Historic Preservation

The City of Watsonville has a rich and diverse history that reflects its early beginnings in the 1850’s, and the growth of agriculture through the latter half of the 19th Century and into the 21st Century.  Today, Watsonville is emerging as the largest City in Santa Cruz County while retaining its agricultural base and branching out into other fields of commerce.

The variety of building types found in Watsonville range from modest residential cottages to grand mansions, small commercial buildings to packing sheds. These varied properties give the City of Watsonville character and define the chronological development of the community.  Each district and neighborhood tells a story of who lived and worked there at a particular time in Watsonville history.  As the City grows and expands to accommodate new development, it is imperative to recognize and retain the existing historic buildings that mark the City’s past.


City of Watsonville Historic Context Statement
Walking and Driving Tour of Historic Main Street
California State Office of Historic Preservation website: www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/standguide
California State Office of Historic Preservation website: www.ohp.parks.ca.gov
Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center’s Blue Plaque Program: www.santacruzmah.org/index.php
City of Watsonville Historic Register