First, a little history….
In the early 1800’s my great, great, great grandfather Sven (Samuel) Blomquist, left his wife and 9 children in Sweden and sailed to America. I’m sure he heard outrageous stories of Goliath redwoods, wild Indians, bears, uncharted territory, and later oodles of gold being discovered out west. He probably saw dollar signs too! I’m glad he decided on the redwoods and not the gold! He made Loma Mar (which was called Harrison back then) home and became a lumberjack. Eventually, the wife and kids came, as well as many other family members over the decades that would follow. In fact, Loma Mar was a Swedish village for a very long time that was made up mostly of… Blomquist’s!
Logging was a very dangerous and demanding job as it often took all day to cut down one redwood. You can get a lot of lumber out of a single tree. But how they managed this I don’t know. Trees never fall the way you plan. Redwoods are several hundred feet high. How did they haul them out of the forest?
Oxen and lots of them.
The creeks that branch off Pescadero Creek is named after the families that settled in this area: Hoffman, Peterson, Blomquist, etc. Many of my relatives were able to make enough money and retire comfortably in Sweden. But, some stayed in Loma Mar too, like my great grandparents.
In the early twentieth century, the county bought the remaining sawmill sites which today is Memorial Park. Fortunately, most of Loma Mar and the surrounding areas along the Coastside are now preserved for all to enjoy for generations to come.
My grandfather was born and raised in Loma Mar and he built ‘The Cottage’ in the 1940’s on the same property as his parents, my great-grandparents. The house was a weekend getaway for family and friends. My grandfather loved the area so much that he wanted my dad and aunt to experience it like he did as a boy. Well, I guess it rubbed off because when my parents got married, they lived in The Cottage while building the house I grew up in on the same property! (A generational theme going on here, huh?)
Our adventure begins….
After my parents were married, they inherited The Cottage and had it rented with various tenants from the early 1980’s until 2011. After the last tenant left, my parents and I decided to be a little adventurous and turn the house into a vacation rental – which I didn’t know what that was! I had a lot to learn…
We spent a year renovating the exterior and interior of the house, making it in our vision of what a fabulous vacation spot should be. Then on June 15, 2012, the door at The Cottage officially opened. We didn’t know if people would want to come all the way out to Loma Mar – or even know where that was! I don’t think my parents and I ever imagined how many wonderful guests would visit in the coming years. And, from all over the world. Our first international guest was from Sweden ironically! It’s so gratifying to think that the house was originally built for good times with family and friends. And, those memories continue to live on like it was always meant to be. We hope you come on over and create some memories too!
*Click the arrows to view photos
Drawing of The Cottage today (1 of 20)
8 oxen pulling a redwood tree out of the forest (2 of 20)
Photo taken in the Santa Cruz Mountains (3 of 20)
The second girl in from the right is my great grandmother (4 of 20)
Saw mill sites (5 of 20)
The good ol' days (6 of 20)
Memorial Park on opening day July 4, 1924 (7 of 20)
My grandparents on their honeymoon in 1939 (8 of 20)
Cottage in the '80s. A rare February morning with snow. (9 of 20)
This photo is from March 2011 and the last renter is now gone. (10 of 20)
March 2011. The backyard. Unfortunately, our renter really let things go, yes? (11 of 20)
August 2011. Now everything is cleared. Building the fence that wraps around the house, installing flagstone, fire pit, horseshoe area... (12 of 20)
The waterfall is in, testing it and no hot tub. That didn't go in until the very end. (13 of 20)
No landscaping either. We had lots to keep us busy for the months ahead! The early part of 2012 was devoted to the inside of the house. New appliances, counter tops, a fresh coat of paint in each room, furniture, beds and all the stuff that makes a house feel like a home. I never took any pictures of that, but you get the idea. (14 of 20)
Backyard, October 2012. Much improved from the photo in 2011! (15 of 20)
This was the only photo I could find of my parents and I. It was taken many years ago at Disneyland. We are not a picture taking family - so, it might be a while before I can update one! But, at least you can see how much fun we're having running The Cottage! 😉 (16 of 20)
*Meet Our Staff! Talula just got promoted as the head housekeeper! She loves to clean The Cottage of mice, bugs, and spiders. She is very detail oriented but if for some reason she missed one, please contact her and she’ll get on it right away! (17 of 20)
“We pride ourselves on customer service.” Zeeb takes emails only anytime between 1 pm and 1:04 pm. (18 of 20)
Neiman is our newest employee in training… Nuff said. (19 of 20)
You can rest assured that Newton is patrolling the area. He has been known to take down birds, gophers, moles, squirrels, snakes, lizards, pack rats, mice, bats…and just about anything that moves! We are lucky to have him on our team. *Don’t worry, Talula, Zeeb, Neiman & Newton DO NOT live at The Cottage. They are members of our family and we like to include them and their personalities. It’s probably more of an inside joke to us! (20 of 20)