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
The Place on Laurel Street is one of the most popular books written on historical subjects in Santa Cruz County. It is the reproduction of a diary kept by Edgar Spalsbury during the years of 1876-77. It relates the daily life of one of the most picturesque characters to set his heels in the direction of our city.
Spalsbury, a man of education and culture, was born at his parent's farm in 1835, located along the Black River in Jefferson County, New York. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1856 at the age of 20 years. Law was in Spalsbury's blood and he flourished as a lawyer, quickly establishing a large and lucrative practice.
With the onset of the Civil War, Spalsbury quickly enlisted as a captain in Company C, 35th New York Infantry Volunteers, and saw his first action at Bull Run. As a member of the Army of the Potomac, he also participated in numerous other campaigns in Northern Virginia. But the war took a toll on his already fragile health and brought about a lifelong addiction to various drugs. After the war, Spalsbury drifted west in search of a healthier climate. He established himself in Chicago for a time before arriving in California in 1875, and Santa Cruz County in 1876, where he established another practice.
Spalsbury quickly became a favorite of the citizens in his newly adopted city. He was elected Justice of the Peace by popular acclaim and dubbed "Judge" by his many friends. In the mid-1890s, his health took a turn for the worse, and he passed away on August 16, 1897. He is buried in a private family mausoleum that proudly displays his name, and his stately mansion can still be seen on Laurel Street, near the intersection of Pacific Avenue.
>>Return to Home Page of A Walk Through Time.
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.