“At nine o'clock the next morning Traverse went to the library to keep his tryst with Colonel Le Noir.” Thus opens the 1870’s novel ‘Capitola’s Peril’ , by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth (and you thought e e cummings sounded pretentious). The word tryst had a different meaning back then, I’m certain, because all they do is talk about wills and inheritances and guardians until one’s ward should come-of-age in solidly Victorian fashion. There’s mention of the word ‘adventuress’, with particular venom, and it ends with a ‘Sirrah!’ and then ‘Villain!’ but instead of sabers at dawn, Colonel Le Noir, who is in his dotage, leaves in a huff. After seizing his hat. There’s someone named ‘Mrs. Condiment’. ?
But in these (rather un-) memorable tomes of the adventures of Miss Capitola Black does the fair city of Capitola, California take it’s name. It was founded on Independence Day, 1874 as ‘Camp Capitola’ by Lulu Hall, the daughter of the first real-estate shark of California Samuel A. Hall, who quickly adjusted the name to the more picturesque ‘Capitola-by-the-Sea’, and set up a 160 room hotel. It’s the oldest resort on the Pacific Coast although the original is no longer extant. I think the entire place was a privately owned resort up until 1929’s stock market crash made the current owner Henry Rispin (and builder of the famous Haunted Rispin Mansion) abandon his property. After an interregnum, it was officially incorporated in 1949.
Tourism is still the major industry in Capitola, tourism and awful parking. This place is more confusing than Dismal-land. It’s a charming little city, where the main problems appear to be traffic congestion in the famous ‘Jewel Box Square’. Zoning, whether or not to allow an Olive Garden, and giving doggos the mark of the beast (mandatory pet microchips) That’s fitting. Doggos are beasts. The police appear to spend their time raising funds for breast cancer research. It’s a beautiful, expensive little town with ramshackle old buildings and a significant number of visible surfboards. So there you have it. Capitola, California. Which I think, was a splendid name for a spunky Vicky heroine. Good show, Lulu.