Majors, Thomas Earl (1875-1966)

351The Thomas Majors Ranch on Highway 1 (5500 Coast Road).

The Majors Family and Santa Cruz County Dairying

For the complete text [PDF] of The Majors Family and Santa Cruz Dairying [E-Scholarship] Includes complete audio (streaming or download) for the oral history. Note: Due to editing by the narrator, there may be some differences between the audio recording and the transcript. Please quote from the transcript as the record. Audio will be found under "Supporting Material."

1965, xiii, 107 pp., 3 illus., 1 map

Majors' paternal grandmother was a member of the Castro family which held a number of land grants in Santa Cruz County during the Mexican Period. His paternal grandfather was Joseph Ladd Majors, one of the earliest Americans to settle in the Santa Cruz area. Mr. Majors mentions some interesting details about the history of his family, but the bulk of the manuscript deals with his experiences as a rancher and dairyman. He discusses the dairy industry that prospered along the northern Santa Cruz County coast between 1860 and 1930, the cheesemaking process used on his ranch and the ranch's subsequent conversion to raising beef cattle, relates a number of stories concerning the origin of county place names on the North Coast and in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and discusses turn-of-the-century teaming and quarrying. An unexpected topic was covered when Majors announced that he had learned the art of oil-divining. A chapter of the manuscript is devoted to his demonstration of his witching technique.