Early South Coast Conservationists: Theodore & Mildred Hoover (5)

Theodore Hoover was determined to make “the Waddell” on the South Coast the future home for himself and Mildred. He purchased the upper part of the valley but when he inquired about the lower half he was disappointed to learn that the owners, the Ocean Shore Investment Co., did not want to sell the property to anybody.

Wife Mildred had never seen “the Wadell” and when Theodore showed his bride thed vibrant canyon and the charming river, she, too, fell in love with the land. Local history and the people who made it come alive fascinated her. She wanted to know everything about the new special place where she resided, and, that led to more research about the entire state, culminating in a book called “Historic Spots in California,” published by Stanford University Press in 1932.

Fifteen years earlier during a wondrous trip to the marvelous Taj Mahal in India, Theodore wasn’t thinking much about northern California–but it was the beginning of a strange relationship between “the Waddell” and the far away architectural gem.

“Tad” was moved by the romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, the jewel that Shah Jehan had built for the love of his life, wife Mumtaz Mahal. The love of Theodore’s life was Mildred and while soaking in the beauty of the Taj Mahal, “Tad” became determined to get the unattainable half of “the Waddell.”

waddell_2.jpg (Photo: The Hoovers learned that Waddell Creek was named after William W. Waddell, who shipped lumber from Waddell’s Wharf (above) at Point Ano Nuevo. According to legend, in 1879, while hunting near the coast, he was attacked by an enraged grizzly bear. Waddell died from injuries sustained during what was described as hand-to-hand combat with the angry bear. Courtesy San Mateo County History Museum at Redwood City).