Organized in 1938, Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association is a community organization that sponsors an annual picnic each July to commemorate the town’s history and its role in the development of Santa Cruz County. There are no membership restrictions. Everyone interested in sharing and preserving Soquel history is invited to participate in this traditional celebration that keeps the past alive.
This is a biographical video made in 2015 of Soquel native Ted Maddock of the Maddock/Parish family. Ted is being interviewed by Frank Perry who is the curator of the Capitola Museum.
This year our speaker will be Carolyn Swift. Carolyn is a native of Watsonville, and worked as a reporter for the Register-Pajaronian starting in 1969. Sharing stories about local history quickly became an ambition.
In 1975, she took a course in the history of Santa Cruz County from regional historian Sandy Lydon. Two years later, they co-authored a history of Capitola.
A second book, a project completed with historian and author Judith Steen, inserted women’s history into the story of Santa Cruz County’s past. Women’s rights advocates Georgiana Kirby and Eliza Farnham were interpreted to reshape what had been a male-dominated historical account.
Swift earned a degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz, contributed to five history books, compiled the historic context statement for the City of Capitola, and contributed 150 newspaper articles published in papers throughout the county. Her 2013 retirement coincided with the publication of her book Capitola in Arcadia’s Images of America series.
She became the Capitola Historical Museum director in 1993. It was her task to oversee displays, provide educational tours, and conduct research. She devised exhibits, and managed the museum’s outstanding collection of historical digital images that touch every aspect of Santa Cruz County.
In retirement, history still captures her interest. Swift particularly enjoys finding unknown “news bits” in the files of vintage papers that help explain how and why things got to be the way they are in Santa Cruz County. “Ah-ha!” moments of historical research, she finds, are the best.