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The Purissima Town Site today all that remains is a few clearings in the Santa Cruz Mountain foothills along the edge of the Pacific Coastline in a rain forest and on the edge of the Purissima Redwood Preserve.  As you can see not much remains but a few remnants of the past, clearing where crops were planted and a few eucalyptis trees the towns founder planted. Be advised if you decide to enter this cursed ghost town expect ticks, snakes, harmful fauna such as poinson oak and some rugged terrain that will test you if you decide to look for remnants of the town.

Henry Dobbel along with his wife Margaretha founded the town of Purissima. Although both lived successful lives they ended up eventually losing everything and having their dreams dashed. Margaretha passed away in 1885 and Henry in 1895.

In all the years of exploring and doing paranormal adventuring Purissima California is a ghost town that has become a bit of an obsession for me. Despite the towns dark history allot of mystery remains hidden in the vast rain forest which drape the Santa Cruz Mountains where the only ghost down in San Mateo can be found. Although today not much remains from back in the towns hey day this was a place of love found love lost, life and death, tragedy and even success.  As a matter in fact when the town was founded their were hopes and dreams that someday Purissima would become a major city in San Mateo County. What allot of people do not know when the visit the town site is that their is a few hundred years of history at this very location all the way from early Spanish Explorers to those who served the Mission to pioneers who traveled around the horn to build lives in this farming and saw milling settlement. I have reason to believe that the land here is cursed given its history and perhaps even some of the things that happened to me while conducting research here. Some might think hey this guy is crazy but there are places on earth man was not meant to thrive on some of them seem to be focal points for the unexplained. No matter what you might believe Purissima has all the makings of a dismal spooky place with an overgrown cemetery and an unforgiving forest that consumes this once thriving town just a few miles south of Half Moon Bay. What your going to see on our website is really all that is left of what once a great bustling town and all the other locations that come with this addition truly have deep roots in connection to the ghost town of Purissima. 

One of those locations is San Gregorio which originally was called Camp Portola just south of where Purissima resides today. The first European land exploration transpired in Alta California often known as the Spanish Portal Expedition. Captain Caspar De Portola and his party of explorers set up camp here after traveling northbound from San Diego along the coast in 1769. Portola was hoping to dock and explore Monterey Bay but somehow was unable to locate it ending up just north of the bay as they had went on faith alone perhaps. The Spanish were not just explorers but they wanted to spread Catholicism and establish Missions along the California Coast. I read that quite a few ships arrived and decided to spend three days camped at the mouth of the San Gregorio River which at the time was an ancient Ohlone Village. The tribe was not hostile as a matter in fact they welcomed the Spanish and offering to guide them on their expedition. Sadly many of the explorers had dysentery and scurvy at least six of the explorers were so weak and hill they had to be carried to the river village to rest.  I read that some of the explorers drank from the creek which contained bacteria in it so some men ended up sick or even dying. This was an important expedition of its kind for the Spanish as some of you are aware the Spanish arrived on the California coast in 1542 but it had remained virtually unexplored till the mid 1700's. Captain Portola discouraged did not flee as a matter in fact he traveled northbound right up the California Coast camping along Purissima Creek where the present day ghost town site exist. The Spanish were the first Europeans to lay eyes on Purissima during that time period this area probably looked more like a lush jungle as their were no roads, cities, buildings, wagons or much less light. The explorers were lucky enough to see the California Coast Redwoods which were some of the largest most ancient trees in the world nd eventually would fall in the 1800's when many saw mill camps were established in the region. The Portola expedition was one of the Spanish fleets greatest successes as Portola and his men laid eyes for the very first time on the San Francisco Bay which led to eventually to the construction of the Misión San Francisco de Asis also known as Mission Dolores which led to other Spanish Theologically based settlements along the coast. The Spanish explorers called Purisima Creek "Arroyo de la Purissima"the same creek they camped on which later became an important tributary which led to the towns growth later in the mid 1800's. 

