Campfire bowl big basin

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

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Saturday, April 22, 2023,
1pm - 6pm

Garden Room


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.

Traci Bliss 02

Featured Speaker

Traci Bliss

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