Corralitos History Home

That Was Corralitos

Newspapers were the source for most of the following items:

June 15, 1860: ?In a trouting excursion, a few days since, up the Corralitos Creek, some fourteen or fifteen miles from Santa Cruz, we chanced upon a cluster of hot springs, the water strongly impregnated with sulphur. We think it probable that the water may contain medicinal qualities. If upon analyzation, such should appear, these springs might be made a charming retreat for invalids. The pure mountain air, beautiful scenery, and trouting facilities, go far to recommend it as a place of resort. On this creek are located two sawmills?one of them owned by Eagar & Co., and run by steam; the other is owned by Prewitt Sinclair, now leased by Wilcoxson & Holbrook and is run by water power. Lower down the creek is the celebrated Pajaro Flouring Mill, owned by Hames & Co. The utmost activity prevails at these mills. The Corralitos flows through the beautiful valley of Pajaro, and loses itself in the sand.?

Sept. 3, 1866: Strangled body of William Roach, controversial ex-sheriff of Monterey County, found stuffed in a well near his ranch at Corralitos.

1879: We have in our possession a copper grape shot found in this valley, which was used during a fight between the Americans and the Spaniards. It is about as large as a Corralitos strawberry, but it looks more dangerous.

1879: Some unknown person or persons during Saturday night cut the Corralitos main below the reservoir and let all the water out. As a consequence, the town had no fire protection from that line of pipes for nearly 24 hours.

Nov. 1879: Isaac Rich was discharged last Saturday. It was not proven that he intended to commit bodily harm on the workmen of the Corralitos Water Co. He only used the shotgun as a silent persuader. As the shotgun said nothing, and could not be made to testify, Rich and the shotgun were discharged.

1880: A party of hunters discovered and caught eight young coyotes about a mile above the classic city of Corralitos a few days ago. The coyotes were distributed among the finders and are now being reared by cats, cows, and everything available.

1880: It is claimed that several persons voted both in Watsonville and Corralitos on election day. These rumors should be looked into, and if anyone repeated, he should be punished.

1882: The action of the Board of Trustees in making out a contract to pay the Corralitos Water Co. $3 a month for each hydrant is condemned by many citizens. The price is far too high, but under the terms of the franchise, we are convinced the board could do no better. It should not be held responsible for the errors or omissions of its predecessors.

1882: R.J. Bullock of Corralitos gave a queer looking apple to supervisor Aldrich Saturday, for the purpose of having it inspected by horticultural commissioners. Under the glass, it showed long hairs growing from the skin, and on these hairs was a parasite of a species unknown to local bug sharps.

1883: Corralitos is a growing village. This is due to the paper mill and the rapid settling up of the hill lands behind the village. Corralitos school district contains over 160 school children and has three teachers. Little over a year ago, it had but one teacher. Before many years pass, Corralitos will be quite a town.

1885: Corralitos claims the distinction of being the finest spot in this county for summer climate. The thermometer balanced at 100 degrees in that lively burgh on Sunday last. Corralitos always leads. It never follows.

1887: The dwelling of Mrs. Elizabeth, about a mile and a half above Corralitos on the creek of that name, was burned to the ground last Saturday night. No one was around at the time, and the cause of the fire is unknown. The house and contents were insured for $750 by the Oakland Home Insurance Co., and the loss was paid this week by the local agent, Besse and Sill.

1888: Watsonville is again a stage town of note, with a line to San Jose, another to Salinas and the "old reliable" line to Corralitos.

1892: It is probable that a new saloon will be started at Corralitos. Whether or not the new proprietor will be able to make a "go of it" is a question.

1892: Don't forget the bull's head dinner to be given in Wilson's Grove, Corralitos, next Sunday afternoon by Wm. L. Wilson.

1893: Local markets show blackberries from the D.A. Rider place on the summit of the Corralitos hills which cannot be excelled.

1897: Corralitos Chips: The men working on the ranch of Peter and James Brown struck for an increase of wages last week and got it. Fruit pickers now receive $28 a month and board, an increase of $2 per month. Most of the smaller growers are paying a dollar a day and board.

