Search Local History Articles
Browse Local History Topics
- Community Services
- Crime & Public Safety
- Cultural Diversity
- Disasters & Calamities
- Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County
- In the 19th Century
- In the 20th Century
- Libraries & Schools
- Making a Living
- Recreation & Sports
- Religion & Spirituality
- Spanish Period & Earlier
- Unusual & Curious
- Weather & Pop. Stats.
- World War II
Santa Cruz County History - People
Tom Jefferson Scribner, 1899--1982
On the 1500 block of Pacific Avenue sits a bronze sculpture of an elderly man wearing a Derby hat and playing the musical saw. The man is Tom Jefferson Scribner. During the 1970's and until his death in 1982, Scribner was a common sight on the Pacific Garden Mall where he played his musical saw for passersby. He was something of a counter culture celebrity, for he was a man of many talents: vaudevillian, editor, humorist, philosopher, educator, logger, and a labor organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World (the "Wobblies").
The "Wobblies" were prevalent from 1905 to World War I, when they traveled from coast to coast. With 'Solidarity' as their slogan, their goal was to organize unskilled workers into 'One Big Union'. Scribner's life as a logger and labor organizer was retold in the acclaimed 1979 documentary, "The Wobblies."
The sculpture was created in 1978 by artist, Marghe McMahon, who donated $1500 of her own money toward the the cost. Funding also came from the Santa Cruz Arts Commission, California State Arts Council, UCSC, and other community groups. The total cost: $4000.
For more information see:
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10-12-1977, 11-1-1978, 11-12-1978, 11-13-1978
- The San Francisco Examiner 11-12-1978, Sec.A, p.3.
- Bird, Stewart. Solidarity Forever. Chicago: Lake View Press, c.1985.
Photo Credit: Bob Holmes
It is our continuing goal to make available a selection of articles on various subjects and places in Santa Cruz County. Certain topics, however, have yet to be researched. In other cases, we were not granted permission to use articles. The content of the articles is the responsibility of the individual author. It is the Library's intent to provide accurate local history information. However, it is not possible for the Library to completely verify the accuracy of individual articles obtained from a variety of sources. If you believe that factual statements in a local history article are incorrect and can provide documentation, please contact the Webmaster.