The commoner-queen of Venetian Santa Cruz

Soon after the 1890 Stock Industry Worry led to the 1890s Depression, Us residents essential to see hope in the potential.

Chicago’s 1893 Columbian World’s Honest was applied to showcase American manufacture and innovation, and the nation’s developing management amid planet powers. In spite of the Melancholy, the truthful was enormously productive, with some of the displays delivered to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, for the 1894 “California Midwinter Intercontinental Exposition.” The truthful in aspect was to promote condition tourism. Then in April 1894, a devastating fire burned the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, destroying most of the block bounded by Pacific Avenue, Front and Cooper streets, and gutted the courtroom household south of Cooper Street.

In the Queens Canopy for viewing the river events, the diminutive 1896 queen Josephine Turcot (fourth from the left), is joined by soon-to-be Lt. Gov. Wm. T. Jeter (third from left), who helped plan the carnivals. (Ross Eric Gibson collection).
In the Queens Cover for viewing the river gatherings, the diminutive 1896 queen Josephine Turcot (fourth from the still left), is joined by quickly-to-be Lt. Gov. Wm. T. Jeter (third from left), who aided prepare the carnivals. (Ross Eric Gibson collection).
The program for the 1912 water carnival lists Wm. T. Jeter as carnival president, and Fred Swanton as director-general.  (Ross Eric Gibson collection).
The program for the 1912 water carnival lists Wm. T. Jeter as carnival president, and Fred Swanton as director-basic.  (Ross Eric Gibson assortment).

This was rarely the finest time to launch a rebuilding software, but Santa Cruz changed the old courtroom residence with a grand Romanesque building, and within a 12 months handsome new constructions filled-in most of the vacant loads. Still outdoors Santa Cruz, travelers experienced the lingering perception of a fire-ravaged city crippled by Despair economics, needing a 10 years to rebuild. Some sort of publicity stunt was demanded to exhibit the town experienced recovered and was eye-catching as at any time.

They dubbed the rebuilt downtown “The Florence of the West” to express its creative design and style and cultural aspirations. Some required to revive the 1880s flower festivals, which had stopped when the Rose Pavilion was taken absent. But by 1895 there ended up flower festivals in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Stockton and Santa Rosa. What would be exceptional plenty of to attract notice to Santa Cruz?

Lucy Underwood McCann, just one of the state’s initial woman lawyers, proposed damming the decreased San Lorenzo River for a embellished boat festival. Globe-trotting resident J. Philip Smith, identified as Sunshine Jim, had assisted approach various Drinking water Carnivals in Venice, Italy, and made available his aid. But persons have been skeptical that in a Melancholy, a cultural festival of that magnitude could be staged in tiny Santa Cruz. At the urging of his wife, Smith reported he’d enable fund the pageant, but only with the full cooperation of the community.

The fairgrounds ended up at the bend in the river north of Seaside Hill, previously acknowledged as Rennie Slough, until eventually it was stuffed in. Smith employed Santa Cruz architect Edward Van Cleeck to construct a river phase on the Riverside Resort grounds, dealing with throughout the river to bleachers at the bend in the river below Seashore Hill. And in six times, he built the Queen’s Pavilion for indoor situations.

San Francisco

Several Drinking water Carnival tourist workplaces were being recognized in other cities to drum-up curiosity and participation. The most prestigious was at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, filled day-to-day with Santa Cruz bouquets. The yellow and white carnival flag was flown in excess of the Palace Resort, and 30 other places in San Francisco. Alfred Roncovieri’s band was employed for the carnival, and gave concert events at the Palace Lodge. The carnival queen was to be elected by way of a fundraising lottery costing 25 cent a vote (no limit per particular person), and San Francisco was declared a “suburb of Santa Cruz” for the privilege of stuffing the ballot box. Ten runners-up would be named the Queen’s Court of Honor. A design consultant occupied each and every of the various places of work, to present suggestions, patterns, or assistance on embellished boats, carriages, parade floats or costumes. The consultants were being so preferred, they had to be given different rooms so other Carnival enterprise could be performed.

When the votes were being counted, the successful queen was Anita Gonzales (Smith’s daughter). Smith experienced quite a few robes built for her by Jeanne Paquin, primary Parisian haute couture designer, common with Paris Opera patrons. Anita’s coronation gown was hefty white satin embroidered in silver, with the hem lined in yellow roses, and a crown resembling a single worn by Empress Josephine. Her prepare was purple trimmed with ermine, though her ball gown was white silk brocade with a entrance of jeweled gauze. But it delighted these all around her that Anita was not aloof, but welcoming and unpretentious, just a commoner-queen heading by way of the motions of royalty, then winking at the enjoyment of it all.


Carnival 7 days was June 11-15, 1895.  All trains to Santa Cruz had H2o Carnival banners, and fifty percent-fares. With accommodations and lodgings sold out, tents have been erected, and Pullman sleepers parked at the stations for more beds. California Gov. James Budd experienced nine rooms at the Sea Beach Lodge for himself and his entourege. The big volume of bucks shifting hands, implies the quantity of people from again east, considering the fact that dollars have been scarce in California.

