Tag Archives: evergreen people

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.

 

 

Fowler Road and Creek

P1330025I work a lot at Chaboya Middle School, in fact its the first school I ever painted at.  People often ask, “Chaboya On Fowler Road?”  And I always say yes, but I know its address is on a different street.  Fowler Road is indeed very close by, but Chaboya is on Cortona Drive.  What’s the confusion?  It’s been redundant for me throughout my career, so I checked it out on behalf of the Evergreen Mural Walk.

1876 MapFowler Creek was named after Andrew Fowler, whom I’m enjoying getting to know.  The street was one of the first in Evergreen, as was the man.  We’ll discuss him in further detail later.  This road was built before Chew Lane/Aborn Road’s eastward section.  This 1876 map hasn’t put a name to the street, but you can see A. J. Fowler’s property along the south side of the road.  This was William Matthew’s portion of the attorneys fees paid out by Chaboya in his lengthy court battle.

In 1899, Fowler’s name finally appears on the road.  This Fowler Road runs all the way through.  It did when I was a kid.  What happened?  This is Fowler Road’s modern path below.

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By 1956 however, Fowler is the straight thing I remembered it being as a child.  It ran east of Ruby Avenue.  This map cuts off the windy portion but it was a solid straight line.

Below, Fowler Road is broken up into two parts and straightened out in portions.  There are switchbacks indicated on Fowler Road in 1899 on the Eastern zig zag which appear true on the modern map, but the road also ends sooner in the modern map.  It ends even sooner if you’re driving.  It ends at the straight spot.  This road kept going in 1899.  What gives?

fowler road san jose - Google Search

fowler road 2Here’s what gives.  New homes plans were put in place back in 1991 to get this area built out.  Before that point, in was rolling Mirassou vineyards and orchards.  Chaboya was built on Fowler Road in 1991, but the road’s path would change names as homes were built.  The new bend in the western part of the road came with the build out of the  the Classico neighborhood.  Historic homes still line the straight entrance, but then Fowler Road takes a turn towards the development and later becomes Cortona Drive.  Fowler Road would be built straight during the before 1956 but between proposal in 1991 and build out, something changed.  A portion of the existing Fowler roadway, which clung to Fowler Creek, would become Cortona Drive.  That’s the portion of Fowler which ran through P. Kelliher’s ranch in 1899.  Fowler Road then picks up on the other side of a small park on Chaboya Middle School’s East corner, where the road turns in the Western most part of H. W. Pierce’s acreage.  That’s where the arrow lands.  Today, Fowler Road straightens out, drops again and is private roadway after that.  You can see the windy road, but it appears to be shorter today.

CAM11655 Gemellos, why did you think about that?  Cobble Stone.  Now that I’ve investigated Cottle’s Cobble Stone and now Cadwallader Avenue’s fallen cobble stone bridge, I know there’s something up in areas where I find it in volume.  It’s too heavy to clear and it was clearly a favorite of late 1800’s farmers marking their homesteads.  I was in between appointments around Evergreen and I stopped when I saw it in volumes all over this area.  In fact, I traced Fowler Road’s old path following the stone.  I started at the most eastern section I could legally get to.  I soaked up some rustic Evergreen treasures then saw this row of cobble stone.

CAM11651It feels like trail markers hikers make to let you know you’re headed in the right direction.  When I found this kind of cobble stone along Keaton Loop, I knew it was roadway markers.  This was something.  I wasn’t sure this was Fowler’s original roadway, though.  It’s not lining up with my understanding of the historic maps I’ve found.

CAM11670I found it again on Yerba Buena Road.  Nothing creates perpendicular intersections up here in old Evergreen.  What am I seeing?   Every time I see this kind of rock, I know something is going on.  Just before I turned right and westward looking for Fowler Road again, I looked left and bang.

P1320018This water station was built out prior to 1956, and improved in 2000.  It controls flooding in Fowler Creek.  Fowler Creek now trickles in the winter but the homes are safe and the groundwater is saved for less than rainy days.  This is at the intersection of Altia Avenue and Yerba Buena Road.  This road looks like old Silver Creek Road, and would’ve been paved around the same time, being the same age.  This is a little better maintained and a little less traveled as a City of San Jose Water Station.   I think the stones were rolled over when the ranches turned into farms before they turned into home development.  This undeveloped area shows us what it used to look like.  That straight section of marker and present day Fowler Road is possibly the boundary of M. P. Ramus and Kellihore’s ranches in 1899.

CAM11678CAM11690So, I met up with Fowler Road at Chaboya Middle School and the marker continued.  Heading West, the Cobble Stone reoccurred at Fowler Creek Park.  Makes sense.  Evergreen used Cobble Stone to protect from flooding.  Fowler Creek would be dammed up by cobble stone in several sections.  Today, Fowler Creek only trickles in the rainy season.  That makes sense, too, because the Creek is captured by a water tower at its most eastern and uphill point.

CAM11692And then I started feeling silly because I’m excited about rocks.  I followed it all the way to Ruby Avenue and Cortona Drive, once Fowler Road.  So, what part of Cortona is old Fowler Road?

Let me get nerdy for a second, find north on each map and scale them.  There.  So, what happened?

fowler road san jose - Google Search

Maybe a little clearer still, with the paths traced on one map….

scan0167-1Fowler Road’s path was straightened through the early 1900’s then altered by the schools built to service this growing Community.  Evergreen School would have a horse tie up instead of a parking lot for a long time.  The District Office was originally located there along with the school but as time went on, a larger school was needed and the office moved.  Many District services still operate out of this office, though.  Matsumoto Elementary School was also built on the Fowler Road path.  When people ask me about Chaboya on Fowler Road, they mean built on top of Fowler Road itself.  They were more correct than I ever realized.  The cobble stone I observed was in the Yerba Buena Road portion of one time Fowler Road.  The changes that occurred over time were fairly straight forward and made the road more useable.  It’s cobble stone roots are still showing on both Cortona Drive and Fowler Road today.

 

 

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.

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The Man with a Hoe

Charles Edward Anson P1310885Markham (1852-1940) is characterized as a minor American poet.  Since he has Evergreen roots, we’ll designate him a major Evergreen poet.  Edwin Markham was a teacher at the Evergreen Schoolhouse from 1869-1889.  During those twenty years, he would write from the East Foothills and inspire and educate students from the Chaboya family, Kettmann family, Smith Family, certainly one day principal and superintendent, Katie R. Smith, Aborn Family , Chew Family and others.  He was so cherished by the community, a redwood tree would be planted in his honor.
markhamThough not published until 1899, ten years after Edwin Markham left the employment of the Evergreen School, I like to speculate about his inspirations.  The Oregon native wrote poetry about the working class life in the late 1800’s.  He would’ve worked on the family farm as a child, like most children at the time, in the north bay area.  He would finish his teaching credential at San Jose State, then known as the Normal School, and fall in love with Evergreen.  From 1921-1931, Edwin Markham would be Poet Laureate of Oregon.
manhoe1Edwin Markham incites emotion through his metaphors and that familiar sense of earning.  It is often said that Markham’s “The Man with the Hoe” was inspired by Jean-Francios Millet’s painting of the same subject, shown here to the left.  That may have been a contemporary pop culture influence, however, Markham would get to see this activity quite regularly during his twenty year teaching stint in the town of Evergreen.
P1320557I have specific details about the farm adjacent to the schoolhouse using hoes, pitchforks and sickles, archaic equipment the immigrant family would’ve used in the old country.  The farmers in Evergreen during this time would have front row seats to the Industrial Revolution and watch their equipment mechanize before their own eyes.  Poorer farmers would have to work by hand until Evergreen’s labor force combined and circulated large rigs to harvest everyone’s fields.
Markham’s poetry would very much parallel the hardworking farmer’s plight during this time in history.  Evergreen was farm country, first appearing in the Altas in 1867.  Markham would move into Evergreen in 1869, as one time squatters became legal land owners and brand new farms were being raised all over town.  It would be harder to imagine Markham’s work not being inspired by his time in the little farming town 8 miles outside the City.
Here’s Markham’s poem.  If you enjoy this, read on.  His poetry is quite lovely.

The Man with the Hoe

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans 
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, 
The emptiness of ages in his face, 
And on his back the burden of the world. 
Who made him dead to rapture and despair, 
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes. 
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox? 
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw? 
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow? 
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain? 
Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave 
To have dominion over sea and land; 
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power; 
To feel the passion of Eternity? 
Is this the Dream He dreamed who shaped the suns 
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep? 
Down all the stretch of Hell to its last gulf 
There is no shape more terrible than this — 
More tongued with censure of the world’s blind greed — 
More filled with signs and portents for the soul — 
More fraught with menace to the universe. 
What gulfs between him and the seraphim! 
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him 
Are Plato and the swing of Pleiades? 
What the long reaches of the peaks of song, 
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose? 
Through this dread shape the suffering ages look; 
Time’s tragedy is in the aching stoop; 
Through this dread shape humanity betrayed, 
Plundered, profaned, and disinherited, 
Cries protest to the Powers that made the world. 
A protest that is also a prophecy. 
O masters, lords and rulers in all lands, 
Is this the handiwork you give to God, 
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched? 
How will you ever straighten up this shape; 
Touch it again with immortality; 
Give back the upward looking and the light; 
Rebuild in it the music and the dream, 
Make right the immemorial infamies, 
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes? 
O masters, lords and rulers in all lands 
How will the Future reckon with this Man? 
How answer his brute question in that hour 
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores? 
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings — 
With those who shaped him to the thing he is — 
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world. 
After the silence of the centuries?

Daniel McCray – Anti-Slavery Evergreen Resident

In looking for Mayor John A. Quimby of Evergreen and San Jose, this interesting tid bit fell out of a family tree.  If I can find the author, I would love to get you more information on this stellar, little-known character.  In hopes that this was the origin of the McClay family along Norwood Avenue, I read on.  Though I couldn’t make that connection through the family tree, how this one time Florida Sherriff came to California during tensions that eventually led up to the American Civil War was fascinating.  This author, whomever it is, is detailed and follows land purchases into Evergreen.  Daniel McCray’s path would cross with Evergreen’s Farnsworth Family, Metzger family, and intimately with the Cottle Family.  It’s a wonderful piece of forgotten Evergreen history.

*SPECIAL STUDENT NOTE: There is language that is quoted directly from the time that may be alarming.  If you are upset, please discuss this with an adult.

Notes for Daniel McCray:
DANIEL AND MALINDA (McCROSKEY) McCRAY
of SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
1852 to 1873
by Norman McCray Scofield
DANIEL McCRAY, born 1811 in Washington County, Tennessee, near Jonesboro, spent his first sixteen years in that area. His grandfather Daniel had emigrated about 1760 from Scotland, probably locating first in Maryland. He soon joined the land seekers traveling south through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He married SARAH NODDING in Maryland or Virginia. At least one of their children, Henry, was born in Virginia.
By 1765 Daniel and his family had penetrated the future state of Tennessee, then the county of Washington under the jurisdiction of North Carolina county of Washington under the jurisdiction of North Carolina. Daniel served in the Revolution, his records being in North Carolina. About 1800 most of the family moved west and took up land in Williamson County, Tennessee, Henry owned a whole section of land where the City of Franklin arose later, about ten miles south of Nashville, Henry sold it for a nominal sum, and he and his father returned to Jonesboro before 1810. His brothers, Thomas, William and Elisha also returned eastward to near Madisonville, Monroe County. Henry served in the War of 1810-12 as a Captain in the First Regiment of Tennessee Militia. Three of his brothers served in the same company with him Lt. Philip, Ensign Thomas and Srgt. William.
After 1830 the young Daniel probably joined his uncles in Monroe County, where there was plenty of work, clearing fields, cultivating and building.
On the 17th of October 1837 Daniel and Malinda were married. Daniel moved with his new bride to Summerville Georgia, where he had secured the position of Sheriff of Chatooga County.
Daniel and Malinda spent eleven years in Summerville and had five children. In 1848 they returned to the homestead on Fork Creek near Madisonville with Mary Lucinda ten, Julia F., three, their only surviving children. Franklin P. was born in January of 1849 in Monroe County. Through 1849 and ’50, Daniel’s brothers-in-law Joshua twenty two and Patrick twenty had sought permission of their father John McCroskey to join the gold rush to California. He had refused, pointing out the hazards and the uncertainty of success in gaining easy fortunes.
During these two years, Daniel must have been weighing in his mind the realities he knew in Tennessee, of small rock bound valleys and sharp climate, against the overblown reports of gold fortunes in California and its reported wide, flat, fertile valleys and moderate climate. Springing from a line of land seeking forebears the California lands must have been predominate in his thinking although the gold find was one of the wonders of the world and deserved at least an inspection.
It is also possible that one could sense in 1850 the gathering differences between the North and South over the slavery question. Although grandfather Daniel had owned one or two slaves, and father Henry one, they were concerned for their welfare. This is evident in grandfather Daniel’s will of 1818 “…that my negro man Alick shall have the choosing of his own master and misstress amongst my children and they shall not sell or run him out of the county.”
Daniel must have thrown his support to the California trip, because early in 1851, before the birth of his son Victor on the 16th of September, Daniel with a young friend ROBERT W. GRUBB (his future son-in-law), Joshua and Patrick McCroskey travelled by stage and rail to New York where they took passage on a steamer plying to the Isthmus of Panama and thence by local boat up the Chargres River as far as it was navigable. From there they walked across the Isthmus with their belongings on their backs to Panama City. On the ship from New York they had been crowded like cattle to accommodate passenger lists of two and three times normal capacity. By the time they reached the Isthmus, possibly five to ten percent of the passengers had come down with so-called yellow fever.
Many died in the primitive Indian village on the Chargres River. (See The Romance of the Age or the Discovery of Gold in California, D. Appleton, New York, 1867, a copy of which Daniel purchased in San Jose in 1867). The four men waited only two days before getting passage to San Francisco. After two days at sea Patrick sickened and died of yellow fever. He was buried at sea off Acapulco, Mexico.
Arrival in San Jose
On arrival in San Francisco, Daniel and Robert Grubb went to the gold diggings out of Sacramento while Joshua proceeded to San Jose. There he engaged in farming produce for sale in the San Francisco market, Daniel and Robert were convinced by the reports of Joshua that their forte lay in farming. They were found in San Jose in early 1852 engaged in farming, more to their liking than the hectic mine fields.
By the winter of 1856, Daniel had established the means to bring his family to California. He also probably had settled on land near San Jose that was considered Public Domain, based on the assumption that the land grants made by Spain were no longer valid when the territory was taken over by the United States.
Daniel returned to Tennessee by the route he had taken to California, leaving Robert Grubb to guard whatever property he had adquired. By April 11, 1857 the Daniel McCrays had packed their household furniture and dispatched it by sailing ship around the Horn of South America.
That afternoon they caught a train at Sweetwater, ten miles southwest of Madisonville for their trip to Charleston. The party consisted of Daniel and Malinda, aged 43 and36, Mary 19, Julia 12, Franklin 8 and Victor 6, Other members of the party were a Mr. White, Jones, Fred Graham and “Old-Ten” (Tennessee?) Weathers, possibly a relative of JOHN F. WEATHERS who was probably already farming near San Jose, their future son-in-law.
One can imagine the trip by wagon team from Oakland to Evergreen in a California May. Daniel may have acquired or built some sort of shelter on his land. Probably Robert Grubb had lived there while Daniel was in Tenneseee.
The children, Julia, Franklin and Victor, were enrolled in the Evergreen School at the junction of Evergreen (Aborn) and White Roads, two miles from their home in the east corner formed by the intersection of King and Tully Roads, then unnamed.
Mary L, McCray was married to ROBERT W. GRUBB on September 12, 1857. She was nineteen years old. They probably lived on the McCray ranch, A son Harry was born to Daniel and Melinda on December 10, 1858.
By this time the consuming topic of conversation was the validity of property titles, whether they claimed them as homesteads or had bought from earlier settlers. It began to appear that the United States Courts might uphold the legality of the land grants to appear that the United States Courts might uphold the legality of the land grants made by the Spanish monarchy or the Mexican government.
“On April 11, 1859 a very large meeting was held at the Evergreen School House to hear Mr. A. A. Green of San Francisco, discuss Spanish land grants in general, and the Chabolla Grant in particular… August 15th the San Jose Land Company gave notice that they would sell their rights to the lands known as the Five-Hundred-Acre tracts… The Commissioners of the Funded Debt of San Jose announced on the same day that they would sell titles to the same lands … The Mayor announced that he did not believe the Land Company owned any interest or title to sell.” (History of San Jose – F. Hall)
To explain the conflicting announcements, the City of San Jose claimed ownership of certain lands, because of the rights and lands passed down by the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, set aside for town and public use by the laws of Spain. The Land Company claimed some rights to these lands because of legal attachments they had made against them for debts owed them by the City of San Jose, specifically, for the balance and interest due on a building the members of the Land Company had had built, and sold to the City for the use of the first California Legislature meeting. Some of the Spanish land grants, such as the one made to Antonio Chabolla, Rancho of the Spanish land grants, such as the one made to Antonio Chabolla, Rancho Yerba Bueno Y. Socarye overlapped some of the lands claimed by the City as belonging to the original Areblo de San Jose.
Daniel took heed of these events and on November 28, 1859 obtained a Deed to 52 acres on which he lived from HIATT P. HEPBURN and HENRY WILKINS of San Francisco for $780, (Book O p. 503). These two men apparently had bought tracts of land from Antonio Chabolla on the speculation that the United States courts would eventually sustain the original Spanish land grants. The following December 12th Daniel obtained a Deed from the Commissioners of the Funded Debt for 54.9 acres the same body of land although slightly larger in dimension for $78.60, (Book N p. 2). It appears that Daniel felt quick action was necessary to protect the improvements he probably had made, so he was not in a position to quibble over 2.9 acres. No record has been found as to how Daniel acquired the property in the first place.
On January 2, 1860 Daniel added 89.77 acres to his original 52 acre piece, lying on the N, E., from A. B. CLADWELL and wife MARY A., paying $897, (Book M p. 702). A few days later, January 14th Daniel cleared title to a small area of 6.44 acres lying on the S.W. of the piece bought from Caldwell, (Book N p. 94).
By April 1861 the United States courts settled the matter of ownership of the Spanish land grant made to Antonio Chabolla, and numerous writs of ejection for possession of land occupied by settlers became obligatory for the Sheriff to serve on the squatters. He collected a posse of about six hundred to carry out his duties, but dismissed the posse when they gathered because they were unarmed and, when asked, were not in favor of arming themselves.
That afternoon nearly a thousand settlers paraded the main street of San Jose, on horses and in wagons, armed to the teeth, One contingent even brought a small caannon. They returned to their homes and no violence occurred. Some of the people in the parade were financially unable to clear the titles to their lands. Others had purchased properties from earlier settlers who claimed valid titles which now became null and void. Many were voicing disapproval of an act they believed fraudulent, not realizing that the decision were final in the highest courts. Matters were peaceably settled within a reasonable time.
On May 10, 1861 another son, Leon G. was born to Daniel and Malinda. He survived only twenty days.
On November 15, 1862 Daniel sold all his land, 141.72 acres, and buildings lying in the east corner of King and Tully Roads, to THOMAS H. FARNSWORTH for $26.00, (Book E p. 536). Even at this date the Tully Road is referred to as, “the road which passes said McCray’s house.” The exact reason for Daniel’s sale is not known. Another puzzle is that he did not take title to any other piece of property for two years. Where the family lived in the interim is not known. It is possible that Thomas Farnsworth did not need the buildings on the property and the McCrays remained there as renters.
On February 22, 1863 Daniel and Malinda’s last child was born, Amelia, called Ella. On October 26, 1864 Daniel purchased 148 acres near Pioneer on the Almaden Road for $1,500, whose western boundary was the Guadalupe River and its northern boundary south of Downer Avenue (now Blossom Hill Road.) The purchase was made from TRAVIS and MARTHA F. PHILLIPS, (Book T p. 68). By this date Franklin was 15 and Victor 13 and they had become well acquainted with their schoolmates in Evergreen.
Two schoolmates were Mary, 14, and A1ice, 8, daughters of ORVAL and SARAH COTTLE whose home and ranch were one mile on Silver Creek Road, south of its junction with King and Evergreen (Aborn) Road. Mary and Alice, the future wives of Franklin and Victor, attended Evergreen School with a number of their sisters. They walked to school via Silver Creek and Evergreen Roads, which were only wagon tracks. They told in later years of their struggles through mud nearly knee deep in gum boots whose appearance embarrassed them. They carried their regular shoes so they could change.
In October 1866 Daniel bought from JOHN G. METZGER 100 acres for $2,000 adjoining his holdings in Pioneer, (Book V p. 534). Apparently there was no adequate building for a grammar school because Daniel became one of three school trustees for their District who purchased a school lot for the City of San Jose on which a school house was soon built, known as the Pioneer School, (Book W p. 544, signed by Mayor J. A. QUIMBY and School trustees ANDREW REDMOND, FRANCIS L. EASTERDAY and DANIEL McCRAY.)
On June 26, 1873 Daniel and Malinda sold their 223.27 acres at Pioneer to WI LLIAM F. S. L. de A. GIESSENBERG for $11,150 (Book 30 p. 261). In the nine years the McCrays had acquired 248 acres for $3,500. Selling 223.27 acres for$11,150, they gain $7,650 with no allowance for improvements. Somehow, probably due to inaccuracies in the surveys they lost 24.73 acres in the transaction. This sale was no doubt for the profit involved, but also to allow the McCrays to move to Hollister and invest in the new lands just opened by the San Justo Homestead Association in the San Benito Valley, then contained in Monterey County. On August 18, 1873 they bought their first piece of land close to the center of town, and in the following three years they purchased four more plots, totaling 85.2 acres for an investment of $6, 275.

“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.

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1850 - bridge19921847

Alfred Chew’s Residence

J.E. Brown, Theodore Lenzen Residence, Geo. H. Briggs, J.E. Ruc000000The people and places featured in books and publications back in the 1800’s were highly regarded as well as some of the only glimpses into other places at the time.  Alfred Chew was made popular by the Thompson and West Altas published in 1876.  Print was a limited medium, but made the exchange of information possible.  Tales of the Western Frontier being tamed were becoming public knowledge as fruit, dried and canned, would reach the East Coast from Santa Clara Valley.  The building of railroads brought many people to California through and after the Gold Rush, but also made the export of fruit and curiosity a real commodity.

mapImages of Santa Clara Valley were published for the whole world to delight in, along with our bountiful produce in the Valley of Heart’s Delight.  This would’ve also served as a tourism guide of landmarks to see when visiting the area.   Evergreen and Silver Creek were located in the Rancho Yerba Buena Survey, eventually becoming the whole of Evergreen.  The associated map for the above photo is to the right, from Thompson and West’s 1876 Atlas with Alfred Chew’s residence featured.  Fitting, the Survey of mention is in green.

P1310192As you can see from this 1890 map to the left, before the turn of the century, Aborn Road was known as Evergreen Road west of White Road and San Felipe Road.  To the East of San Felipe Road, the heavily driven Evergreen artery Aborn Road was known as Chew Lane.   The Chew property is also featured here in the 1890 map at the top right corner along Chew Lane.  That got me chewing on who Alfred Chew was.

caMr. Alfred Chew (1834-1910) would do a little traveling from his Ohio home front before settling down.  Young Alfred would come with his parents, Morris Rees Chew and Mathilda Crumley, to live in Illinois before traveling West on his own.  In 1853, Alfred Chew would start his journey West with the Kirkpatrick Company, headed for Oregon and making the most out of getting lost at the Missouri River.  Kirkpatrick didn’t immediately arrive in Oregon that time.  Before becoming a farmer in Evergreen, Alfred would meander South into California.  We know about Mr. Alfred Chew for his leadership in early California Statehood in different areas of the State.  Alfred Chew would run cattle through Gilroy before he would suffer from typhoid fever.  Before returning home to Illinois in 1860, Mr. Alfred Chew would pursue government posts, and surely a different type of occupation than he had before.  He was the US Deputy Surveyor for San Luis Obispo County in the late 1850’s.  Alfred Chew would return to Illinois and marry Margaret Kennedy, returning to Evergreen with his new bride.

0000001876 MapAlfred Chew would come to Evergreen and begin farming in 1860 3 miles outside of Evergreen.  Alfred Chew would take his year’s profits and purchase a portion of attorney William Matthew’s property near downtown Evergreen in 1861, which was granted to him in exchange for legal services from the Chaboya vs. Squatters battle in years prior.  This 1896 map shows no road where Chew Lane and now Aborn Road exists.  Evergreen literally grew up with and around the Chew Family homestead.  This is a black and white close up of the 1876 Thompson and West Altas with Chew’s property under “SAN”, before the road in his name was created.  He would’ve moved in right next door to Charles Smith and Genrio Chaboya as one of the first residents of Evergreen.

ls1After his winfall year farming 200 acres 3 miles outside of Evergreen in 1859, Chew would buy 100 acres of his own and build his home in downtown Evergreen.  He would raise 7 children with wife Margaret, Mamie.  They would’ve gone to the Evergreen Schoolhouse.  Mr. Alfred Chew would return to civil service, elected to the Board of County Supervisors in 1873.  He would serve on the Board from 1874-1878.  Chew would also serve in Santa Clara County’s Assessor’s Office into the early 1900’s.  Both his wife, Mamie, and his daughter, Emily Ann or Emma, would teach at the Evergreen Schoolhouse down the street from his downtown Evergreen house.  Emma would also marry into the well-known, well liked Hostetter Family, who found their way to Santa Clara County with the Evergreen Farnsworth family guardians.  Over the 50 years Alfred lived in Evergreen, Chew’s neighbors would sell their large downtown Evergreen farms away to make room for subdivision housing.  Evergreen would continue to grow in population.  Chew’s farm had a very different fate.

Mr. Alfred Chew’s Obituary would read “PROMINENT SAN JOSE ORCHARDIST IS DEAD Alfred Chew,” County Treasury Watchdog Passes Away SAN JOSE, Calif.  Jan. 2. — Alfred Chew, for 33 years the “watchdog of the county treasury” and one of the most prominent orchardists of the county, died late last evening; at his home near Evergreen at the age of 75 years. For nearly half a century he had served the community as supervisor and deputy assessor or deputy tax collector.  He is survived by seven children… ”

P1310203 (1)The Chew children would continue to live in and work on the Evergreen farm on Chew Lane.  Chew’s reputation and leadership in the early days of Evergreen was the reason its main artery was name after him over a hundred years ago.  You can see it crossing the “A” in this 1902 map along the Hart Line.

P1310198As you can see from the 1911 map to the left, this was the time Evergreen Road and Chew Lane became one Aborn Road.  John Aborn, another revered Evergreen character, was a local pioneer figure from before Alfred Chew’s time in Evergreen who fought for farmers with the Chaboya Family, making the town of Evergreen possible.  I wonder how his family must’ve felt about the renaming.  Regardless of how Alfred Chew would’ve felt about the change of the street’s name, he would never have witnessed the change of address.  The Chew Estate would stay in the family for a short while longer, all married and established, and the Chew family would move out of Evergreen in the 1910’s with Mamie’s passing.

MirassouWinerylogoP1310098Shortly after the Chews’ death and Aborn Road’s creation, the original 100 acres purchased from William Matthews in 1861 would be sold to another famed Evergreen family, the Mirassous.  Henriette Pellier would marry Mr. Mirassou, see her family carry on the tradition of winemaking and move the winery operations from Pellier Ranch off Quimby and Chaboya Road in 1911 to the Chew property off of Chew Lane.  There, the Mirassou family would have its famed vineyards and historic tasting room on Aborn Road for almost 100 years.

1866Through this artwork we’re trying to explain the transition from Native wilderness, to Mexican cow pastures to American homesteads.  The artwork that features Mr. Alfred Chew’s residence from 1876, though certainly built in the 1860’s, is a piece that tries to do just that.  Farmers moving into Evergreen would breathe new life into the ever green hills.  Leaders like Chew would shape a developing area and Evergreen’s identity to the rest of the Country.  It’s important to know who Chew was in Evergreen’s narrative.

 

 

Evergreen School House Rocks

image001 The Evergreen Schoolhouse opened in 1860.  There were enough Chaboyas, both European and American homesteaders and rancheros families to open up a school in Rancho Yerba Buena.  It would be incorporated into the Santa Clara County Education system in 1866 as the township became more established.

markhamFamed author Edwin Markham (1852-1940) would come to Evergreen Schoolhouse to teach in its early days after attending San Jose State University.  Teaching in Evergreen from 1969-89, he would recall the days of a single story school house, replaced by a larger two-story one.  A nearby redwood tree was planted in his honor after teaching there for twenty years, which I intend to find if it’s still around.  The Redwood would be over 100 years old now.  It is said the Evergreen helps inspire some of Markham’s work.  The commemorative redwood tree also might be the inspiration of the Evergreen trees in the School District’s logo.

P1310885In general, the School’s schedule would sync up with the fruit picking seasons and operate 10 months a year.  They insisted on keeping the school free to the public and secular from its inception.  My old time interviewees would recall the school house at the corner or San Felipe/White Road and Aborn Road, then Evergreen Road.  That may seem odd now, but it would’ve been located there the shopping center and Valero gas station stands today.  The land was donated by Mr. Nirum Cadwallader, who also donated the same amount of land to the WCR some years later, and upheld the donation by William Matthews in the transaction to Geo. Kettmann.  Education has been something Evergreen residents have felt strongly about since the town began.  The Schoolhouse had been there on Evergreen Road, now Aborn, since the 1860.  I think it’s so cool that today’s well-known creek crossings would’ve been somebody else’s path to school 150 years ago.

165) Kathrine Smithls1Katherine R. Smith (1870-1973), daughter of town leader and postmaster Francis J. Smith, would come back to Evergreen schoolhouse after being one of the first women to graduate from San Jose State University and teach down the street from her house.  The school house would remain there for a long time.  Katie is huge part of Evergreen History.

Charles C. Smith, F.J. Smith Store and Residence, Adam Herman,The two-story school house would be moved by rolling it over logs down the street on San Felipe Road and Yerba Buena Ave. during the 1950’s.  This is when San Felipe would’ve changed directions and Keaton Loop created.  Post World War and new City Planning developing in effect, Evergreen’s update began with this major move.  It also helps explain why this view of the Smith homes feels incorrect. From the drawing, the road now runs between the houses and business, and this driveway between them is essentially Yerba Buena Avenue.  Directly next to this road would’ve been Dry Creek, now known as Thompson Creek.  The Schoolhouse would come to stand where the General Store and Winery are.

P1310652That’s right, the schoolhouse moved across the street from Katherine’s House.  How rad is that?  Katherine, Katie, would become Superintendent of the Evergreen Elementary School District, watch the school outgrow this two-story facility and move to Fowler Road before expanding with new schools.  The Evergreen School is where Evergreen Elementary School is today.  Katie would live to be 103 years old and known as the Daughter of Evergreen.  As a staple of the Evergreen Community and a beloved educator, it only seems appropriate to name Evergreen’s second school in her honor in 1962.

P1310650This two-story school house still stands today, or at least that’s what I had heard from fellow Evergreenians.  I did some digging.  I found what stands where the schoolhouse was last seen.  There is this odd, adobe looking, older apartment building, called the Chaboya Apartments, standing there now at the intersection of San Felipe Road and Yerba Buena Avenue.

P1310647What I was not understanding or seeing before was that the Evergreen Schoolhouse does still stand, but with the addition to the original building disguising it.  I took a closer look at what was there and found the Schoolhouse I was looking for hidden in plain sight!  I find it here farthest to the right in the picture to the right.  It would be naturally to extend evenly in each direction, but you’re pretty limited in repurposing a building with a creek in your backyard.  To say it’s gotten some body work would be an understatement, but that’s it with the stairs leading up to it.  Only the front got the more modern adobe facelift.

It’s an incredible finding as the Evergreen Elementary School District is an ally of The Evergreen Mural Walk project, as well as a source of its inspiration.  Education is something we’d like to focus on here in Evergreen and that strength came from within in many instances.  Katie is one of those inner strengths.  The students still living having used this facility are still a connected family here in Evergreen.  Here’s some of the artwork inspired by the early days of the Evergreen Elementary School District.

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Women’s Relief Corps Evergreen Home

This this project, pathwaysI have met some amazing, exemplary women from the Evergreen Community.  In fact, they have been the silent hands that guide this artwork and this narrative.  Colleen Cortese inspires this work with her series of articles “Evergreen Pathways” published by the Evergreen Times, her curation of the Heritage Room at Evergreen Valley College, her historical work with St. Francis Asis Catholic Church on San Felipe Road and with her own kindness and time.  Jennifer DiNapoli helped me find contemporary exemplary Evergreen individuals.  Winnifred Coe Verbica is an awesome lady who had one foot in the city and one in the countryside.  DeEtte Richmond Sipos is helping us look into Women in the workforce and one of the first Childcare services in regards to her great Grandfather’s business.  Evergreen Elementary School District’s Superintendent, Kathy Gomez, is one of this projects and this narrative’s strongest allies.  Denise Belilse runs a well-known Evergreen business in Evergreen Village Square, the Evergreen Coffee Company.  Our Vice Mayor and councilwoman, Rose Herrera, continues a legacy of women leading the way in Evergreen.  Women have been making Evergreen amazing, whether these ladies let me sing their praises or not.

CAM10475There is a Woman’s organization whose been apart of Evergreen’s identity through the years which is undeniably a symbol of Evergreen, though it has long been forgotten.  The Women’s Relief Corps Home in Evergreen can be found in publications and books published on landmarks of the Santa Clara Valley as far back at the 1890’s.  This historical home on Cadwallader Avenue, then downtown Evergreen, was burnt now so it is an easily overlooked piece of Evergreen’s narrative.  That having been said, the WRC is where women really show their leadership in early Evergreen.

wrc-badgeMr. Nirum Hart Cadwallader donated the 5 acres land for the Evergreen schoolhouse on San Felipe Road and Evergreen Road as early as 1860.  Cadwallader aslo donated over 5 acres of land for the Women’s Relief Corps, which was funded by the Grand Army of the Republic following the Civil War.  The GAR was made up of Civil War Veterans of the Army and Naval forces beginning in 1866.  Women’s Relief Corps, recognized in 1883, were established across the United States of America to house veterans, widows and orphans of the Civil War.  As time passed, they became hospitals for the chronically ill.

CAM10476Evergreen’s Women’s Relief Corps Home was opened in 1889 off of Cadwallader Avenue near present day Thompson Creek and Keaton Loop.  It was the only hospital of its kind in Santa Clara County.  Though Mr. Nirum Cadwallader originally from Ohio continues to be a mystery, his contributions made to township of Evergreen, then a farming community, made it a more connected, hospitable, praiseworthy place.  Mrs. Bayington was once of its earliest Matrons.  Evergreen’s WRC would take on patients from around the country, seeking sanctuary from the devastation and injuries of the American Civil War.

P1320743Another place where the Women’s Relief Corps Home reoccurred in my research was looking into well-known Evergreen families.

P1320744Mineola Wheeler Hassler (1874-1958), pictured here to the left was the Home’s manager in 1899.  Miss Mineola Wheeler married German immigrant and Evergreen land owner John Hassler in 1902 at her parents home.  The Hasslers, after buying up land from Rancho Yerba Buena with the Kettmanns following land disputes, would come to own the ranch which is now known as “The Ranch Country Club” and Hassler Parkway area.  The Hassler family’s bright red barn was very notable and even a point of tourism in the 1920’s.

Mineola would be employed with the Evergreen Home in 1896 and then become Matron of the Women’s Relief Corps in 1899 until 1902 when she married Mr. Hassler.  She would raise her family where the now vacant fire station stands on Aborn Road.

P1320746The Women’s Relief Corps home would burn down in 1920 flames being seen as far as Norwood Avenue.  It’s suspected that an ill patient lit the fire that seized the home.  With California’s famed Golden Girl, Mrs. Geraldine Frisbie, the Evergreen patients were then transferred to Osborne Hall in 1921 in the township of Santa Clara.  Santa Clara’s Osborne Hall, established by Dr. and Mrs. E. A. Osborne, would later develop into Angew Hospital.  It would be one of the first hospitals for the feeble-minded, as Dr. Osborne pioneered the field from the 1870’s forward.  With the GAR dissolving in the 1950’s, as Civl War veterans, widows and orphans were passing away, it repurposed the valuable sanctuary/hospital hall.

The artwork, in kind, for this piece of Women’s History in Evergreen, has done some developing as the leads get followed and the story becomes clearer.  Here are the pieces we’ve worked up for the WRC with the last being the latest.

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