Santa Cruz County History - Architecture

Construction Chronology of the Site of Holy Cross Church: Ex-Mission Santa Cruz became Holy Cross
by Edna E. Kimbro

Ex-Mission Santa Cruz became Holy Cross

Following Fr. Jose Antonio Suarez Del Real's departure for Mexico in 1845, other priests, including Anzar of Mission San Juan Bautista, administered the sacraments at Ex-Mission Santa Cruz from a distance (Real to Pico 1845 CASF). From 1851 until 1854 Fr. Francisco Llebaria officiated. In 1853 Fr. Sebastian Filoteo commissioned a new wood frame priest's house, or rectory, constructed on the site of the ruins of the old convento (Mechanics Lien, Alcalde Book C:5, SCCR). It was a one and one half story wooden saltbox with an outside stairway leading upstairs. Filoteo is said to have been sent to Santa Cruz by Archbishop Alemany, then petitioning the U. S. Government for the return of mission lands in California to the church; it would not do for them to appear as abandoned parishes (Torchiana 1933:378). Starting in 1854, Fr. Juan B. Comelias or Comellas, also administered the sacraments at Santa Cruz until 1856 when Fr. Capdevilla replaced him.

A map of the lands claimed at Mission Santa Cruz was prepared by G. Black in 1854 for the church's claim, showing the new rectory, the old church and its rear extension and an adobe granary near the southwest corner of the quadrangle. Adobe walls formed enclosures to the west, about the cemetery to the east, and about the orchard to the north. Again, the quadrangle walls are shown as 237.5 feet from east to west and about 240-250 feet north to south. Ruined adobe walls are indicated by dotted lines, both inside and outside of the convento. The convento or priest's residence, was probably maintained in better repair than the other rooms until the site was mostly abandoned. Two other maps of this era by Bache for the U. S. Coastal Survey in 1853 and 1854 show the west and north portions of the quadrangle in ruins. An adobe building on the 1854 Black map is shown at the southwest comer of the square, probably a granary, is also visible in the 1856 Miller sketch of the mission (Miller 1856 BL).

The Cemetery

The mission cemetery lay to the east of the old mission adobe church and was irregularly shaped. It extended east from the front (southeast) comer of the church to a point where it angled to the north east. At a point about 150 feet east, a wall angled west to the church almost parallel with the front or southern cemetery wall. Comparing the 1854 Black survey with a plot map of Fallon's land east of the cemetery surveyed by T. W. Wright in 1851, it appears that the northern portion of the west line of Fallon's lot corresponds to the southern portion of the eastern cemetery wall. Fallon's rear or northern boundary line appears as an extension of the east-west cemetery wall.

The Black survey shows a line (possibly a wall), shot to the northeast corner of the eastern wing of the quadrangle. Judging from the topography, it would appear that this area north and rear of the cemetery lie down the hillside northeast of the church. This area may have been used as a burial ground when the older original part was full. In any case, burials were discovered in the area northeast of the church in 1950 when the area was graded and they are shown in photographs of the 1920s era. This observation is born out by newspaper references (Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 2, 1885; Santa Cruz Daily Surf, September 16, 1889). Discrepancies exist between the Fallon survey of 1851, the Black survey of 1854 and the Surveyor General's survey by John Wallace in 1858, concerning the length of the old adobe cemetery wall running from the survey post south to a point at right angles to the front of the church. Scaling from the Fallon map it was 150 feet long; from Black, 125 feet long, and from Wallace, 132 feet long. The latter puts the rear line at 138.6 feet at a scale of 20 chains/inch.

Most importantly, the Wallace (Deputy U. S. Surveyor General) map of 1858 shows the old adobe church in relation to the new wood church of 1858, discussed below. At this point in time, very little of the old church, other than the facade itself, had fallen or been cleared away, it appears. It is important to note that the facade of the new wood church of 1858 was shown with the facade absolutely aligned with that of the old adobe church. Also, a vestige of the adobe bell tower and front buttress was shown still in place on the southeast side of the adobe church facade.

