John Charles Frémont, Juan Chrisostomo Galindo, Maria Zacharias Bernal y Berryessa

The Berryessa Adobe

Experts believe that the Berryessa Adobe was built in the 1840s by Juan Chrisostomo Galindo, one of the first Spanish colonists to arrive to the Santa Clara Valley with the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition.

Portrait of Santa Clara Pioneer Juan Chrisostomo Galindo.

However, in “Old Santa Clara Valley: A Guide to Historic Buildings from Palo Alto to Gilroy” by Phyllis Filiberti Butler, it says, “According to local lore the building was once a mission jail for unruly Indian field hands. And since it has an outside staircase leading to an upstairs garret, not unlike Vancouver’s description of the Indian ‘apartments’ of 1792, the structure may in fact have been constructed earlier than is generally supposed.”

The Berryessa Adobe has changed ownership a multitude of times over the past two centuries. It was first sold to Maria Zacharias Bernal y Berryessa.

Painting depicting the American settlers’ takeover of the Mexican government in Northern California.

Berryessa then gave the home to her son, Fernando, who was later killed in San Rafael on the order of John Charles Frémont during the Bear Flag Revolt.

In 1970, a historical marker was placed by the Berryessa Adobe.

In 2002, the adobe was dedicated as a musuem with descendants of the families who once lived in the structure present. The musuem consists of the histories of the families that once lived there.