I heard that some of the explorers who had gotten sick and died were buried up where today's ghost town presently is. In fact I believe the dead have been being buried here for hundreds of years up here its so overgrown you would never know where. But Portola and his men were the first Europeans who came here long before a town would be established. Strangely no Mission had ever been built where today's San Gregorio Beach is located. Franciscan Missionary Juana Crespi noted in his diary that the land was very rich and their was an abudance of water for a mission to be placed here. Other missions came to be but San Gregorio remained desolate till the 1850's when it became a town. Prior to that it was known as the Rancho San Gregoria or in simple terms a Mexican owned ranch. This area was named after Pope Gregory I or today known as Saint Gregory the Great. Back in the day there was a stagecoach that ran up through here so wealthy San Franciscans could fish, hunt, swim and partake in boat races. As a matter fact their was a hotel that travelers could stay at and a Chinese settlement was established along the same creek that the Ohlone Village was located at for hundreds of years. Due to heavy rains the entire town was washed away the San Gregoria General Store operated till 1889 and the original Stagecoach Stop stands across Highway 84 from the store. In 1915 at least Seven cheese factories stood here. As a matter in fact San Gregoria has been in several television episodes and films. Today this beach is a state park with a tinge of history and an awesome sea cave. In the winter months the creek creates a lagoon just cut off from a patch of sand which separates it from the ocean. San Gregorio and Purissima had close ties at times many of the residents of Purrisma would often make a day trip up here to enjoy its beauty. In fact Half Moon Bay, Tunitas, San Gregorio and Purissima were all sister towns a short distance from one another with Purissima being in between both locations. Some of the explorers in the region ended up heading south to where present day Santa Cruz Beach is where they built the Mission Of The Holy Cross.

Technically Purissima was one of the earliest settlements in the San Mateo County Coastline and actually had a small outpost for the Mission Dolores. The lush land, fresh water and sunny climate could support farming so that the mission had food to feed its settlers. Even after the annexation of California agriculture continued here for many years. The first lumber mill was built here and at one time a very prosperous resort on the ocean. Some of you might have wondered how Purissima had gotten its name well in Spanish it means "purest" which referred to the La Purisima Concepcion or Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The current double S's in its name may have came from local Portuguese influence who spelled it Puríssima Conceição which also had the same context or meaning really. The first settlers that came to the area were the Spanish as a matter in fact the first real town in San Mateo County was Half Moon Bay. Of course in 1840 it was called San Benito then eventually Spanishtown and Half Moon Bay in 1847 because the community was not only being settled by the Spanish but also emigrants from Japan, Italian and even Canada. Many of the first settlers that came to Half Moon Bay moved a few miles southbound to establish lives in Purissima. I read that the dense fog and multiple caves made Half Moon bay a great place for running rum during the Prohibition. At one time Purissima was larger then Half Moon Bay but sadly only one of them would win. When storms begin toppling the structures of Purissima many of them were hauled off to be used as building materials along the coast particularly Half Moon Bay nearby. 

The founders of Purissima more or less were squatters who decided to settle on Spanish Lands whose owners had grants for. The problem was once California became a state they had no authority to remove or evict the squatters. Technically ranches that had been Spanish owned for decades became the property of many of the pioneers who came here to build lives. Their was actually a first group of squatters who came here in the early 1850's but were thrown out by the Spanish. While in 1853 some were purchasing land in the area others were renting it then you had some who simply would take land as they see fit. The first time the squatters tried to take the land near here they found Mr Miramontes and his friends trying to run them off. More or less his friends probably had guns held to them and told them to get lost. Just a short time later when they returned they came here with 40 to 50 men and their was a heated confrontation as they caught the Spanish off guard seizing even more land then before. Despite the conflict it still would take at least another year before many pioneers would move on into the area to form businesses on the north side of Purissima Creek. The land where they formed the town was very old maybe even ancient for example their was an Ohlone Indian Village called Shalaihme nearby which told stories about how the missionaries came in 1776 from San Francisco to name this place the most pure or immaculate. Spanish explorer Rivera camped at the creek and spent time also with the nearby tribe here. Captain Portala and his men also camped here before they moved on to discover the San Francisco Bay. 

