Nelson, London

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London Nelson (1800-1860) was a former slave who came to Santa Cruz after buying his freedom with money earned mining for gold in the Sierra foothill gold fields. He willed his estate to Santa Cruz Schools. The school district sold his property and used the money to buy a lot from Samuel Hillman, adjacent to the school property on Mission Hill. A 20th-century misreading of his signature rendered Nelson's first name as "Louden", which remained in use for decades. The City of Santa Cruz officially recognized the error in 2021. The following before-after image pairings show the changes at the London Nelson Community Center and on the grounds of what was once Mission Hill School.

London-Nelson-CC.jpg London-Nelson-mem.jpg