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Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Patchen, California is one of five “Ghost Towns of the Santa Cruz Mountains” which grew and flourished during the last half of the nineteenth century. Alma and Lexington are buried under tons of silt and millions of gallons of water in the Lexington Reservoir. The other two ( Laurel and Wrights Station ) are mostly forgotten and only accessible to the ardent explorer. Patchen was a vibrant center of activity and local culture for over a century. During the 1940’s the town was bypassed and isolated by the construction of Highway 17 but since the late 1960’s it has come alive again as a Christmas Tree ranch, preserving much of the charm and character of its nineteenth century heritage.
Patchen was once a thriving community; you need only to close your eyes and draw a deep breath of clean mountain air to recall it.