Category Archives: Artwork

A Tribute to Wehner Mansion

5985327859_3f314741f2_bHeritage Room azules.pdfThis guy once painted Civil War scenes on a panoramic scale in Chicago. Wonderful William Wehner, German born, American famed artist, moved to Evergreen in the 1880’s and built one of the most beautiful structures in Santa Clara County.  The Blue Hills Estate, Wehner Mansion or Cribari Mansion, whichever you prefer, has been a longstanding gem of Queen Anne architecture hiding in Evergreen.

IMG_0214IMG_0206Behind locked gates, this historically designated but almost uninhabitable building has seen better days.  There’s a questionable title and legal loopholes being used to keep the home out of the bank’s hands exclusively, rendering it unable to be sold, preserved or renovated.  Wait a second, there is life here.  I felt it all around me when I took these photographs.  It’s just not human life.  The Mansion is quickly being reclaimed by nature, and a territorial young buck.  Read the above post for that story.

Wehner, Albert Haentz, Cribari and Mirassou families all utilized this stunning home and its expansive vineyards.  Until the 1970’s, this mansion was storage and winery for some of the world’s most famous vines.

I know it’ll be some time before you make older friends who’ll let you snoop around their homes looking for nuggets of Evergreen gold.  Here’s a reimagining of the Wehner Mansion.

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Here’s the progression of the drawing for your art buffs

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Today’s Wehner Mansion

5985327859_3f314741f2_bP1310186 (2)This introduction to the subject matter at hand isn’t purposefully an alliteration.  It just happens to be one anyway.

Heritage Room azules.pdfWonderful William Wenher was renowned for his winning white wines.  William Wehner was a Chicago-based panoramic painter and winemaker, born in Germany.  The Historic Manor was built by famous skyscaper architect, David Burnham, who would design and build only the one home in his career, friend of Wehner’s from Chicago.  His 1884 built Evergreen Estate still stands behind private gates and ropes, but that’s about all the care it’s had in a while.  These photos are courtesy of Colleen Cortese and the EVC Heritage Room.

P1320410lomasazulesUntil recently, I had only seen Colleen’s pictures and sketches of Evergreen’s Queen Anne Victorian.  Wehner, Albert Haentz, Cribaris and Mirassous have all made wine from the winery also on-site, Lomas Azules Winery.  Ebe Frasse, from the Cribari Family, has the fondest memories of growing up in the Blue Mansion.  This perspective had always seemed odd to me until I dropped in on the historic Evergreen jewel.  It is a literal drop into the seat of this Evergreen relic to its arched carriage entrance.

 

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The Wehner Mansion today is boarded up and breaking down.  It clearly hasn’t had a new paint job since the 70’s.  It was deemed unfit for residence in 2014 by City Inspectors.  I like the colors, but an owner should be maintaining this important piece of San Jose History.  It has historic designation.

When I dropped by the property to lay my own eyes on it, I got lost.  Nothing new.  Actually, getting lost has helped me throughout this project.  Upon coming up to a Community stable and garden, the caretakers inquired if I was a real estate agent looking for the Wehner Mansion.  I wish.  But they wished too that something could be done about the beautiful piece of architecture that lay dormant and decaying in their backyard.

IMG_0216I found these windows to be stunning.  The glass remaining is a sight to behold.  If a replacement for this fifth window could be found, it would be incredible from inside.  I’m hoping this is a staircase on the other side.  The rounded feature is generally photographed and admired, but not much is said about its antique glass.  Mrs. Louise Lamantia remembers it well.  In fact, somewhere, some of this glass was donated to a historical society.

IMG_0220This second building here isn’t the attached Winery that’s been so well used by Evergreen vintners.  Wehner’s no dumby.  You’d never invite that nonsense into your backyard nearest your children.  I’d also expect more storage for barrels.

This is a tiny, one room building obscured by trees from Colleen’s sketch and initial sighting of the Wehner Mansion.  This is an old fashion frig or pantry.  This is a kitchen house designed to keep food for as long as it would naturally keep.  This was necessary in the 1800’s.  The Summer ones are built differently than Winter ones. It’s a science of keeping things fresh.  You can see why farming would be big business back then especially.

IMG_0219IMG_0217It is super quiet in these hills and this roped of manor is as well.  Wehner Mansion, also known as the Blue Hill Estate, isn’t without its tenants or residence today, though.  They just aren’t people.  The historic estate hosts a very territorial buck and a family of turkeys.  It’s so silent, you can hear them gobble from all the way over here.  I found that indigenous wildlife and a near by run-off creek trickle through Wehner Mansion while its title is questionable at best.  Its faith rests with the Title.  I’m making inquiries.

IMG_0232If I can fire enough people up and raise some awareness for this San Jose Gem, I’d like to do so and make something happen here.  I see a private venue for weddings or a Community Garden for a non-profit.  I see a Community Center for the Villages or an Evergreen History Museum.  Access is difficult, so the tenant would need to be perfect for the situation.  Let’s start talking about how to fill Wehner Mansion’s halls with laughter again.  It’s a piece of our History still standing.  There’s only a couple left.

 

 

Cadwallader Avenue Bridge

IMG_0007signpostPat Loomis once wrote about Cadwallader Avenue’s driving bridge over Thompson Creek that had been washed away in a flood in January 1893 in her series of Sign Posts published in the San Jose News Newspaper in the 1970’s.  Today, we all remember the walking paths connecting these neighborhoods.  We rode our bikes over wooden planks and metal rails with lush creek beds beneath us as children.  I went poking around in the old Dry Creek looking for remnants of the Cadwallader Avenue bridge because I’d been there recently researching San Felipe Road with Judge Jerry Kettmann.  Maybe he assumed I knew about the bridge, but I couldn’t envision a bridge in this “S” curved portion of Dry Creek.

P1310185 (2)The intersection here at Cadwallader Avenue and San Felipe Road is really ground zero for Evergreen.  This was downtown Evergreen.  The first residents’ homes still stand near ground zero.  Keaton Loop, cuddled up next to Thompson Creek, was once part of San Felipe Road. Cadwallader Avenue, however, once met San Felipe Road before 1893.  Here, in the map to the right, you can see the “C” of Cadwallader on top of San Felipe Road as it crosses Dry Creek, known as Thompson Creek today.

Here, the Women’s Relief Corps, Evergreen School house and Evergreen’s first dense home development grew off Cadwallader Aveunue.  Mr. Cadwallader is fascinating as well.  Though he never would call Evergreen home, he was certainly generous towards the Community of Evergreen.  Cadwallader Avenue’s lost bridge was a new revelation along the research.  It’s neat now when I learn brand new things about Evergreen.  This Cadwallader Community seems so secreted away when it used to be at the heart of everything.  It’s certainly the second smallest parcels on the map above, a precursor to what Evergreen would eventually become.