One of the most charming entertainments ever engaged by the lovers of the terpsichorean art in Corralitos was given on Saturday evening, Sept. 28 th , at Ceschi's hall under the personal management of Mr. John E. McElheney, the genial and popular hotel proprietor of this village. It was the annual harvest ball and as the rhapsodies of musical melody had not been heard at the hall for many waning nightfalls, the belles and beaux for many miles around the northern end of the Pajaro Valley had waited in impatient anticipation of the event. The commodious hall was handsomely decorated for the occasion so that within was presented a sense of brilliancy and gaiety. Around the brightly burning lights were attractively arranged waving streamers of evergreens...Crowded with pretty girls with rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes and figures symmetrical, and happy gallants the hall was enlivened...At midnight a delightful supper was served by Mrs. O'Mara and Mrs. McKahn in a garden adjoining the hall, where Mr. McElheney had arranged a bower of evergreens through which the stars brightly shone. The reign of mirth and merriment was a long one and the ?harvest dance? of the year will long recall to those who attended memories of pleasure...

Cupid took its second shot at two loving hearts last week, and as the law stood in the way of their marriage they thought to get around the legal obstacles by being married at sea and are at present happy in the ignorance of the fact that such marriages have been declared illegal. The contracting parties were Miss Sadie Powell and John Ward, the latter being employed at Brown's mill. Each had been married before and it has been less than a year since Miss Powell was legally granted permission to leave her husband and resume her maiden name. Mr. and Mrs. Ward have taken up their residence in Corralitos.

A photograph gallery is the newest thing in Corralitos. Charles Gullick, a recent arrival from Nebraska, has opened the gallery. He enjoys the reputation of being an artist of exceptional ability.

Entertainingly told was the story of Bunyan's ?Pilgrims Progress? last Tuesday evening at the Congregational Church, by means of excellent stereopticon views. It was a ?magic lantern? entertainment given by the Williams brothers, and was enjoyed by those present.

Launched successfully in the social swim was the organization of the Merry Owl Literature Society of Corralitos on last Friday evening. A meeting was held at Ceschi's hall for the purpose of making preliminary arrangements for the establishment of a permanent association to keep the social interests of the town alive during the coming winter. It is proposed to give a series of entertainments. Officers were elected as follows: President, James Copeland. Vice President, Miss. Eva Roberson. Secretary, Miss Bessie Arentz...Among the young ladies interested in the society are the Misses James, Simpson, Jewitt, Renshaw, and Mrs. Thomas Baucom.

1897: Corralitos is reported to be unanimously in favor of the new constitution. That settles the matter.

1897: The commodious barn which Geo. Mann is building to replace the one destroyed by fire some weeks ago at his home near the 5-Mile House, is well on toward completion.

1897: The prospective crop in some of the cherry orchards near Corralitos has already been sold at fairly remunerative figures, cash down and no grumbling being the plan followed.

1900: Corralitos feels like congratulating herself upon having one of the Brown Bros. paper mills located here. We took a walk through the mill. It is full of ponderous machinery, rushing wheels and belts, and scathing vats. But, the unavoidable odor did not invite a prolonged stay. During a pleasant interview with the genial clerk and bookkeeper, Mr. Thompson, we learned that the mill gave employment, when full-handed, to about fifty men and uses annually about 8,000 cords of wood. This means the expenditure of considerable money which gives comfort to many families in the community. A great deal of straw which would otherwise have to be burned is purchased from the farmers.

1900: One of the prettiest orchard sections in California extends from the Five-Mile House to Corralitos and thence branches up the Brown and Corralitos Creeks.

1900: Charley Manning's sprinkling wagon makes its regular trips through Corralitos everyday, Sunday not excepted. As a result, the roads are kept in good condition.

1900: There is to be a spelling match at the Corralitos Literary Society next Saturday night and we are informed that the words for the contest are to be taken from the Pajaronian. The editor of the paper will give a year's subscription to the lady or gentleman who stands longest in the contest.

1900: There are now 10 pupils in the 9th grade at Corralitos school, which reopened on the 16th of this month, the largest class the school has had for some years, and they are industrious boys and girls who intend to make good use of their school time this year.

1904: Old sol poured his hottest rays down on Corralitos yesterday, and the oldest inhabitants in that neck of the woods stood aghast at the manifestation of his power. At Dr. H.E. Burbank's place, a thermometer on the back porch registered 98 degrees. The thermometer was taken to the front of the house, where the sun's rays struck it and it immediately climbed to 120 degrees, then burst, the sudden transition being, evidently, too much for it.

