Aptos/Rio Del Mar Homes
Aptos was named by the American Indians who lived here for thousands of years before Mission Santa Cruz was completed by the Spanish in 1794. In 1833 the government of Mexico granted Aptos Rancho to Rafael Castro. The Rancho would eventually total almost 6,686 acres. Initially Castro raised cattle for their hides, but after California became a state in 1850, Castro leased his land to Yankees for industrial developments. A wharf, general store, and lumber mill were built. The original town was located where Aptos Village Square is now. In 1853 a leather tannery was built, and the main building is now the Apple Lane Bed & Breakfast Inn. After Spreckels’ death, Seacliff Park and Rio Del Mar Country Club were developed in the late 1920?s. Rio Del Mar Country Club included a clubhouse, a grand hotel on the bluffs, a beach club, a polo field, and a golf course. The estuary was filled in, and Aptos tanker made of cement and converted it into an amusement pier with restaurants, swimming pool, and a dance pavilion. Both Rio Del Mar and Seacliff were popular during prohibition as drinking and gambling were discretely available. These amusements were interrupted by the great depression and World War II. In the early 1960’s Aptos began a period of rapid development. Cabrillo College opened in our strategic location halfway between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center and the Seascape development soon followed … and the rest is history!