Martina Castro’s Legacy in Capitola: The Averon House

Averon-Lodge House, Castro Mansion is at 919 Capitola Avenue. Photo courtesy of Capitola Historical Museum.
The Averon-Lodge House, Castro Mansion, 919 Capitola Avenue. Photo. Courtesy of Capitola Historical Museum

Maria Averon built the Averon House in 1877 near the Soquel River and present-day Bay Avenue and Porter Street ramp off Highway 1, in Capitola, California. The house was built on land granted to Martina Castro in the 1830s and ‘40s by Governor José Figueroa through a Mexican land grant. In 1850, after her husband passed away, she divided the more than 35,000 acres among herself and her eight children. One of those heirs was her daughter Maria Guadalupe Averon, who cared for Martina until her death in the Averon home in 1890.

The Averon House today is between the Capitola Mansion Apartments and Highway 1 blocked by a giant cement wall.
The Averon House today is between the Capitola Mansion Apartments and Highway 1.

In 1884, the Averon House was moved to where it sits today. Although it is behind the Capitola Mansion Apartments, it remains partially visible from the street. It was rescued from demolition in the mid-1970s through the efforts of local historical societies in Soquel, Capitola, and Santa Cruz.

The Averon House is now the building for rental inquiries for the surrounding apartments. Photo: © Mobile Ranger.
The Averon House is now the building for rental inquiries for the surrounding apartments.

The neighboring Averon Carriage House was constructed circa 1890 and was used until 2015 as the The Quail and Thistle Tea Room. The carriage house has been home to a long line of restaurants and tea houses since Donna Des Jarlais opened the first tea house here in the 1890s.

Today's Camellia Tea House is about 200 feet south of the Averon House.
Today’s Camellia Tea House is about 200 feet south of the Averon House.

Visit the Museum

For more information about Maria Averon, Martina Castro, and other original grantees of most of the lands surrounding Capitola, visit the Capitola Historical Museum at 410 Capitola Avenue, next to City Hall. The Museum is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12:00- 4:00 PM, or you can call 831-464-0322 for an appointment with the curator.

Capitola Historical Museum
Capitola Historical Museum.

Take the Self-Guided Mobile Tour

This piece is part of the Capitola Art and Historic Sites Tour made possible by volunteers of the Capitola Art and Cultural Commission. Download the free app with many self-guided walking tours of the Santa Cruz area and beyond at mobileranger.com.

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Go to Mobile Ranger Guides in the Apple App Store
Go to Mobile Ranger Guides in the Google Play Store
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