Henry Morris Naglee, San Francisco, California, San Jose, California

Henry Morris Naglee – The First Commander Of A California National Guard Unit In San Francisco

In 1849, three years after serving in the Mexican-American War, Henry Morris Naglee was the commander of a militia unit in San Francisco which was the first unit of the California National Guard.

A statue in honor of Henry Morris Naglee was placed at the Saint James Park in San José, California.

James Paul McCartney, San Jose, California, The Beatles

Musician James Paul McCartney’s Performance At The SAP Center Of San José, California

Englishman Sir James Paul McCartney did a nearly three hour set at the SAP Center in San José, California.

James Paul McCartney spoke about the time he met musician Jimmy Hendrix and How Jimmy asked McCartney to open up for him a show he was doing that same week. McCartney spoke about how his song, “Black Bird” was about the ongoing U.S. Civil Rights movement.

San Jose, California

1960 – The Japanese Friendship Garden Was Established In San José

In 1960, during the month of May, the Japanese Cultural Garden was established due to the “Sister City” relationship between Okayama, Japan and San Jose, California

Okayama, Japan and San Jose, California have dignitaries that travel to both cities as a result of the “Sister City” relationship, a connection that various cities worldwide share with one another.

The park and gardens have various Japanese style structures and bridges, similar to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California.

In addition, there are various Japanese fauna and bushes within the garden grounds.

San Francisco, California, San Jose, California

Charles Harmon’s Painting Of The Santa Clara Valley Shown At The “1915 World’s Fair” In San Francisco

In 1915, Charles Harmon was commissioned to paint the Santa Clara Valley for the upcoming World’s Fair in San Francisco. The painting has moved to various locations since the end of the fair.

Currently, the painting is displayed within the jury room within the Santa Clara Courthouse in San Jose, California.

San Jose, California, The Oak Hill Funeral Home And Memorial Park

The Oak Hill Funeral Home And Memorial Park

The Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park hosts the graves of various historical figures, such as members of the Donner Party, as well as multiple celebrities.

The chapel on the grounds has a British style roof that is akin to the roof of the historical Ainsley House in downtown Campell, California.

On the top of the Oak Hill Memorial Park grounds Is a large cross and multiple cenotaphs.

The mausoleum has several statues and artwork within the grounds.

A corner of the park is dedicated to veterans from San José.

San Jose, California

2014 – Martial Cottle Park Opens A Day Before The Previous Owner Of The Land Dies

In 1854, Pioneers arrived to Santa Clara, via a wagon, and formed the Santa Teresa Ranch within the town of Edenville. Descendants of the ranch owned the land for generations, until their last owner donated the ranch to the Santa Clara County Government. The County turned the ranch into the Marital Cottle Park and the last owner of the Land passed away a day before the opening of the park to the public.

San Jose, California

1962 – The Emma Prusch Farm Regional Park Of San José Was Established

In the 1800s, William and Cathrena Prusch started a dairy farm in San José, California. On Febuary 12, 1876, Emma Prusch, the daughter of William and Cathrena Prusch was born. Emma took over the farm after her fathers passing in 1949. In 1962, the Emma Prusch Farm Regional Park was dedicated to the City of San Jose, California.

The red barn within the Emma Prusch Farm Regional Park is the largest within the City of San José.

A historical marker with the history of Emma Prusch’s family is within the land within the park.

San Francisco, California, San Jose, California

1960 – The Japanese Cultural Garden Established By The City Of San José

In 1960, during the month of May, the Japanese Cultural Garden was established due to the “Sister City” relationship between Okayama, Japan and San Jose, California

Okayama, Japan and San Jose, California have dignitaries that travel to both cities as a result of the “Sister City” relationship, a connection that various cities worldwide share with one another.

The park and gardens have various Japanese style structures and bridges, similar to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California.

In addition, there are various Japanese fauna and bushes within the garden grounds.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Pavilion, Mildred Overfelt, San Jose, California

1959 – Mildred Overfelt Donated The Overfelt Gardens To The City Of San José

In 1959, Mildred Overfelt donated the site of the Overfelt Gardens to the city of San José, California.

In 1971, Frank and Pauline Lowe were inspired to create a Chinese Cultural Garden within the Overfelt Gardens. The Chinese Cultural Garden spans five acres within the park and hosts various styles of Chinese architecture and sculptures.

A statue of the philosopher Confucius is within the center of the park.

A statue of Doctor Sun Yet Sen, whom is considered to be the father of the Republic of China, is within the Dr. Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall.

