Guide to the Leo Schon Scrapbook Collection (1948 – 1986s)

Overview +


Collection Number

No Collection Number


This collection was assembled by Leo Schon in the 1940’s-1980’s.

Number of Containers:

One (1) Box
Linear Feet: 1 Linear Foot


Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Archives
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


This collection consists of approx. fifty-two pages of a scrapbook or memory binder belonging to Leo Schon of Santa Cruz. Although the cover of the scrapbook no longer exists, the fifty-two pages are intact and feature newspaper clippings from the Santa Cruz Sentinel that focus on local history, fishing news, and events such as the Miss California pageant, and natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes. This collection contains many articles on fishing and the Stagnaro family and would be of interest to any fishing enthusiast or researcher of the Santa Cruz wharf and Stagnaro family. The collection reflects Leo Schon’s interest in fishing and his and his wife’s involvement in the Miss California pageant. His wife served as chaperone for the pageant and Leo helped provide housing for contestants (see History Notes for more information). Date range : 1948-1986


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Preferred Citation

The Leo Schon Scrapbook Collection, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the head of Archives at MAH. Researchers may be responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use material not produced by museum personnel.

Process By

Renata McRee

Date Completed


History +

Leo Schon, owner of the scrapbook in this collection was a resident of Spruce Apartments in Santa Cruz County. As the newspaper clippings in his scrapbook suggest, Leo Schon was a fishing enthusiast and could often be found on Santa Cruz Boat Rental boats fishing for ling cod, rock cod, and skates. His catches were often mentioned in the paper in the mid 1940’s. In addition to fishing, Leo Schon had an active part in the proceedings for the Miss California pageant during the late 1940’s to mid 1960’s. Leo Schon’s wife was the official Miss California chaperone in 1967 and was instrumental in campaigning for new volunteers to serve as hostesses for the pageant (S.C. Sentinel 5/28/1967). Leo himself, served on the board of directors for the Santa Cruz Apartment House Association in 1948 and was elected President of the Santa Cruz Rental Owners Association in 1961 (S.C. Sentinel 8/1/1948 & S.C. Sentinel 7/19/1961). Such expertise as well as being owner of Salt-Air Court on 510 Leibbrandt Avenue helped Leo originate the “rooms for regents” program that assisted Miss California pageant contests and their families find housing. The program which began in 1959, located accommodations for current contestants, past contestant winners, and their families at sixteen hotels throughout Santa Cruz County. The program was called upon to find housing for several Miss California winners, Miss Arizona, and Miss America and gradually expanded in popularity. Leo Schon provided housing for the soon-to-be crowned Miss California and her family, as well as the former Miss California of 1961 (S.C. Sentinel 7/20/1967). Leo was also a member of the Santa Cruz Elks Club, The Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Santa Cruz Lions Host Club, and the Grey Bears. He passed away in 1999 and was survived by his wife Flora Schon, daughter Barbara Leaf of Scotts Valley, and two brothers, a sister and many grand-children, nieces and nephews (S.C. Sentinel 4/16/1999).

Contents +


One (1) Box, Three (3) folders

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of three (3) folders containing approx. fifty-four pages from a scrapbook or memory binder belonging to Leo Schon. The scrapbook itself is no longer, yet the pages are preserved loose from the bindings in this collection, and consist of newspaper clippings pasted onto plain paper or lined binder paper. The newspaper clippings in these folders are primarily from the Santa Cruz Sentinel and date from the mid-1940’s to the 1980’s. Topics include fishing news, information and stories on local personages such as the Stagnaro family, the Miss California Pageant and its history in Santa Cruz and San Diego, natural disasters such as fires including comments on where the scrapbook’s owner was during the fire, and local history such as Ernest Otto “Old Santa Cruz” columns. Date range: 1948-1986

This series is divided into the following subseries:

Subseries I.A. Local History Newspaper Clippings
Subseries I.B. Annotated Pages of Schon Memory Binder
Subseries I.C. Fishing News


One (1) Folder, seven (7) pages

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of approx. seven (7) newspaper clippings from the scrapbook or memory binder of Leo Schon. These newspaper clippings are in good condition and date from 1952-1963. They are from the Santa Cruz Sentinel and include topics pertaining to Santa Cruz and Capitola history. Some examples of article titles include: “Those were the Days-And Even Then Capitola Was Drawing Vacationers” about Capitola in the 1890’s; “Seismologist Concludes No Earthquake Shook Down Adobe in January 1840” about a mysterious event that caused some buildings to fall at the Santa Cruz Mission; “Long Time Santa Cruzan Recalls…When Tourists Came for the ‘Merry Buffeting of the Waves’” and more. Date range: 1952-1963



One (1) Folder, twenty-one ( 21) Pages

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of approx. twenty-one (21) pages taken from Leo Schon’s three ring memory binder which featured “Santa Cruz Yesterdays” on the cover and the name “Leo Schon”. The binder is no longer, however the pages remain. The pages include approximately twenty-one (21) pages of newspaper clippings pasted onto sheets of white three-ringed paper or binder paper. The newspaper clippings date from 1748-1986 and focus on Santa Cruz history particularly the Stagnaro family, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and fishing and boating events. An example of articles: 1948 article from “Riptide Volume 20 No.25” entitled “1925-Santa Cruz was host to some Queens in 23 Years-1948” about the Miss California pageant and a 1985 Santa Cruz Sentinel article “Miss California Pageant Leaving Town” about the pageant moving to San Diego; 1952 Santa Cruz Sentinel Article “Huge Crowd Here-No Bad” about the Bang and Go Yacht Race”; 1959,1960 and 1961 Cottardo Stagnaro Memorial Old Timer’s Day Fishing Contest Prize announcements and invitations; “Waterfront Legend Dies” S.C. Sentinel 1985 article on the death of Malio J. Stagnaro; 1949 article “Cottardo Stagnaro” the man reflects on 60 years at the municipal wharf; and much more. A few articless include annotations such as the date of the article, one of particular interest is written on a 1948 Santa Cruz Sentinel article about a fire in the Scotts Creek Area; the comments read “I was in the fire line all one night, got terrible poison oak”, and “I helped volunteer to fight this fire in the final stage…” Pages are in good condition. Date range: 1948-1986



One (1) Folder, Twenty (20) Pages

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of approx. twenty (20) pages of newspaper clippings from Leo Schon’s memory binder of scrapbook which are pasted on three ring binder paper. The newspaper clippings pertain mainly to fishing news such as what type of fish was in season and who caught what type and size of fish. There are about three references to Leo Schon himself catching ling cod, sea bass and skates. Articles include: 1948 “Ernest Otto’s Waterfront News Notes”; “Scientist Tells How Red Tide Affects Fish” (undated, no source”; S.C. Sentinel Sports Column Clipping “ Grunion Season Will Open Tomorrow Night” (undated); 1948 S.C. Sentinel article “What’s That Smell? It’s ‘Velella Lata’” about a jellyfish-like marine animal with a ‘sail’ type protrusion on its body that visits the California coast particularly the Seabright area; Rental Owners Re-Elect Schon (1961 S.C. Sentinel) about Leo Schon owning Salt-Air Court being elected President of Santa Cruz Rental Association and more. Non-fishing related newspaper clippings are primarily about taxes and the Santa Cruz Rental Owners association. Pages are in good condition. Date range: 1948-1961