Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has announced the Castro Adobe State Historic Park will be open to the public six Saturdays in 2016 – and admission is free! This is an incredible – and very cool – cultural and historic resource and is very well worth the trip to check out.
The two-story Castro Adobe, built between 1848-49, is one of the best examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. Open House visitors will be able to tour the property including the restored cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden. The garden is a unique outdoor space originally created by then-owners Elizabeth and David Potter (1968-72), in consultation with noted landscape architect Thomas Church.
Each open house will be themed to highlight an aspect of the historic property. The Open House Days begin Feb. 20 with “Romance on the Rancho.” Visitors will enjoy traditional hot chocolate, make tortillas, stroll through the historic garden while exploring romance during the Rancho period. You’ll be able to learn about courting and marriage during that era — including the Bolcoff-Castro marriage and the Castro Adobe-Wilder Ranch historical connection — as well as concepts of race and intermarriage in Alta California, the perception of the Rancho Period as a “golden age” compared to what historical and archaeological record show, and the loving relationship between a vaquero and his horse.
Future dates include:
• April 23: Vaqueros y Banditos (Cowboys and Bandits)
• June 11: Castro Adobe in the 20th Century
• Aug. 13: Evening at the Adobe
• Oct. 22: Earthquakes and the Adobe
• Dec. 10: Festivos en el Rancho (Holidays at the Rancho)
The open houses will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the exception of the August evening event. Interpretive Rangers and volunteers will be on hand to offer a “sneak peak” into the restoration process and to assist visitors who would like to enjoy handmade tortillas cooked on the recently reconstructed brasero (stove).