Capitola is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States, on the coast of Monterey Bay. Take a look below for 15 interesting and fun facts about Capitola, California, United States.
1. The population was 9,918 at the 2010 census.
2. The original settlement now known as Capitola grew out of what was then called Soquel Landing.
3. Soquel Landing got its name from a wharf located at the mouth of Soquel Creek.
4. This wharf, which dates back to the 1850s, served as an outlet for the produce and lumber grown in the interior.
5. In 1865, Captain John Pope Davenport, a whaleman at Monterey, moved his operations to be near the wharf. Unable to capture any whales, he moved his operations the following year to Point Año Nuevo.
6. In 1869, Frederick A. Hihn, who owned the property in the vicinity of the wharf, decided to develop it as a seaside resort. At first he leased the area to Samuel A. Hall and the area became known as Camp Capitola.
7. Most authorities believe that it was Hihn who chose the name of Capitola, but they are unsure as to why he did so. Several possibilities have been asserted, one being that it was named for the heroine of The Hidden Hand, a novel by the popular author E.D.E.N. Southworth, favored by Hall’s daughter Lulu. Capitola is known as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast.
8. Capitola is a popular tourist town because of its trendy shops and restaurants on the shore directly connecting to a fishing wharf and its large, sandy beach.
9. Capitola lies west of the census-designated area of Aptos and east of the census-designated place of Live Oak.
10. Capitola Village and Esplanade is the heart of Capitola Retail and Tourism hub being a drawn for tourist and locals alike with a variety of boutiques and restaurants. 41st Ave is the retail and business corridor for a majority of larger national and regional business serving the community as a whole.
11. The Capitola Mall, the only enclosed regional shopping center in Santa Cruz County is slated for redeveloped into a mixed use project with the increasing pressure due to the failure of the traditional mall concept.
12. The Capitola Jr. lifeguard summer camp has been using Capitola beach during the summer months since its founding in 1980. The Capitola Jr. Guards program provides instruction in the fundamentals of ocean water safety, first aid, lifesaving, fitness, and good sportsmanship. Activities include mock rescues, beach and water games, fun work-outs, and competitions. The program consists of Little Guards, aged 6–8, Jr. Guards aged 9–15, and a Captains Corp., aged 16–17.
13. In the summer of 1961 hundreds of birds attacked the town. Most of the birds were sooty shearwaters, a normally non-aggressive species that rarely comes to shore. Alfred Hitchcock was a regular visitor to nearby Santa Cruz and read about this episode. He went on to direct a film—The Birds—based on the idea of hundreds of birds attacking humans. The reason for this attack remained unknown for over 25 years until it was discovered that the birds had been affected by domoic acid, a toxin produced by red algae.
14. The Capitola Classic was a skateboarding event held in Capitola village in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Capitola Classic was known in skating circles for its annual downhill race, which was a head-to-head speed competition that drew top names in the sport, many local as well as international, including Santa Cruz, California local John Hutson, who held the world speed record for skateboarding at 53.45 mph and dominated the event each year. Starting in 2009 efforts were made to revive the event.
15. On March 24, 2011, a drainage pipe burst following heavy rains, sending a surge of water through the historic village area. A mobile home park and many businesses suffered damage. Two days later cleanup operations were interrupted when the area was flooded again.[