George H. Cardiff (1872-1966)



Santa Cruz and the Cowell Ranch, 1890-1964

For the complete text [PDF] of George Cardiff: Santa Cruz and the Cowell Ranch, 1890-1964 (Escholarship) Includes complete audio (streaming or download) for the oral history. Note: Due to editing by the narrator and the Project, there may be minor differences between the audio recording and the transcript. Please quote from the transcript as the record and not the audio. Audio will be found under "Supporting Material."

1964, xvii, 395 pp., 5 illus., 1 map

Photo: George H. Cardiff at his screen door, November 1962. Photo by Ansel Adams.

Cardiff was a longtime businessman and civic leader in Santa Cruz. He discussed his family's move to California, his education, his work in a local grocery store, the livery company he and his brother owned in the 1890s, his lumber and building materials company which was purchased by the Cowell Company, his years on the Library Board and with the Chamber of Commerce, and his role in helping establish Santa Cruz's first modern hospital. The middle section of the manuscript focuses on the Cowell ranch and family, the Cowell Company, and the portion of the ranch that is now the campus of UCSC. In the last section Cardiff commented on a number of prominent people in the history of Santa Cruz, and on everyday life in Santa Cruz from the turn of the century through Prohibition and the Great Depression.