IMG_0021Here, I found deer frolicking.  I found sun ripened wild berries.  I found really old trees.  I found the end of Fowler Creek here now under San Felipe Road and graffiti.  There is a foot bridge now.  This new bridge is the straightest line down the Avenue itself.  Today’s foot crossing is certainly very permanent and wide, but a direct line down which didn’t feel true to my materials.  I wouldn’t be too sure that’s all it was or created from what was left of the old crossing.

IMG_0018These sand bags would have been from any number of floods through the 1900’s.  Sadly, I wouldn’t expect sandbags or burlap to stand up to 120 years of moisture, deterioration, rainfall and overflow.  I could be wrong, though.  These would’ve had to be treated with some sort of plastic to have survived this long.   These bags protect the creek’s fragile lining at this pipe’s opening.  Over saturation would result in things beginning to slip into the creek, like the old bridge did.  This area was prone to flooding with a huge events as recent as 1969.  I do however see lots of rock, thanks to all the unsightly graffiti highlighting them.

IMG_0013This large, metal pole is so random, and literally in the middle of the way creeks crossing.  Its placement is so odd that this must be evidence of some sort.  But what?  Also, observe all the rock around it.  That’s weird too.  It caught my eye as we were taking cute photos of me gathering research.  I took these in street clothes on a return visit because I just couldn’t stop thinking about this pole sticking out in the middle of the creek bed and that driving bridge.

P1100123 (2)1850 - bridgeCome to think of it, I was jumping over rocks taking those pictures that day; so much so, I forwent the heels on rocks concept because it was unsafe.    It felt like Cottle’s Cobble Stone all over again, starring me right in the face.  This pole would support a cobble stone bridge like the one my imagination conjured up.  Cadwallader Avenue began with a slight bend, when today’s Cadwallader Avenue crossing is flush with the avenue’s direction, as it reaches Keaton Loop.    What would convince me absolutely that this was the collapsed bridge?  Another support pole or more cobble stone would prove it to me.

IMG_0020Done and done.

Sadly, the second pole I found also epitomizes the great need for the Evergreen Mural Walk.  The general public doesn’t know the history of Evergreen and therefore doesn’t respect the land.  It’s so sad to see the vandalism and destruction on school campuses and private properly.  It’s a dang shame, but okay.  Second pole, in the right place to support the San Felipe Road side of the bridge.  Check.

IMG_0015Then as I was leaving, I stopped to admire some giant hundreds year old oaks and enormous 150+ year old eucalyptus trees when I noticed this congregation of rocks.  This would’ve outlined San Felipe Road, now Keaton Loop, and protect horses and vehicles from running too close to the creeks’ edge, which often flooded in the early days.  This cobble stone also though lines portions of San Felipe Road in from of L. C. Smith’s historic residence and several Cadwallader Avenue properties in the same pattern.  This was a connected network of well traveled streets in the heart of Evergreen as one point.  This bridge’s significance was bringing South Silver Creek to Downtown Evergreen and further connecting it with Norwood neighborhood and San Felipe Valley.  Nearby Fowler Road would’ve also been a popular turn for the interior of Evergreen, as would Quimby Road.

IMG_0022This cobble stone street lining would end where a pump station currently sits, accommodating the flows of the creeks so as not to flood Evergreen.  It is my belief this structure, not the current foot path from today’s Cadwallader Avenue, takes advantage of the previous Cadwallader Avenue bridge’s construction.  Or at least near the opening of the bridge on the southeast corner of the three way crossing with San Felipe Road.

Jerry Kettmann would explain to me that patrons of his uncle’s bar on San Felipe Road would kiss under the bridge.  That makes a lot more sense if the bridge in within view and reach of the watering hole.  Down in the creek bed would’ve been a perfect place to hideaway and canoodle.

The sandbags I found are probably a precaution from the bridge having been swept away and ongoing flooding.  Cobble Stone is definitely a thing in Evergreen, then and now.  It’s too heavy to really haul away and its so quaint.  Why bother?  I am so glad I took a second look at this crossing.  It was really starting to bother me.

 

 

Silver Creek – the Creek

P1100107 (2)How else do we learn about our creek beds and their healthy or climate than taking a look at them up close and personally?  I ventured into our creek beds which gave me an awesome understanding of our fair Evergreen.  Today, we’re going to discuss a creek bed which is the namesake for the Western region of Evergreen between its namesake and Coyote Creek.

a 1876 map

watershedThat’s right.  I’m talking about Silver Creek.  I went to Silver Creek High School, built in 1969, and never once wondered why the name.  When I first started this project, it appeared that Silver Creek was an important part of Evergreen’s story.  Farmers with land attached to creeks had the upper hand.  Before Silver Creek, the area, was an idea, the creek was there and Cunningham Lake was named Silver Lake.  This creek must’ve been so large, it contributed to the naming of the region.  In fact, the whole network of creeks through Evergreen contribute to the Lower Silver Creek Watershed.

mapSilver Creek, as in the neighborhood and Evergreen’s first high school, has beenlocated on maps at least into the 1860’s.  Silver Creek, the area and the Creek, are historic.  This 1867 Altas shows it off predominantly.  It’s 2 miles outside of Downtown Evergreen, located off San Felipe Road and Evergreen Road.  It might’ve grown up as a town had stores not opened in nearby Township of Evergreen.  Because of its closeness to Edenvale and Downtown San Jose, it was incorporated into the City Limits earlier than Downtown Evergreen.  Evergreen is the entire Rancho Yerba Buena.  This area too being so far West would’ve been settled pretty early on by squatters.  Some of the defendants in the Chaboya case from these area specifically were the Cottle Family.

13415435_10206847123792679_6986196633091196421_oEvergreen was a haven for farmers because of its creeks and natural water delivery system in gravity, hillsides and natural springs throughout Evergreen.  Springs will appear whenever seismic activity is taking place, like Silver Creek and the Silver Creek Mines behind Silver Creek Valley Country Club.  Oak Trees and wild berries line the creek bed, with poppies, wild lupin and grasses around the surrounding hills.  These Oaks are Coastal Live Oak for the most part, even though Evergreen hosts a wide variety of oak trees.  An illness makes oak trees white like this.  It’s called root canker.  Amongst the spectrum of oak diseases, Silver Creek’s oaks are really looking pretty good.

P1300931Silver Creek’s ecosystem is fairly healthy, as indigenous birds and wildlife still call it home.  Silver Creek’s existing water formations are very clean and free from pollutants.  When I examine this Creek, the only littering I see is on road ways nearby – not in the water itself.  Here, by Silver Creek Linear Park where Silver Creek appears to end, the Cottle’s cobble stone walls along the Dove Hill border are still evident.

P1310192Silver Creek Road, King Road, White Road, Quimby Road and Evergreen Road back in those days were the huge arteries into Evergreen.  You can see in this enlargement to the left that Silver Creek Road and the Creek intertwined through modern day “the Ranch” development over Hassler Parkway.  Below you can view the entire length of the creek and roads.  Where Silver Creek Road straightens out has always transitioned to King Road.  King Road would’ve been the way to get to Downtown.  Kinda still is.

