National Register of Historic Places in Santa Cruz County
Constructed in 1906 of old-growth redwood in the late Gothic Revival style, Grace Episcopal Church is the oldest church building in Boulder Creek.
Boulder Creek was incorporated in 1902. By 1905 its population was about eight hundred and the 1910 Census counted 1,018 townspeople. The introduction of the railroad to facilitate lumber transport resulted in an influx of summer visitors. Grand summer residences were built for the elite of San Francisco and Oakland in Boulder Creek and its neighbor Ben Lomond.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Boulder Creek was the fifth largest shipper of timber in the United States. It was the devastation of the redwood forests that led to the establishment of California's oldest State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, just a few miles from Boulder Creek.
1906, the year that the church was built, was significant year for the lumber industry in Santa Cruz County. After the 1906 earthquake, much of the redwood in the San Lorenzo Valley was shipped to San Francisco to build refugee cottages and rebuild the city. The forests were clear-cut and historical photos show barren mountainsides stubbled with a five-o'clock shadow of stumps.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 20.
When we photographed Grace Episcopal Church in 2018, it housed the San Lorenzo Valley Museum.