Santa Cruz County History - Places

Coast Dairies Property: A Land Use History

[Excerpt from Coast Dairies Long-Term Resource Protection and Use Plan: Draft Exiting Conditions Report for the Coast Dairies Property, Section 1.0.
Figures and photos referenced in text are not included in this web version.]

1.3 - The Coming of Coast Dairies: Transformation

One afternoon in April, 1901, Louis Moretti and Jeremiah Respini shook hands at the Santa Cruz County courthouse, a defining moment for the Coast Dairies Property. The signing of the incorporation papers for the Coast Dairies & Land Co. formalized a relationship that had existed for a number of years. The corporation not only combined the considerable real estate owned by Louis Moretti and Jeremiah Respini, but it also had a liberating effect on the entrepreneurial energies in the two men. The words "dairies" and "land" suggest something bucolic: cows grazing lazily across the coastal hills being tended by patient, hardworking dairymen. There continued to be dairies on the property, of course, but the cows were soon sidelined by a surge in industrial enterprise. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century the natural resources of the North Coast were unlocked and the peace and quiet replaced with the growl and whine of crushers, saws and steam locomotives (see Figure 1-2).

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