Little is known about A. Walrath, a north coast landowner and bituminous rock mine operator. The county's largest bituminous rock operation was originally known as the “Walrath mine”, where the entire top of one large hill was removed to get at the layer of bituminous rock below. The removed material was pushed over the sides of the hill, and can still be seen today. A wagon road was built to haul the rock down to the Coast Road and, at some point, was paved with asphaltum from the mine.
The property subsequently passed through several hands, notably the “City Streets Improvement Company”. Neighboring property owners ran smaller mining operations, including I.L. Thurber, L. K. Baldwin, and Henry Cowell (see 1889 map at right). In 2015, the flat-topped hill was in the news again, as the controversial site of a proposed single-family-residence, which was eventually approved.
It can also be seen from this map detail that Walrath's land was part of the Rancho Refugio originally granted to three Castro sisters. The detail is part of the 1889 "Hatch Map" prepared for Santa Cruz County. researcher Stan Stevens found that Walrath's first name may have been August or Austin.
- History Pages: 43 - Petroleum in Santa Cruz, Then and Now
- Santa Cruz County, Calif. Illustrations (1997 edition), p50 (Baldwin contributed a report on the north coast dairies)
- Stanley D. Stevens, Names on the Map (2020 book), MAH Publications.