Davenport is a small town located 15 minutes north of the City of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County. It lies along the coast of the Pacific Ocean on Highway One. Originally on the banks of San Vicente Creek, the town expanded to the north during the twentieth century.
Davenport has three restaurants, two art galleries, a store, a post office, and an elementary school - Pacific School, the only school in the Pacific Elementary School District.
Captain John Davenport, a whaler from Tiverton, Rhode Island, migrated to Monterey where he lived in the first brick house in California. When he sailed into the San Francisco bay in 1851 with a shipment of oranges, he passed by a school of whales swimming not far from shore. Believing that they would be easy to capture and process for oil, he dreamed of creating a whaling business. He started the first coastal whaling business in California in Monterey but decided to move it closer to San Francisco. In the late 1860's, Davenport built a pier for his venture and the town of Davenport quickly grew as travelers discovered this scenic coastal stop with its beautiful shoreline and fantastic weather.
The whaling business was not a profitable venture and lasted only a decade. The Davenport Landing wharf was abandoned in 1880. Captain Davenport moved to Santa Cruz where he died at the age of 74.