[Note: Pescadero was originally part of Santa Cruz County, but from what I, June, understand, the incoming tides made it difficult to the get the county seat. In the 1860s a petition was circulated to make Pescadero part of San Mateo County, a much easier and safer trip over the mountains.]
From John Vonderlin
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Of the 420 hits you’ll get by using “Pescadero” as the Search term on the California Newspaper Archive website, as of now, this is the earliest. It is from “The Daily Alta,” of October 15th, 1857. It is a news summary from the “Pacific Sentinel” newspaper in Santa Cruz. It announces the division of Santa Cruz County into four districts, of which Pescadero was one. I suspect the district mentioned without a school and hence getting no pro rata of public funds was Pescadero. Even though the first schoolhouse in the town was privately built in that same year by Alexander Moore in a corner of his orchard. Accounts mention him paying for it and the teacher out of his own pocket.
The Pescadero district was removed from Santa Cruz County and added to San Mateo County in 1868. Did decisions like this, coming from the County seat, nearly in another world because of distance and difficulty of travel to it from Pescadero, have anything to do with that? Probably.
Santa Cruz Items. — The Pacific Sentinel has the following items : An ark of the ancient Order of Knighthood has been organized. A new wharf is soon to be built at Soquel. We were visited on Thursday by a slight shower of rain ; also by an organ grinder. The county has been divided into four districts, the boundary of each agreeing with the various townships, viz. : Pajaro, Soquel, Santa Cruz, and Pescadero, of which three only have sustained one school each, suitable to entitle them to a pro rata of the public fund. Since the completion of the new house, the school in Santa Cruz has been in successful operation for nearly three months, under the supervision of Mr. Gache, assisted by Mrs. Adams. In point of numbers it has outreached the hopes of every one, and is being conducted in a manner not only creditable to the teachers, but highly flattering to parents and guardians.
This excerpt from the July 31st, 1855 issue of “The Daily Alta,” is an even earlier mention of Pescadero then the one I sent yesterday. It eluded me because they spelled it Piscadero. It showed up in a search of early articles mentioning Santa Cruz. Enjoy. John
LETTER FROM SANTA CRUZ Santa Cruz, July 27, 1853. T. W. Wright (County Surveyor) and his party have been out surveying the county lines, came in last evening, for a short respite. They commenced the north line of the county on the coast, some twelve miles north of the Piscadero, thence due east to the ridge of the Santa Cruz mountains forming the line between Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties, thence in a southeasterly direction on the ridge as far as ” High Peak.” They passed over some very fine “stock farms,” as they worked their way down. They intend starting again next Monday, to finish the work which they have prosecuted thus far with ability and vigor.