Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Evening News. Nov. 24, 1925. p. 8


Soquel, Nov. 23--Soquel achieved vicarious notoriety and a number of the townspeople experienced the thrill of their lives when the Fox Motion Picture Company was filming scenes for the "Johnstown Flood" and they were part of the picture. The location was on Main Street and the Chase Corner and on Center Street at the Congregational Church.

The scene depicted at the Chase Corner was the alarm when the mounted girl messenger dashes through the village streets with the terrifying news of the breaking dam and the impending flood.

Groups of women, attired in the weird and wonderful costumes of that period, were gossiping and shopping, but were startled into vigorous action and did some sprinting which we may later see reproduced on the silver screen.

Several old-time buggies, phaeton surreys and wagons were in evidence and the old Dobbins must have had the shock of their lives when they were lashed into speedy action and forced to repeat several times as untoward incidents called for a retake of the scenes. Fred Spencer, Johnnie Kinsley, R. Farnham, W. S. Parrish, owners of the few remaining horses in the vicinity, formed a part of the movies in the making.

Among the women we observed Mesdames A. W. Wyman, George Stoddard and baby, W. S. Parrish, Henry W. Hill, Steve Cunnison, L. W. Bardt, L. G. Mitchell, John Rhoades, M. L. Lewellyn, J. B. Bays, Jasper Abanathie; Mrs. Stowe of Capitola and Misses Irma Jones, Edna Kell, Ruth Caton and Verna Maddock.

The interrupted wedding and scenes of excitement and terror were enacted at the church and the finished picture will represent the destruction of the church and other elements of horror of that day in 1889 when Johnstown was swept by a disastrous flood. The little hamlet in the Alleghanies is now quite a large and prosperous city, owning a first-class post office, whose postmaster receives a salary exceeding that of our popular master of the mails in Santa Cruz. Supervisor Wyman and his wife were called on to register visions of days gone by. It is safe to prophecy that Soquel will be a deserted village when the finished picture of the Johnstown Flood is produced in Santa Cruz.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. Reproduced by permission.