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Santa Cruz’s Roaring ’20s economy | Ross Eric Gibson

Interior of the First National Bank of Santa Cruz, Pacific Avenue, facing Cooper Street and the Court House. A.P. Giannini would turn it into the Bank of Italy just before he crashed the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Pictured: Wallace Richey; Albert Foster; Elmer Abbott; George Black; Mrs. Emma Moore; Walter Carmean; Wm. Carmean (became Eastside branch manager); Albert Doane; T.G. McCreary, customer; Fred Baldwin, president. (Contributed) By Ross Eric Gibson World War I ended with a Pandemic and a Recession. Then in 1922, the economy skyrocketed into a boom known as the Roaring ’20s. It felt like the good times were here to stay, and prosperity touched most levels of society. Local banking San Francisco was the banking capital of the west with its own Stock Exchange. But its banks were reluctant to make loans to small Santa Cruz County businesses, so in 1870, locals founded the Santa Cruz Savings & Loan, then the bank of Watsonville in 1874, and Bank of Santa Cruz County in 1875. The Santa Cruz City Bank, with the City Savings & Loan, were founded in 1886, and Watsonville established the Pajaro Valley Bank and Savings & Loan in 1888. Soon money grew tight, […]

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