Los Gatos in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Layers of History
People in the Landscape
As you enjoy Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, notice the remnant elements of a landscape designed to delight and immerse visitors into the natural world. Imagine a journey through time, and experience a California story.
Shaped by the San Andreas Fault, the resources and beauty of this landscape attracted native people, then timbermen, socialites, and scholars; and in the 1990s, was the scene of a united conservation effort.
Pre - 1850s
Native Californians: The Ohlone
The first humans to live in this area were the Ohlone, a collective name for the diverse tribes whose ancestral lands include the San Francisco Peninsula, the East Bay, and the Monterey Bay region.
1850s - 1887
Timber Harvesting: Inventive Loggers
As San Francisco and San Jose grew, the high demand for lumber spurred innovation. James S. Howe developed the sag pond into a lumber mill pond, and the "muley” saw in his mill was so easy to use that tired loggers could nap while it ran!
Pioneer settlers built the town of
1887 - 1934
Estate Period: Playground for the Rich and Eccentric
Captain Stillman H. Knowles created a mountain retreat and trout farm here in 1887. In 1894, Knowles sold his estate to burlesque star Rose Flood and her husband, James L. Flood, the son of a millionaire miner. The controversial couple turned it into Almadale, a "wee bit o' heaven” that offered an escape. from prying eyes - including Flood's disapproving father.
After Rose's death, Flood sold Almadale to Dr. Harry Tevis. The 1906 earthquake destroyed Flood's mansion, but Tevis rebuilt on a grand scale. He was known for his hospitality and the beauty of his estate, and guests often visited to enjoy his library, swimming pool, and gardens of prtze-winning flowers.
1934 - 1969
Schools on the Land: Jesuit Theological Seminary
In 1934, Almadale was acquired by the Society of Jesus, a scholarly religious order of the Catholic Church. Its members, known as Jesuits, founded many religious schools in California and transformed SAlmadale into Alma College. For the first time, Jesuits in California and Oregon could complete their intensive religious education and become ordained as priests without traveling east.
During the seminary's 35 years, 400 Jesuits lived and studied at Alma College.
1999 - Present
History and Habitat: Preserving Nature in a Cultural Landscape
Midpen acquired the property in 1999. Today, Midpen's rehabilitation efforts treat the site as a "cultural landscape,” significant for both its human history and its natural features. The rehabilitation work illuminates each layer of the landscape, allowing it to tell its complex story while also restoring habitat for wildlife, and providing open space for people to explore.
Erected by Midpeninsula Open Space.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1887.
Location. 37° 10.972′ N, 122° 0.231′ W. Marker is in Los Gatos, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Bear Creek Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19600 Bear Creek Rd, Los Gatos CA 95033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Preserve and Protect (here, next to this marker); Lexington Reservoir County Park (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lexington Reservoir (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lexington Dam (approx. 1˝ miles away); "The Cats" (approx. 2.4 miles away); Mountain Charlie Road (approx. 2.9 miles away); Patchen (approx. 2.9 miles away); 911 Memorial (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Gatos.
More about this marker. The marker is located in the Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve and is easily visible from the parking lot.
Also see . . . Layers of History (MPOSD). Website with tabs roughly conforming to the sections of the marker, with each tab displaying pictures and information on the tabbed subject. (Submitted on January 24, 2022.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 24, 2022, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 138 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 24, 2022, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.