Leibbrandt brothers

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Dolphin bathhouse.jpg

The Leibbrandt brothers, John (1815-1895) and Jacob, born in Bavaria, built the Dolphin Bath House adjacent to Main Beach - one of the first year-round tourist-oriented businesses on the beach, a predecessor of today’s Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Competitor C. F. Miller built the Neptune Baths nearby. The competitors later became partners, before selling their "natatorium" to Fred Swanton in 1903.

Catharina Dorothea (Leibbrandt) Uhden ("Dorothy" on the grave monument, 1809-1891), wife of neighbor Augustus Uhden, was probably a sister of the Leibbrandts. By 1866, the Leibbrandt brothers had acquired the property where the bathhouse was built. The property is shown on the 1866 Santa Cruz map, with the name Jacob Leibbrandt.

There's disagreement among sources about when the structure shown in the photo was built, but my guess is that it was soon after the SCR rails were laid in 1875 (it was right next to the tracks). The brothers (and the route of the streetcar line) are remembered in the area by today’s Leibrandt Street which, in another of those curious local spelling mishaps, dropped one “b”.