Eventually, a new brick church was proposed for the site of the old mission church. Because the new church was to be substantially wider than the mission church (about 25 feet), it was necessary to excavate the graveyard west of the church. An announcement was published in the Daily Surf, July 23, 1885: "The old cemetery will be leveled to the grade of the rest of the ground and those who desire will remove the remains of friends buried there. Others will remain under the new church, which however, will cover only a portion of the ground devoted to the cemetery."

The New Wooden Church of 1858

During the tenure of Fr. Benito de Capdevilla in 1857, the front portion of the mission church collapsed following a very wet winter, an unprecedented frost, and the Ft. Tejon earthquake and its aftershocks. The church was not demolished but almost immediately, work began on a new church to the west of the wooden rectory located just west of the old adobe church. It was built by Waters and Beck with the help of Mr. Stevens (plastering) and Mr. Lampee (painting). At this time, it had a central belfry but lacked the twin towers erected later. It measured 110 feet long by 36 feet wide, and 27 feet in height (Pacific Sentinel, May 23, 1857).

In 1861 the old mission adobe church was remodeled at the instance of Bishop Amat for use as a girl's school at a cost of $2000. The roof was shingled and raised, the ruins cleared away at the front and the facade weather boarded (Pacific Sentinel, October 17, 1861). The shingles are said to have been provided by Waddel and Bowles (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 31, 1919). The end product of these activities was a building 180 feet long by 42 feet wide by 37 feet in height, capable of accommodating 200 pupils. Since the length of this total wing approximated 250 feet in length, it is possible that some 70 feet of the church portion was removed at this time, if the 180 foot figure represents the entire building.

This school and orphanage were to be run by the Sisters of Charity coming from the east. In 1861 Fr. Capdevilla died and Fr. Casanova came from Monterey in 1862 to serve as pastor for the community. The Sisters of Charity apparently preferred the premises of the old Eagle Hotel on Emmet Street to the former church building and purchased it in 1862. The old adobe church building was offered for rent in 1863 (The Sentinel, August 24, 1863). Its eventual use is not known with any real certainty, although accounts in the "Libro de Cuenta," or account book of the parish, show the name of the renters and the amounts paid in the 1860s and 1870s (Libro de Cuenta SBMA). Bancroft recalled it as having been used as a stable, apparently in the 1870s or early 1880s (Bancroft 1888:208).

In 1864, Fr. Casanova spent $1900 to repair and complete the new wooden church of 1858. T. Beck constructed the twin bell towers, which were in place when all known historical photographs were taken of the building (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 29, 1864). It is not clear precisely when the old rectory of 1853 was moved to the rear of the lot between the new church and the old adobe one; however, the move may have been part of this effort. Photographs published in 1866, but taken when the towers were being constructed, show the rectory situated well at the rear, but forward of the end of adobe mission building (Lawrence and Houseworth 1866 LC).

When Fr. Adam took over as Pastor in 1868, he refurbished the wooden church, repairing and enhancing it several times in the 1870s. He added a side chapel in 1870 dedicated to the Blessed Virgin (De Groote Ms. 1959). He introduced gas lighting to the church and was responsible for a new church pulpit and altar. He brought the large crucifix from Spain, built the new entry stairs and may have been responsible for a new square two story rectory constructed at the rear of the lot on the site between the new church and the old adobe building. This rectory sat somewhat farther back on the lot than the relocated saltbox of 1853, and its construction may have caused some mission building fabric to be destroyed because it sat close to or upon the quadrangle walls (San Francisco Call Supplement, January 3, 1884). It is not clear if the destruction was to the adobe church extension, or to the remains of quadrangle walls, or both. However, according to the cited newspaper: "The old Mission stood until 1856 [sic] when a portion fell during mass [sic]; since which time another large portion of the old building deemed insecure has been torn down." The date is not specified but it is clear that between the photographs or the mid 1860s and the one with Fr. McNamee taken in the 1880s, the rear of the adobe building was truncated. The front, or church nave portion had already been shortened considerably, probably in 1861, as the Mission Orchard Map of 1876 shows the front of the mission church no longer in line with the wooden church of 1858.