A town had begin to rise up here in the 1850's after the dispute located right on the old Jose Maria Alviso's Rancho Canada de Verde Y Arroyo de la Purisima and was originally founded for its agricultural value which is what drew in local interest. The towns early years here were very difficult as in January of 1862 Purissima Creek flooded sweeping away crops and many buildings. Some of the floods that year were California's worst in state history! Purissima was not off to a good start entire houses were carried away by rushing water which came off the Santa Cruz Mountains above and some people simply drowned in the disaster. This would not be the last disaster to occur here the town developed a reputation for occasional tragedies but no less their was hopes that this would be the largest town along the San Mateo County coastline.  It would be hard to turn this location into a major city or town when such floods occurred. The Lane family who just built a new home here barely escaped with their lives as they watched their entire home float away. Some villagers watched as redwood trees were floating down the creek some hundreds of feet tall and eight feet in diameter. Strangely after the 1862 floods here when the water stopped rushing only Nathaniel Lane's piana sat laying undisturbed high atop a redwood log not to far from the homestead site. So when I say this is a mysterious place this is merely only one of several odd incidents that have occurred in Purissima. Nearly all the new roads, bridges, debris from ranches such as fences, orchard and redwood trees all crashed over the falls and cliffs into the ocean nearby. Nathaniel Lane was so distraught over the flood and exposure of it he passed away due to it. But his piano did survive which in itself was a miracle considering how this storm literally ripped ancient redwood trees from its roots. For reference purposes Nathaniel B. Lane was an early prominent figure in Purissima's history he bought 1000 acres of land here which included a sawmill powered by a waterwheel and helped build a blacksmith shop across the way from Mary Buzzell's Hotel. Today remnants of the saw mill are really the only foundations remaining at the Purissima town site today covered in heavy underbrush, foliage, vines and leaves. Not many know where to look but I did find the sawmill which is very relevant to the towns early history. 

Henry Dobbel born in Holstein German born in 1829 and dying in Purissima in 1891 came to California around Cape Horn in 1845.  He came to the San Francisco bay area to farm, trade and run a Waffle Restaurant. As a matter in fact on the east side of the bay Dobbel owned a large farm married a German woman named Margaret Roverkamf-Schroeder born near Hanover Germany in 1831 who died later in life in Purissima in 1885. She had came to California via the Isthmus of Panama and helped Henry run their businesses just like any married couple would normally do. At the time of the great flood of 1862 Henry Dobbel was selling there farm in order to by 1000 acres of farm land from John Purcell in Purissima. John Purcells grave today still exist in the town cemetery I seen it surrounded by foliage and underbrush. Dobbel wanted to grow on his farm wheat, barley and potatoes so he build a big ornate house on the south bank of Purissima Creek. The house had two stories, 17 rooms, wrap around porches, gas lighting and even running water. More or less the mansion was state of the art for this time period and was rather innovating. Dobbel employed 50 men who planted and harvested crops the large mansion could be seen anywhere in town. As a matter in fact their was a large fountain out in front of the house which faced downtown. If you look further below on this page I have a sketch of what the mansion and town looked like in its hey day just something worth checking out to help our viewers envision Purissima as a town. When Dobbel had arrived he also planted Eucalyptus and Cypress trees. Perhaps today all that really remains of the town is the trees which Dobbel planted which can be found not to far from a clearing where the mansion once stood. 

