Santa Cruz as a place name was first given to a local stream in the area by members of the Portola Expedition in 1768 and it is literally translated as "Holy Cross." The name was concretely established by the Santa Cruz Mission which was built in 1791, though people simply called the areas we now call Santa Cruz, "The Mission" as opposed to "Santa Cruz" well into the 1850s.
Santa Cruz County was established as one of the original 27 counties when California became a state in 1850, and the area of Santa Cruz City was incorporated in 1866 as a town under the laws of the State of California. Its first charter as a city was in 1876.
People in Santa Cruz use the name in a variety of ways, usually according to how they live. Saying someone is from Santa Cruz generally means they are from the City of Santa Cruz, but the county is named Santa Cruz also; many people in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County use 'Santa Cruz' in their malling address, and people living all across the county identify as being from Santa Cruz. However, many people living within the county, such as those in the city of Watsonville, for example, do not identify themselves as being from Santa Cruz at all. County businesses also choose to describe themselves in a Santa Cruz-centered way; the Santa Cruz Pizza Company is located in Scotts Valley, miles away from the City of Santa Cruz, but within the county, of course. Locals in Santa Cruz define themselves in a wide variety of ways.
The debate about what is authentically "Santa Cruz" must include a discussion of the local media. The Santa Cruz Sentinel moved their offices out of Downtown Santa Cruz in 2007, and their organization hasn't been locally owned since 1982. In addition to that, many of the top editors and writers at that publication, and some of the other 'local' weeklies, do not live in Santa Cruz County.
People in Santa Cruz use a variety of nicknames for themselves, including Santa Cruzans, Santa Cruzians, and Cruzers.
Keep Santa Cruz Weird is one local effort to maintain the uniqueness of the area.
Santa's Village refers to a different Santa.
- Wikipedia Article: Santa Cruz Disambiguation Page - Lists all the locations named 'Santa Cruz' around the world
- Santa Cruz History, Politics
- People of Santa Cruz, Locals
- Songs About Santa Cruz
- Local Books
- Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council
- Cities Cities in Santa Cruz County
- Westside, Eastside, Midtown
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