The Frapwell Dairy Barn
September 30, 1991

Historical Background

The history of the Holiday Barn can be divided into two distinct phases based upon the function it served in the community. From 1914 to 1945 the structure served as the dairy barn for the Frapwell's Live Oak Dairy. The barn was remodeled in 1948; and from that time until its demolition in 1991, it served a variety of community functions that included the Scotts Valley Community Clubhouse, nightclub, church, school, restaurant, and dinner theater.

The Frapwell Family

In June of 1911, three Frapwell brothers: George, John, and Edward, purchased 1750 acres in Scotts Valley for $40,000. The brothers were born in England and had immigrated with their parents, Hazo and Mary Frapwell, to Ohio in 1872. In 1875 the family moved to California, purchasing land in Corralitos in 1876 (Frapwell 1967).

In the early years the brothers worked at a variety of jobs. George and a fourth brother, William, married and moved to Santa Cruz. John worked the Corralitos ranch with his father. Edward worked as a teamster with a six-horse team and two wagons hauling redwood logs from Bonnie Doon and oil shale from the mines near Swanton. Later, Edward leased a farm near Capitola where he met his future wife, Eva Farnham. Eva had a younger sister, Jessie, who married Edward's brother John (Frapwell 1967).

Forming a partnership in 1911, Edward, John, and George purchased property in Scotts Valley from the widows of two Scotts Valley pioneers. Three-hundred and twenty-five acres were purchased from Grace Errington Hicks originally part of 1,115 acres purchased by Joseph Errington from Hiram Scott in 1865 (Official Record 8:103; 233:167). After Joseph Errington had passed away in 1869, Grace married Achilles S. Hicks in 1874. Hicks died in 1907. Four-hundred acres were also purchased from Ellen Thomson, the widow of William J. Thomson, a contractor who had built a large Eastlake Victorian residence on Scotts Valley Drive in 1897 (Detlefs 1978).

While John continued to work the Corralitos ranch, Edward took over the management of the Scotts Valley ranch. Edward's family moved into the large, three-story, nineteen-room Thomson house. The ranch produced fruit, corn, pork, potatoes, hay, alfalfa, beans, and from the 250 acres of forest land, wood and lumber. The most important operation, however, was the Live Oak Dairy with a herd of 100 Holstein cows (Frapwell 1967).

The drainage around the old Hicks dairy barn was inadequate; and in 1914, the brothers contracted the eminent Santa Cruz architect, Edward Van Cleeck, to design a new dairy barn (Frapwell 1987). Van Cleeck had previously designed the homes of George and William Frapwell in Santa Cruz and subsequently designed the large Craftsman style house at 5010 Scotts Valley Drive for Edward Frapwell in 1923. This residence is now the office of Scotts Valley Sprinkler and Pipe Supply (Frapwell 1967).

The new dairy barn was built on a knoll a little north and west of the existing dairy buildings. Granite Creek Road did not connect with the Los Gatos-Santa Cruz Road in 1914, and Scotts Valley Drive was the State Highway main road through the Santa Cruz Mountains between Santa Cruz and Los Gatos (Joslin 1986; Frapwell 1967).

By 1912, Edward was hauling milk into Santa Cruz where his brother George did the bottling in his basement on Ocean Street and delivered the milk door-to-door. When pasteurization was required, the milk was sold to the Sunshine Creamery in Santa Cruz. Later, cream was separated from the milk and shipped by rail to a creamery in San Francisco. The sale of cream was the most profitable enterprise of the dairy, and the remaining skim milk augmented the pig's diet (Frapwell 1967).

In later years the family allowed other dairymen to come in and operate for a share. In 1945, after the death of John (1934) and George (1942) the family sold the Scotts Valley ranch to a Mr. Adams from Bakersfield. Adams paid $50,000 cash and started the subdivision of the property (Frapwell 1987). The breaking up of this large ranch did much to encourage the growth and development of the City of Scotts Valley. Edward died at the age of 79 in 1950 (Santa Cruz Sentinel 20 April 1950).

The Post-Dairy Period

After 1948 the Scotts Valley Community Club (SVCC) purchased the barn from Harold A. Mitchell for $1000. The members took out the milking stalls and built a kitchen downstairs and dining hall capable of serving 200 (Chatenever 1979; Teman 1986). Upstairs they created a combination ballroom and basketball court. Dr. Ted Judd, a San Francisco chiropractor and resident of Scotts Valley, donated hardwood flooring. The men installed the flooring while the women scrubbed the walls and the ceilings (Strong 1985). Every summer the club would hold a fiesta with booths and a dunking barrel. Other activities included spaghetti feeds, dances, and basketball games (Strong 1985).

The SVCC sold the building to the Boy Scouts for a token $1.00, and the Boy Scouts, in turn, sold the building to the Scotts Valley Volunteer Fire Department (Teman 1986). In 1962 an effort was made to sell the Barn to finance a new fire house for the Fire District; however, there were no buyers (Chatenever 1979).

About 1965, Eric Nord converted the Barn to a night club, installing a "discotheque recording machine - the first such machine to be used in the county" (Chatenever 1979). "Big Daddy Nord" - so-called for his 6-foot-8, 400-pound frame was a prominent San Francisco club owner, dubbed by Herb Caen in the 1950s as the "king of the beat genera-tion." Founder of the hungry i in San Francisco, Nord operated a string of clubs and cof-ee houses from San Francisco's North Beach to Venice in southern California. Nord lived in Los Gatos from 1979 until his death in 1989 (Kramer 1989).