After Dobbels plantation continued to grow by the 1870's Purissima had several stores, blacksmith shop, stage stop, railroad depot, saloons, dance hall, restaurants, school, post office, many structures and even a one-story hotel known as the Purissima House. The creek use to have an abundance of trout so may of the townsfolk spent their spare time fishing in the creek which ran through the middle of town. The general store was built and ran by Henry Husing and a lumber mill was constructed at the mouth of Purissima Canyon to take advantage of redwood trees growing up above the town in today's redwoods preserve. As a matter in fact quite a few sawmills were built along the creek started up above where today's redwood preserve is located all the way to downtown Purissima. The redwoods would be lumbered to be used for shingles in many of San Francisco's building after the gold rush while some of the lumber was used to develop Half Moon Bay. Also a massive flume was constructed on Montara Mountain nearby as well. Allot of times the giant redwoods would traverse the flume other times floated down the creek during the Spring when waters were raging. Sadly nearly all the massive ancient redwoods were cut down due to lumbering here in Purissima today the area has become a preserve to help protect the many younger redwoods which grow above the town today. What is even more ironic is that the redwood trees were cut down to building the town of Purissima and today so very little of the town remains. I am not sure back in the day the early pioneers realized how rare and relevant these trees were. Most of the Giant Sequoias and Pacific Coast Redwoods were cut down before the state could implement preservation of them. I did spend sometime on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Half Moon Bay hiking in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. The area is about 4,711 acres surrounding Purisima Creek Canyon and was established with a gift of 2 million dollars from the Save The Redwoods League. In a sense some of you will get to see some of the preserve which is also included on our website for our viewers so they can correlate the connection between the town and this forest which led to lumbering in the region which at the time was the prime industry during the towns hey day. Which also brings to mind a story I read about a man who went hiking up here and went missing for a few years whose bones were found one of many who just went into the Purissima Jungle and were either never seen again or met their doom here!

I read that the school house was the first of its kind to be built along the San Mateo Coastline in 1877 the school was renovated or rather enlarged to three classrooms, music room and even a library. Many of the students were very honry some kids simply skipped school refusing to attend. As a matter in fact even though 77 students were enrolled here only 13 attended. Some of the parents in town started the nearby Tunis School in Tunitas which is just a couple miles away. If you drive through Tunitas you can see many old preserved buildings that reside on a private ranch from afar including a church and what appears to be some small one room schoolhouse. In a sense Tunitas and Purissima became sister towns only separated by a couple ranches. Allot of the parents who sent their kids to school in Purissima were tired of the unruly children so they opted to have their children instead attend school up in Tunitas. Another wonder found nearby in town was the majestic Purissima Falls which became a tourist site for those in San Francisco who would make the five hour horse and buggy ride. As a matter in fact Benjamin Lathrop opened the "Purissima White Sulphur Springs" here in 1856 which was a mineral springs and ranch just a few miles from the falls. Those visiting could enjoy the springs and take a hike up to the waterfalls. Lathrop constructed a three-story hotel and resort calling in Sulphur Springs Hotel adding cottages and even stables. This drew in allot of well known visitors to Purissima at the time because people often needed to pick up supplies before the long trek home to the bay area. Lathrop did sell his springs and hotel in the 1860's around the same time Dobbel bought his ranch.  The Sulphur Springs Hotel was sold and rebuilt several times eventually being torn down. Mary Buzzel who operated the Purissima House operated a hotel near the beach where tourist enjoyed fishing, hunting and swimming here. People would often stay at this hotel so they could enjoy springs and hike on the trail leading to the waterfalls. Some people believe that White Sulphur Springs and the Purissima House were the same but the fact remains is that they were a couple miles apart. Tourism brought in an influx of emigrants for example German Farmer John Butts ended up purchasing 500 acres here winning awards for best farmer in the county. Eventually the Irish came here to establish a place called "Irish Ridge" where they were noted for their coast side potatoes. The Portuguese also farmed in the area growing horse beans while the Italians grew peas, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbages and artichokes. When people visited Purissima some decided to invest in the land around it thus building ranches and raising crops here. 

