One of the nicest things about Patagonia is the wonderful swath of vacant land in the middle of town. The Patagonia Park is a place for celebrations, festivals, family get-togethers, and walking the dogs. It is fun to see a busload of children enjoying the freedom of running in the park. Besides the parks, located on this property are the post office, health clinic, Town Depot offices, Community and Senior Citizens Building, gazebo, and public rest rooms.
When the Southern Pacific Railroad stopped service to our town in the 1960s and removed the tracks, the Patagonia Town Council immediately began negotiations to acquire the property. Leaders of the quest were local citizens Henrietta Taylor and Ray Bergier. At a meeting in Douglas, railroad officials offered to sell the property to the town, but
Bergier and Taylor said the town had little money.
They persistently presented arguments for the property to be donated to the town until one of the officials said he had to catch a plane and the donation was confirmed. “They just
wored him down” was the consensus back in Patagonia.
Bergier, a local rancher, had spent most of his life in Patagonia. He graduated from local schools and was well-known throughout the county for his participation in local organizations, including the Lions Club, Masonic Lodge, Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association, and many others.
Taylor was a county public health nurse, then a county school nurse for many years. Her husband was a teacher and librarian at Patagonia High School.
A memorial to the two was dedicated in 1991. It is located across the road in front of the Senior Citizens building. There are two rock walls built with rocks from the Bergier
Ranch. There is also a bench, two bronze plaques, and pictures of Taylor and Bergier. The memorial was built by the Richard Moreno Corporation, including Charles Moreno, Toby
Moreno, and Nick Quiroga.