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Holy City, California was an actual town with a post office in Santa Clara County. The property is currently joined with Redwood Estates. The city covered about 142 acres. The ZIP code was 95026.


The town was a religious community stated by William Riker in 1918. Holy City, had a restaurant, a service station, a stellar observatory, a newspaper and for about three years, radio station KFQU. It even had a soda works. It did not have a church building.

It was a tourist attraction and had services for cars taking Santa Cruz Highway through the Santa Cruz Mountains. The opening of Highway 17 (1940) almost eliminated the traffic to Holy City.

The founder and leader, William Riker, ran for governor of California four times. In 1943 he was arrested for his support to Adolph Hitler. His lawyer was Melvin Belli who called him a "crackpot" during the trial. Belli won. Riker later tried to sue Belli for defamation of character. Belli won that case also.

In 1959 Riker lost control of the land of Holy City in a real estate transaction. Later, most of the town was destroyed due to a series of mysterious fires.

William E. Riker died in 1969. Holy City continued as a settlement.

Most of the historical information is from, "Holy City Ricker's Roadside Attraction In the Santa Cruz Mountains, A Nostalgic History of William E. Riker." By Betty Bagby Lewis.


Holy City Glass works is the last commercial building in the area.


Route 76 of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) of Santa Clara passes through Holy City.


Holy City is still listed on USGS topographic map for Los Gatos, California. BING map of Holy City

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Related Links

Coast News story on Holy City


2010-01-24 16:07:24   People in Santa Cruz County and Santa Clara County would visit the post office of Holy City to have Christmas cards mailed with a "Holy City" cancel mark on the envelope. (The lines were shorter also.) —