What also helped the town boom is that it was a stop along the Ocean Shore Railroad today if you travel southbound along the coast from the town site you can see remnants of the unused train tracks left behind.  As a matter in fact this railroad operated from San Francisco to Tunitas Creek from 1907 to 1920. Some theorize that the failure of the railroad led to Purissima's demise as this was a harder town to get to even though it was located on Highway 1. The railroad was built to provide better access to visitors and residents along the San Mateo County Coastline. Nobody knows for sure but everything to do with Purissima seemed to be sortie whether it was the oil boom, successful ranches, railroad, post office and even lumbering. Purissima was truly a agricultural and lumber Mecca when the town boomed of course if this trend continued the town probably would have still existed today. Back in the day some folks would just visit here to see the Henry Dobbel Mansion which was a glorious structure larger then any other structure found within the town. In the 1880's oil was discovered here on George Shout's Land however only 20 barrels a day were produced. Other tried a hand in the oil industry here as well but there just was not enough and production was minimal. Henry Dobbel would live out his days in Purissima as a matter in fact he bought the local general store but had many financial difficulties in his later years because he extended credit to many of his customers and simply was not making any money. Not to mention that their were years that crops simply failed and since this was an agricultural town it impacted everyone who lived here. By 1890 old man Henry went bankrupt selling his estate in 1890 to Henry Cowell a banker and local logger. Dobbel downsized and still lived in town but his plantation was no more. As a matter in fact his wife had passed away in 1885 leaving him a lonely widower while four out of five of his sons remained in Purissima his two daughters more then likely had gotten married and lived elsewhere as they are not buried in the town cemetery.

It seemed that Purissima lacked stability think about it the post office opened in 1868 then discontinued in 1869 then reopened in 1872 and served the community till 1901. Many of the folks were relocating to Half Moon Bay as it was more accessible and had outgrown even Purissima. By the 1930's the town was nearly abandoned many of the buildings, structures and ranches were simply vacated. Some people lived up here but only a few around the time of WWII as a matter in fact a 1940 US Geological Survey Map showed some buildings including the Purissima School which still stood here at the time. Believe it or not State Highway 1 use to run through Purissima today it runs farther west of the original route. So when folks drove through here in the 40's what they seen is a creepy abandoned ghost towns with no service therefore most just passed through here. What allot of folks would have seen is weathered gray buildings overshadowed by cypress and eucalyptus trees with moss hanging off them. Visitors in 1939 described seeing most of the windows broken throughout many of the towns buildings, stairs collapsing and quite a few circus posters hanging up on some of the buildings around town. Nobody is sure what led to the towns demise it could have been due to the town losing several of its patriarchs or wealthy business owners or perhaps the closure of the railroad while some of it had to do with crop failure or the fact that it was simply to remote. Not to mention that to the north Spanishtown aka Half Moon Bay a few miles to the north had outgrown Purissima. Also a flood swept through here in 1932 which took a toll on allot of the remaining structures along the creek. Really Purissima was doomed for failure from the get go floods, fires, deaths and the economy played a roll in the towns decline. 

Not much today remains of this ghost town but foundations hidden by vegetation of the sawmill, wood boards, cypress and eucalyptus trees planted by Dobbel, water tanks, a few old ranches surrounding the town site and of course the cemetery. John Purcell had deeded the town the cemetery in 1868 which has stellar views of the ocean. If you opted to be a resident of this town then you were offered free burial here for your loved ones I also read the town church was located in the cemetery as well of course if you hiked back here to explore you would never know otherwise. Trust me its difficult to locate the cemetery as its extremely over grown by poison oak, prickly blackberry brush, vegetation, evergreen trees, vines and underbrush which has consumed the entire cemetery like some Mayan Jungle. All the founders, pioneers and most of the patriarchs are buried here on a hill behind the creek to the east. The first time I explored Purissima I did not locate the cemetery I had to go home study old maps and satellite footage. Its so overgrown its nearly impossible to find also you have to technically push your way through brush through trees up a hill eventually to get to it. If you do not mind snakes, ticks which could carry lyme disease, thorns etc then its definitely worth a gander. Henry Dobbel along with his wife and four of his sons can be found buried at the top of the hill most of them died just a few years apart. As a matter in fact the Dobbel family plot is the only series of graves that is cleared of vegetation while I seen one grave that dated back to 2001 which means that on occasion this cemetery does see some use. Ironically the newer gravestones have more underbrush then some of the towns more prominent figures which were buried in the 1800's. Based on my research most graveyard interment sites state 62 people are buried on this hill I heard the number could be as high as over 200 nobody knows for sure as most of the graves are either unmarked, severely vandalized or simply remain hidden under heavy vegetation 10' in height.

