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Glenwood, California facts for kids

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Ghost town
Historical marker for Glenwood, California.
Historical marker for Glenwood, California.
Country United States
State California
County Santa Cruz
Elevation 605 ft (157 m)
Population (2008)
 • Ghost town 1
 • Metro 50
 • Demonym Glenwoodian
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 408
California Historical Landmark
Reference #: 449

Glenwood, California, is a ghost town in Santa Cruz County. It is located at coordinates 37°6′29″N 121°59′8″W / 37.10806°N 121.98556°W / 37.10806; -121.98556Coordinates: 37°6′29″N 121°59′8″W / 37.10806°N 121.98556°W / 37.10806; -121.98556, and is 891 feet above sea level.

This historic town, registered as a California Historical Landmark, was founded by Charles C. Martin, who came around Cape Horn in 1847, and his wife, Hannah Carver Martin, who crossed the Isthmus of Panama. Martin first homesteaded the area in 1851 and operated a tollgate and station for stagecoaches crossing the mountains. Later he developed a lumber mill, winery, store, and the Glenwood Resort Hotel.

It was known as Martinville until the establishment of the post office on August 23, 1880.

Glenwood was a stop on the narrow gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad, which began service from Alameda (north terminus, with a ferry to San Francisco) to Felton in 1880. At Felton, the SPC bought and connected to the former Felton & Santa Cruz Railroad tracks, which ran the remaining six miles southwards through Santa Cruz and out onto a wharf on Monterey Bay. To minimize length and steepness, six tunnels were dug through ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains. "Tunnel Number 2" exited at Glenwood.

The railroad was acquired in the 1880s by the Southern Pacific, which broad-gauged the line in the early 1900s. The April 18, 1906, earthquake twisted some of the rails and damaged bridges and tunnels along the line. The Southern Pacific repaired the railroad and it continued operations until March 1940. The routing of State Route 17, completed during 1940, bypassed Glenwood, contributing to its decline.

Glenwood officially "disappeared" with the closing of the U.S. post office in 1954. By 1990 the town had but one resident left, Mrs. Margaret Koch, who is the great-granddaughter of the founder, and served as last postmaster.

The area is now sparsely settled. Glenwood Drive, also known as Glenwood Highway, passes through the site of the town.

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