Guide to the Mabel MacDonald Scrapbook Collection (1947 – 1965) – History

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Mabel MacDonald was a Santa Cruz resident for many years and attendee of local Santa Cruz schools. Her family had roots in the theatre business, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. White were founders of the Early Star and Princess Theatres in Santa Cruz and Mabel’s scrapbooks in this collection include newspaper articles about theatres, musicians, and early stage and movie stars. Mabel graduated from Santa Cruz High School along with the class of 1916 and entered training at San Francisco Hospital in 1915 (see Mabel’s comments in her scrapbook). Mabel would graduate from the San Francisco School of Nursing and would serve as a registered nurse in World War I. When World War II occurred, Mabel became head nurse at Santa Cruz County Hospital (S.C. Sentinel 8/12/1973). Mabel was also a fan of the card game whist, and won many awards while participating in local cards games sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church (S.C. Sentinel 6/20/1936). Mabel MacDonald passed away at age 77 in the year 1973 and services were held at the Church of Latter Day Saints. She was interred at Oakwood Memorial Park. Mabel was survived by her sons Bradley and John MacDonald of Capitola, CA; and her daughter Suzanne Staffler and sister Mrs. Laura White of Santa Cruz, along with seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren (S.C. Sentinel 8/12/1973). Mabel MacDonald’s Scrapbook Collection at the Museum of Art and History reflects her interests in local history, celebrities, and natural disasters. One scrapbook includes her comments of what happened to her and where she was during prominent historical events from the early 1900’s to the late 1940’s.