This brings me to an eerie tale that has been told here for generations about a young Purissima boy who died prematurely from an illness or so the Downing family thought. It was not uncommon that children in this era became ill especially throughout the 1860's and 1870's disease ran rampant along the coastline particularly surrounded the bay area where cities like Oakland and San Francisco were on a rise. The young boys parents were scared that the disease might spread so they buried the boy in the cemetery. An adult in town also caught the disease slipped into the coma and woke too which worried the parents because they thought they may have acted prematurely. Supposedly the parents had the casket exhumed where they had learned that their sons body had turned over meaning they accidentally buried him alive. Urban Legend? Or does the story hold some truth? It is factual that back in the day we were not as medically advanced therefore people all the time were buried alive who were actually not dead but rather in a coma. Back in the day some loved ones were buried with an air tube that ran from the casket all the way above ground because some people were superstitious about their dead loved ones coming to life thus a tube or pipe would allow them to get air. When in actuality the medical explanation for this was simply a coma which some people slipped in for a couple days and the heart rate along with breathing was barely present. I cant say this story is true or not but its been told for many generations just another strange happening in a place that was deemed pure by the Spaniards. 

I guess what intrigues me the most about this place is that it is surrounded by mystery but also that most of the town remains hidden under vegetation. In my opinion the best time to hike around this ghost town is in the winter do not go in the Spring or Summer you will regret it trust me. But in the winter much of the brush loses its leaves their are less insects, snakes and some of the towns remnants might be more inclined to show themselves. I read that the schools foundation remains hidden back here as well I never seen it but I did find a foundation which I could not find during my second excursion here. Behind the Dobbel Mansion site is a ravine where the creek flows if you follow it you can explore Devil's Slide Tunnel which I read was built in 2012 and goes right under Highway 1. The tunnel actually will take you out to this giant clear deep pool its rather intriguing. The other thing about Devil's Slide tunnel is it seems to be a focal point for paranormal activity not sure why maybe because people have drowned in the creek due to floods and storms. I caught allot of little EVP's at the mouth to the tunnels entrance and as a paranormal investigator I do find this to be rather intriguing. Not only did floods often plague the town but fires also the fact remains is that this ghost town really does not differ then any others as it had its days where it boomed and other days it met its demise. Its hard to believe that no trace of Dobbels Mansion can be found much less most of the town. In a way its a little shocking to say the least after I spent countless hours pushing through brushing searching for remnants of the past. 

I kind of think of Purissima as a place that is not so pure or rather cursed land. Lets face it the Indians lived here for hundreds of years along the creek but the Spaniards wiped them out by bringing disease to the tribe. Over the years crops failed floods swept through town. Before it became a town heated fights took place between the squatters and the Spanish ranchers in the region. Everything that was great here failed eventually such as the deforestation of the redwoods, lack of oil production, crops failing and many of the towns notable figures simply just passing away. The town was isolated cut off from the rest of the world really even though a railroad stopped here it was short lived. This area is like a jungle I spent hours bushwhacking through the town site and along the ravine so its hard to know what kind of secrets remain hidden back here. As a matter in fact if you explore the area a little their is a series of primitive dens. Some of the trees have been fortified with logs, twigs and tree limbs as if something or someone has been living in them. I find it a bit creepy and strange to say the least but it does not surprise me. The Santa Cruz Mountains have a long standing history of Bigfoot and UFO sightings. Most of the Santa Cruz Mountains are extremely desolate, overgrown and virtually unexplored. Purissima is merely a small little clearing in comparison to this ranges vast wilderness. I am not sure who built the dens some of the limbs that have been locked vertically with other branches could be hundreds of pounds. Whether they were made by teens who wanted a clubhouse or bigfoot remains a mystery. But my first exploration I did find them and thought wow my second visit before I could tell my son about them he found them all on his own and was excited about discovering them. Their are at least four to five dens almost like something or someone was living up here at the ghost town site. I read that the county had cleared some of the town site because they wanted to put in benches and a hiking trail. So its possible that if something cryptid like bigfoot was living back in here the county clearing the brush around the townsite may have exposed them or chased out whatever was utilizing the this little area along Purissima Creek.