In Scotts Valley, Nord leased the Barn, decorated the walls with psychedelic murals, and booked some of the most famous performers of the era. Performances and rock concerts were given by such luminaries of the hippie culture as Ken Kesey, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and County Joe and the Fish. "Flower children" arrived in Scotts Valley in great numbers to enjoy the concerts, read their poetry, and dance in the swirling lights (Holiday Gazette 1981; Chatenever 1979). All this counter-culture activity caused the citizens of Scotts Valley great concern. Irate voices were raised in planning and City Council meetings protesting the arrival of the "beatniks and deadbeats" (Chatenever 1979).

This colorful period lasted only a short time, however, and in 1968 the newly formed Baymonte Christian School took over the building to house their first student body (Baymonte School 1988). The psychedelic murals were painted over and the building was used for classes until 1972 when the Barn became part of the fifteen-acre Holiday Host Travel Park (Holiday Gazette 1981).

David and Claire Hodgin, the owners and managers of the RV park, not only used the Barn for park activities, but also allowed its use for other community functions, such as meetings, wedding receptions, square dances, luncheons, and church services. In 1977, the downstairs was converted into a restaurant that served pancake breakfasts to campers on Sunday mornings. Later, a Friday night Fish Fry was inaugurated, which led to the full-fledged Holiday Barn Kitchen (Holiday Gazette 1981).

In 1979, the Hodgin's started the Holiday Barn Dinner Theater. The upstairs was convert-ed into a theater for Broadway musicals and guests were served a buffet dinner at tables along the sides of the room before the performances. In 1980, the Children's Theater and an after-theater cabaret, called Act IV, were included in the weekend entertainment package (Chatenever 1979; Holiday Barn Restaurant 1980; Holiday Gazette 1981; Pokriots 1988).

Seagate Technology leased the barn in 1981 for several years, using it as an equipment testing and repair facility. In 1984, Celebration Christian Fellowship church used the building for church and Sunday School services (Hodgin 1988).


Barnett, M. 1989 Demolition of 'Historic Barn Ok'd. Scotts Valley Banner. 18 January.

Baymonte School Office 1988 Personal communication with M. Pokriots regarding history of Barn. 29 November.

Blumenson, J. 1985 Identifying American Architecture. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History.

Chase, J. 1979 The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture. Santa Cruz: Paper Vision Press.

Chatenever, R. 1979 SV Barn Features Award Winning Plays. Santa Cruz Sentinel. 23 March.

Clark, M. R. 1988 An Archaeological Reconnaissance of the Santa's Village Project Area, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. Report prepared for Harding Lawson Associates by Holman & Associates.

County of Santa Cruz Death Records Frapwell, Edward. 19 April 1950 Frapwell, George. 16 April 1942 Frapwell, John. 11 April 1934 Hicks, Achilles. 8 February 1907 Van Cleeck, Edward. 26 October 1925

Official Records 8:103 Deed: Joseph Errington from Hiram Scott. 233:167 Deed: George, John H. and Edward H. Frapwell from Grace P. Hicks.

Detlefs, C. 1978 The Frapwells of Scotts Valley, 1911-1945. Scotts Valley Historical Society.

Francis, P. 1896 Santa Cruz County. San Francisco: H. S. Crocker.

Frapwell, E. 1967 The Frapwell Family Record. Privately published.

1987 Letter to Charlene Detlefs. 28 April.

1986- Personal communication with M. Pokriots. 1988

1991 Personal communication with G. A. Laffey.

Gaura, M. 1989 Historic Barn Faces Destruction. Santa Cruz Sentinel. 19 January.

Hodgin, C. 1988 Personal communication with G. A. Laffey.

Hodgin, D. and C. Hodgin 1981 If These Walls Could Talk. Holiday Gazette.

Joslin, M. B. 1986 Personal communication with M. Pokriots. Long-time resident of Scotts Valley.

Kramer, P. 1989 Beatnik 'King' Eric Nord Dies at 69. San Jose Mercury News. 29 April.

Laffey, G. A. 1988 Historical Evaluation of the Holiday Barn at 100 Santa's Village Road in Scotts Valley, California. Report prepared for Grubb & Ellis by Archaeological Resource Management.

McAlester, V. and L. McAlester 1986 A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Page, C. H. 1976 Santa Cruz Historic Building Survey. San Francisco: City of Santa Cruz.

Pokriots, M. 1988 Personal communication. Long-time resident of Scotts Valley and volunteer at Holiday Barn Children's Theater.

Raymond, I. H. 1887 Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz Development Association.

Santa Cruz Sentinel 1869 Joseph Errington Obituary. 20 November. 1925 E. L. Van Cleeck Dies Suddenly in Local Bank. 22 October. 1925 Inquest over E. L. Van Cleeck. 28 October.

Scotts Valley School District 1958 Yearbook.

Standard Map Service 1952 Sheet 19, Map of Scotts Valley.

Strong, R. S. 1985 Personal communication with M. Pokriots. Long-time resident of Scotts Valley.

Teman, L. 1986 Personal communication with M. Pokriots. Treasurer of Scotts Valley Community Club.