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CAM09459Silver Creek had its own grammar school at one point too.  I couldn’t find it on an atlas map, but Evergreen historian and trusted source, Colleen Cortese, has it closer to Coyote Creek than Silver Creek, but hey.  It served this whole area.

Silver Creek Road picks up again today near a Spring that contributes to Silver Creek’s Watershed.  Springs are created by the geology in the surrounding areas, not the gathering of water heading down the slope like lots of Evergreen’s creeks.

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Drawing by Colleen Cortese
Drawing by Colleen Cortese

Silver Creek Mines are also located off of this portion of Silver Creek Road.  You can see North Almaden Mines here in this 1890 map above.  This same road used to connect over the hillside before its development.  Bradford Investment was involved with the Mining Industry in those days, establishing Silver Creek Mines, and would’ve built this road through to his jobsite.    You can see the entrance off San Felipe Road.  The Hellyers and Piercys too would’ve mined in Silver Creek region.  Brothers George and Daniel would choose opposite sides of Coyote Creek along the border with Edenvale, another small township.  Coyote Creek creates the western most point of Silver Creek and therefore Evergreen.  There’s a wicked rumor that someone accidently contaminated the Creek with quicksilver and their orchard turned to silver.  This may or may not have happen to oak trees in the area.

silver creek mapUntil Silver Creek High School opened, students had to travel outside of Evergreen to go to school.  The Creek would’ve existed where 101 lies now near the school.  Many sections of Silver Creek, the Creek and the Road, have been paved over for the 101 Freeway in the 1930-40’s and built on top of for Silver Creek Valley Country Club’s construction in the 1990’s.  Silver Creek Road which once followed the creek’s path also met up with San Felipe Road in the early 1900’s.

Silver Creek is a giant chunk of Evergreen, like a third.  It’s presence influenced people to settle in and raise their farms and families here.  Silver Creek is older than any Country Club, Park, or School.   All this time, I thought it just described nearby Dry Creek / Thomspon Creek when this was the larger watershed hooked up to Silver Lake or now Cunningham.  Here’s the Artwork featuring Silver Creek.

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Have you hugged an Oak today?

Deer Valley - Joseph D. Grant County ParkP1310568When you think of “evergreen” and trees in general, chances are you would think of Christmas trees or redwoods.  Evergreen’s trees are not this connotation of evergreen.  In our dear Evergreen, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, our indigenous trees would inspire the name of the township, the communities surrounding it and many of its public schools today and not of them are coniferous.  The natural beauties of Evergreen would inspire poets and artists throughout its history.  These trees too are evergreen but the kind we generally think of.

P1310885image001Misnomer: Evergreen School District’s old logo may be Evergreen trees, but that might have come from the commemorative redwoods planted for the Evergreen School’s first teachers, like Markham and KR Smith.  Evergreen was named for its lush, green hills covered in oak trees.  I think if the name Oakland wasn’t taken in California, Evergreen might have been called Oakland.  It’s all rich oaky grasslands with natural creeks which made hills green year round before farming irrigation.

P13105995986045244_160c2c7376_oEvergreen definitely has some gigantic, wicked oak trees today in the oddest places amongst modern homes and along every creek, of which we have many.  There are different species of oak trees around Evergreen.  The oak grove along the Quimby Creek would give the name to Quimby Oak Middle School, built in 1968.  It was built before Millbrook Elementary, built in 1985, which was named after a mill along this brook some 150 years old.  Millbrook was built on the property owned by Henry Lambert Stephens, Evergreen pioneer since 1866.  In fact, There’s a haunting oak tree in front of the former mill owner’s house today.  Don’t worry.  I’ll get you a better photo.  This oak grove made way for houses and orchards.  Quimby Oak Middle School is more likely the Victoria Chaboya property, not Mayor J. A. Quimby’s.  He would’ve lived above Ruby Avenue.

CAM11117The Honorable Judge Jerry Kettmann would show me oak trees in Evergreen that were over 200 years old.  These would’ve been well grown in before the Judge would tend the Kettmann Family Ranch.  These oak trees served the purpose of landmarks, deciphering the locations along the Kettmann ranch in a developed neighborhood of Evergreen.  The neighborhood grew up around Kettmann Ranch in surrounding Cadwallader and Smith Subdivisions.  This was once a large farm, actually two adjoined farms, in Downtown Evergreen.  The town of Evergreen must have looked very different back then.  These space oaks would be unchanged relics of a time before ours.

Silver%20OakEvergreen MoonSilver Oak Elementary School, built in 1994, was named for a particular tree that was silver in color up on the hill above the school in the 1990’s.  The discoloration ended up being an illness this picturesque oak would come down with.  Silver Creek Country Club removed the tree because it wouldn’t continue to be safe with the moving of earth around it that home building required.  Never underestimate the beauty of a single, stand alone oak, though.  This is such a common theme in photography from our community.  The motif continues to inspire people today.

P1310608P1310620Holly Oak Elementary School would be named for the trees found along Dry Creek, renamed Thomspon Creek in 1974.  Hollies wouldn’t grow all over Evergreen.  There’s also a Coastal Live Oak species, which looks more similar to holly, that grows along that creek specifically.  I’ve enjoyed many a bike ride through this area and have gotten scratched.  There’s also a shrub species, Heteromeles, which is also knicknamed  California Holly that I certain recognize around Evergreen.  Maybe these two tag teamed the Thompson Creek creating a Holly Oak grove.  Or it’s something completely different.  Holly would also have another meaning like Hollywood.  Holly would mean magical.  Either these were magical oaks or these were holly-like oaks.  John Aborn would’ve pioneered this neighborhood and raised his daughter here, advocating for the rights of homesteaders and a defendant of Chaboyas.

P1300673The varieties of oaks themselves are evergreen, so it’s only natural so the name is only natural.  Evergreen hosts a number of species.  “Blue Oak” Natural Reserve is tucked away beyond Joseph Grant Park to observe one of our species.  Valley Oak with distinctive leaves would prefer lower elevations of Evergreen.  Creeks and natural springs kept grass alive on the hillsides year round.  Chaboya’s cattle ranching business wouldn’t have changed a lot of Evergreen’s landscape.  With so many green trees, and rolling grasslands, the place begged the name.  The word “evergreen” simply meant green all year round.  In fact, Antonio Chaboya would mark Rancho Yerba Buena boundaries using cattle brand and the oak trees.

1421300_242476552761125_6880580855870102685_oMap 006, San Jose, Evergreen, Silver Creek, Mount Pleasant, PalThe Norwood neighborhood would get its name from Northern woods in the township of Evergreen.  The map to the left predates the avenue, however the avenue exists along this Green border.  It’s no coincidence.  The Norwood and Quimby Creeks would keep this area heavily wooded, and that element can still be felt there today.  This hillside would’ve been cleared for orchards or vineyards in the mid 1800’s.  I’ve gone on many drives to connect with Evergreen, one of them through this neighborhood, and our oak groves are a continued point of inspiration.