My luck has not been the greatest when it comes to this ghost town for example when I was exploring the cemetery a piece of barbed wire caught my foot I went flying forward landed on my ribs. I was injured due to this for over two months not sure if I cracked a rib or bruised my spleen but at the time it occurred I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. To make matters worst my beautiful wood handled machete knife mysteriously vanished on my second expedition here. I am not sure if it vanished while I was pushing through brush near Devil's Slide Tunnel or if it was stolen from me at San Gregorio up the road since a group of young men kept hanging around my vehicle and caught them snooping in it. Alls I know is that one minute I had it attached to my belt the next minute I went to take it off for a brief moment looked down and it was gone. Things have a tendency to vanish without a trace here in Purissima. You do have to be careful there is a large mountain lion that lives back here I found piles of bones which strangely vanished during my second expedition here. But you definitely do not want to run into that mountain lion chances are if it attacked you back here you might never been seen again as its so overgrown by vegetation. This mountain lion has a nice collection of bones its saving for those who want to explore this overgrown ghost town. 

A prime example of this is during my first expedition in November of 2015 I had finished up hiking around Purissima taking photos and some video clips with my camera. I was fairly exhausted afterall I spent three hours hiking around brush dealing with thorns and even slipped on some mud down into the ravine. Before I left town I took off all my gear went to get a drink found out my cooler was leaking all over the vehicle so I had to immediately take it out open up the drain plug. I was on the side of the road near an area that has a pond and is an abandoned pasture that Henry Dobbel grew his crops.  I believe I sat my cam next to the cooler because it was hanging on my neck banging into everything about 5' off the road near sort of a ditch. Well when I loaded the vehicle up with the cooler, backpack etc I think I left my Nikon sitting on the side of the road of course there is grass, leaves etc so even if you were to drive past it at 45 mph down the road it really would not be visible. I left to go do some photography up at San Gregorio when I realized wait a second my camera is not here with me so I stopped the vehicle looked in back with the cooler and within 15 minutes went back up to Purissima where I was parked. My camera had vanished without any explanation down a road that gets occasional traffic. We have no idea who took it or how it even vanished to be honest with you as most of the locals in the area are ranchers or people who have some very large expensive estates built on the sides of the Santa Cruz Mountains. When I did arrive there was a couple sitting in there beige pickup truck in there late 40's perhaps 50's who seen me and fled the scene after of course waving to me. Strangely the entire time I explored the town this pickup sat parked on the road the entire time and I never seen one person. However, the moment I left Purissima for merely minutes and came back all of sudden these people were in their truck with it running and my camera nowhere to be found. Most of the people who come up to Purissima to hike around are generally local residents of Half Moon Bay or Redwood City nearby the truck had some sort of white painted metal utility rack in the back. My only regret is not stopping them to ask questions as I had come to realize that maybe these people were watching me the entire time and seen me sat down the camera. Definitely seems like something out of a Hills Have Eyes type of horror flick! I merely was so distraught could not understand how I could set something down on the edge of the woods and come back minutes later to have it vanish on me especially in such a remote place like this very strange. 