The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Pavilion has a bust of former Chinese Republic President Chiang Kia-Seek. The pavilion overlooks a pond within the park.

In addition, within the Chinese gardens is a fountain that is dedicated to Mildred Overfelt.

History San Jose, San Jose, California

The San Jose Historical Museum – Founded By Members Of The Santa Clara California Pioneers

The San Jose Historical Museum was founded by Clyde Arbuckle and Theron Fox, whom were both active members of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. In 1945, Clyde Arbuckle was hired as the San Jose City Historian. Soon after, in 1949, Clyde Arbuckle became the curator of the State House Replica.

Photograph of Theron Fox.

Theron Fox served as president of the Historic Landmarks Commission during the 1960s, receiving an American Association for State and Local History award from Clyde Arbuckle’s nomination.

Presently, History San José manages History Park San Jose, which hosts 32 historical structures within Kelley Park, the Peralta Adobe-Fallon House Historic Site, and the Collection Center Research Library and Archives, which hosts the largest collection of regional artifacts within the state of California.

Clyde Arbuckle, San Jose, California

Clyde Arbuckle – The First City Historian Of San Jose, California

A 1966 photograph of Clyde Arbuckle.

On April 11, 1903, ai was born in Santa Clara County, California. In 1945, the City of San Jose commissioned Clyde Arbuckle to become the first historian of the city. Clyde Arbuckle was present for various historical marker dedications, including one at Keesling’s Shade Trees.

Clyde Arbuckle would serve as the San Jose city historian until his death, on January 10, 1998, for a period of time that totaled fifty three years.

Clyde Arbuckle is buried in the Oak Hill Memorial Park, where members of the Donner Party and various other historical figures are buried.

Kelley Park, San Jose, California

The History Of Kelley Park – The Site Of The San Jose Historical Museum

In 1861, Judge Lawrence Archer purchased 160 acres just outside of San José’s city limits. He named the property around Coyote Creek “Lone Oak.” Archer moved his family in 1869, from their downtown home to a two-story house surrounded by elaborate gardens and accessed by two avenues lined with pepper, cypress and eucalyptus trees. There he grew orchards of prunes, apricots, walnuts, and was especially proud of his cherries. A well respected resident and attorney, Archer came to California in 1852 and settled in San Jose in 1853. Active in community service, he was Mayor of San José in 1856 and 1878; a County Judge from 1867 – 71; and served at State Assemblyman from 1875 – 76. Archer left his “Lone Oak” property to his only daughter, Louise Archer Flavin Kelley. She inherited the land in 1910 and it became known as “Ar-Kel” an abbreviation of her maiden and married names. The 5,600 square foot Kelley House near what is now Happy Hollow Park & Zoo was built in 1912.

In February, 2012, the Kelley House was badly damaged in a two-alarm fire and was scheduled for demolition by the City of San Jose. Presently, Kelley Park is managed by History San José, the historical society of San Jose, California which manages the various museums and historical buildings within the park.

San Jose, California, The San Jose Fire Musuem

The San Jose Fire Musuem

The San Jose Fire Museum is a museum, in downtown San Jose, California, which opened to the public at its new location Fire Station #1 in 2018.

The museum has the largest collection of fireman artifacts in San Jose, California.

The musuem has various illustrations depicting the original San Jose Fire Station #1.

The San Jose Fire Musuem features photos of firemen near the San Jose Bascilica that was in proximity to the Owen’s Electric Tower that used to be located in downtown.

Other photos show fireman utilizing equipment in front of the fire station.

The musuem features the 1810 James Smith Hand Pumper and the 1890 Amoskeag Steamer, one of the earliest fire fighting vehicles.

A callbox to San Jose Firestation 1 was utilized until 1973. The callbox was removed after it was determined most calls were false alarms.

The musuem has displays on various other artifacts.

Another noteworthy artifact was a maroon wooden mast.

The San Jose Fire Museum was originally located at a storage location off of Senter Road in San Jose, California before it moved to the historic Fire Station #1.

San Jose, California

Local Color – An Art Gallery Located In Downtown San Jose

Local Color is an art gallery that is currently located in a hundred year old historical building in downtown at 27 South 1st Street San Jose, California.

I met with Patron Sketchez, an artist that is working on a documentary on Chinese Americans in San Jose, California. Patron had sketches of dragons and other mythical creatures.

My friend Sarah Cade has paintings of mostly females figures and other characters in humorous situations.

