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The Aptos History Museum began in the 1980s when Carolyn Swift, the curator of the Capitola Museum, gave a photograph of the Aptos Railroad Station to John Hibble. John was a history buff who, along with his wife Karen, were (and continue to be) directors of the Aptos Chamber of Commerce which was then located in Redwood Village. John’s photo collection began to grow, other historical items were donated by community members, and this growing collection was displayed at the Chamber of Commerce. When the Aptos Chamber moved to its current location on Old Dominion Court, the collection expanded somewhat and was displayed within the Chamber office, but most of John’s collection remained in storage.

In 2005, additional office space in the Chamber building became available, and Karen Hibble determined that the Aptos History Museum deserved to have its own larger facility and become a real museum. She and John appealed to the community, and an advisory committee was formed. The new space was repainted and made ready, and new display cases were built. John’s now sizable collection was retrieved from storage and dusted off, and a crew of volunteers worked for many months to set up and organize the new museum. The Aptos History Museum opened its expanded facility on May 24, 2006, and it has since garnered enthusiastic reviews and numerous citations of merit. Most notably, the Museum received the Aptos Community Achievement Award in 2006.

Are you ready for “Sherwood Day”? On Saturday, March 2, the Aptos History Museum will sponsor a talk at the Aptos library about the Grace Hoper Press, a private press located in Aptos and owned and operated by Sherwood & Tina Grover from the 1960s to 1980s.

In the 1960s, Aptos was a weekend gathering spot for current and former employees of San Francisco’s far-famed Grabhorn Press, an old-fashioned handset letterpress shop carrying traditions of fine printing into the 20th century. Pictured are late 1930s images of Sherwood Grover and his wife Tina Carruth Grover — who both set type and pulled presses for the Grabhorn brothers in San Francisco. On weekends the Grovers hosted beach parties for colleagues at their cliff house residence on Oak Hill Road in Seacliff, where they drank wine and read John Dos Passos and James Joyce under starlight across Monterey Bay. And when the Grovers retired, they continued letterpress work under the name Grace Hoper Press.

In conjunction with the opening of the new Aptos Library, the Aptos History Museum will sponsor “Sherwood Day” on March 2 in the library’s Community Room. The event is free and will feature a talk about the Grovers and letterpress printing by Felicia Rice, proprietor of the Moving Parts Press, whose skills as a young printer were honed by Sherwood. When Sherwood passed in 1986, it was Felicia Rice who finished the presswork set up by Sherwood. And Felicia will travel from Mendocino for this event to participate in celebrating the Grovers.

Do YOU remember Sherwood Boyd “Bill” Grover (1910-1986) or Katherine “Tina” Carruth Grover (1911-1978)? In anticipation of Sherwood Day the Aptos Museum is collecting your personal memories of the Grovers, who had a long-lasting connection with Aptos. How long? Sherwood & Tina were married in Aptos in 1933, occupying property reputedly acquired by Tina’s father, a professor at Stanford, in the 1920s. After retirement in the 1960s the Grovers made 749 Oak Hill Road their final home.

Please contact the Aptos History Museum if you have memories of the Grovers to share or you wish to speak at the event. Memories will make Sherwood Day come alive. Expect further posts providing details and background. 

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