Calocedrus_decurrens_PAN_2hb896nb4gd-FID3Cedar Grove Elementary was named for a natural grove of cedar trees.  California Cedar, or Incense Cedar, could have been indigenous to Evergreen and this Northern wooded area.  That’s this one on the right.  This coniferous cedar grove would’ve been a part of this larger forest known as Norwood.  If it’s indigenous, it was a natural boundary for cattle herding and for the Ranch of Yerba Buena, you can see it on the Chaboya map.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 4.01.24 PMCedars could’ve been planted along San Felipe Road to provide shade through this area when Spanish settlers founded Mission San Jose in 1797 and possible when Mission Santa Clara was founded in 1777.   You can see them on the San Felipe route in the old map here and ought to be this area with doubled up trees.  Cedar Grove may have been planted as early as 1821 by the Chaboya family to reinforce the border between Yerba Buena and neighboring ranchos or pueblo lands that eventually turned into East San Jose.  In the 1800’s, this would have been a popular source of lumber for building.  Norwood Avenue would be established between 1876 and 1899.

1876 MapJ.E. Brown, Theodore Lenzen Residence, Geo. H. Briggs, J.E. RucCedar Grove Elementary appears to be located in this John Tully property, once jointly owned in partnership with Wallace engaged in the lumber business in 1876 found at the top corner of this map.  It’s quite possible the Tully & Wallace company cut the grove down, build their homes and made way for orchards fed by the natural creek nearby.  These are cedars seen is Alfred Chew’s front yard.

118206-004-C50E9F7BHowever, looking at all the varieties of cedar trees to find the origin of Cedar Grove’s name, there’s cedar all around us in Evergreen.  I never realized how often it pops up now that I know the difference.  I think this is a cedar in my own front yard.  Seen here to the left, this cedar tree is a staple of Evergreen today.   Cedrela or Cigar Box Cedar species is all over the Evergreen Community today as a decorative tree, especially this neighborhood surrounding the school.  This species was native to Mexico, so it is not beyond the realm of imagination that these trees came with the Mexican or Spanish Empires.  They’re drought resistant so they’re widely used in landscaping today.

P131069617265953-Laurel-wreath-Decorative-element-at-engraving-style--Stock-VectorLaurelwood Elementary School would be named after a natural bed of Laurel trees. Coastal Bay Laurel, Umbellularia californica, would be prevalent in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but huge laurel groves would cover this area too thousands of years ago.  A climate change would shift that evolution and laurels would recede and make way for our oak groves.  This event took place all over the world in laurel forests in Mediterranean and subtropical climates.  Laurels are most notably the leafy thing behind the ears of many Greek and Roman statues.  I hadn’t realized laurel trees and the avocado were relative plants.  If a wood or forest of laurels existed in Evergreen in the 1800’s, it would certainly be notable.  Today, laurel shrubs and trees can be found on the school’s campus.  Some of these shrubs around Thompson Creek behind the school would appear to be flowering, blossoming laurel bushes.

197812780Beyond that, trees and varieties continue to inspire the naming of streets and neighborhoods.  “Glen” and “dale” all refer to clusters of trees.  That’s right.  Willow Glen was named for a cluster of Willow trees, also a township founded approximately the same time as Evergreen.  Evergreen was named for its out of world beauty and would draw tourists to its trees.  The Creeks created these groves, but would later empty into the orchards’ and farms’ irrigation systems.  Before that, Lake Cunningham, then Silver Lake, would flood into creek beds.  This would continue to be a problem for the Evergreen Township, but a win fall for the trees.  If you’re ever curious about the name “Evergreen”, just take a drive through the hills.  You’ll get lost in the natural wonder in your backyard.  To say our roots are Evergreen is an understatement.

Evergreen postcard graffiti evergreen

5985404833_eb2e904b36_bRecommended Routes for unspoiled beauty:

Silver Creek Valley Road, park at the shopping center and take a little walk.

San Felipe Road, make a right on Silver Creek Road, notice the awesome Silver Creek and its wicked silvery oaks

Follow Quimby Road until its windy, it quickly becomes stunning and natural

From Murrillo Avenue, make a right onto Chaboya Road, the Sikh Temple is beautiful but just beyond are rustic barns shaded by hundreds year old oaks

Follow Tully Road until its windy, it quickly becomes stunning and natural with excellent farms and oak land to see

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Evergreen’s Own Mayor Quimby

mayor quimbyWould you believe me if I told you that Evergreen and the City of San Jose had a Mayor Quimby over 125 years before the Simpsons?  Matt Groening’s portrait of the Mayor couldn’t contrast our factual character more.  I’m going to try to provide you with an accurate portrait of our fair-minded Mayor, John Alonzo Quimby.  I was lucky enough to find a contemporary family source in a Genealogical History for the Quimby Family from 1915, though newspapers and political publications didn’t say much..

quimby-coat-of-armsQuimby as a name is fairly popular in England, where its origins are traced back to the 11th century.  Though probably Germanic in origin and possibly Hebrew in its roots, the Quimby name, its variations (Quinby, Quinbee, Quenby, possibly Quincy, etc.) and its coat of arms are found all over England.  It dates back to an ancient Welsh King,  The Quimby Family came from a long line of Colonialists and Quakers.  The ancient family would come to Salem, then Massachussetts colony as early as 1640, seeking freedom from the religious persecution that brought so many people to America at the time.  They were not rumored in Salem Witch Hunts, but one relative died in heated fights with the Native Americans there.  His ancestors would’ve fought to create this country.

thumb200John A. Quimby would be born in Parsippany, New Jersey in 1818 to affluent, well respected parents.  His father would be a politician in New England.  Quimby’s father originally ran the lucrative family shoe making business before running for judge and serving the County court system 25-30 years in New Jersey.  His brother, Isaac, would be a General for the Union Army during the Civil War.  This is his famous brother from Back East to the right who eventually became a US Marshall.  My historian’s note here would be that photographs through the 1800’s would only be taken by the rich and famous or very large groups.  It was an infant of an art and a science as well as expensive to do.  Strangely enough, the politically minded family were Democrats for the most part, with the exception of our Mayor.  This may be the reason the Republican pioneer came to California in 1846.  Regardless, this photograph from the mid 1800’s should prove how well respected John Alonzo Quimby was.

