1793 – Spanish explorer Ernesto Cabrillo first lands on beach (today known as Capitola beach) in two small ships. For two solid weeks the crew drank liquor and raped the native american women of the Ohlone tribe. The third week 33 men mysteriously died from drinking from what will later be known as the Rodeo Creek. Decades later it was discovered that the native villagers driven deep into the hillside poured arsenic into the rain waters coming off the mountainside.
1837 – The last of the Ohlone tribe, having lived in the Rodeo Creek area for over two hundred years dies of syphilis brought in by Easterners seeking gold from the nearby hills.
1902- Linus McCellan II, a former gunslinger from Apache Junction, Arizona, having stayed one step aheadof the US Marshall arrives in the area and builds the first house in the hills above the Rodeo Creek bed. In the next five years his wife gives him three stillbirth babies. The four stillbirth is a breech-baby and kills McCellan’s wife. Linus McCellan is found the next day hanging from a beam on his front porch.
1932- Tom T. Moore from Saint Louis, Missouri purchases 146 acres of the Porter Creek region for apple production. After planting over 350 trees, the first harvest proved devastating. Over 125 people from the neighboring city of Santa Cruz developed food poisoning with a record 26 deaths. Fifteen pregnant mothers gave birth to deformed babies. Tom Moore was hit with a record two million dollar lawsuit. His wife left him and he died a year later a broken man.
1933- After extensive soil tests, the State of California closes the 146 acres to agriculture and purchases the land for a National Park. Amazingly the park is void of squirrels and any signs of animal life.
1956 Michael Little, the State’s chief controller, loses over a million dollars in a poker game at the Sands Casino in Las Vegas. In lieu of money he illegally signs over the 146 acres of Rodeo Gulch to Fernando Martucci, a reputed crime boss promising him its prime ocean front property. Martucci’s wife divorces him a year later and gets the land in the settlement.
1962- Gloria Martucci is told by her doctors that she has dementia and will soon loose her mind.
1985- Gloria Martucci succumbs and leaves the Rodeo Gulch parcel to her nephew Nick Trumby.
1986 – Nick Trumby decides the crime life is not in his blood, moves to the Santa Cruz area and gets his contractor’s license. He picks out the best piece of land in the Rodeo Gulch parcel and builds two homes, one for himself and the other for his mother-in-law Diane Wilkins.
1989- One cold January morning the newspaper boy finds Wilkins’ body on the front steps… dead, with two knitting needles poked through her eyes extending into her brain. Her rotweiller dog Sampson, had devoured most of her left leg.
1990- The Rodeo Gulch parcel goes into probate and is eventually bought by James and Sara Christian, religious outcasts from the Jim Jones congregation. Sara was an excellent gardener and grew most of their food.