Over the last 112 years, many entertainers have graced the Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove stage. One group left its mark – literally! High above the Grove's main staircase and tucked behind the Ballroom's main stage, our technical audio specialist discovered the words "Orchestra," "The Californians," and "8-30-07" written on a redwood-planked wall. I knew this artifact had historical significance.
In 1976, Marriott's Great America opened in Santa Clara, just 40-miles north of the Boardwalk. Revenues at the Santa Cruz beachfront flattened that year, a result of the new park's appeal to Northern California families. Boardwalk management knew the right new ride could help bolster revenues and bring guests back to the beach. Their solution? Logger's Revenge!
Throughout the Boardwalk's storied history, names like Swanton, Littlefield and Canfield routinely surface in our archival records. However, other lesser-known people have also made unique contributions to the Boardwalk's success. In today's blog, I'd like to introduce you to Ed Hutton.
In 1932 the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported on a plan to use the Boardwalk's indoor swimming pool as a wrestling venue over the winter months, "There is no water in the Plunge now. It wouldn’t be much of a trick to erect a ring in the bottom, put seats around the side and in the gallery, etc." And so, a deal was struck for this improbable use of our swimming pool for wrestling matches.
After weathering a long night punctuated by aftershocks, the sun rose on an unseasonably warm Wednesday, October 18, 1989. With the hum of generators in the background and the whoop-whoop-whoop of occasional helicopters circling in the air, damage to Boardwalk facilities was assessed and a plan was made to help Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to rise from the quake’s rubble.