The historic town of Davenport is located in Santa Cruz County, Calif. Its elevation of 259 feet (79 m) provides for some beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean, cliffs, bluffs and the Santa Cruz Coast.
"Coined Shark's Tooth Beach and Shark Fin Cove by local residents," Wikipedia notes, "Davenport Beach is a protected cove known for its scenic views."
Davenport is also noted for its fairly good surfing opportunities, the shuttered relic of a cement plant that had last been operated by Cemex (closed in 2010). It is also the former headquarters of Odwalla, a company that makes fruit juices.
So how did Davenport get its name?
"A whaling captain named John Pope Davenport settled at El Jarro Point, about half a mile from today's town, in 1867," according to Wikipedia. "Davenport built a 400-foot wharf at the mouth of Agua Puerca Creek ('agua puerca' translates to 'muddy water'). This wharf was built to load the lumber brought down from the hills for shipment to Santa Cruz. A small village grew up around the port and was known as Davenport Landing."
The U.S. Postal Service started operating in Davenport in 1874 but closed in 1889.
"Agua Puerca Creek lived up to its name by bringing down so much mud that the port filled up and steamers could not tie up to the wharf to load lumber," Wikipedia notes. "A small extension did not solve the problem. Then a competitor built a longer wharf, but it was destroyed in a storm."
The expense of his commercial enterprise eventually bankrupted Capt. Davenport and he moved to Santa Cruz.
"When Capt. Davenport went bankrupt, his assets were auctioned off to pay creditors," Wikipedia notes. "Among the items auctioned off were whaling items leading to speculation that he carried out whaling activities from the port, especially after he started losing money. However, no eyewitness reports of whaling activities at Davenport Landing have been found.
"In 1905, an east coast businessman named William Dingee bought the Santa Cruz Lime Company, which had a lime quarry on the banks of San Vicente Creek, south of Davenport Landing. In the following year, the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company manufacturing plant was built nearby.
At that time, the closed Davenport Landing post office opened up in the settlement that grew up around the cement plant. It again only used the name of Davenport; hence, the name of the town."
The town remains small but thriving. It has three restaurants ~ which I recommend, two art galleries, a store, a post office, the Davenport Cash Store, and an elementary school.
Davenport also has another calling card: it is home to American Abalone, which is a producer of farm-raised California Red Abalone. At the time of this writing, no tours are offered.
"California farm-raised abalone has been selected by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Watch program as an excellent choice for environmentally conscious seafood consumers," according to Wikipedia.
"The cement plant was built in 1906 and operated as the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company," according to Wikipedia. "In subsequent years, it was operated by Pacific Cement and Aggregates (1956), Lone Star Cement Corporation (1965), and RMC Pacific Materials (1998).
"In 2005, the plant was acquired by Mexico's CEMEX corporation. That same year, the plant was reported to have emitted 100 pounds of mercury. The presence of high levels of chromium-6, purported to be a cancer-causing chemical, led to strained relationships between CEMEX, the Environmental Protection Agency, and County of Santa Cruz. CEMEX ceased operations and decommissioned the plant in 2010.
"The 8,500-acre parcel is now referred to as the CEMEX Redwoods and is planned for future park use. According to the Palo Alto-based Peninsula Open Space Trust, the CEMEX Redwoods have been renamed the San Vicente Redwoods.
I love Davenport's jail.
"It has two cells, and was used only twice from the time of its construction in 1914 until its decommissioning in 1936," according to Wikipedia. "Today it is a museum featuring coastal history supported by volunteers from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History."
I also like Saint Vincent DePaul Church, which was built entirely of cement from the Davenport cement factory in 1914.
"The Church is the subject of a famous photograph by Ansel Adams," Wikipedia notes.
Ocean Shore Railroad's northern spur operated between Davenport and Santa Cruz from 1907 to 1920.
"The Southern Pacific freight line between the two communities is still in place," according to Wikipedia.
Category:Architecture and Structures
Subcategory:Places of Interest