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

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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).