A sign urging people to rebuild following the CZU fire.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Guides

The lore & points of local pride

Go Deeper

Continue exploring the people, places and the lore that make Boulder Creek, Brookdale and Ben Lomond such a unique place.

Deep stories run through these parts, flowing fast and long like the San Lorenzo river. It’s a mysterious place, with dark pockets and strange characters. But can’t you find those anywhere? I’m pretty sure every town has lore to share. This is just the surface.

Boulder Creek

A movie studio opened in Boulder Creek making silent movies in the early 1900’s, big Hollywood names like Henry Fonda, Wallace Beery and Mary Pickford would stay at Scopazzi’s when it was The Italia Hotel. And then, during Prohibition, it was renamed The Locatelli Inn and was a central point distributing local still-made spirits.

Does everyone know that we have an aerospace manufacturing company up at the end of Empire Grade? Lockheed Martin Space Systems is based there, secure behind many gates, and some local residents might tell a story or two about very interesting hovering, blinking, flying, cosmic activity around these parts.

Ben Lomond

A wood chopping accident with his older brother Tiff at the Garcia family cabin in Lompico near Loch Lomond led to the loss of most of Jerry’s right middle finger at the age of 4. They never found the finger, which means it’s still somewhere here in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

”Ben Lomond” is Scottish meaning “beacon mountain” or “beacon hill.”

Brookdale

The Brookdale Lodge is basically the whole shebang in Brookdale, besides a post office and some houses, equaling a population of less than 2000. The lodge appeared on the Ghost Adventures show in 2012 due to the supposed astounding amount of paranormal activity that goes on here, from vortexes to ghosts to trapped energy. Countless owners, some of whom may be cursed, and three accidental deaths onsite also contribute to the lore.

Skater Dane Paquette ollies off the hip at the skatepark at Jim Keeffe skate park located at Highlands Park in Ben Lomond.
Skater Dane Paquette ollies off the hip at the skatepark at Jim Keeffe skate park located at Highlands Park in Ben Lomond.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Local lore & points of pride


Again, ask anyone else what comes to mind for this category and you will get a bunch of other answers. This list is what comes to mind for me, surely just a fraction of what brings pride to locals here and all the factoids to be known.

  • The Redwoods, specifically Sequoia sempervirens
  • Wild mushroom hunting
  • Camp Joy Gardens, organic farm and educational non profit organization near Brookdale.
  • Camp Krem, supportive outdoor recreational camp for people with developmental disabilities in Boulder Creek.
  • There are TONS of summer camps tucked up in these parts, and kids from all over the place come to visit in the summer months.
  • Some refer to Ben Lomond as the BeLo (pronounced “Bee Low.”)
  • Grizzly bears used to roam here
  • Bucci Sunglass company used to have their headquarters and retail shop in a beautiful white mansion in Ben Lomond
Susan Archibald, a member of the board of Santa Cruz Mountain Arts, looks at some pottery.
Susan Archibald, a member of the board of Santa Cruz Mountain Arts, looks at some pottery.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)