Santa Cruz is located in the western-central part of the state of California and a city and seat of Santa Cruz County. It stretches at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, along the northern shore of Monterey Bay, and is in the southern part of San Francisco. In 1769, the area was explored by the Spaniard Gaspar de Portola, who named the hills located above the river that runs through the city, Santa Cruz. The area became the site of Mission Santa Cruz and was on the 12th in the California chain of the 21 mission, and has also become the model Spanish village of Branciforte. The site was under Mexican control during the 1820s, and soon after, the Americans arrived. When the area was under the power of the Americans, the settlement then progressed as a lime-processing, fishing, and agriculture center.
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