That was then, now I'm back at the article, hacking away at it like a weed. Two days ago, though, I made the final fateful decision that the article needed to be split up. There was simply too much material to include in a single article, and a combined article would keep it confusing to the common crowd. Thus, where once there was one, there is now three. I've sectored the Santa Cruz Freight Yard into three distinct parts, which roughly correspond to the progression of businesses that operated within and around the yard. The map below demonstrates a crude outline of these divisions:
|Santa Cruz Freight Yard, superimposed over 2014 Google Map.|
To the east, Pacific Avenue will provide the context for the second article. Pacific Avenue is actually the oldest part of the freight yard, although it was also the first to be abandoned. Businesses sprang up along it beginning in 1875 when the Santa Cruz & Felton Railroad ran its freight cars through downtown to get to the beach. A horsecar service, located on Sycamore Street, took over the downtown route while the former right-of-way from there to the main yard became freight track for a number of lumber firms and a flour company. Most of the space outlines in blue on the map was dominated by lumber yards until the early 1910s. A portion of this article will overlap with the Union Depot article because the lumber yards often spread across roads, such as Washington Street.
The third and final article is the one I have been working on the hardest because it contains the largest concentration of businesses. Starting around 1900, warehouses began popping up along Chestnut Street just south of Laurel (with one exception). Most of these had their own or shared sidings and spurs. And since space was tight, most businesses had to wait for another business to leave before they could move in. Thus, there is a constant progression of freight businesses along this stretch all the way until 1990, when everything was demolished and replaced with track homes. Much like the Pacific Avenue section, there were multiple lumber yards on the east side of Chestnut Street that will also be addressed in this article, some yards of which stretched into neighboring areas.
So that is the task I have set out for myself. It's not an entirely fun project, to be honest. Rewrites are hard work, and this one is requiring all of my research skills to accomplish, taking a lot of time when I was hoping to be winding down the research side of things. That being said, I can't let a half-completed article get through without a fight. Parts of my book are weak, but this shouldn't be one of those.