With that being said we lost all our footage and beautiful photography from our first expedition hence why I returned here in April of 2016 to bring our viewers a second chapter. But I look back and think about all I lost here which includes me saving a stray abused cat at my hotel, photos and video of deer, beautiful photos of flowers that only grow here certain times of year, video of a skull I found, mountain lion tracks, dens that I examined and even some adventure footage falling into a ravine. I guess what hurt worst then anything is not so much losing a beat up camera that was on its last leg but losing my hard earned research. I spent months posting ads in Half Moon Bays lost and found as well as craigslist no response. In turn someone stole a camera that needed repairs that already had damage to it but what is even worst is stealing all the beautiful photos we took from our first expedition in Purissima. No matter how you look at it someone found it probably and failed to make the effort to return it despite that in some of those video clips I advertise our website. It was the videos, memories and photos that are lost forever that meant so much more to me then even the camera honestly. Imagine how awful I felt knowing that the next two days of our trip I had to cancel because I had no camera all because somebody thought they hit the lotto taking a camera that really was not in great condition to begin with. We have no idea who took it might have been someone on a bicycle allot of people ride past the ghost town to enjoy the hill Santa Cruz Mountain or possibly even whatever is living in those dens probably watching every move we make. Then again it could have been those backwoods hillbillies who took off in their pickup truck after I pulled up behind them looking for my camera along the side of the road. All I can do is speculate but like I said things have a tendency to disappear in direct correlation with this ghost town. For all I know when I was reorganizing the cooler near the town site a ghost could have taken the camera. Their are quite a few paranormal cases where objects simply vanish, disappear or get moved around. Purissima is haunted believe me when I say that their are ghosts here the long before this was a ghost town it was a place where Spanish explorers camped and Indians hunted, fished and had a large village at. Today its all gone their are no signs any human activity has ever existed here unless you find some of the nonnative trees that were planted by Henry Dobbel or the cemetery which resides on the hill. As far as the person or persons who stole my photography and footage if I ever find you I am taking your fingers nothing I cant stand more then a petty thief! You would not think this sort of thing would happen about my Half Moon Bay but somebody out there has my hard earned research and I want it back! The memory stick is worth more then the camera at this given point in time!

Keep in mind when you browse our Purissima Pages some of what I discovered was lost but most of it was gained again when I made a second expedition in April of 2016 just a few months after the theft of my camera. My goal is to preserve what is left of the town site especially the cemetery which is in peril. This is an amazing place with a redwood forest that resides above town, historic cemetery, beautiful coastline, nature everywhere, serene creek, old ranches, mountains and even a few mysteries. It deserves to be shared with the world this was at the time one of the earliest settlements in the state of California. Its one of San Mateo Counties only ghost towns and the first Europeans that laid their eyes on this place were the Spanish. The ghost town of Purissima is surrounded by thousands of acres of forest anything could be back here. Their might be ancient Indian burial grounds or shallow graves of Spanish explorers who died of scurvy. Who knows maybe even Bigfoot roams these parts! Today the ghost town has been swallowed up by what appears to be a Californian Jungle. While history is lost its up to us explorers to also uncover it again so that places like this do not remain forgotten. Then again if Purissima is truly a cursed town it might be better some secrets remain hidden! If you are daring enough to explore the area please take note that their are allot of snakes, ticks, harmful vegetation that can cut you up, thorns, high impassable brush, mountain lions and apparently some shady people who seem to have ill intent. We would love to hear your stories and see your pictures. As a matter in fact if those viewing our site about Purissima have some we would love to share them below with our viewers and give others full credit for their work! We want to get others involved in this project honestly in my opinion Purissima is one of San Mateo Counties greatest historic treasures! We must uncover its secrets rather then try to bury them so that its early pioneers such as Henry Dobbel are always remembered for their accomplishments!

Copyright By
Lord Rick aka AngelOfThyNight
PGS Founder
Author, Talk Show Host, Producer and Investigator


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