Near Gilroy in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Miller Estate
Traces of history fade as the forest restores itself on Mt. Madonna
Henry Miller, “The Cattle King”
With only $6 in his pocket, German immigrant Henry Miller (birth name Heinrich Alfred Kreiser) stepped off the boat in San Francisco in 1850 with one pervading ambition – to labor hard at a business in America. He knew the trade of raising and butchering cattle, so chose ranching.
At the peak of his ranching career, Miller controlled 14.5 million acres of land in California, Oregon and Nevada, where he grazed a million head of cattle and more than a hundred thousand sheep. Along with numerous businesses, ranch estates and a mansion in San Francisco, Mr. Miller owned a summer estate on Mt. Madonna.
Summers on Mt. Madonna
Henry Miller began buying property on Mt. Madonna in the 1870s. Logging had stripped much of the mountain of its dense forest, yielding panorama views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Clara Valley.
During their first mountain summers, the Miller family “roughed it”, entertaining visitors in colorful, furnished tents.
In the 1890s, Mr. Miller began building what would become three expansive “bungalows”. He terraced hillsides and planted lawns, flower gardens, an orchard and a vineyard. After Millerís death in 1916, the estate fell into disrepair. In 1927, the County of Santa Clara
The last remaining Miller Estate ruins lay before you. [Photo captions:] Henry Miller [top center], View from Mt. Madonna [bottom left], Miller Estate Bungalow [bottom center], Camp Pine Cone [bottom right].
Erected by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation.
Location. 37° 0.768′ N, 121° 42.197′ W. Marker is near Gilroy, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Pole Line Road. Touch for map. This marker is located in Mount Madonna [Santa Clara] County Park, a short walk from the parking area near the visitor center. Marker is in this post office area: Gilroy CA 95020, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Henry Miller Summer Home (a few steps from this marker); Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park (approx. 2.8 miles away); Bonesio Winery (approx. 3.6 miles away); James A. Hall (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Discovery of California Redwoods (approx. 5.6 miles away); Donald Leon Rose (approx. 6 miles away); Whiskey Hill (approx. 6.6 miles away); Franklin Family Ranch (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gilroy.
Also see . . . Henry Miller - Santa Clara Research Net. (Submitted on April 4, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Notable Persons • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 4, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 595 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 4, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.