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Santa Cruz Local News Index  Santa Cruz Local News Index

Mountain Echo Index, 1896--1916
Introduction to the Paper Edition, by Stanley D. Stevens

The Mountain Echo newspaper was founded by Charles Campbell Rodgers, a native of Nova Scotia, who was naturalized in San Mateo County, California, in October 1875. He identified himself as a Surveyor when he registered to vote in 1880, and, by the time he published the first issue of the Mountain Echo on October 24, 1896, he was 54-years old; he died two years later on Christmas, 1898, at the age of 56. Users of this Index will find, under Deaths, a citation to his obituary and tributes. His grandson, Winfield Scott Rodgers Jr., was a successor editor-publisher. However, his tenure ended with his death on August 5, 1916, and the Mountain Echo died just before Christmas of the same year. An earlier newspaper, titled Boulder Creek Blast, was absorbed, as was the subsequent title: Ben Lomond News.

The Mountain Echo records not the earliest years of Boulder Creek and the San Lorenzo Valley, but it serves to provide us with the best available source of information for the formative years. Its columns reported the incorporation of Boulder Creek as a City, in 1902, and its dis-incorporation in 1915. Other settlements of the San Lorenzo Valley are cited; e.g., the founding of Brookdale by Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge James Harvey Logan (also developer of the Loganberry).

The indexing of the Mountain Echo was initiated by Faye Ellis, who was interested in preserving the newspaper as a resource for local history research. Anne Gulliver, Chairwoman of the Boulder Creek Friends of the Library, agreed that indexing the newspaper was a worthwhile project for the Friends. In January, 1986, two members, Katie Hyslop and Martha Pruitt, were appointed to confer with Sara Bunnett, who has chaired several indexing projects of Santa Cruz newspapers for the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County. They met with Sara to learn the procedures for indexing.

Faye Ellis raised some funding from slide shows of old Boulder Creek scenes, and over the years of the ongoing project all other funding was raised by the Boulder Creek Friends of the Library. After the project got underway, the indexing was taken on by two very dedicatd members of the Boulder Creek Friends, Marguerita Cornwell and Margaret DeSmet. They worked on the project many, many hours, for many months, and completed indexing in April, 1991. They produced more than 10,000 index cards, containing citations to all aspects of life in the San Lorenzo Valley. Barbara Kiehl, Boulder Creek Branch Manager, enthuiastically supported the conversion of the card file to electronic form.

Data input and expanded indexing was accomplished by Stanley D. Stevens, Librarian Emeritus, UCSC. From the index cards, the data entry was started on November 20, 1998; editing and design of the final Index culminated on January 12, 1999. The result is 16,734 entries, including cross references.

The Mountain Echo has been microfilmed by the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. It is available for viewing at various locations, including the Boulder Creek and Downtown Branches of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, and at UCSC McHenry Library, in Microforms.