Watsonville is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 51,199 according to the 2010 census.
Watsonville's land was first inhabited by an Indian tribe called the Costanoans. This tribe settled along the Pajaro Dunes since the land was fertile and useful for the cultivation of their plants and animals. In 1796, European explorers came to the land where they claimed to have seen a big bird along the side of the river, this symbol helped explorers to establish the name of the main river, which they identified as Rio del Pajaro, or River of the Bird. In 1848, the gold rush in the Sierra Mountains was an important event for the city because people began to buy land for the low price that it had, allowing them to acquire large acres of property where farming and ranching would be among the simple practices that would shape the economy of the city.In 1868, Watsonville was finally incorporated as a town in the Santa Cruz County and later became a charter in 1903 when it was named after Judge John Watson.