Hispanic artist Francisco Ramirez has several of his detailed paintings, depicting humans with various animals, within the gallery grounds.

The gallery hosts a community mural that allows any artists to add their own work to the wall.

San Jose, California

The San Jose Museum Of Art – Inside A Building With 1 Of 3 Large Hand Powered Clocks In The World

In 1892, the cornerstone was placed for the clocktower building, that was constructed from the same quarry that was utilized to build Stanford University.

The hand wound clocktower at the top of the building is one of three existing in the world. The Ferry Building in San Francisco and the Big Bend in London are the only two other buildings with hand powered large clocks.

In 1970, San Jose Museum of Art was established by the San Jose City Council.

As of May 2019, the San Jose Art Museum opened an exhibit with various works of Indian artist Rina Banerjee.

One piece of art resembled a dragon eating the planet earth. Others

San Jose, California

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum And Planetarium

Photograph of the original location of the Rosicrucian Oriental Museum.

In 1930, the Rosicrucian Oriental Museum opened to the public, in a building facing Naglee Avenue in San Jose, California, with a variety of exhibits on ancient Egyptian artifacts.

In 1966, the Rosicrucian Oriental Museum was moved from its original location to a larger facility, with an outdoor gardens, located at 1660 Park Avenue San Jose, California. The museum would be renamed to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum And Planetarium.

The musuem hosts one of seven existing statues of Cleopatra VII, a former Egyptian Queen, that exist in the world.

The outdoor section of the museum hosts an elaborate set of outdoor building art, sculptures and gardens.

A replica of the obelisk at the House of the Sun, in Heliopolis, Egypt, the Biblical city of On, is within the gardens.

Another statue dedicated to Pythagoras, whom is looking upwards to the sky, is in the gardens.

San Jose, California

1933 – The Works Projects Administration Builds The Armory of San José

In 1933, the Armory was one of various buildings constructed by the Works Progress Administration in San José, California. The Armory was later utilized for drill practice for soldiers during World War II.

A plague honoring the San José residents who faught in the military since 1887 is displayed at the front door do the gated structure.

The building currently serves as a military musuem for the city of San José. As of April 2019, the Armory was purchased by Gary Dillabough, whom owns various other historical buildings in San José such as the Bank of Italy Skyscraper.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, San Jose, California

1933 – The Works Projects Administration Builds San José’s Main Post Office

In 1933, the Works Progress Administration, which was renamed to the Work Project Administration in 1939, constructed the Main Post Office for the city of San José, California after it was designed by Ralph Wycoff.

After the establishment of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Main Post Office was one of multiple buildings constructed by the Work Project Administration, while the city of San José endured through the Great Depression.

Author’s Note:

Author Philip Andrew Hamilton has a P.O. Box at the Main Post Office of San José, which is walking distance from James Park and various historical landmarks publicly listed by History San Jose.

Juan Bautista de Anza, San Jose, California

Hotel De Anza – A San José, California Hotel Built At The End Of The Roaring Twenties

In 1929, at the end of the “Roaring Twenties”, construction on Hotel De Anza began in downtown San José, California. The De Anza Hotel was named after the Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza who lead the De Anza Expedition and it became the first iconic hotel of the city of San José.

Construction took two years to complete, and the hotel opened to the public on Febuary 26, 1931.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited Hotel De Anza.

The structure has been operating continuously as a hotel for about ninety years.

Photograph of the Hedley Club within Hotel de Anza.

Another photograph inside the Hefele Club room.

San Jose, California, The Bank Of America

One Of The First Skyscrapers Of San Jose, California – A Bank Of Italy Building

In 1925, construction on a new Bank of Italy building, which was one of the first skyscrapers for the City of San Jose, California, began. Construction on the skyscraper would be completed a year later in 1926. The skyscraper would later become owned by the Bank of America.

Currently, a historical marker indicates the site of the former Bank of Italy building.

Mary Folsom Hayes Chynoweth, President Rutherford Birchard Hayes, San Jose, California

1904 – The Second Hayes Mansion Was Constructed

Mary Folsom Hayes married Anson Hayes, the cousin of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes.

Photograph of President Rutherford Hayes.

In 1873, Mary’s first husband passed away and sixteen years later, in 1889, she married Thomas Chynoweth, whom died two years after their marriage.

Photograph of Mary Folsom Hayes Chynoweth.

In 1891, the same year Mary’s husband died, the first version of the Hayes mansion was constructed. However in 1899, that mansion burnt down in a fire.

