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Very Local History
Little-known events from Santa Cruz in days of yore
The last Fictucrix, captured in the Santa Cruz mountains on December 21st, 1921. Seen here with members of the MJ Epicurean Society, who selected members based on height and organized the successful expedition before sampling the flesh at a banquet that evening. No member of the Society survived the experience.
John Hihn’s cabin. During its construction, voices from the river told Hihn that being inside any man-built structure was unsafe and so after completion he slept on the roof. He was rightly convinced that the mountains held deposits of gold, though personally never found any. He died of exposure during the winter of 1864.
At the age of fifteen it was proven that Martha Cunningham was possessed of absolutely no supernatural abilities. She was subsequently known as the Not Witch of Santa Cruz, shunned by the townspeople, and died of old age alone in a tree.
A juvenile example of the now extinct Fictosaur, pictured here in 1920 with the crew of the Midjourney, the Monterey Bay fishing boat that dredged it from the depths and later disappeared without trace. It is said that the island of Crete is the fossilized remains of an adult form of the species.
Jed Reynolds is the only known example of a man who grew from the top down. He was born as an adult head and extended ground-wards, only achieving legs in early middle age. After a successful career as an importer of fog he became unwell in his seventies and was eventually reduced to only a pair of feet. He vanished in 1927.
Long-described as Santa Cruz County’s first house, the title was eventually stripped on the grounds the area had self-evidently been inhabited for hundreds of years prior to this style of architecture. Recent carbon-dating of the remains however convincingly suggests that the dwelling’s construction pre-dates the discovery of America.
In 1894 it was established that this small patch of ground had never been trodden upon by humankind. In the following years people were discouraged from even glancing at it. A wall was eventually built around the space in 1922 to protect its integrity. This is the last known photograph.
All images by Michael Marshall Smith & Midjourney