National Register of Historic Places in Santa Cruz County
The old Davenport Jail is built of Santa Cruz Portland Cement in the Mission Revival style. The building measures 18' x 14.5' and contains two cells fronted by an anteroom.
The tiny settlement of Davenport Landing was founded in the 1860s to ship lumber and dairy products from a single wharf. The entire landholding was owned by Coast Dairies and Land Company.
In 1906, the land company sold several hundred acres to the Santa Cruz Standard Cement Company which soon dominated local commerce and the new community of Davenport. In 1914, responding to community concerns, the County Supervisors authorized construction of a small jail with cement provided by the cement company.
Because of Davenport's isolation from other cities, all its basic services, including the jail were provided through the combined forces of the cement plant, public agencies and a private investment company. Although the jail was used only twice between 1914 and 1930 when it was no longer needed, it symbolized the isolated, tight-knit community's desire to meet its own needs, and its simultaneous dependence on the dominant cement industry.
Adapted from the NRHP Nomination.