The Boy's School

In 1870 Fr. Adam started a Catholic School for Boys in a new building constructed by J. Morrow and plastered by Tom Tierney at a cost of $985. He brought Bro. Peter Nolan O. S. F. from the College of Mission Santa Ines to teach (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 22, 1870; December 3, 1870). The one room school house measured 45 feet long by 25 feet wide and 15 feet at the gable end with a cloak room at the rear and gas lighting. There were 20 double desks with room for 12 more. The new school was built to the west and next to the wood church of 1858. Its relationship to the other buildings is clearly seen in the Map of Mission Orchard Lots by Thomas W. Wright prepared in 1876. (Lots in the old mission orchard were sold off for home sites). Apparently, Fr. Adam experienced difficulties running the Boy's School and closed it ca. 1878 (Otto, November 26, 1939). He did not give up easily, however, and contacted the Christian Bros. regarding its operation before he left the parish in 1883. In his farewell address, he mentioned many, but hardly all, of his many accomplishments at Holy Cross including his prolonged efforts on behalf of the boy's school (Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 3, 1883).

Holy Cross Church and the Demise of the Adobe Mission Church Building

Fr. Hugh McNamee came to Holy Cross Parish in 1883 to replace Fr. Adam. At some unidentified time during his productive tenure he was photographed by the old boarded over adobe mission building he was to demolish (Smith, Santa Cruz News, August 15, 1936). The building has been considerably modified since the photographs taken in the 1860s and appears to have been radically shortened at the rear as well as the front, where the altar area remained (San Francisco Call Supplement, January 3, 1884). The date of this considerable alteration is unknown but may correspond with the date of the erection of the two story square rectory, which is uncertain but apparently was between 1879 and 1883.

In 1884, Fr. McNamee announced his intention to build a new brick church on the site of the old mission adobe church and his plans to use the 1858 wooden church as a boy's School (Santa Cruz Surf, May 28,1884). Demolition began in 1885 and continued for several months. In late September, the remains of Fr. Quintana were said to have been uncovered, but their ultimate disposition is disputed by other sources (Sacramento Union, October 1, 1885). One source credits a John Roberts as having found Quintana's grave and reinterred him in a stone casket (Rowland research UCSC). According to the article cited above: "Father McNamee has placed the bones in the church and intends to put them in the new church under a stone floor."

Apparently, some people were upset by the destruction of the historic mission church, but were reassured by newspaper articles insisting that it was not the church, merely the sacristy and music and vestry rooms behind the church (Daily Surf, July 31, 1885). The fact that the chancel was intact as it was located at the extreme rear of the church and described with its niches intact by a San Francisco newspaper was not mentioned locally (San Francisco Call Supplement, January 3, 1884).

A newspaper article reported: "That portion of the cemetery on which part of the edifice will stand has been graded to a depth of four feet an many large rocks have been taken out." A number of coffins and bodies had been discovered and removed, both Indian and "Gente de Razon." Some were reinterred in another portion of the cemetery down the back of the hill (Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 2, 1885). No mention was made of the burials of Don Joaquin Castro and his wife who are known to have been buried beneath the mission church floor, but another family member Maria Garcia Rafaela Castro was disinterred from the cemetery (Wills 1, SCCC).

The cornerstone of the new brick church was laid with ceremony July 4, 1886 with Bishop Mora officiating with Fr. Hugh McNamee. For the ceremony, the black cross of the mission church which had stood in front of its boarded up remnant and may have been formerly in the cemetery, was placed where the original altar of the church had just been. Among the dignitaries present was the architect T. J. Welch who designed it in the popular, though Protestant appearing, "English-Gothic" style (Santa Cruz Daily Surf, July 3, 1886).

