Howling Wolf

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William LEMOS  
1861 - 1942

William M. Lemos was born in New York on August 8, 1861. As a boy he earned money by wandering the streets and painting on request. Arriving in San Francisco in 1887, he established a studio at 106 Geary. With his wife Mabel, he worked in Los Angeles for a few years in the 1890s. After settling in Santa Cruz in 1896, he painted murals for many local businessmen. When the original Beach Casino was built there at the Boardwalk in 1904, Lemos was the first concessionaire and worked there for nearly 40 years. On his platform in the Casino, Lemos did paintings of redwoods, still lifes, forest fires, beach scenes, and marines. Many of his oils were done on redwood slabs which were popular with the tourists; in the early days these paintings sold for one dollar and up depending on the size of the work. After his vision failed and he was unable to paint, his last years were mostly spent fishing off the Municipal Pier with a friend who baited his hook for him because he could no longer see. In the March 27, 1941 Santa Cruz Sentinel News Lemos reminisced, "Them were the days when the Boardwalk was only twelve feet long and when business got slow I picked up my shotgun and went across the street and shot ducks where the Casa del Rey Hotel now stands." Lemos died in Santa Cruz, CA on August 8, 1942. Exhibited: California State Fair, 1885; Mechanics' Institute (San Francisco), 1889. Works held: Santa Cruz City Museum; Wawona Hotel (Yosemite).

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