Guide to the Melissa Gertrude Huntoon and Proctor Collection (1900s – 1960)

Overview +


Collection Number



This collection was likely assembled by Mrs. Gertrude Huntoon. This collection was donated by Courtney E. Proctor of Watsonville, CA, relative of Mrs. Huntoon in 1991.


Number of Containers: Two (2) Boxes
Linear Feet: 4 feet


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


This collection consists of one (1) approx. 16×13” scrapbook with a white and beige cover featuring gold details and gold and beige lettering on the words “Scrapbook”, and one (1) 12×12” scrapbook with a black leather cover featuring a gold and silver medallion design and the words “Scrapbook written in gold. These scrapbooks include items from 1900-1960, and are part of larger collection spanning accession numbers 90.53.1-90.53.14  Other items in the collection according to the donor file include photos of Gertrude at the Octagon (90.53.7) and her biography (90.53.3), among other items from the early and mid-1900’s. This collection guide is for two scrapbooks in the collection.  Inside the beige 16×13” scrapbook are newspaper clippings from the Santa Cruz Sentinel dating from 1956-1960. The newspaper clippings are on subjects pertaining to local history and events in Santa Cruz County such as the expansion and building of roads, traffic in Santa Cruz, local landmarks, and fascinating individuals such as artist Lillian Heath (see Koch Collection). Other items include advertisements for new county bank branches and an invitation ne County Bank’s open house. Newspaper clippings are from the Santa Cruz Sentinel and also include clippings on global history such as the election of a president in Africa, the inauguration of a new American President, and the royal family of Britain. This scrapbook reflects Gertrude Huntoon’s interests in local historical landmarks, town improvements and local businesses, talented local individuals, and politics both national and international.

The black scrapbook features newspaper articles from the Santa Cruz Sentinel on local events and stories from the mid-1940’s as well as brochures, programs, and other mementoes such as business cards,poems, and certificates. Some of the newspaper clippings include the column “Santa Cruz Yesterdays”  from the Santa Cruz Sentinel which featured stories local historic places and buildings such as schools and churches of Santa Cruz’s past in the 1800’s—1930’s.

Other items in the collection include unbound scrapbook pages and loose brochures and postcards.

Date range: 1900’s-1960’s


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

Preferred Citation

Mrs. M. Gertrude Huntoon and Proctor 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 +

Melissa Gertrude Huntoon (maiden name Rickey) was born in Plymouth, Amador County, CA. She was part of a legacy of pioneers, her father and mother having traveled across the plains to California via covered wagon in 1862. When Melissa G. Huntoon (known as Gertrude) was ten years old, she herself would become part of this legacy when her family journeyed out of Plymouth by horse and wagon. As a child Gertrude lived in Pleasant Valley on a ranch known as the Judge Story Ranch. She attended school in Pleasant Valley and after graduating from the ninth grade there she later went on to graduate from Santa Cruz High in 1898. After graduation, Gertrude worked in the offices of McKinney and Dake, local record-searchers on Cooper Street and later at the Hall of Records. Gertrude learned many skills such as typing and shorthand, skills which would earn her recognition as “one of the early career women” of her time [S.C. Sentinel, “Rites Fri. For Gertrude Huntoon”4/20/1928, pg.20]. Gertrude was a very popular woman in the community, as evidenced by her active work with the First Methodist Church and her winning of a popularity contest sponsored by the Morning Sentinel in 1909 which earned her a trip to the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle (S.C. Sentinel 4/20/1978). Gertrude could be found on the committees of many local clubs such as the Philathea Class of First Methodist Church where she was assistant-teacher (S.C. Sentinel 5/17/41), and the Women’s Society for Christian Service in which she organized musical and theatrical programs (S.C. Sentinel 6/6/41). Gertrude was also a member of the Garfield Park Improvement Club acting as club reporter. The club was instrumental in securing barbecue grills, benches, tables, a foundation for a tennis court, and plans for the playground at the park. The club also assisted the nearby Garfield Park district by advocating for fire protection improvements in the district and in securing the extension of gas service through the district, and the installation of a sprinkling system in the Garfield Park library (S.C.Sentinel 7/20/1944).