The contract for the new church was awarded to Messrs. Kelly and Leddy of San Jose the following year in 1887 and a ceremony was held the year after to bless the new church bell, "Francis Henry," named for the donor's deceased son and Bishop Mora. The bell was cast by Weed and Kingwell of San Francisco from two old cracked mission bells and some altar plate (Santa Cruz Daily Sentinel May 5, 1887; Santa Cruz Daily Surf, November 20, 1888). Another account held that three bells had been recast totaling 1100 pounds and some tin added to made a 1500 pound bell (Rowland n.d. UCSC) .Judging from the number of ceremonies and events, it took some time to raise the funding necessary to complete the project.

The limestone for the base of the new church came from Russell's quarry (later known as Fred Johnson's Kalkar), while many of the bricks came from Henry Call's brick kilns in Blackburn Gulch (Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 2, 1885; Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 14, 1889). The pews were said to be cedar with railings and arms of Spanish cedar, oiled. B. C. Gadsby painted the church and the frescoing was done by F. Recht. New statues were gifts to Fr. Hugh McNamee for the church but Fr. Adam's crucifix was placed high above the altar.

The new red brick church with its matching red painted roof was finally dedicated September 15, 1889 with Bishop Francis Mora and Fr. Joaquin Adam among the celebrants (Santa Cruz Daily Sentinel, January 24, 1888). The measurements of the old adobe mission church and the new brick one were compared. The mission church was said to be 112.5 feet long, 29 feet wide, 25.5 feet wide. The new church measured 138 feet long and 56.5 feet wide, making it 25.5 feet wider than the original building and necessitating incursion into the cemetery ground (Santa Cruz Daily Surf, September 16, 1889). The same article mentioned that "the dead were interred on the slope of the hill back of the church." Another said that bodies were buried as many as three deep in the mission cemetery, suggesting the possibility that more may remain beneath the church (Sacramento Union, October 1, 1885).

In 1888 the Sanborn Company mapped Mission Hill. Their map suggests that when the new square rectory was built, the old one may have been used as an addition to the west side (1888 Sanborn Map UCSC). The Sanborn map of 1888 and historical photographs taken as late as the 1920s, suggest that adobe and rock walls continued to exist at the rear of the church for some time. These walls may have been remnants of the cemetery walls or the foundation stem walls of the rear extension off the rear of the old mission church. About 60 feet was wall was supposed to have been photographed in 1907 (Patten 1974:endpaper). Other early photographs taken from the northwest show adobe and stone walls that appear to be remains of the original quadrangle and corral walls west of the church.

At the time of its dedication, the granite arch was reported as having been "...erected on the line of the church property and immediately opposite the church entrance," suggesting that the arch designed by architect T. J. Welch of San Francisco and crafted by local artisan J. H. Bilodeau, sits on the property line (Santa Cruz Surf, September 26, 1891; Rob Edwards personal communication). That angled line was established in 1866 when the City of Santa Cruz granted it to the church by right of possessory title (SCCR Deeds 9:103). Wrought iron gates were to have been placed in the gates in the future (Santa Cruz Surf, September 26, 1891).

Following the festivities, some of the assembled were welcomed to refreshments in the bower in front of the two story square rectory. Also, the church ladies served libations for a fee in the "small school house adjoining the old church." These remarks in the Daily Surf of September 25, 1891 indicate that the school house remained standing, if not used for school purposes at the time.

Apparently, the public was thirsty for news about the original mission buildings. The San Francisco Morning Call of September 26, 1891 informed them that "A portion of the old church wall still stands, directly behind the new buildings, which has been built partly on the site of the old church and a portion of the old burying-ground." It appears from comparing the Black map of 1854 referred to earlier, and the Wallace survey of 1858, with the Mission Orchard Map of 1876, that this wall was actually a portion of the old adobe extension behind the church to the north. It seems to have been a part of the eastern wall.

