Joseph Carr Ritchie, the California State Park Interpreter for the Castro Adobe State Historic Park, will be leading two free Castro Coastal Campfires in July and August. Folks are invited to go and learn about about the historic Castro family’s coastal connection at a Sunset Beach State Park campfire program.
Ritchie will explain the link between Santa Cruz County’s first State Beach, Sunset State Beach, and Castro Adobe, the county’s newest State Historic Park. The free event will be offered at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 23rd, and Saturday, August 20th.
The Castro Family
Back in the day, these two properties, currently property of the California State Parks system, were part of a larger land grant holding of the Castro family. The Castros arrived in California as part of the Anza Expedition 240 years ago and eventually made their way to Santa Cruz County. During the Mexican Rancho period of 1821-1850, they grazed cattle in the coastal hills and shipped hides from an embarcadero (wharf) that once existed between Sunset and Manresa State Beaches.
The program, which includes a slideshow, hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows, aims to bring local families out to experience the State Beach and enjoy the bilingual (English/Spanish) presentation. The talk will be in the campground area at Sunset State Beach, 201 Sunset Beach Road in Watsonville. The program is free. Parking is $10 and supports the park. Participants will be invited to future Open House events at the Castro Adobe State Historic Park.