In 1904, the Mary Folsom Hayes Chynoweth had a second mansion, which consisted of 214 rooms built in southern San Jose, California. The Hayes family lived at the mansion until 1964, the year where they sold most of the estate. The mansion would remain vacant until the 1980s, when the City of San Jose would purchase the property.

Presently, the Hayes Mansion serves as a historical hotel with various photos of the Hayes family inside the estate.

There are three historical markers by the front entrance gate to the mansion, one which designated the mansion as a San José historical landmark and another designating the structure as a national historical landmark.

San Jose, California

1895 – The Establishment Of The King Conservatory Of Music

In 1895, the King Conservatory of Music, one of the first music schools in the city of San Jose, California, was established.

Over the years the school hosted various students, and sustained damage during the Earthquake of 1906.

Author’s Note:

The California Room of the Martin Luther King Library of San Jose has a catalogue of the 1906 class of the King Conservatory of Music.

San Jose, California

The Letitia Building – Named After The Daughter Of The First American Governor Of California

The Letitia Building, which was designed by Jacob Lenzen, was named after Letitia M. Burnette and constructed in 1890. Letitia M. Burnette was the daughter of Peter Hardeman Burnett, the first American Governor of California. Later in life she would marry C.T. Ryland and has her name changed to Letitia M. Burnette Ryland.

Knox-Goodrich Building, San Jose, California

The Knox-Goodrich Building of San Jose, California

Dr. William Knox, along with his brother-in-law, T. Ellard Beans, established the first bank of San Jose, California. In 1889, the Knox-Goodrich building was built by Sarah Knox, the wife of Dr. William Knox, after William Knox’s death. Sarah Knox remarried to Goodrich, who designed the Santa Clara Courthouse, and was renamed to Sarah Knox-Goodrich.

San Jose, California

1886 to 1922 – The Winchester House Was Under Construction For Longer Than Any

In 1886, Sarah Winchester and her husband began construction on the hundred plus room Winchester House. During the 1906 Earthquake the top two levels of the House were damaged causing those levels to be removed. The home would be under construction, for thirty eight years, until Sarah Winchester’s death in 1922. To Thai date, the Winchester House was continuously under construction longer than any other home in the world.

Owen’s Electric Light Tower, San Jose, California

1881 – Owen’s Electric Light Tower Was Constructed

In 1881, J.J. Owen heard that a light tower was being constructed in Nevada City, California, which compelled him to convince the San José City Council to have a large iron light tower to be built in their city. Later that year, the “San Jose Electric Tower”, which is also Known as Owen’s Electric Light Tower, after its creator and chief booster, was constructed for several months at an intersection of Market Street and Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose, California. In December 1881, the San José Mercury News announced the completion of the tower in the Christmas edition of the paper.

Owen’s Electric Light Tower was utilized to light the whole downtown of San José, using arc lights, and was the most powerful light tower in the world at the time. The power generator for the tower was within a mill in San Pedro Street. However, the construction of the tower resulted in a thousand dollar debt, which would result in the dismantling of the tower of unpaid. In 1882, the newly formed San José Brush Company, and Electric Light company purchased the tower. A French man, saw the Owen’s Electric Light Tower, while visiting America. It is rumored that the visit inspired his design for the Eiffel Tower.

In the 1900s, Owen’s Electric Light Tower would shake during wind gusts. A San José Citizens Tower Committee was formed to raise funds for the restoration of the tower. Thirty seven days after the San José City Council approved the restoration, and four days before the restoration was due to be complete, a strong storm with 60 mile per hour winds caused connecting rods to separate resulting in a collapse of the mid and top sections of the structure. Shortly after, the structure was removed from Market Street.

In the 1950s a replica of Owen’s Electric Light Tower, which is a third of the original size, was placed in the San José History Musuem within Kelley Park.

Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, San Jose, California

1876 to 1887 – The Construction Of The Lick Observatory

Businessman James Lick proposed building an observatory, as a legacy to himself, on multiple locations in San Francisco and San Jose. In 1876, construction began on the observatory, that would be known as the Lick Observatory, after it was decided to build the structure on Mount Hamilton.

Currently, the Lick Observatory is owned by the University of California educational system.

San Jose, California

The Birthplace Of Amadeo Pietro Giannini – The Founder Of The Bank Of Italy

On May 6, 1870, Amadeo Pietro Giannini, also known as Amadeo Peter Giannini and as A.P. Giannini, was born in a residence located at 79 North Market Street San Jose, California.