Mayor Quimby first studied law and practiced with a Judge in New Jersey.  John Alonzo Quimby would come to California as early as 1846 with his father, but definitely arrived in Santa Clara County by 1849 with his first wife, Minerva Moody of New York.  It was said before leaving New Jersey that J. A. Quimby was one of Morristown, New Jersey’s best orators and they had a few.

drinksJohn Alonzo Quimby would become entangled with California’s State Affairs early on, even running for US Senator at one point.  Quimby was present, along with delegate Charles White, at the “Legislature of A Thousand Drinks”, held in San Jose in 1849.  This Assembly would create California’s State Constitution and the creation of its Capitol, in San Jose.  In 1850, Quimby would see the need and build the first roadway from Santa Cruz to San Jose, laying the groundwork for Highway 17 today.  John would engage in the lumber business there as a City developed in the Valley.  The Captiol would move to Vallejo in 1851, and to Sacramento.  Even still, the site of the Capitol would become a second epicenter for the City of San Jose.  Quimby would be in the California legislature from 1855 to 1858 and be San Jose’s Mayor for two terms from 1863-1869.  J. A. Quimby would later be on the Board of County Supervisors for two terms.

hb8r29p1tf-FID4scuThe well-respected lawmaker would become the creator of the Downtown San Jose we know nowadays.  For the sake of contract, the map to the right is San Jose in 1847.  It has a single road, the El Camino Real, today’s Alameda turning into Santa Clara beyond this point.  It’s layout is logical, like the numbered street we know, and it has well known San Jose founders sprinkled in.  The Guadalupe River creates a border for the small city.  At this point a lot of today’s Downtown isn’t even a thought.   In 1847, an acre of land downtown like these would cost $50.00.  Through his initiatives, crucial issues that arose in San Jose at California’s birth were solved through Mayor Quimby’s terms in office.

san_jose_2The Market Square was always a meeting place for the Pueblo of San Jose and so it only seemed fitting to hold California’s first meeting in California’s first civic meeting place.  In 1797, the Spanish would raise a Town Hall at the site for parades and City meetings.  There would be reports of ill maintained hotels and flooding at Market Square, which encouraged the Capitol’s relocation to Vallejo.  A dam would need to be built for the Guadalupe River to keep the Capitol dry.  This building still used in 1851 for San Jose’s administration, John A. Quimby would inherit San Jose with its run down buildings and infrastructure.  The Fire Department had no firehouse and broken down engines.  City Hall’s walls were crumbing.  After all, it was over 65 years old by the time he got to City Hall.  Furthermore, in 1863, the disputes created by settlement were still creating tensions.

1876 MapRancho Yerba Buena wasn’t up for dispute anymore.  John Alonzo Quimby himself legally purchased a large ranch 3 miles from Downtown Evergreen, next door to the Pellier Family, near where the Middle School stands today but up the road a little ways.  Victoria Chaboya’s property is more likely where the Quimby Oak Middle School stands today.  Oak trees are a main feature of Evergreen, not pine trees.  Quimby Oak rather rathers to the bed of Oak trees gathering along the Quimby Creek, running though Quimby and Pellier’s properties.  Quimby Road would always run past his Evergreen hills property.  J. A. Quimby was able to purchase a Creekside property near where the Chaboyas themselves called home.  The California Government didn’t uphold all of the Mexican land grants like the Chaboyas.  In fact, Rancho Yerba Buena was the exception to the rule in Santa Clara County.

83f041e62c3569668922074fec6eb474Many were stripped of their holdings and left tiny portions of their former farms, including Antonio Chaboya’s brothers, by US Surveyors.  The railroad into San Jose was completed in 1863, when Quimby first became Mayor.  The land grab created room for new immigrants and U.S. citizens in early San Jose, which there were plenty arriving and on their way.  The first secular development in California, established in 1777, had been growing from the epicenter of Mission de Santa Clara de Asis, today’s Santa Clara University.  These homes, though close, were large and had adequate yards.  If these people were also farmers, though, their farms or vacation homes would be elsewhere, in modern day suburban communities surrounding San Jose’s Downtown.  To the right is Downtown San Jose looking towards the Mission in 1866, when J. A. Quimby was Mayor.

old_state_capitol_plaque_thumbMission Santa Clara feels like the outskirts of Downtown today.  You’re totally right.  What we feel like is Downtown today, First and Santa Clara Streets, would be John Alonzo Quimby’s impact on San Jose.    The one time Capitol, brought by delegates White and Reed and witnessed by Quimby no doubt, would be today’s Cesar Chavez Square on Market Street.  This would become a second burst of growth in San Jose’s adolescence.  Downtown is something different because of this second epicenter.  The bustling City would then center around Market and Santa Clara Streets, adding to the numbered streets and narrowing their lots.

SVHO2004-0812Then, during his Mayoral office, Quimby would bring together both parties to handle the disputes, fill San Jose’s Treasury by selling small “pueblo” lots Downtown and create services for the growing population.  Contemporaries would explain that the Cities of San Jose and Santa Clara were already touching and growing denser down the Alameda.  Plots were being sold for $50.00 an acre or city block around the Alameda and St. James Park.  Once Quimby took office, an acre cost $200.00.  US Surveyors would bring into question some of the $50.00 acres, allowing farms downtown to be broken up into subdivisions.  $50.00 plots were still being developed, however.  The City of San Jose would be considered as far east as Coyote Creek, as far south as Bird Avenue, as far west as Meridian Avenue and as far north as Hedding Street.  Quimby would improve the roadway system and rejuvenate San Jose’s infrastructure with the raising of funds, replacing rundown equipment and buildings.  Many of San Jose’s oldest standing buildings come from the Quimby era.  With a focus shifted away from the Mission and towards developing outward from the City Plaza, Cesar Chavez Park, Downtown San Jose’s small lots still exist today.  The numbered streets are a result of many of Quimby’s decisions.  He killed two very big birds with one very awesome stone that still can be felt today.  To the left is a map of San Jose shortly after he left City Hall.

San Jose 2nd ward. - David Rumsey Historical Map CollectioncaThis is a map of San Jose while John Alonzo Quimby was on the Board of County Supervisors.  The rapid growth was prolific.  In 4 years, San Jose would need to be broken up into huge portions.  This is our modern downtown.  The First Ward is the old downtown.  Also notice that our Norths between the previous 2 maps are different.  That was just to make this one look pretty.  It’s ok.  Our 1847 Map had Guadalupe through then San Jose’s west on the bottom of the map.  Only a couple of those original rectangle bought for $50.00 still existed.  Most were these tiny boxes in 1876.  The colored portiosn are additions onto San Jose made during Quimby’s term.

