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

Lexington Reservoir County Park

Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 29, 2012
1. Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker
In 1952, Santa Cruz Mountain rainwater flowing from the surrounding creeks filled the new reservoir and slowly covered what was left of the once prosperous towns of Lexington, Alma and an old portion of Highway 17. Looking out today across the deep cool water standing behind the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Lexington Dam, only the two town’s submerged memories remain.

In 1848 William Hanks and Isaac Branham owned land and established a settlement in this area. They sold to Zechariah Jones who passed the property on to John Henning, who named it “Lexington”. The towns of Lexington and Alma, founded in 1862 by Lysander Collins, grew quickly to prominence due to the abundant timber spilling from the flumes of nearby sawmills. Both towns supported the daily existence of hundreds of hard working pioneer families who supplied lumber and produce to the growing California economy

The Santa Cruz Gap Toll Road, incorporating a road earlier built by Charles McKiernan (a.k.a. Mountain Charlie), along with a railroad line linked Alma, Lexington, and the smaller settlements of Patchen, Laurel Wrights and Glenwood
Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 29, 2012
2. Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker
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to the cities of Santa Cruz and San Jose. The Southern Pacific abandoned its rail line in 1940 due to wash outs in the winter of 1939-1940 and the opening of State Highway 17. Remnants of the toll road, railroad track beds, two tunnels and a few ties are now visible to mountain hikers. The entire shoreline surrounding this reservoir became part of the Santa Clara County Park system in 1958.
Erected 2007 by Santa Clara County Historic Heritage Commission, the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, and E Clampus Vitus, Mountain Charlie Chapter No. 1850.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1952.
Location. 37° 11.584′ N, 121° 59.125′ W. Marker is near Los Gatos, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Alma Bridge Road, on the right when traveling south. This marker is located at the Doug B. Miller Point parking area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Los Gatos CA 95033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lexington Reservoir (here, next to this marker); "The Cats" (approx.
Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker and Kiosks image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 29, 2012
3. Lexington Reservoir County Park Marker and Kiosks
The marker is on the right.
1˝ miles away); Forbes Flour Mill (approx. 2 miles away); Schmitt-Nickson Homestead (approx. 3.1 miles away); Patchen (approx. 3.2 miles away); Kotani-en (approx. 3.4 miles away); Mountain Charlie Road (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Teddy Roosevelt Tree (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Gatos.
Additional commentary.
1. Doug Miller: The Man Behind Miller Point - See Photo #4
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done. In the humility that comes from wisdom. The wisdom that comes from God has integrity. Is peace loving, gentle approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly deeds. The wise among us are peacemakers who go on quietly sowing peace hoping for a harvest of righteousness in other people and in themselves.”
Excerpts from the Book of James read at Doug’s memorial

As a Santa Clara Deputy Sheriff, Doug Miller blended his love of nature with his profession. He patrolled the Santa Clara mountains helping everyone he contacted. Doug was fair and honest a man
Doug Miller: The Man Behind Miller Point image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 29, 2012
4. Doug Miller: The Man Behind Miller Point
See "Additional Comments"
of faith and substance who didn’t compromise his morals. He always made time to explain, taught by example and mentored friends and coworkers with his ever-present era to ear grin.

Doug cared for the people he protected, his family, his garden roses, and the larger natural community. His passion ran deep when it came to the San Francisco 49ers and Giants.

Perhaps Doug’s patience and caring was born of the wilderness he loved. Doug spent many happy and contented hours fishing and hiking in the mountains. His camera and dogs, Sam and Kelly, were his usual partners. His favorite pastime was to look out at the land from a solitary vista and listen to the silence. Even at home, Doug immersed himself in the land. He collected Louis Lamour books and was designing a log cabin in Oregon.

Doug Miller was a hard-working, caring Deputy who liked people, liked his job and did it well. He made the ultimate sacrifice when he died in the line of duty in 1986. To honor the life of this dedicated individual, Santa Clara County renamed Oak Knoll picnic area at Lexington Reservoir Douglas B. Miller Memorial Park.

Highlights of Doug’s Life
• 1950 born in Ukiah, CA.
• Family moved to San Jose, CA.
• 1968 Graduated from Lynbrook High School.
• Attended De Anza College, Cupertino, CA.
• Served 4 years in Vietnam as a senior technician on U.S.S. Jouette.
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1973 honorably discharged from the Navy.
• Worked for Hewlett Packard.
• 1979 joined the Santa Clara County Sheriffs department where he worked in the main jail.
• Transferred to Westside Substation in Saratoga, CA.
• Patrolled Santa Cruz Mountains until 1986.

[Photo caption:] Caring Uncle Doug with niece and nephew.
    — Submitted April 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 700 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 4, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the reservoir. • Photo of the dam. • Can you help?

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May. 6, 2021