“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Gordon House

Gordon House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
1. Gordon House Marker
Welcome to the
Gordon House
Home of the Rotary Club of San Jose

Hanford Lennox Gordon was born in 1846 and over his lifetime held a variety of positions as attorney, and officer for the Union Army during the Civil War, a farmer, and a rancher.

Hanford and his wife, Mary, moved to San José from Minnesota in 1887. Upon arrival, the Gordons moved into this house, originally located at 5303 McKee Road. Hanford owned four ranches, including over 100 acres of olive grove on McKee Road, also known as Pala del Rancho.

Shortly after the move West, the Gordons divorced. Hanford remained embroiled in legal issues including a paternity suit involving a home domestic and at least one dispute which resulted in gunfire. In the late 1890s Hanford moved to Los Angeles, eventually re-married and later died in 1920. Mary Gordon remained in the home until her death in 1929.

The house was built in the 1870s. Thanks to the Rotary Club of San Jose, the house moved to History Park in the late 1980s and was restored. Care was taken to restore the veranda in the same manner as the original
Gordon House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
2. Gordon House and Marker
and the fireplace is made from the original brick. The windows are also original to the house. The Gordon House was dedicated June 6, 1990.

During the past 100 years, Members of the Rotary Club of San Jose have volunteered over 3 million hours for community and international service and given over $5 million in grants to 150 community organizations in San Jose.

In addition to sending hundreds of wheelchairs, ambulances, mammogram machines, and medical equipment around the world for international projects, San Jose Rotary has provided over 40 Gifts of Life heart operations here in San Jose for adults from developing countries. Partnering with surgeons who repair cleft palates, Rotary has also sponsored several international Rotaplast missions.

Since 1985, members have generously supported Rotary International’s commitment to eradicate polio around the world. Working with the United Nations, Rotary has helped prevent over 30 million cases of polio worldwide.

In San Jose Rotary has built or made major contributions to
San Jose’s First Street Signs (1915) • Downtown Drinking Fountains (1922) • Ryland Pool (1925) • Rose Garden Reflecting Pool (1929) • Alum Rock Park (1936) • USO Building (1940) • Camp Costanoan for the Disabled (1954) • Happy Hollow Park and Zoo (1958) • Peralta Adobe Restoration (1960s) • O’Brien’s Candy
Gordon House image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
3. Gordon House
Store (1975) • Center for Performing Arts’ Bear (1978) • Children’s Discovery Museum (1986) • Gordon House Restoration (1990) • Morone Senior Center (1992) • The Tech Museum (1996) • Rotary Summit Center (2003) • Rotary Heritage Plaza (2008)
Erected by Rotary Club of San Jose.
Location. 37° 19.262′ N, 121° 51.532′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Senter Road, on the right when traveling south. This marker is located in History Park, a portion of San Jose’s Kelley Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1650 Senter Road, San Jose CA 95112, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coyote Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); The Chiechi House (within shouting distance of this marker); Empire Firehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Zanker House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Umbarger House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Jose Electric Tower (about 400 feet away); O’Brien’s (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
Additional comments.
1. Incorrect Year of Birth on Marker
Map of History Park image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
4. Map of History Park
Click image to enlarge.

Hanford Lennox Gordon was my great-great grandfather. Thanks for the wonderful marker. His house looks beautifl and I hope to see it myself someday.

Just wanted to let you know he was born in 1836, not 1846. I'm also unaware of a third wife after he moved to Los Angeles, but you never know! I'll see if I can find out more about that.

Mary Louise (Carpenter) Gordon was his second wife. His first wife passed away at a young age, something he never got over. Thanks for all your hard work.
    — Submitted August 21, 2012, by Elyse Lucile Pintar of La Crescenta, California.

Categories. Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsNotable Buildings

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 592 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 2, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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