Courthouse1895Courthouse2007In 1860, San Jose would have 1000 residents.  By 1868, that had been multiplied to 7000 residents.  Having great leadership at the helm of a storm like that allows the transition to go smoothly.  John A. Quimby found a way to make room, make jobs, and revive an aging city.  He was also there at igniting of the Santa Clara County’s Fruit Industry.  Quimby would create the foundation for the large city with a dense downtown we enjoy today.   The San Jose Water Company was incorporated in 1866.  Gas services was introduced to San Jose in 1861, but the need for expanding those pipe systems were crucial.  The Normal School, today’s San Jose State University, would become State run in 1862.  The courthouse was built in 1867, now the St. James Post Office though its down was burned down some time ago.  The first public transit systems were in place in 1868, running down First Street to the domed courthouse.  The lightrail stops there today.  Does that make is a nearly 150 year old tradition to ride the modern trolley through Downtown?  The Canning Industry would be underway in San Jose in 1871.  Though Quimby gets the bulk of credit for the way he settled Downtown land disputes, he’s often overlooked during this crucial time in San Jose’s development.  Why he’s overlooked in unknown, because he seems to be well-respected by his contemporaries and loved ones.

CAM11091John and Minerva would have four kids, while maintaining his political life.  Minerva Moody would pass away in 1866, while he was Mayor, and John Alonzo Quimby would remarry the following year.  Irene Kamp, the new Mrs. Quimby, and John would have another two children who were also raised in Evergreen.  After serving the County for a number of years, John Quimby would become sick for a number of years starting in 1886.  Following the illness, Quimby retired from public life to his Evergreen farm.  It was said that he too raised vineyards in the Evergreen hills and Quimby Creek runs along the back side of Millbrook Elementary School today.  Quimby Road would be one of the third or fourth roads built in Evergreen, after San Felipe Road and Evergreen Road.  In fact, Quimby once ran Tully Road’s modern course into town after the turn at Eastridge Mall.  The Mall’s creation there was formed by Quimby’s 150 year old route.

P1310216 (2)The large Evergreen estate passed to Irene and his family when John Alonzo Quimby passed in 1891.  This 1903 map shows a portion of the Quimby Ranch, 55 acres, still held by his daughter, Mrs. R. M. Wright.  One of his sons, Fred Alonzo Quimby, carried on the tradition of civic service into the 20th century, though sadly not in Santa Clara County.

vinfiz_harriet58643d6960f486d90ad75b3a2f41f657Oh, and the awesome Harriet Quimby, first woman to have a pilot’s license, wouldn’t be from Evergreen or San Jose.  Instead, she probably heard about the road’s name on a flight to San Jose then lie ruthlessly about it, creating fairytales and misinformation about her early life.  Harriet was born in Michigan.  She was quite a character, but none of John Alonzo’s sons would marry a woman having a daughter Harriet.  She also freely lied about her age.  Don’t worry.  The Quimby’s are a huge family.  She probably wasn’t lying about the name, but could so easily weave misinformation into interviews because of the name’s popularity around the United States.

I think the obituaries for John A. Quimby about the most eloquent summarizations and indications of how he was received by his contemporaries, Democrat or Republican.  His was admired for both his political achievements and undertakings, as well as for his kindness and hospitality.

“Death of a Pioneer of San Jose – A Public Spirited Citizen – One who has served faithfully in various Public Offices and did much as a Private Citizen” said one local newspaper.  Another states “His life here since pioneer days was an active one until a few years ago… made him prominent amount residents of the county.”  It goes on, “The pioneer residents of this county will bear willing testimony to the deep regard entertained for the departed [Quimby] by all who had the pleasure and profit of an intimate acquaintance…”

1833The Artwork which features J. A. Quimby also features possible inspiration Charles White.  After writing this, I’m wondering if we’ve given John Alonzo enough credit either.  His leadership created the City we enjoy today, which modern people from Evergreen continue to develop it and serve the same offices.  The Simpson’s bumbling Mayor couldn’t be further away from our Mayor Quimby.

After doing this article, here’s the updated White and Quimby Piece.

1833

 

 

 

 

 

“Nor-wood”

mapThe lead for Norwood is a real stumper.  As a name, its quite popular.  Norwood Avenue dates back to the mid 1800’s.  So, what was it named after?  There were fabulous people named Norwood who would settle into Santa Clara County in 1849, but Mr. Joseph Gould Norwood would make his home in the Alviso/Santa Clara township, nowhere near Evergreen.  So, that’s not our Norwood.  I reviewed historical maps and grant records throughout Evergreen’s history looking for a Norwood family to tie this name to.  I couldn’t find one.

watershed1421300_242476552761125_6880580855870102685_oNorwood’s Creek is definitely a geographic feature of Evergreen and has been for a long time.  Today, the creek exists beyond the private road at the end of Norwood, but is diverted through housing developments through water tanks and pumping stations.  There’s probably a sizable water pipe under the street that later empties as Norwood Avenue ends on White Road.  That’s why the current path is a straight line at points.  This pipe system is necessary because Evergreen has had a long history of flooding with its sometimes unpredictable waterways.  Frank Cunningham lost his large property with a huge lake on it because the City of San Jose needed to be able to better control the watershed.

Map 006, San Jose, Evergreen, Silver Creek, Mount Pleasant, Pal000000Looking into Norwood, the Avenue itself in between Quimby Road and Tully Road came about between two maps.  In 1876, a County wide Atlas was created and there’s no mention of Norwood Avenue.  It runs along the line between these yellow, orange and the lower green section.  We are looking at once corners of Ranchos Pala and Rancho Yerba Buena, and the adjacent Pueblo Tract.  Tully Road isn’t a thing yet, but it will be located on the strong black line noting his and partner Wallace’s property.

Interior-FirstGeneration-PierrePellierThe Norwood Creek would feed into the farms, vineyards and orchards of Joaquin Higuera, Tully & Wallace, Pierre Pellier, and J. A. Quimby possibly at the time.  The creek would’ve provided a natural irrigation.  The Pellier Ranch was one of the largest in Evergreen with Norwood Creek traveling through it.  John Tully would own property all over Evergreen.  In fact, John Tully’s lawsuit from Antonio Chaboya opened up the conversation for other European farmers homesteading on Rancho Yerba Buena.

P1310185 (4)Fourteen years later, in 1890, Norwood Avenue runs through to present day Flint Avenue.  At its creation, it’s spelt Flindt Avenue.  Here, you see John Tully’s partnership with Wallace desolve with his passing and the family sold his half of the property away in small 10 acre lots.

6254426015_f091ee3233_bLarger farms like the McClay family’s, shown here to the left, and Leo Renaud on the South side of Norwood Avenue.  On the South corner of White Road and Norwood Avenue was Elmer Chase, Richmond Chase and Valley of Heart’s Delight Fruit Packing Co. owner.  With the elder Pelliers passing, the property passed to Pierre’s daughter Henrietta, who married Mr. Mirassou, then Mr. Casalegno.  One of her daughters would marry Mr. Renaud on Norwood Avenue.  The creekbed isn’t show here in this picture, but the properties are growing smaller.  The map would be impossible to read with all of Evergreen’s creeks also noted.  This area was awesome for vineyards.

norwood-creek-elementaryRemington Drive where Norwood Creek Elementary School is located is most likely this beginning stretch of road off of Quimby Road which doesn’t quite connect but is very near the school’s location along Mr. Tully’s widow’s property.  The Hall’s Subdivision along Norwood Avenue would be one of the first in the area, along with the Cadwallader Subdivision.