Other Structures that Have Come and Gone: The New Boy's School

Fr. McNamee was determined to establish a Catholic parochial school for boys to rival the Sisters of Charity orphanage and girl's school to celebrate his silver jubilee as a priest. Originally, he intended to use the old wooden church of 1858 for the purpose but was informed that the foundations were not adequate (Santa Cruz Surf, May 20, 1898). Accordingly, he demolished the old church in 1898 and began a 75 by 55 foot addition to the old wooden schoolhouse of 1870. Alternatively, he may have moved a wing of the old rectory and attached it to the side of the school; the 1905 Sanborn map shows a wing missing and photographs of the school depict it looking like two gabled buildings put together. A couple of the Sisters of Charity were to come from the east to teach the boys (Santa Cruz Surf, May 20, 1898).

The school opened in August with two nuns and Fr. McNamee in charge. They soon discovered that men were required to keep the boys in line and Fr. McNamee asked the Christian Bros. to come run the free school. They declined his terms initially, but ultimately came in 1900 after he promised to meet their requirements, one of which was a residence and independent community. McNamee started a two story square wooden residence or "priory" for the Christian Brothers with a hipped roof in that year completing it after their occupancy. The boy's school opened in August of 1900 with both lower and upper school grades (De Groote Ms. n.d. HCA).

In 1901 Fr. McNamee sent two more of the original mission bells to San Francisco to be recast to make one big school bell weighing 700 lbs., named "Tobias" after the brother of F. W. Kelly who contributed to it. The school and belfry are visible in a number of historical photographs. In 1902 Fr. McNamee followed up with a flag pole for the school and built dormitory rooms for the brothers out back visible in the Sanborn map of 1905. He also built a handball alley for the boys and brothers. The latter graded a baseball diamond with the outfield filled in and graded from the side hill (DeGroote Ms. n.d. HCA).

Fr. McNamee expanded the school premises when he bought the old Methodist church building formerly at the comer of Green and Mission and renamed it Montgomery Hall after the Bishop. It was used more or less as a recreation hall and for sodality meetings (DeGroote Ms. n.d. HCA). After the death of Fr. McNamee on October 3, 1902, his successor Fr. Fisher enlarged the second classroom of the school building to accommodate more students. Brother Justin cut a year door to the yard through the end of the Community room, probably referring to Montgomery Hall.

The Van Cleeck Rectory

In 1903, Fr. Fisher built an architecturally ambitious new rectory designed by the prominent architect E. L. Van Cleeck (cornerstone photograph; Santa Cruz Surf, May 11, 1907). The following year he had the west end of the low stone wall removed so as to improve the entrance to the new rectory (Santa Cruz Surf, January 22, 1904). This wall may have been erected in conjunction with the arch of 1891 as it appears in many photographs with the arch and not before it. Two years later in 1906, Fisher moved the old square two story rectory to the comer of High and Evergreen (Potrero) streets and had it remodeled by E. L. Van Cleeck and a new foundation built (Santa Cruz Surf, September 14, 1906). The Sanborn maps indicate that garages were built as needed behind the rectory over the years as well as a greenhouse and other inconsequential small outbuildings.

In 1911 the parish buildings along High Street were: the Catholic Church, Holy Rectory, Parochial School, Montgomery Hall, Bros. House (priory), and a private home, the old square rectory as remodeled (Finkleday 1911). The Sanborn map of 1917 labeled the old rectory "D" for dwelling.

