Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near San Jose (New Almaden) in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Miners and Settlers

 
 
Miners and Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
1. Miners and Settlers Marker
Caption: (center) In the 1870s, an area situated on the southwest slopes of Mount Umunhum known as "Austrian Gulch" was settled by Austrian and German refugees of the Franco-Prussian War. Well known for their orchards and vineyards, the rugged community survived off the land for 60 years.
Inscription.
Red Rock Riches

Cinnabar was highly valued as used for pigment by the Ohlone people who lived around Mount Umunhum. It contained mercury, also known as "quicksilver," which was essential for processing gold during California's Gold Rush. The nearby New Almaden Quicksilver mining operation which began in 1845, became the site of California's first legal mining claim after statehood in 1850.

The early 1900s were a boisterous time of mining, canneries, railroads, and other activities in Santa Clara County. People came from all over to settle in the area. Most people chose to live in the valley near jobs and amenities. The ones who chose to live up here on the mountain were known as recluses, moonshiners, and other hardy folk who live amid the rugged terrain of the the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Lady of the Mountain

Remnant foundations of a cabin built during the first half of the 20th century still exist here. While others may also have occupied this structure, it was rumored to be inhabited at some point by Gwendolyn Alice Boyer, who was born in 1880 and died in San Jose just short of her 100th birthday. Little is definitively known about Gwendolyn, but unconfirmed accounts described her as resourceful, fiercely independent, educated and
Miners and Settlers Marker and Cabin Site image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
2. Miners and Settlers Marker and Cabin Site
quite social. Some have speculated as to why she decided to retreat to this remote area to live, but it remains a mystery. Artifacts of this well-equipped home exits as evidence of the resourcefulness of mountain dwellers on Mount Umunhum.
 
Erected by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
 
Location. 37° 9.412′ N, 121° 53.832′ W. Marker is near San Jose (New Almaden), California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on Mount Umunhum Road near Hicks Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Jose CA 95120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Military Community (approx. mile away); Scanning the Skies (approx. mile away); Early People of Mount Umunhum (approx. mile away); A Sacred Site (approx. mile away); Wood Road & Jacques Ridge (approx. 2.3 miles away); Burrell School (approx. 3.1 miles away); Mine Hill (approx. 3.2 miles away); The Rossi Retort (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose (New Almaden).
 
More about this marker. This marker is located on the Mount Umunhum Trail, 2 miles uphill from the Bald Mountain parking lot or 1.5 miles downhill from the Mount Umunhum parking lot.
 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWomen
 
Boyer Cabin Site image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 14, 2018
3. Boyer Cabin Site
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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