Evergreen - Page 029, Atlas: Santa Clara County 1956, Californi

This map in 1956 shows Norwood Avenue in the center.  Remington hasn’t become a major paved road yet.  Notice how Evergreen written in red is so much lower.  Its not that the Norwood area or the creek is outside Evergreen or Rancho Yerba Buena.

Norwood is the relationship it has with downtown Evergreen and its placement within the Rancho.  When broken into two parts its North Woods.  It is farthest North of the along the Rancho Yerba Buena border.  In all likelihood, the Creek was named Norwood long before the avenue.  It was a popular family name for people from northern lying woodlands.  This was the woods to the North of Evergreen along a main artery of White Road.  The Norwood area as the Rancho had streams trickling through it and densely populated with trees, with nearby farmhands houses on the North side.  The woods provided the Chaboyas a little buffer with their ranches along Quimby Road.  The forested area would create a natural boundary for the cattle as well.  John Tully would plant eucalyptus trees along Tully Road which still grow today in the heavily wooded area.  This would also refer to the area where Cedar Grove Elementary School is located, but we’ll talk about “Cedar” in Evergreen at another time.

Here’s the artwork with references to Norwood Creek.

19851969

1850 - bridge19921847

Nirum Cadwallader – Evergreen’s generous Mining Tycoon

san jose newsNirum’s an awesome name, as is Cadwallader.  For the purposes of my research, I much prefer it to Smith, Stevens, Jones or John.  However, when looking into Mr. Cadwallader, he occurs all over the map.  The fabulous women of History San Jose pulled it all together for me.  I’m always looking for a portrait on my Evergreen individuals.  This one happens to be in print, not a photograph.

P1310185 (2)Mr. Nirum Cadwallader, for whom the school is named, as previously discussed donated the lands to both the Evergreen Schoolhouse at the corner of San Felipe and Evergreen Roads in 1860 and to the Women’s Relief Corps in 1887, located on Cadwallader Avenue.  The WRC is probably one of these subdivision plots.  By my estimation of the 5 acres donated, I think it’s probably 34 or 57.  Those are the only ones bigger enough and “on” Cadwallader.  At the time, Cadwallader Avenue started at San Felipe Road.  Now, there are only foot bridges connecting Cadwallader to Keaton Loop, formerly San Felipe Road.  We’ll discuss this in further detail later.  No doubt, Mr. Cadwallader helped shape Evergreen as we know it.

books cadwalladerbooks cadThe earliest records of Mr. Nirum Cadwallader appear from Birchville, California, because that’s where he initially struck it rich.  Originally from Ohio, Nirum Cadwallader would be apart of the Gold Rush of 1849.  In an illustrated version of Popular Science in 1866 would bring attention to Mr. Cadwallader’s patent on a technique of compressing air in dynamic to create larger blasts.

4592131824_302x427Nirum Cadwallader (1833-1890) was the great grandson of Ohio’s Seneca County’s Hopewell Township’s first settler, Nathan Cadwallader.  Nirum’s father Samuel Cadwallader and wife Mary would raise 7 children, of which Nirum was the eldest.  He would’ve been sixteen as he would’ve heard the news of gold from California.  As a young man, Cadwallader would work his way up the chain at the Milton Mining Company, surely getting the necessary experience that took him to his future heights.  The Cadwallader family name is quite popular there in Ohio and along the east coast, also spelt Cadwalader.  It and the family originate from Wales, being a descriptive term for the Welsh people.   The family’s lineage can be traced back to a Welsh King.  Chances are the Cadwalladers were well off in Ohio.  There are a long line of Cadwallader inventors preceding and succeeding him.  The first Cadwalladers would leave England in 1640, arriving in Virginia, and slowly migrating west from there.

Hopewell Township, Atlas: Seneca County 1874, Ohio Historical MAs a young man, Cadwallader would work his way up the chain at the Milton Mining Company, surely getting the experience that took him to his future heights. However established, Nirum Cadwallader would break out from Milton and arrive in California in 1855, at the age of 22.  Nirum would become a prolific businessman, acquiring stocks and equity in numerous mining, telephone, water and utility companies in Nevada County, California.  He was a very rich and well-respected man quickly after coming to California.  Mr. Cadwallader would be married twice, but his first wife passed away while he still lived in Birchville. I couldn’t find any records of the first marriage or the children they might have had.  After returning home, no doubt to grieve, Nirum would marry the much younger Emma J. Hart (1847-1930) also from Ohio, having 3 children together.  Nirum Cadwallader would own 160 acres in Ohio as shown to the left in this 1874 Atlas.  Samuel, his father, would live with Nirum for part of the year, probably during Ohio’s colder months.

cadwallader residenceIf you’re mining for gold in Nevada County, California, you would need quicksilver to obtain pure gold and remove other elements from the compound.  If you’re a forward thinking man with mining interests and better mining techniques like Mr. Cadwallader, you might look for some quicksilver mines of your own.  This is what probably brought Mr. and Mrs. Cadwallader to San Jose for good in 1881.  Although it is unclear whether or not he had any part of the Silver Creek Mines before their flooding and abandonment, Nirum Cadwallader would purchase land in the heart of Evergreen in the 1860’s, though they never lived there.  This was a second property to vacation from their downtown home, which was located off of the Alameda, in the heart of Downtown San Jose.  It’s been torn down.  When Cadwallader donated the land because he hadn’t built on it, he made a huge impact on the Community of Evergreen.  Mr. Nirum Cadwallader has been rumored to be a very generous man throughout his life.

scan0135In 1888, Birchville’s mining industry would dry up as the mines were picked clean.  The population of Nevada County quickly shrank.  Forward thinking Mr. Cadwallader had already set up shop elsewhere.  His patent made him rich, as did his business ownings.  Mr. Cadwallader died in 1890, a year after the WRC opened.  Mrs. Emma Cadwallade, the widow, would deed a park in his honor.  The small park still exists between 1st and 2nd Streets at Keyes Street.  It is the cutest wedge of land with palm trees.  This crossroads would dictate the direction you were heading before highways were built.  Monterey Road was the closest thing to a highway, also being a portion of the El Camino Real.  First Street heading North lead you Santa Clara and then the Alameda which turns to the El Camino Real to San Francisco.  Heading down Second Street took you towards Oakland via Oakland Road from Thirteenth Street.

P1320428In donating the property to the Women’s Relief Corps in December 1887, constructed in 1889,  a ceremony was held to commemorate the occasion in Evergreen on April 6, 1889.  The WRC took a year and a half to build on Cadwallader Avenue.  A mile long precession and banquet hosted by “ladies of Evergreen”, notable ladies like Mrs. E. J. Smith, Mrs. J. J. Jones, Miss Fowler, and Miss McClay.   The occasion was celebrated with Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. Lantz (neighbors nearby the WRC), Miss Minnie Keliher and the Chew Family.  It was said that Mr. Cadwallader held the event to show off his beautiful wife from Ohio.  She later remarried Mr. Taylor in 1910, twenty years later.

