Once there was an endless redwood wilderness, populated by only the hardiest of people. Then, the sudden blast of a steam whistle echoed across the canyons and the valleys-the iron horse had arrived in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Driven by the need to transport materials like lumber and lime to the rest of the world, the railroad brought people seeking out new ways of living, from the remote outposts along Bean and Zayante Creeks to the bustling towns of Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. Bridges and tunnels marked the landscape, and each new station, siding and spur signaled activity: businesses, settlements, and vacation spots. Summer resorts in the mountains evolved into sprawling residential communities which formed the backbone of the towns of the San Lorenzo Valley today. Much of the history of the locations along the route has since been forgotten.
This is their story.
Fourth Revision (May 2017)
Addenda available at http://www.whaleyland.com/downloads/addenda1.3.pdf
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About the Author
Derek Ryan Whaley is a local historian and recent resident of Felton, California. He began researching local railroads in 2011 and is currently living in New Zealand where he is studying to earn a PhD in History at the University of Canterbury.