Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Daily Surf. Oct. 23, 1911. p. 6



Santa Cruzans will soon see thrown on canvas in the motion picture houses McKee Rankin's play The Danites with familiar Santa Cruz woods, hills and scenery as a background for this thrilling and spectacular drama of pioneer days and a story dealing with the Mormons.

It was a picturesque lot that left town yesterday. Beside the regular Selig company, Santa Cruz was represented, including the well known preacher and ex-candidate for commissioner, Samuel Fowler, who has gone through a number of Indian wars and was a pioneer settler of California.

There were also a number of old characters gathered from the County Hospital and they were a picturesque lot of grey-bearded men. There were also a number of the dark skinned Mexicans, men on horseback, a stage coach and the prairie schooners for the wagon train, drawn by Cowell's oxen.

At 8 o.clock a long procession left the city . A bus was sent to the hospital after the twelve men, and the entire company, about seventy in all went to the mountain range back of Cowell's. The scene was almost entirely enacted on the flat between Ricon and the upper barns.

The main scene was the passing of the caravan across the plains. It was a long one of six white topped prairie schooners, drawn by ox teams, there being 40 oxen in all and a couple of Cowell's bull drivers to each team.

There was also Wm. Furrey's mules and his rig, a train of pack mules from Elsom's stables, mounted by local men, young fellows on horseback who took the part of scouts. Elsom's Big Basin stage for the stage coach which made a long line to pass over the country so well adapted for such a scene.

One of the main scenes was the finding of a dead child, and at the funeral Samuel Fowler offers the prayer, which was a genuine one. The company also got their share of preaching from this well-known pioneer. The party did not return to town until about 5 o'clock.

At noon the entire troupe was given a splendid lunch, and all the local participants were paid for their services.