Perhaps the most persistent in my studies has been the stop called Gibbs Station. The Gibbs Ranch Resort was a real enough place. Located in today's Weston Road subdivision north of Scotts Valley, the resort was a short-lived camp ground operated by Albert W.J. Gibbs and his family. They had owned the property since at least 1878 and part of the South Pacific Coast Railroad's right-of-way passed through a corner of the resort. It is highly possible that, at the time, the resort was only accessible via a stage road that appears on maps as East Hill Road off of East Zayante Road and may have originally been called Alameda Boulevard, though this name sounds too glorious for what it was. More likely, the stage route crossed the right-of-way at Zayante station where a spur sat for no known reason at the top of a steep switch-back. That switch-back continues even today over the right-of-way up to the Weston Road area via a steep fire road, improved in the late 1990s to support evacuation in the event of damage to Weston's two primary exit roads.
|The apocryphal Gibbs Station sign over the entrance to Mike Swift's home|
in the Weston Road area of Scotts Valley.
Perhaps the most telling evidence that the station never existed, though, was the brief history of its post office. Gibbs operated a post office at the site from November 28, 1900 to 1906, and again from 1907 to 1916. Yet this post office was likely on the site of the resort rather than beside the railroad tracks. When in 1916 it was relocated to Zayante Station, this probably was less of a move than it seemed. Zayante was likely always the stop for Gibbs along the right-of-way and the placement of the post office alongside the tracks at Zayante matches post offices located elsewhere along the right-of-way.
However sad it sounds, it seems that the Gibbs Station sign that now hangs over the driveway to Mike Swift's property, the former camp ground and dining area for Gibbs Ranch Resort, is apocryphal at best. The resort certainly existed, but the station was never its own. "Gibbs Station" is simply Zayante Station, and no Southern Pacific time table or agency book every mentioned its existence.
|Zayante Lakes Road.|
|Original subdivision proposal map of Tanglewood, 1907. (Howard Rugg)|
|Forest Lakes advertisement, c. 1908. (Howard Rugg)|
North Brookdale Station:
|North Brookdale Station, noted on 1909 property survey map.|
(San Lorenzo Valley Museum)
Obviously history is fickle and I know a few people will be disappointed with these observations and findings. Unfortunately, history is not what we wish it to be, but only what was. Still, if you believe that any of these were in fact stations despite my evidence suggesting otherwise, please feel free to suggest as much and note your reasons in the comments below. Also, if you have heard of other stations in the mountains that I have not mentioned on my station lists, mention them below here and I will see what I can find out concerning them.