In 1918 Gertrude wed George Huntoon who was manager of the Pacific Telephone Co. in Santa Cruz and they resided at 15 Surfside Ave. Gertrude lived there until 1959, even after the death of George in 1938 (S.C. Sentinel 9/2/1938). In ’59, Gertrude moved to Oakland where she lived in the Methodist sponsored Beulah Home, until moving to Portland to live with her daughter, Vera M. Tarelton during her senior years. Gertrude Huntoon passed away April 18, 1978 in Portland, Ore. She was one-hundred years old. Services were held at Beulah Home Chapel in Oakland and she was interned at IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz, CA (S.C. Sentinel 4/20/1978).


Arrangement +


Subseries I.A. Beige Scrapbook (1956-1960)
Subseries I.B. Black Scrapbook (1900’s-1950’s)
Subseries I.C. Unbound Scrapbook Pages (1950s)


Contents +


Three (3) Items

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series  consists of two (2) scrapbooks belonging to Gertrude Huntoon. One scrapbook measures approx. 16×13” in size and is bound in beige and gold material. Inside are newspaper clippings from the Santa Cruz Sentinel  on local businesses and events  dating from the mod 1950’s-1960’s. The second scrapbook is bound in black leather and is approx. 12×12” in size and inside are clippings of the S.C. Sentinel column “Santa Cruz Yesterdays”, poems and more. This series also includes unbound scrapbook pages pasted with newspaper clippings.

This series is divided into the following subseries:

Subseries I.A. Beige Scrapbook (1956-1960)
Subseries I.B. Black Scrapbook (1900’s-1950’s)
Subseries I.C. Unbound Scrapbook Pages

Subseries I.A. Beige Scrapbook (1956-1960)

One (1) scrapbook

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of one (1) scrapbook that is 16 (length) by 13” (width) with a white and beige cover and beige and gold lettering of the words “Scrapbook”. Inside are newspaper clippings from the Santa Cruz Sentinel dating from 1956-1960. Newspaper clippings are primarily about local businesses, roads being built, city expansion and traffic issues; fascinating Santa Cruz individuals such as artists, historical landmarks, and more.  Newspaper clippings include: “Santa Cruz Yesterdays” column clippings from the S.C. Sentinel (1956, 1958); S.C. Sentinel newspaper clipping “Loss of Historical Aspects of Henry Cowell Park is Mourned” (1959); “ Historic Inn Demolishment Starts Today” (1960) S.C. Sentinel article about Beach Inn being torn down; “ History of Neary-Hopcroft Adobe and City Relayed” about purchase of the adobe as a historical monument (S.C. Sentinel 1957); “Passing Years Mean Little to Nonagenarian Watercolorist” S.C. Sentinel clipping about 94-year old watercolorist Lillian Heath (1958); “The Last Supper Project Now Seven Years Old” S.C. Sentinel 1958 clipping about the Santa Cruz Art League and the wax ‘Last Supper’. Other items include: S.C. Sentinel clipping of announcement “West Santa Cruz County Bank News-County Bank Opens New West Santa Cruz Office” and an invitation for the opening of County Bank’s office on Mission and Du Four Street (1960), inside the announcement is a two-page spread on the staff and the ground-breaking ceremony of the bank, the East Santa Cruz County Bank branch’s 90th year celebration and more. Also in this scrapbook are non-local historical newspaper clippings such as “Getting ready for a New president” 1960 newspaper S.C. Sentinel article about inaugurating a new president; “Santa Cruz Sentinel Endorses Nixon” (1960) and more; 1960 newspaper photo of Queen Elizabeth II and her family; article and photo from S.C. Sentinel “New Congo President” about the Republic of Congo President Joseph Kasavubu (1960) and much more. This scrapbook is in fair condition—the front and back cover are intact, yet the pages are loose from the binding and are cracking and yellowing. Date range: 1956-1960


