollister and the San Joaquin.

But, 1889, the editor of the Pajaronian was predicting that the valley's logging industry would soon come to an end. He was wrong, but the lumber industry in this part of the Santa Cruz Mountains continued slowly through the 20th century.

We will spend the day covering the range of the coast redwoods in and around the Pajaro Valley, their utilization, the effects of the 1906 earthquake, the move to preserve them, and the modern forest products industry in the valley.

Some of the stops during the day will include the location where father Juan Crespi first made note of them in 1769, the early mills, an albino redwood, several example of dawn redwoods (not native to the valley), and some modern logging sites.

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011
Time: 9:30 – 6:00 PM
Fee: $95.00 if you register before September 14.
Age Restriction: The course is not designed for children under 18 years of age.
Transportation: Motorcoach with onboard restroom. We will make two pick-ups. 9:30 AM in Parking Lot F at the Cabrillo College Aptos Campus, and 10:00 AM at the Cabrillo Watsonville campus, 318 Main St. (adjacent to the Plaza), Watsonville.
Lunch: Participants should bring their own picnic lunch as we will have a stop for that purpose. You won't have to carry your lunch and can store it under the bus. Small coolers are perfectly OK.
Dress: Layers are recommended, and comfortable shoes as we will be taking several short-distance hikes off the bus during the day.
Instructor: Sandy Lydon, Cabrillo College Historian Emeritus, is co-author of the award-winning Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History, a revised edition of which has just been republished in 2011.