Alumn Rock Park, John Martin Ogan, San Jose, California

Alumn Rock Park – California’s Oldest Municipal Park

On July 22, 1778, Mexican Governor Felipe de Neve granted a land grant that formed part of an area known as “The Reservation”. The lands were not utilized as a park, until the land came under the ownership of the United States. In 1872, an act of the San Jose City Council established the area known in the United States as the “The Reservation” and “Little Yosemite”, which John Martin Ogan eventually referred to as Alumn Rock Park in 1890, as a California park.

Alum Rock Park is on the western foothills of the Diablo Mountain range and is the first and the oldest municipal park in the state of California.

In 1891, Richard Qunicey built a rail line from downtown San Jose to Alumn Rock Park. Thousands of visitors took the trains that took them to a ferris wheel, a saloon, a zoo and other attractions. In 1896, Hugh Center became the owner of the railroad from San Jose to Alumn Rock. Hugh became aware that embers from the coals would burn holes through passengers clothing during the ride to the park and back. Thus in 1901, Hugh announced a plan, to a San Jose newspaper, to convert the trains from steam power to electric power.

By the early 1900s, all of the trains were converted to electric.

From 1914 to 1916, a log cabin was built within Alumn Rock Park to honor the past pioneers that lead to the creation of the city of San Jose.

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