The opening function was a boat race from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. A Boatmen’s Banquet was held at the Sea Seaside Lodge such as sailors from two of the new all-steel battleships just offshore. In the morning, folks collected on the seaside for opening ceremonies, in which the battleships fired their cannons, and despatched rowboats ashore to conquer, only to be met by the Carnival Queen and her maids of honor, who pelted the sailors with posies until finally they surrendered.

Her marshal commanded they “Surrender care this carnival 7 days, and enable peace and merriment prevail!” The Queen and sailors then mounted floats, and joined the community Hastings Band, to lead adorned carriages, floats, and a mile of faculty kids up Pacific Avenue. They ended at the Queen’s Pavilion, where by Queen Gonzales mounted a throne, and homing pigeons ended up produced carrying H2o Carnival messages through the condition.

A H2o Olympics (only a year before the revival of the present day Olympics in Greece) provided competitions for a variety of age teams in swimming, rowing, diving, underwater retrieval, and h2o baseball played with rafts as bases, and an inflatable ball. In the meantime, local firemen of the Pilot Wheelmen’s Club, organized a statewide Bicycle Satisfy, held on the Westside velodrome at Smith and Swanton’s trolley park known as Vue de l’Eau. Far more than 100 golf equipment participated.

Budd served as Queen Anita’s escort, sharing her canopy on the grandstand along with quickly-to-be lieutenant governor Wm. T. Jeter of Santa Cruz. Boats paraded on the river in the course of the working day, experiencing leisure on the River Phase. But at night time, electrical company founder Fred Swanton had outlined some buildings in lightbulbs, with strings of lights stretched around the river to illuminate the night boat parades. Roncovieri’s band performed “Illustrated Concert events,” with slides projected on a big display, even doing his have composition “The Santa Cruz Carnival March.” Skyrockets lit-up the evening sky.

Annual functions

The Drinking water Carnival was so popular, drawing individuals from so huge an area, it was made an once-a-year event. In 1896, stage designer William Lemos designed stage-established creations that gave the illusion of a Venetian Santa Cruz. The Queen’s Pavilion experienced develop into the Palm Theater throughout the off-year, and was adorned with Venetian-sort furnishings by Lemos. Parades passed under a Pacific Avenue archway resembling the Rialto Bridge in Venice, and the River Phase resembled the Paris Opera Household, flanked with drinking water-horse fountains, baroque pylons, and monumental vases. At evening, men and women have been in awe of the electric fountain with spray illuminated by coloured lights. Friday was “Hi Jinks Day” where a male in drag took around as the parody Queen of the pageant, when folks dressed as clowns, harlequins and jesters.

With mounting successes, ideas ended up built to build permanent classical buildings. But the Palm Theater burned in 1897, and disputes over who owned the land led to it staying sold for a lumber garden. When Fred Swanton designed the Boardwalk in 1904, he envisioned a put to revive the H2o Carnivals, creating a On line casino with Venetian overtones. In 1905, a Methodist syndicate made ideas for a Venetian Village at today’s Yacht Harbor web page.

But the 1906 earthquake brought all this kind of options to an end. Even worse, Santa Cruz figured out their initial Carnival Queen experienced been lacking nearly a 7 days in San Francisco, although her father in New York, and mom in Paris, designed desperate inquiries. All they uncovered was that Anita’s building survived the quake, but was ruined in the hearth. Lastly immediately after a dozen days, Wm. T. Jeter documented Anita had composed him that she was safe, but communications out of San Francisco ended up unreliable.

When Swanton’s new Casa Del Rey Lodge opened in 1911, he made the decision a excellent way to fill it was by hosting a new Venetian Water Carnival, with an island in the rivermouth estuary for a phase. The 1912 festival involved H2o Olympics, boat parades, balls, fireworks demonstrates that involved a hillside of Lemos-created castles bombed with fireworks when a good choir sang. But the standout was the production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore.”  In the forged were being university girls ZaSu Pitts (afterwards a film star), Lois Neilson (afterwards Mrs. Stan Laurel), and Carman Eddington (later a Hollywood screenwriter). At any time due to the fact, outdated timers named it the “Opera Island.”  Scenes from this H2o Carnival appeared in a movie-household newsreel.

In 1914, the Opera Island performed host to the Santa Cruz Drinking water Pageant. It opened with “Pageant of Peace,” featuring choreography by famed artist Dr. Charles Hadden Parker. Then arrived three performs by screenwriter Overlook Perry Newberry: “The Padres,” “The Pathfinder,” and ‘Aladin,” the last carried out by students, with ZaSu Pitts offered a speaking role as the nagging wife of the villain.

In 1915, interest shifted to generating a great exhibiting for Santa Cruz at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Then Planet War I and the influenza epidemic place typical lifestyle on maintain. It wasn’t right until 1928 that 1 last Drinking water Carnival was staged on the San Lorenzo River, with Vera McKenna Clayton as songs director.  She composed the Water Carnival’s most lovely topic tune, “Floating Down the San Lorenzo River.”