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Remembering Castle Beach

June 11 – August 21, 2022

Stroll back in time as you explore the history of Seabright Beach, once called Castle Beach, in this special exhibit. Historic photographs, souvenirs, artifacts and more will bring to life the heyday of the Scholl Marr Castle and look at how the nearby coastline has changed over time.

“Castle Beach” has been known by many names, and has attracted people to the shore for many reasons. This uniquely sandy beach along the Monterey Bay was once an outlet for a tidal lagoon, and has been used by locals as a place to gather resources, recreate, and learn. Just as the ways that people have used this beach have changed, the beach itself has transformed over time. What will the future hold for this iconic shoreline?

A Brief History of Castle Beach

1790

Pre-1790s

Mural of an Ohlone village by artist Ann Thiermann
For millennia, the Awaswas speaking Uypi tribe stewarded the land that is today called the Seabright neighborhood.
1791

Mission Period

Mission Period

Mission Santa Cruz is built and local Indigenous groups are forcibly moved into the complex.

1849

California Land Owners

California Land Owners

The Woods and Pilkington families establish large farms across today’s Seabright neighborhood.

1874

The Railroad

The Railroad

The train comes to Santa Cruz and a stop at the engine house on Railroad Ave. (Seabright Ave.) brings tourists to the neighborhood.

1878

Camp Alhambra

Camp Alhambra

Thomas Pilkington creates Camp Alhambra for vacationing tourists, and a few years later operations are turned over to the Hall family.

1884

Camp Seabright

Camp Seabright

F.M. Mott buys land from the Woods family, which he later turns into Camp Seabright, named after a location on the Jersey Shore.

1885

Residential Development

Residential Development

Thomas Pilkington develops first residential subdivisions in the neighborhood.

1905

Incorporation

Incorporation

Seabright is incorporated by the City of Santa Cruz and a permanent pedestrian walkway is installed alongside the railroad bridge over the river.

1915

Carnegie Library

Carnegie Library

The Seabright Library opens across from the beach and the Seabright Crafts Society is established with headquarters in the old Tyrrell house behind the library.

1920

Seabright Saltwater Baths

Seabright Saltwater Baths

The Scholl family buys the Seabright Saltwater Baths property which included a popular snack shack and beach rentals.

1929

Scholl Marr Castle

Scholl Marr Castle

Louie Scholl builds the Castle at the entrance of the beach after the snack shack was heavily damaged by a storm.

1930

Museum Moves to Seabright

Museum Moves to Seabright

The Museum (then the City Museum) moves to the Tyrrell Crafts House. Twenty five years later, it moves into the Seabright Library.

1944

Casa Del Mar

Casa Del Mar

The Castle property leaves the Scholl family and it is renamed the Casa Del Mar.

1962

Harbor Built

Harbor Built

Construction begins on the Santa Cruz Harbor, forever changing the shape of the nearby coastline.

1967

Castle Demolished

Castle Demolished

The castle is demolished after 30 years of serving the Seabright neighborhood and visitors from afar.

2014

Building Habitat

Building Habitat

Groundswell Ecology begins coastal enhancement project at Seabright Beach.