Guide to the Paul Johnston Collection (1870s – 1960s) – History

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Paul Dombey Johnston (1889-1991) was born in Vancouver, Washington. With his mother Mattie, brother Dean, and sister Ruth, he moved to Capitola in 1899. His mother worked for F.A. Hihn as seamstress, repairing linen for the Hotel Capitola. In 1905 the family moved to Aptos Village, where Paul lived for the remainder of his life. As a boy and young man, Paul worked for Augustus Noble at his Soquel apple dryer, sold popcorn at Capitola Beach, picked cherries and apples, and was a champion apple-box maker. Later he became a mail carrier and owned a garage, gas station, and other properties in Aptos. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and amateur photographer. He married Christina Henrietta Jensen in 1913, and they had a daughter, Anne (Johnston) Bass (1919- ). The images and other materials in this collection capture almost one hundred years of people, places and events in and around Aptos, Capitola, Santa Cruz, and Soquel.

Christina Henrietta Jensen was born in Oakland, CA in 1887. Her parents, Lorge and Anna Jensen, emigrated to the United States from the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany. In the 1890s the family (Lorge, Anna, Christina and Christina sister’s Clara and Marie) moved to and settled down in Aptos, they stayed on the Mangels Ranch. While not sure it appears Lorge Jensen was a foreman or caretaker on Mangels Ranch. Christina married Paul Johnston in 1913. She was an active member of the Aptos community – serving as PTA President and was a member of the pioneer club. She was also active with the Red Cross during the depression – making garments for the needy. During World War II she served as a plane spotter. For many of the photographs she was a subject or the photographer.