1904: Bert Huntington, the blacksmith at the Five Mile House, has purchased a neat automobile of the runabout pattern. It is a compact and substantial little machine manufactured by the Rambler Company.

1906: C.S. Price, superintendent of county schools, reports that the new Corralitos schoolhouse is now ready for occupancy, and that the building is one of the finest in the county for the money that has been put into it.

1906: For a long time the Pajaronian has been calling attention to the urgent need of a settling tank for the Corralitos Creek water, which is furnished the people of this community by the Watsonville Water Co. The chemical analysis given us yesterday by chemist, Ellerslie E. Luther, emphasizes that need most strongly. Under normal conditions, the water carries an immense amount of clay, and during the rainy season it is thick with mud.

1916: The Christian Endeavors of Corralitos are still alive and awake. On Friday, they will give a benefit entertainment, a temperance drama at Ceschi's hall.

1918: The Corralitos Farm Center was organized at an enthusiastic meeting in the Christian Church Wednesday night with the selection of officers: F.L. Selleck, Mrs. John H. Frapwell and S.E.Elliot

1924: Lawrence Cusack, William Rasmussen, Bud Bradshaw, A. Henry, Dr. Earl Kilburn, C.D. Reese, and two Corralitos residents brought in a 170-pound buck from the Kinckely Gulch (Hinckley Basin) country Sunday.

Oct. 1928: (Excerpts from Corralitos Union School newspaper)
Amesti had a chance to crow over Corralitos! The Corralitos baseball team played Amesti, Wednesday Oct. 3. We played 7 innings because we did not have time for more. Amesti won! The score was 12 to 11. It was a hard battle.
The baseball team played Amesti October 10. Corralitos won, the score being 16 to 17. We would have had a higher score, but they would not give us our last ups as they had to go home
Our reporters visited Mrs. Smith's room on October 24. They were having their sounds. Norma Rippy read the first sentence on the chart. She did very well for such a small girl.

1930: If "black gold" is to be found in the Corralitos district, it appears that Frank K. Marik, Los Angeles oil operator is going to find it if he has to drill to a depth of 5,000 feet. According to reports today, he has spent $60,000 during the course of drilling in that area.

1930: L.S. Bradley's touring car, which was stolen while parked at the Christian Church in Corralitos on Sunday morning, was found by one of the traffic officers Monday morning near the Larkin Valley schoolhouse.

May 24, 1930: Graduates of the Pleasant Valley Elementary School who received diplomas at exercises Friday evening were Marjorie Hammitt, Mae Thomas, Vivian Thomas, Roy Alvein and Buell Crawford.

Nov. 1931: The one time peaceful hamlet of Corralitos has had its serene harmony disrupted by the advent of a humble animal called a mule. The mule, a former resident of Monterey Co., was imported over the frontier of Santa Cruz Co. by Ray Brodin in one of his alfalfa trucks. Mr. Brodin at odd moments has taught the mule a series of tricks that so far have been unequalled. All had gone well until last week when Clint Manchester sat in at a couple of rehearsals and as the mule would complete a trick Manchester would caress him in a soothing tone and reward the beast from a bag of lemon drops, bought to relieve a bad sore throat. Mr. Brodin seeing Manchester's interest in the animal laid down his trainer's whip and told Manchester to see what progress he could make toward teaching the humble beast some new trick, as Brodin's repertoire of tricks had been exhausted.
With Mr. Manchester's army training with mules standing him in good stead, he was able on the second day to develop an understanding with the quadro-dextrous animal that was touching even to the stoniest hearts. All went well until Mr. Brodin endeavored to continue the handling of his protégé, when there was the best demonstration of a balking mule that has so far been seen in Corralitos. All of Brodin's efforts did not avail until finally a bitter controversy arose between the two men. Anger brought out indiscreet remarks, which cannot here be recorded. Blows might have been struck had not Walter Bradley, director of the Corralitos Farm Center, appeared and quieted the contestants. After reason returned, Brodin and Manchester agreed to jointly exhibit the mule at the Corralitos Farm Center entertainment Friday night Nov.13, 1931.

1935: Arnold Baldwin had the surveying contract under city engineer Kitchen when the city water company had to provide survey work on the Ollason property in relation to their water rights: ?Mr. Baldwin picked me up at moon rise on May 4, 1935 and proceeded to the Ollason farm. This was so early the deer had not yet come to feed at the Mann corral. Baldwin drove a spike in the road near Sal Licari's mailbox, put a flashlight behind it, and took an observation on the North Star. This business out of the way we adjourned to breakfast at the west end of Montague's flume. Scraps of Sycamore limbs provided a fire for the coffee and when only live coals remained, Baldwin produced two large steaks which he threw upon the ashes. French rolls which appeared from a gunnysack were opened with an axe. Thus fortified with bread, meat and coffee, we began by the grey light of dawn, the survey of the Ollason boundary. The morning passed in a dusty swirl of dense brush, nettles, witness trees, poison oak, blackberry vines, and ancient fences while noontide crawled toward us and as slowly receded into the forgotten past. I mentioned food and was reminded that I had dined on steak that morning, and this in the darkest year of the Roosevelt Depression. The valley echoed to the ringing of axe and brushhook all through the afternoon and far into the evening. Molinda Ollason arrived home from work at the laundry in her A-Ford and paused to view the battlefield. ?Land sakes Mr. Baldwin, you folks sure do lay open a fine wide trail!' ?Yes ma'am,' said Mr. Baldwin, ?A person needs room to work.' We finished by the light of Baldwin's headlamps and that day for the first time I saw a surveyor at work. There are some days you never forget.? Stanley R. Smith Water Rights Report 1969

Feb. 21, 1935: Construction of masonry flumes some 600 feet long in the Corralitos section, the work to be done under the supervision of Lloyd Bowman, county surveyor, was authorized. It will serve some 25 laborers and a sum of $4,280 has been sanctioned officially.

1935: Fifteen workers will begin laying some 3,000 feet of 4-inch pipe next week which will supply residents of the Brown's Valley and Corralitos Roads section, now using raw water, with filtered water from the Corralitos plant.

May 1940: Mrs. J. Baptista of San Jose accompanied her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. George Olmstead, of South San Francisco to Corralitos Saturday where they were week-end guests of Mr. And Mrs. Clint Manchester of Brown's Valley Road. Mrs. Olmstead is remaining for the week with her aunt with whom she resided for several years.

June 23, 1940: Corralitos Cash Store has opening … a great event…Alice Tindall won a rabbit.

1940: Senior Corralitos 4-H Club members who assisted in clean-up day at the 4-H Camp in Eureka Canyon Sunday included Buddy Lemon, Dorothy Dye, Betty Lee Perkins, Gwendolyn Manchester, William Shalow, David Dye and Earl Jensen.

1940: A crew of workmen Wednesday was nearing completion of dismantling the city's dining hall building in Grizzly Flat and moving the lumber to Corralitos where construction will start next week on a fire suppression station.

Aug. 21, 1953: A five-year lease for oil-drilling rights on school property was signed by the Corralitos school board Thursday night.

Aug. 1954: Members of the Corralitos B Softball Team champions received individual charms Thursday night. They were Kenny Le Barre, Jim Bradford, Douglas Hamilton, Charles Brown, Harold Kidd, Lawrence Paxton, Bob McCollum, Pete Baclig, Dion Hamilton, Robert Tindall, Richard McCollum, Richard Morrison and Art Rodriquez.

1957: Joe Cutler was the new postmaster at Corralitos when the post office branch opened today at the Corralitos Cash Store, where Cutler does double duty as the butcher.

1957: The heaviest snow in 30 years fell in downtown Watsonville this morning, the first snowfall in six years. Snow was reported up to an inch in depth in the Corralitos area.

1967: Members of the Grace Baptist Church in Corralitos recently held a ground-breaking service at 127 Hames Road, where a church building is to be erected and completed by Dec. 1.

1972: Corralitos Pre-School (Polliwog Playroom) at 23 Blake Road is now taking applications for enrollment. It is a licensed pre-school directed by two elementary school teachers, Kathryn Olivier and Judy Malmin. The curriculum is designed to give pre-school children from ages 3 to 5 years 9 months a variety of creative experiences in art, music and science, and an opportunity to develop their social skills in a group situation.

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