Changes to Holy Cross Church

Fr. Fisher wanted to upgrade the church as well and donated new stations of the cross executed by Padre Morghesi in Rome at a cost of $1500. They may be seen in the Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey. The whereabouts of the original mission stations in unknown; they may have continued in use until 1912. He sought to repair the damage caused by the 1906 earthquake and engaged architect Frank Shea to strengthen the tower and supervise new interior decoration of the church. A set of Apostalado canvases was executed by the Italian artist Moretti of San Francisco for the vaulted ceilings and Italian artisans redecorated the interior of the church (Santa Cruz Surf, May 29, 1913). In 1947 the church was painted white in an effort to arrest deterioration of the brick (Otto, Santa Cruz Yesterdays, April 22, 1956 McHugh Scrapbook 1, UCSC).

The Santa Cruz Mission Replica and Reliquary

In 1918 Fr. O'Reilly took over for the deceased Mngr. P. J. Fisher and began a move towards reconstruction of the original Mission Santa Cruz with $5000 left by Fr. Fisher for the purpose (Watsonville Pajaronian, May 27, 1921). This activity may have been prompted by the completion in 1916 of a manuscript about the old mission by Frances Rand Smith and the activities of the California Historical Survey Commission on behalf of mission recordation and preservation in 1918. Such a reconstruction would probably have involved removing the brick Holy Cross Church, if it was to be totally accurate. Bishop Cantwell broke ground for the project in front of the Christian Bros priory. The architect H. A. Minton of San Francisco (architect for the Bank of Italy, later America) estimated the cost to be $106,000. The quadrangle was to be used as a school with seven classrooms, a library, playrooms and office (Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 17, 1921). The elevation reproduced in the newspaper resembled the architectural drawings of Frances Rand Smith more than the replica eventually constructed.

Ca. 1922 the Christian Bros. left Santa Cruz, closing the parochial school (DeGroote Ms. n.d. HCA). A committee was established to promote the project headed by Fr. O'Reilly and a Mr. Leonard of County Bank and the fundraising campaign was launched on September 27, 1921 (Coy Cln. CSL; Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 28, 1921). The San Francisco firm of Morrow and Garren also reportedly had blueprints of Santa Cruz Mission in 1920 (Garren to Coy, July 16, 1920 Coy CSL). Without further research, the causes of the failure of this project cannot be ascertained with any certainty.

Later, according to one source, Fr. McGrath was informed in 1931 that the mission relics retained by Holy Cross Church (paintings, statuary, silver, etc.) were to be taken to Monterey for safekeeping. In response, he started a fund to build a vault for them in Santa Cruz, "to prevent the loss to Santa Cruz of these treasures" (Weber 1985:95-98). Fr. McGrath secured the services of a "mission architect" who designed the replica which was to be "in the yard which surrounded the mission on the east and ... between the church proper and the Holy Cross Hall" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 6, 1931). It eventually became the reduced scale Mission replica and reliquary largely funded by Gladys Sullivan Doyle and designed by architects Ryland, Estey and McPhetres (Santa Cruz News, November 3, 1931). This site had been occupied by a parochial school building no longer in use (Sanborn Maps).

A number of artifacts were taken to Monterey anyway and some Santa Cruz Mission relics decorate Carmel Mission today: a life-size articulated statue of "Nuestra Senora de Candelaria" (now dressed up as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel), which came to Santa Cruz Mission in 1822, an oil painting of the Holy Cross exhibited in the Carmel Mission cocina, a pair of candlesticks, and the original statue of St. Francis brought to the founding of Santa Cruz Mission in 1791 (Harrie Downie, Richard Menn personal communications to Nikki Silva and Edna Kimbro). Ground was broken October 23, 1931 and the cornerstone laid on February 14, 1932 (Historical photographs, UCSC).

The New High School and Parish Hall

In 1928 the new school which stands today was built on the site of the old boy's school and Montgomery Hall (cornerstone). The identity of the architect was not researched. The old square rectory on the corner of High and Potrero streets was torn down the following year (Sanborn maps, 1928 and 1929). The following year the Holy Cross Parish and Knights of Columbus Hall was built on land immediately east of the church acquired after 1923, possibly from I. E. L. Hills. A complete chain of title has not been done on the convent lot as a part of the current research. (This building was later moved west ca. 1951-52 to the lot immediately east of the new High School of 1928 to provide parking next to the church, according to the Sanborn maps). Aerial photographs in the 1950s show a basketball court northeast of the school built at an unknown date after 1950.