On October 17, 1904, Amadeo Pietro Giannini founded the Bank of Italy. Amadeo Pietro Giannini invented the concept of branch banking and losing money without collateral, which was essential in the rebuilding of San Francisco after the devastating Earthquake of 1906. After the earthquake, Amadeo Pietro Giannini helped individuals such as Walt Disney finance his first animated film. At his death in 1949, the Bank of Italy, which became the Bank of America, had over 500 branches and was the largest bank in the world at the time.

Author’s Note:

History San Jose has historical artifacts pertaining to the Bank of Italy.

California, San Jose, California

The Santa Clara Courthouse Was Built To Persuade The State Legislature To Return The State Capital To San Jose, California

The Santa Clara County government proposed establishing a courthouse, which was designed by Levi Goodrich, one of the husbands of the first American Governor of California Peter Hardeman Burnette, as a move to convince the state legislature to move the state capital from Sacramento back to San Jose, California. In 1867, construction of the Santa Clara County Courthouse was completed but new courthouse failed to convince the legislature to move the state capital back to San Jose.

San Jose, California

Zachariah Jones – A Tennessee Preacher Who Opened The First Hotel In San José, California In 1847

Photograph Zachariah Jones in the late 1800s.

In 1847, Zachariah Jones, a fiery preacher from Tennessee who was known as a fighting man, opened the “Half Moon House”, which became the first established hotel in the City of San José. Later in his life, Zachariah Jones was admitted to an insane asylum in Stockton, California.

California Theatre Of San Jose, San Jose, California

The History Of The California Theatre Of San Jose

In 1927 the California Theatre was built in San Jose, California and was utilized as a movie theatre and as a stage for plays. In 1973, the California Theatre closed and the venue was utilized as a rock concert venue for the remainder of the 1970s. In 1985, the City of San Jose purchased the theatre, after recognizing its historical significance as the city’s largest historical theatre.

San Jose, California

May 4, 1887 – The Burning Of The San Jose Chinatown

From 1872 to 1887, the San Jose Chinatown existed on the block of Market Street that falls along the present day Fairmont Hotel. The San Jose Chinatown was the largest Chinatown south of San Francisco. On May 4, 1887, the Chinatown was burnt down from an arsonist, whom most likely had racist sentiments against the Chinese.

The two historical markers commemorating the San Jose Chinatown and the arson that occurred to the structures is in front of the San José Fairmont Hotel.

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.

Governor Peter Hardeman, Governor Peter Hardeman Burnett, San Jose, California

The Home Of The First American Governor Of California – Peter Hardeman Burnett

Peter Hardeman Burnett was the first American Governor of California after the Mexican-American War. During his administration, Peter Hardeman took a hard line against the Native American population through his support of the Indian Act of 1850 which legalized indentured servitude of Native Americans found off of reservations.

In 1851, Peter Hardeman Burnett stated, “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races, until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected”.

On May 17, 1895, Peter Hardeman Burnett passed away in San Francisco.

California, California Gold Rush, San Jose, California

The Home Of Samuel Hensley – The Man Who Delivered The Papers Ratifying California As The 31st

In 1850, Samuel J. Hensley delivered the papers ratifying California as a state to the new state capital building in San Jose, California.

Photograph of Samuel J. Hensley.

Samuel J. Hensley has built a home nearby the site of the former California State Capital.

Currently, the Samuel J. Hensley house is part of the Hensley Historical District that was established in the 1990s.

Fairfax, Virginia, San Jose, California

My Cross Country Trip From Fairfax, Virginia To San Jose, California

In January 2018, I drove from San Jose, California, to my birth-town of Norman, Olkahoma, to Virginia to visit friends and family along the way. While in my hometown of Fairfax, Virginia, where I had gone to George Mason University, I took time to visit civil war battlefields in Fredericksburg, the former confederate White House in Richmond, as well as a musuem dedicated to President Monroe. I drove to Pennslyvania to see the crash site of the single plan that was taken down by heroic Americans who took stand against Islamic extremists on September 11, 2001. On the way back to San Jose, California I visited the “Little White House” in Georgia that President Franklin Dwight Roosevelt has died in, the Alabama State Capital building, the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the civil rights event of “Bloody Sunday” occurred, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the former Louisiana State Capital building in Baton Rouge, which is a castle, the NASA Houston Space Center where the Apollo missions were managed, the site where President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot in Dallas, as well as the site where the TV show “Walker Texas Ranger” was filmed in Fort Worth, Texas. It was a trip back to the west coast rich in adventure and history which I look forward to sharing with my readers!