Hamlet in the Santa Cruz Mountains
"Hangout for the Hippy Types"
Although most of Ben Lomond residents are typical Americans that wave the flag on 4th of July and volunteer for the local fire department, Ben Lomond residents as a group are liberal as is Santa Cruz County in general. War is not popular here, and residents typically love the redwood trees and organic food. The remote corners of the Santa Cruz mountains became a refuge for hippies in the 1960's and many still hang out here. Homes are often quaint redwood built cabins with wild and overgrown gardens. But, don't kid yourself. These humble homes are worth more than the median California home because Ben Lomond is within commute distance of the Silicon Valley, where the highest wage rates in the nation exist. Nearly 90% of those living in Ben Lomond are "white", but white supremacy groups are frowned upon here. The Ben Lomond Quaker Center and other groups are strong advocates of peace among all people.
"Ben Lomond has Scottish Ancestry"
The mountain of the same name in Scotland is the namesake for this small town, and like the original, Ben Lomond is close to a lake named Loch Lomond. However, the Loch Lomond here is actually a reservoir built in the 1950's. Ben Lomond's location deep in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains makes it a great place to get away, but it might be remembered that most of these forests are second growth trees. The original first growth trees were logged to build San Francisco, particularly after the 1908 Earthquake and Fire. Today, there are many restrictions on tree cutting and heavy fines are imposed on those who violate these codes. Plants are protected in these fog dense forests, and moss and lichen grow even on houses and cars. Sword fern, bracken fern, and coast wood fern are found under the forest canopy along with redwood sorrel and two-eyed violets. Wild blackberry, honeysuckle, and vetch provide food for animals in sunny areas. Beware of poison oak found throughout the forest around Ben Lomond.