Many folks of Scottish descent came to the Santa Cruz County and so it is fitting that as settlers they would name many of the locations. One such place is Bonny Doon. The name stems from a Scottish song, written by Robert Burns, called The Banks O’ Doon.
Burns also named Ben Lomond Mountain after a place he loved in Scotland. Shortly after the gold rush, John Burns founded a shingle mill and planted a vineyard in Santa Cruz County. He passed away in 1998 and was buried in the Santa Cruz graveyard at the bottom of Graham Hill Road.
By the time of his death, he became a local legend. When it came time to officially pick a name, Pacific Mills was renamed Ben Lomond, after Burns’ love for Scotland. And, in the 1960’s, Loch Lomond, the San Lorenzo Valley’s water reservoir, received a fitting name as well since Loch Lomond is situated under the shadow of Ben Lomond Mountain near Stirlingshire, Scotland where John burns was born.
Though originally inhabited by the Ohlone Indians, Bonny Doon has been host to people from all over the world. Italians, Scots, English, and Spanish have settled in these beautiful mountains as they blazed their way through the trails of California’s history.
Bonny Doon is home to an abundance of wildlife, fauna, famous vineyards, heavenly beaches, towering mountains, and extended vistas; she is a significant part of Santa Cruz County’s culture, history, and undeniable mystique.
The Banks O’ Doon
by Robert Burns
Ye flowery banks o'bonie Doon, How can ye blume sae fair; How can ye chant,ye little birds, And I sae fu' o' care! Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird That sings upon the bough; Thou minds me o' the happy days When my fause luve was true. Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird That sings beside thy mate; For sae I sat, and sae I sang, And wist na o' my fate. Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon, To see the woodbine twine, And ilka bird sang o' its love, And sae did I o' mine. Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose Frae aff its thorny tree, And my fause luver staw the rose, But left the thorn wi' me. Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose, Upon a morn in June: And sae I flourish'd on the morn, And sae was pu'd oor noon!
by Rory Christopher
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