Spend your vacation in the Santa Cruz Mountains. . . . Beautiful new rustic cottages . . . surrounded by hundreds of acres of beautiful redwood, madrone and oak timber. Splendid walks and drives through the woods. The best of spring water piped to each cottage. . . . Hunting, fishing, croquet, tennis, shooting gallery, swimming pool and other amusements. . . .
This 1905 advertisement boasts the pleasures and pastimes that awaited tourists to the Santa Cruz Mountains. The area featured guest accommodations beginning in 1859, when one clever developer built his home, store, and cottages into live redwood trees and stumps. With the expansion of the railroad, wilderness areas became increasingly accessible to the traveling public. Many resorts sprang up along the California coast, but Santa Cruz was one of the most beautiful and most desirable destinations. Big Tree Station, named for Santa Cruz's large redwood trees, was part of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The photograph's size and format suggests that it was intended for commercial purposes, possibly as a souvenir for the tourist industry to entice prospective California settlers.