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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gilroy in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park

 
 
Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2009
1. Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park Marker
Inscription. In the 1830s, most of what is now the park was located on the Rancho San Francisco de las Llagas granted to Carlos Castro. The reservoir is found on early public lands and also on the lesser Rancho La Polka granted to Isabel Ortega; her father, Ignacio Ortega, was granted the Rancho San Ysidro. Another of Ignacio's daughters, Clara Ortega, married John Gilroy for whom the City of Gilroy is named.

Martin Murphy Sr. brought his family to California as members of the Stephens- Murphy-Townsend Overland Party in 1844, and the family purchased and settled on the rancho to the north of Las Llagas, known as Rancho Ojo de Agua de la Coche. During the Gold Rush, Murphy's sons, John and Daniel, struck it rich, made a fortune selling dry goods, and established the town of Murphys. In 1848, the heirs of Carlos Castro sold Rancho Las Llagas to sons Daniel and Bernard.

By the 1850s, Daniel Murphy operated Las Llagas eventually owning 7,800 acres of the rancho. He also owned vast tracts of land elsewhere in California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. In 1851, Daniel married Mary Fisher; daughter of neighbor William Fisher, owner of the larger Rancho Laguna Seca found just north of La Coche. The daughter of Daniel & Mary, Diana Murphy, married Hiram Morgan Hill, for whom the City of Morgan Hill is named. In 1853, brother Bernard died
Marker and Harvey Bear Ranch House in Background image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2009
2. Marker and Harvey Bear Ranch House in Background
in the Jenny Lind steamer explosion; was re-interred in the Chapel of San Martin, and the community later became known as San Martin. In the 1860s, the Martin Murphy Sr. family obtained patents to La Polka and Las Llagas demonstrating the family's control over most of the area's earlier ranchos.

The ranchos were subdivided after the 1890s with John Jay Baumgartner Jr. purchasing a portion of the earlier rancho lands in 1949. He built a home on the hill above the reservoir and later sold the ranch to Harvey Bear who raised his family and ran cattle there until his death. The heirs of Harvey Bear deeded the ranch to the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department in 1997. Situated on the Calaveras Fault, the reservoir was approved for construction in 1934. The park opened on May 14, 2005 after many years of planning and development.

Dedicated by the Santa Clara County Historic Heritage Commission
and the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department
October 13, 2007
Sponsored by
Mountain Charlie Chapter No. 1850
E Clampus Vitus Inc.
"Right Wrongs Nobody"

 
Erected 2007 by Santa Clara County Historic Heritage Commission, the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department and Mountain Charlie Chapter No.1850, E Vitus Clampus.
 
Marker series.
Harvey Bear Ranch House image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2009
3. Harvey Bear Ranch House
This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 37° 5.968′ N, 121° 34.524′ W. Marker is in Gilroy, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from San Martin Avenue 2 miles east of U.S. 101. Click for map. Marker is located at the Trailhead at the Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. Marker is in this post office area: San Martin CA 95046, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pioneering Murphy Family (here, next to this marker); Community of San Martin (approx. 2.2 miles away); Rucker School Historical Site 1894 (approx. 3.2 miles away); Franklin Family Ranch (approx. 3.4 miles away); Site of 21-Mile House (approx. 3.9 miles away); John Page House (approx. 4.6 miles away); Waiting For The Train (approx. 4.6 miles away); Morgan Hill United Methodist Church (approx. 4.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gilroy.
 
Regarding Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch County Park. Also see: “Community of San Martin” and “Pioneering Murphy Family” nearby markers for additional information regarding the Murphy family.
 
Also see . . .  Coyote Reservoir. (Submitted on May 2, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Trail Leading to Reservoir image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2009
4. Trail Leading to Reservoir
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,434 times since then and 144 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of Reservoir • Can you help?
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