WATSONVILLE — Watsonville was recently named City of the Month by the California State Library’s California History Section.
The city, incorporated in 1868, was selected for its “historic nature” and its many historical societies and museums that celebrate “everything from the region’s rich agricultural heritage to its fire department,” according to the State Library’s website.
The State Library’s California History Section started its City of the Month award — a companion to its County of the Month program — in August of last year as a way to recognize local governments and historical societies that promote and preserve the past.
“This recognition honors the diverse character of California’s many cities while providing research tips to individuals interested in finding out more about California local history,” the State Library’s website said.
Previous awardees include Visalia, Richmond, Weaverville, Crescent City, Auburn, Bakersfield, Placerville and Newport Beach.
“It’s an honor to join the ranks of other great cities across California and be recognized as City of the Month by the California State Library,” Watsonville City Manager Matt Huffaker said.
Longtime Watsonville City Councilman Lowell Hurst said he was surprised and pleased when he received an email earlier this month from the State Library saying the city had won the award.
“I think it’s a testament to all the people that have helped build Watsonville over the years,” Hurst said. “A lot of people worked hard to make this city what it is today.”
Pajaro Valley Historical Association archivist Lou Arbanas said the association, established in 1940, was co-recognized by the State Library for its months of research leading up the city’s sesquicentennial celebration last year.
The PVHA’s and City’s online and social media presence also played a role in the distinction, Arbanas said.
“We’re frankly flattered and honored that we were selected,” Arbanas said. “We’re not archivists, historians or librarians over here — that would require some sort of degree. All of us are volunteers, so for professionals to recognize our work, it’s a great honor.”