1915 Andrew Hill

History Forum: Big Basin: The Unique Role of Santa Cruz in Creating our First State Park

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023,
4pm - 6pm

Garden Room

FREE for History Forum Members

History Forum Member Registration
Sentinel owner Duncan McPherson commissioned A.P. Hill to create this oil painting in early 1900. Three members of the McPherson family admire the 1,800-year-old Father Tree that survived the 2020 CZU Fire. Courtesy of Robert Bettencourt, History San Jose.

The establishment of Big Basin in 1902 launched the environmental movement. Although Santa Cruzans provided the backbone of the effort, until now they have mostly been left out of the story. Newspaper owners in conflict, a political leader’s uncanny modesty, and a woman journalist fearful of not being taken seriously contributed to our local heroes not receiving the credit they richly deserved.

Santa Cruz county residents embraced a long-term vision of redwood preservation with unique skills to make it a reality. Learn about the extraordinary quest and undaunted commitment of former Lt. Governor William T. Jeter and his wife Jennie, newspaper editors Duncan McPherson and A.A. Taylor, winemaker/journalist Josephine McCracken (a “Victorian hippie”) and Boulder Creek lumberman and unofficial mayor Henry Middleton.

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Featured Speaker

Traci Bliss

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History Forum’s annual speaker series provides its members with public lectures by leading historians and authors about Santa Cruz County history. Each talk lasts approximately one hour, followed by a meet and greet with refreshments.

The History Forum also sponsors an annual fall field trip. This year's excursion, to Soquel on September 15th, will explore the locations featured in the Johnstown Flood film (July 26th speaker) and members will hear about the town's "wild west" saloon days.

This series is for History Forum members only. If you are interested in joining, please click here to learn more.

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