Box 1

Subseries I.B. Black Scrapbook (1900s to 1950s)

One (1) Scrapbook

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one approx. 12×12” scrapbook featuring a black leather cover with a floral border and a gold and silver medallion design in the center along with the words “Scrapbook” in gold lettering. Inside the scrapbook are mementoes such as newspaper clippings from the Santa Cruz Sentinel including the column “Santa Yesterdays” which featured stories on business and areas from Santa Cruz’s past in the 1800’s-mid 1930’s. Some clippings from this column include a feature on the First High School Building from 1895-1913 and a column on the Garfield Park Tabernacle from 1890-1935.  Other items include a small 4×3” brochure from the Daughters of the American Revolution Abigail Adams Chapter Memorial,  a 1901 business or calling card of Mrs. Gertrude Huntoon dated 1901, brochures from First Methodist Church, including one from Christmas time 1951;  Certificate of Church Membership for Gertrude Huntoon for the Laurel Methodist Church, Oakland, dated 1959; handwritten poem entitled “Working in the Garden”; note of thank from the City of Santa Cruz to Gertrude Huntton for serving as an Election Officer dated 1948; clippings from Ernest Otto’s column “Old Santa Cruz”;  a clipping of an S.C. Sentinel article on the dedication of a Santa Cruz Art League building at Broadway and Roosevelt Terrace in 1951; brochure from Santa Cruz County Big Trees Park,  certification of contribution to the shares in the Mount Hermon Association, Inc. ; newspaper clippings about the display of Frank Heath paintings at the S.C. Art League; and much more.

Box ID#:

Box 2

Subseries I.C. Unbound Scrapbook Pages (1950s)

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one, large  approx. 16×13” folder containing several unbound pages of newspaper clippings and other mementoes such as brochures pasted onto scrapbook paper; the cover no longer exists and some of the clippings are loose from the pages. The majority of the newspaper clippings appear to be from the Santa Cruz Sentinel  featuring stories on local events and businesses during the mid-1950’s as well as on past, historic events. Some stories topics of interest from the newspaper clippings include the Santa Cruz Flood of 1955, the demolishing of the Riverside Hotel, the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe being added to a State Park in c.1957, the First Service in the New Congregational Church, and more.

Box ID#: Folder ID#:



One (1) Folder

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of nine items within one 12×10” folder. These items include: one postcard of monarchs in Milar’s Buttery Grove, Pacific Grove, CA;  one publication of vol. eleven, no. 4 of the Mount Hermon Association Inc.  “Mount Hermon Log” belonging to Mrs. M. Gertrude Huntoon of Santa Cruz, CA who’s address is printed on the cover, the cover features an article on Mount Hermon’s 50th  Anniversary Year and the honoring of Dr. Francis W. Russell’s 90th birthday; First Methodiost Church brochure for a 1951 call to worship entitled ‘Beyond the Sunset’ featuring Vera McKenna Clayton as organist (see Mckenna-Clauyton collection); Radio-Relay Television Skway brochure;  one brochure from the Santa Cruz Dial Telephone Exchange entitled “Always At Your Service” with a 1953 newspaper article inside FROM THE Santa Cruz Sentinel entitled “Fit Wires on Giant Frame”; brochure for recital honoring the memory of deceased choir member Arista K. Mellor (1935-1951) at First Methodist Church; brochure for 1954 presentation of  the wax Last Supper interpretation of Da Vinci’s painting at the  Sant Cruz Art League;  Santa Cruz Sentinel article from 1958 entitled “Sorpotimists Honor Civic Leader; page from the Santa Cruz Riptide dated 1941 featuring photos of West Cliff Drive and article entitled “Branciforte Girl  Wins Elks Essay Contest”.

Box #: Folder #: