As I was saying, our early historical endeavors actually depends on two things: the website http://ohp.parks.ca.gov where the historical areas are located and the printed Google Map of our destinations. Early GPS models won’t be released until the end of the year and its unheard of from smartphones. Our first destination, of course, was Santa Clara. We passed by the city on our way to our primary physicians via Highway 82 where there were a couple of historical places in the area. We first headed to Santa Clara University because within its grounds is one of the 21 California Missions. We didn’t go in because our main objective was to find the marker, take a picture of it and its surroundings, if possible. Therefore, we didn’t really explore each site during our early adventures. Here is a brief history of the Mission, according to its California Marker:
Mission Santa Clara
“Founded nearby on the edge of the Guadalupe River on January 12, 1777, this is the first California mission to honor a woman-Clare of Assisi. The mission, which once had the largest Indian population of any in California, was moved after floods and earthquake, its fifth church was dedicated on this site in 1825. In 1851 Santa Clara College was established in the old mission buildings.“
That is a very short description of the Mission. Someday, we might be able to go back and explore it thoroughly. The California Historical Landmark is #338 located in front of Mission Church, University of Santa Clara, The Alameda and Lexington St, Santa Clara. Afterwards, we went to our next destination which is nearby and like before, here is a brief information from the marker:
Old Adobe Women’s Club
“This adobe, among the oldest in Santa Clara Valley, was one of several continuous rows of homes built in 1792-1800 as dwellings for the Indian families of Mission Santa Clara. It links the Franciscan padres’ labors with California of today. “
California Historical Marker #249 in the location of 3260 The Alameda between Benton and Franklin Sts, Santa Clara. A few blocks away is our next stop, the Morse house.
Charles Copeland Morse Residence
“C. C. Morse of Ferry-Morse Seed Company fame built this mansion, claimed to be the largest remaining late Queen Anne-style Victorian residence in the City of Santa Clara in 1892. Morse was a pioneer in the seed industry whose work had a substantial impact upon the economic growth of California.”
Almost across from the house is another marker, which was unfamiliar to us because it was not the official California Landmark, but we still took the time to look at the house and read the inscription.
Frederick C. Franck Jr. Residence
“Point of Historical Interest Frederick C. Franck, Jr., Residence 1179 Washington Street
Built in 1905 by Frederick C. Franck. Jr. (1873-1954). Santa Clara Town trustee, businessman and son of senator F.C. Franck. The Franck Family, owned this entire block. Maude Shuld Franck (1878-1960) His wife lived here until her death.
The House was designed Louis Lenzen. A prominent San Jose architect. In the colonial revival style popular after the turn of the century. Major features are the square shape, hipped roof modillion blocks under the eaves and corner oriel windows at the second story.“
That was it for the markers in the city of Santa Clara and then we headed to the town of Saratoga nestled at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains. On the way, we stopped by a few more historical places in San Jose such as:
“This historic adobe was built in 1836 by a native Californian, Roberto Balermino, on Rancho de los Coches, which was officially granted to him by Governor Micheltorena in 1844. The one-story dwelling was enlarged in 1847 by the new owner, Antonio Suñol, the second story and balcony were added in 1853 by Captain Stefano Splivalo.”
Located in 770 Lincoln Ave, San Jose with the Historical landmark #898. It was strange because it was not really an adobe. It was probably because of the changes made in later eyes that modified the original look of the house beside the added balcony.
Another landmark but unfortunately, it was literally a historical marker. Surrounded by an apartment complex, this sign reminded us of the early days in San Jose.
“Established in 1851 as a subscription school meeting in private homes, this is the oldest rural school district in California. Its first teacher, Charles LaFollette, 1851, taught for three months, the second teacher, Abraham H. Featherman, stayed six months. Through efforts of Samuel Curtis Rogers, its third teacher, who taught from 1852 to 1854, the first public school building, formerly the home of Zechariah Moreland, was obtained in 1852. In 1853 Rogers secured organization of the school as Santa Clara Township School District No. 2, the school was renamed in Moreland’s honor in 1862.”
Historical Landmark #489 located in 4335 Payne Ave at Saratoga, San Jose. That wrapped up the first half of our trip as we stopped by the nearby Carl’s Jr and my companions ate some juicy, gigantic burgers while I savored a special burrito from their Green Burrito menu. After filling up our stomachs, we headed to the town of Saratoga when it started raining.