The Athletic Field, New Rectory and Fountain

In 1950 a new athletic field was leveled behind the High School, the rectory, and the church which necessitated the removal of a significant portion of the rear of the hill, including a rock grotto dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, the handball alley and miscellaneous other structures as seen in Sanborn maps of the period. In the process, the newspaper reported that a ladrillo tile floor was uncovered (Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 7, 1950). It was not at all clear from the article or accompanying photograph just exactly where the floor was found, but it did state that it was to be preserved. The following day the newspaper reported that an area 20 feet square was revealed and "evidence of bases for pillars shows building wide enough to need middle supports for its roof. " Later on in the 1970s, a fountain was built west of the church in front of the new rectory designed by architects Macher, Estrada and Associates in 1964 (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 21, 1964). About that time, the newspaper reported that Mngr. MacLoughlin and Frank Evans, custodian, uncovered an area 7 by 10 feet in front of the rectory (Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 7, 1965). The tiles were said to be 10 inches square as were those found in 1950. The fountain is supposed to be on top of a ladrillo tiled floor, if the plaque on the fountain has been interpreted correctly. The tile floor may represent either the ladrillo tiled corredor floor of the mission convento or the floor of an interior room of the convento.

The New Convent and the Old County Courthouse and Jail

A new stucco convent was constructed in 1956 on land where the former Thies and Carroll residence stood until it was damaged by a runaway truck (Smith personal communication HCA; Otto, Santa Cruz Yesterdays, McHugh Scrapbook:20 UCSC). A parking lot was constructed behind the convent and between it and the church to serve the needs of the parish. This lot was effectively combined with the one where the Parish Hall was originally built. The latter lot had been granted to Thomas Fallon by the civil authorities on February 28, 1848 and he built the Fallon Hotel and Saddlery in 1849 (Alcalde Book A:64 SCCR; Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 13, 1884). February 8, 1852, the property was acquired by county for use as a county courthouse and a jail subsequently built on the property in 1854 (SCCR Deeds 1:283;). Subsequently, the first wooden jail was replaced by a stone jail in 1864, the site of which is clear on the Sanborn map of 1905 in the driveway of the parking lot between the present convent and the brick church. This jail was torn down in 1906. It may be possible to locate the foundations of this jail building visible in a number of historical photographs. The first jail building of wood lined with steel was reportedly torn down in 1894 as it was an attractive nuisance (Weekly Surf, August 11, 1894). An earlier newspaper article reports that all of the old buildings on the county lot were either moved or torn down in 1884 and the Sanborn maps show nothing on the site after the demolition of the stone jail (Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 23, 1884).

Summary Conclusions and Recommendations

In seeking to develop a strategy for archaeological investigations of Holy Cross parish property on Mission Hill, it is important to consider the potential early American period remains as well as those of the mission era. It has become evident from the aerial photographs available of the site that the entire rear portion of the mission quadrangle (approximately 40%) was graded away ca. 1950. However, much of the convento or south wing, and at least a portion of the monjerio in the west wing, the mission church, and cemetery may remain beneath the surface. The mission church bell tower site may be able to be located with some certainty. Also, the jail and the site of the mission cross in the cemetery may be able to be located and identified. It may be possible to confirm the location of the wall Fr. Real erected dividing the quadrangle in 1840 and something in the way of subsurface foundation may remain of the cross erected in the cemetery in 1831. All of the above await potential confirmation through archaeological testing.


© Copyright Edna E. Kimbro, Reg. Prof., from Historian No. 543. Historical: Architectural: Conservation: Research. Reproduced with the permission of Edna E. Kimbro and the City of Santa Cruz.

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