|Cunningham Mill crew posing for a photograph outside the mill house. (Courtesy San Lorenzo Valley Museum)|
|1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance survey map of the Cunningham & Co. planing mill facility in Santa Cruz near the depot.|
(Courtesy UC Santa Cruz, Digital Collections)
|The "Dinky" on the Wildwood Railroad in 1915.|
(Courtesy Bruce MacGregor)
The mill was managed by James and his brother J.W. Cunningham, although Middleton and James Dougherty were also frequent partners in the operation. In 1890, Cunningham retired from working his mill and moved to Santa Cruz, with the property likely passing to the Santa Clara Valley Mill & Lumber Company owned by the Doughertys. J.W. Cunningham may have continued to run the mill for the Doughertys for another few years as a Sanborn Fire Insurance map in 1892 still shows the Santa Cruz properties operating under the family's name. Logging was likely on the decline in the immediate are since operations had been a continuous process in the area since at least the 1870s. James Cunningham died on 23 November 1907. J.W. later came on as general superintendent of the S.C.V.M.&L.C. from 1901. There is no mention of the Cunningham Mill after 1892. While the Cunningham Mill served as a stop on the Dougherty Extension line from 1887 until at least 1890, it was not a general-use passenger stop and only people related to the logging operations regularly traveled on the line.
|Wildwood Railroad prospector train, a small|
engine used to help sell properties to customers
when the Dinky wasn't required.
(Courtesy Rick Hamman)
The subdivision still remains at Wildwood, though I daresay it looks much different than it did when Cheney sold the properties in 1915. Few of the properties sold or were developed and the region remains sparsely settled. Of the railroad, little is left. Even the precise location of the mill is up for debate, though the right-of-way was likely River Road, implying that the railroad crossed the San Lorenzo River near Pleasant Way. Wildwood Road and Wildrose Terrace are likely the heart of the original subdivision, though it eventually spread southward and across the river.