Because yeah, Hollister, California: so not So Cal. (Though I admit: there is surfing, mediocre at best, sixty miles away.)
Hollister is known for a few things: it's certainly known as an agricultural and ranching community (though curiously, it's hard to find any actual information about that on the Internet).
|164 Locust Street |
(demolished in 2009)
It is also known for its intermittent annual motorcycle rallies, of which the 1947 event erupted in violence that was memorialized in the Marlon Brando movie The Wild One (1953). (Motorcycling and surfing strike me as antithetical, but I could be wrong.)
Oh, but finally: a little finessed Googling does get me an interesting entry at a blog called "Legendary Surfers" (aha!), which tells how the man after whom the town was named, "Col." William Welles Hollister (1818–86), came originally from Ohio to an area near Santa Barbara with 200 head of cattle and nearly 10,000 sheep. He fell in love with the land, but unfortunately it was not for sale, so he continued north—to what is now San Benito County, settling there in 1855. Later, in 1868, having accumulated 20,000 acres of land, he decided to sell everything and head back to the Santa Barbara area. "Approximately 12,000 acres was divided into 50 homestead lots of about 172 acres each; about 100 acres were reserved for the town [of Hollister] itself and were bounded by North, East, West, and South streets. About 8,500 acres were reserved for future sale, and the remaining property was parceled out and sold as farm units." The town name came about simply because the principals in the land company (San Justo) that purchased the acreage were tired of Spanish place-names and decided that Hollister would be a good solid name for a good solid town.
The connection to surfing has something to do with a club established at the ranch in the 1950s by one Reynolds Yater, and since then surfers have sneaked onto the private land to get a crack at the waves there. Those dirtbag surfers . . .
But as it turns out, Hollister Co.'s parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, based in New Albany, Ohio, pulled the name Hollister out of thin air, so no need to seek too deeply. Or deeply at all. A fun, flingy name for fun, flingy clothes.
Oh, but not so much if Hollister-the-city wants to use its own name on clothing it sells. Lawsuits have occurred. Maybe not so fun and flingy after all . . .
Today we took a drive out to the real Hollister—still an agricultural and ranching town of about 35,000 in land-locked San Benito County (still no surfing), founded in 1868, incorporated in 1872; county seat since the county was separated out from Monterey County in 1874. We were there to geocache, of course (found ten of ten). I took some photos. It was a gorgeous day, and it was nice to get away from the surf zone.
|San Benito County Migrant Center / Mobil(e) Home Park /|
Single Men's Camp (on the way to geocache #8)
|Fresh-cut hay near stop #7|
|A bumper lying in the grass at stop #6|
|For my Flickr numbers project ::22:: (also on the way to #8)|
|A ranch near our final stop (#10). |
Hollister is so pretty when the hills are green.
Finally, since I may never return to San Benito County as a topic of my blog, I would just like to point out that the state gemstone of California, Benitoite, was first discovered there; found in hydrothermally altered serpentine (which last is the state rock), it is a gorgeous blue. San Benito County is also home to Illacme plenipes, the millipede with the mostest—legs, that is. Up to 750.