My paternal grandfather lived for about 30 years just a stones throw from Holy City, which is located on the "Old Santa Cruz Highway". It connected Los Gatos, CA (San Jose area) to Santa Cruz, CA. Later, the old highway was replaced by CA 17. I've been there but I don't remember that building. Probably before my time.....
Wow, an early tourist trap!
Okay, this is a little confusing. Why are they advertising both Shell and Gilmore gasoline?
Read the sign:
"Name your gas or oil / we have it"
I remember going through there many years ago!
Yeah, I see that sign but I still don't understand. Is this an independent gas station? Did oil companies allow stations to carry multiple brands?
In a small town things can happen in order to make folks happy. I the little town of Avalon on Catalina Island they had a hardware store that sold any make of refrigerators and washing machines and it was also a Radio Shack store too. Only one gas station on the island though and it was Standard gas/
When I was a kid there was both a Shell and a Chevron station in town. I was a long ways to bring gas into the area so when if one station needed a little gas to get them through they would just barrow some from the other and visa versa. However I do remember that it was usually delivered in the night.
I think there are still parts of that old highway that still exist.
I believe it's mostly still there and and can be used. To the best of my knowledge the only missing part is from the upper end (more or less) of Lexington Reservoir down to Los Gatos. This section was flooded as a part of the Lexington Dam project in the early 1950's. Also gone is the town of Alma which existed along that stretch of highway and, when the dam is full, under water. It was located at the bottom of the Cavenaugh Gulch, which you can still drive to by taking Alma Bridge Road to Soda Springs Road, then heading up from there.
Holy City was owned by a pseudo religious racist cult leader named William Riker. He was a real nut. He had the gas station which had an eighteen seat outhouse (nice) and was known to swindle people and was rumored to have committed several unsolved murders. Creepy place. Here are a couple images found with Google:
Thanks Royce! I remember hearing a few stories of that place when I was little.
As for driving there now? One of our Endurance Runs went through that area about ten years ago. We zigzagged around and on the old highways in that area for about an hour. I don't think we went through what was Holy City that year because we were mostly heading Northwest at the time. Beautiful area to drive any kind of car, especially an open speedster!
Drive carefully, and enjoy the holidays! W2