California Powder Works

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California Powder Works was established in 1861 to manufacture the black powder used in mining operations, when the Civil War created a supply shortage. The site today is part of Paradise Park, along with the adjacent site of the San Lorenzo Paper Mill. The California Powder Works covered bridge is the last county covered bridge that still allows vehicle traffic.

In 1865 the company acquired the wharf built by David Gharky, and built a warehouse adjacent to its entrance. Powder was transported from the manufacturing plant to the wharf by wagon, and shipped from there until railroad transportation became available from the Powder Works soon after 1876. The wharf was demolished in 1883.

  • The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture, 4th edition, page 25.