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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Majors Family and Santa Cruz County Dairying

  • Author(s): Regional History Project, UCSC Library
  • Major, Thomas
  • Calciano, Elizabeth Spedding
  • et al.

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.

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