P1310185 (3)Mr. Nirum Cadwallader’s Evergreen property turned into one of the first densely built home developments in the downtown of Evergreen.  It was all located around Cadwallader Avenue, named in his honor.  Close by Cadwallader Subdivision were the Smith properties and General Store, Andy Kettmann’s Saloon and the Schoolhouse.  When the town grew, it did so because people enjoyed having neighbors and countryside in the places like the Cadwallader Subdivision shown to the right.  If you worked these farms nearby, you probably couldn’t afford lots of acres of your own.  Plus, you were too busy to ever profit off of the land or tend to it yourself.  Evergreen’s farming industry took the whole village to harvest.  Evergreen School Sessions would sync with the harvest season, because the kids would be home working as well.

signpostPatricia Loomis discussed the WRC’s opening with first person resources in her article “Cadwallader Ave. Has Had Problems” in her ‘Sign Posts’ series, revisiting historic events in San Jose’s history for the San Jose News in October 17, 1975.  What I hadn’t realized before I found Patricia Loomis’s Sign Post was that Cadwallader Avenue went through to San Felipe.  The road bridge would be washed out in 1893 after heavy rains.  At the time, Cadwallader crossed Thompson Creek, formerly known as Dry Creek because it ran dry in summer months.  The wash out surely as something to do with the redirecting of San Felipe Road.  It’s never been replaced.

 

 

 

 

Evergreen School District Growth

1960 planningSo, how did Evergreen turn from rural farming country to suburban gold?  When did that happen?  I can see it paralleled in the expansion of the Evergreen School District.  To the right is the artwork which symbolizes this change in Evergreen’s history.

P1310885The Evergreen Community took on huge amounts of new residents as City Planning policies changed in the 1950’s.  A. P. “Dutch” Hamann was City Manager from 1950-1969.  At the time, Evergreen School District had one school, the schoolhouse, which then moved and is now off Fowler Road.  Evergreen would operate out of a single school for over 100 years.

P1310589Dutch Hamann would focus first on upgrades that made new development and expansion possible, then focus on incorporating or annexing large portions of land which hadn’t been before.  This was driven by a competition with neighboring cities.  Dutch wanted San Jose to be the largest city around.  Hamann’s City staffers executed 1377 annexations through his tenure.  Freeways and government services would rapidly expand throughout the new sections.  After moving from Monterey Road and downtown San Jose, Highway 101 would be completed through Evergreen and San Jose in 1959.

165) Kathrine SmithDuring this time, Evergreen, the District, outgrew the Evergreen Elementary School campus with Superintendent George V. Leyva.  K.R. Smith Elementary School would open its doors in 1962.  Katie Smith, one time teacher and superintendent would live to see the school opened in her honor at the age of 92.

1220710745410.jpg_w900In 1965, O. B. Whaley would open, being named after a well-respected orchardist and longstanding member of the Schools’ Board of Trustees.  Cadwallader Elementary would open the very next year, named after the gentleman who donated land to the WRC and the original school house.  Holly Oak would open the following year.  From 1962-1967, Evergreen School District would grow from two schools to five schools.

1-laurel-woods-elementary-schoolP1310940Evergreen didn’t stop expanding here.  As neighborhoods were built, schools were also constructed.  Evergreen School District continued growing with the opening of Laurelwood Elementary School and the District’s first Middle School, Quimby Oak, in 1968.  Quimby refers to J. A. Quimby, 1870’s Evergreen landowner and one time San Jose Mayor.

P13109021969 would see Cedar Grove Elementary School opened and is scheduled for a major update coming soon.  From 1960-1970, Evergreen School District would go from one school to eight.  The Evergreen Community would also have its first high school built, Silver Creek High School in 1969.  It would be East San Jose’s third High School.  Before, Evergreen teens would go to James Lick High School or Andrew Hill High School.

P1310879Dutch Hamann would leave City Hall in 1969, making room for anti-development candidates.  This, too, meant the rural Evergreen community would take a little breather from the expansion.  Farmers were being bought out by home developers, because the land was more valuable than the crop.  With all these new Elementary Schools being built, however, one Middle School wouldn’t do it for Evergreen’s growing young ones. Evergreen would open George V. LeyVa Middle School, named after the previous Superintendent.  George LeyVa would have a heart attack at 57.

images92JJUXZ6With anti-development candidates in office and Mayor Norman Mineta at the helm of San Jose’s City Planning, schools would be opened to serve the newer developments while efforts would be made to preserve open space and farm land.  John J. Montgomery Elementary School would open in 1975, named after the pioneer aviator.

dove_hillP1310926One-time Evergreen teacher, principal, and then Superintendent, Jim Smith would also see the opening of several Evergreen Schools.  In 1981, Norwood Creek Elementary School would be opened.  Evergreen School District would continuing growth but at a more comfortable pace.  Millbrook Elementary School would open in 1985, and Dove Hill in 1988.  Again, a new Middle School would be added to the Evergreen School District’s portfolio with Chaboya Middle School in 1991.

Silver%20OakTom-Matsumoto-ElementarySilver Oak Elementary School would be built alongside Silver Creek Country Club in 1994.  Tom Matsumoto Elementary School would open its doors in 1998 with the new construction of the Evergreen Village Square.

P1310861CAM09877James F. Smith Elementary School would open in the Superintendent’s honor in 2000, as the Ranch Country Club was being constructed.  I look forward to a sit down with the former Superintendent to discuss the pattern of growth studied in this article.  Carolyn Clark Elementary would open with the Mirassou vineyard developed into new homes in 2004 and as Evergreen Village Square townhome development continued.  Bull Dog Tech would branch off from LeyVa Middle School in 2014, providing a more technical education.

image001There’s now discussion of a much needed Elementary School in the Meadow Faire neighborhood between LeyVa Middle School and Eastridge Mall.  The best way I found to describe how Evergreen, the Community, grew up is through the History of School District.  I could track the land purchases and sales, but if you don’t know all of their names, this is clearer.  Schools would be implemented where construction was taken place or where communities in rural Evergreen had already development.  Dutch Hamann’s Planning policies meant a swift expansion from 1960-1970 and Eastside San Jose’s third high school in Evergreen.  A rate of growth within the Evergreen Elementary School District can be measured from 1970-present which is steady, necessary and likewise communicative of when the neighborhood was really established.  The Evergreen School served 47 children in 1887.  The District served 13,126 students in 2013-14.

Furthermore, education and the Evergreen School District is a redundant theme throughout this artwork.  Schools are symbols of their neighborhoods and indicators of their timeframe, as just discussed.  Here are the pieces dedicated to the Evergreen Elementary School District.

1860 1962 1969 1975 1985 1992 2003