Years ago, the tiny
settlement of Davenport was famous for its successful whaling
industry. Today, the cliffs of Davenport offer some of Santa
Cruz County's best vantage points for watching these protected
mammals during their annual migration.
It was Captain John
Davenport who gave his name to this North Coast Community
where he set up his whaling business after the Civil War.
Hundreds of passing cetaceans were harpooned for their meat,
oil, and whalebone. For almost 50 years the town prospered,
with hotels, stores, a shipyard, and other thriving
businesses. Then a fire in 1915 destroyed nearly everything.
Some said the spirits of all those whales finally took
revenge. Only one thing is certain, though, the whales now
pass by in safety.
Judging from its
diminutive size, the casual observer would think that all
the charms of Davenport can be assimilated in a few
minutes. That assumption would be well off the mark. For
starters, there's the Davenport Cash Store. Even if it
didn't have a great menu, and even if they weren't
connected to a shop that featured native artwork from
around the world, people would still beat down the doors
for the cinnamon buns. These tall, fluffy sweet rolls
drizzled with icing are nothing like the ones Mom used to
make! (Pack several for the road.)
Just a hop down the
street, the famous Lundberg Studios occupy an anonymous little
house. But inside, talented glassmakers create incredibly
detailed works of art - paperweights, vases, ornaments and
other fragile designs that have made their way into museums
and private collections. In fact, Lundberg's work has been
compared to that of Tiffany himself! Next door, David Boye's
knifemaking skills put a whole new light on these utilitarian
objects. These are not merely sharpened slivers of metal. They
are etched, carved, and finally transformed into heirloom
pieces for the next generation. But don't quit there. With a
bit of curious investigation, you can find an entire artists'
community hidden along the rural streets.
You can also find more
than a few good reasons to stay awhile. In contrast to its
diminutive size, this coastal treasure has a whale-sized
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