History Park at Kelley Park

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History Park at Kelley Park
San Jose Electric Light Tower replica (1).JPG
San Jose Light Tower half-height replica.
TypeHistorical recreation of early 20th century California
Location635 Senter Road
Kelley Park
Nearest citySan Jose
Coordinates37°19′14″N 121°51′28″W / 37.32056°N 121.85778°W / 37.32056; -121.85778Coordinates: 37°19′14″N 121°51′28″W / 37.32056°N 121.85778°W / 37.32056; -121.85778
Area14 acres (5.7 ha)
Created1971
Operated byHistory San José
Public transit accessVTA Line 73

History Park at Kelley Park in San Jose, California, USA is designed as an indoor/outdoor museum, arranged to appear as a small US town might have in the early 1900s (decade). Since its inauguration in 1971, 32 historic buildings and other landmarks have either been moved from their original San Jose locations or are represented by replicas.

History San José[edit]

History Park at Kelley Park is operated by History San José, which also has its headquarters at History Park. History San José (HSJ) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed from the San José Historical Museum.

HSJ traces its origins back to 1945, when local volunteer Clyde Arbuckle was appointed to the honorary position of San José City Historian; Arbuckle had no formal training, but was well-known for his keen interest in local history. In 1949, a temporary replica of the first State House was built in San Jose Civic Plaza to celebrate the centennial of the first Legislature of California. Arbuckle curated a well-received exhibit of local history shown with the State House replica. The replica was moved to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in 1950 and became the State House Museum, where Arbuckle served as the first curator, collecting local historic artifacts.[1] So much material was donated that an annex, built in 1958 to house additional items, was full by 1962.[2]

The Historical Museum of San José, managed by the city of San Jose, was founded in 1949 simultaneously with the State House centennial activities.[1] In 1965, Theron Fox persuaded the city of San Jose to set aside 16 acres (6.5 ha) at the south end of Kelley Park to house the San José Historical Museum, intended to be a historical reconstruction of a small town,[2] which opened on June 18, 1971.[3] The San Jose Historical Museum Association was also founded in 1971 to administer Historical Museum activities.[2] The architectural firm of Churchill & Zlatunich were retained to develop a master plan for the site by July 1, 1972.[4] By February 1972, the museum was averaging over 1,000 visitors per month; admission prices were modest, at a maximum of $0.25 per adult ($1 for an annual pass).[4]

On February 24, 1977, the half-scale replica of the Electric Light Tower was placed upright,[5] and later that year, on September 25, the first major buildings were dedicated on the site, including the replica Pacific Hotel and historic Umbarger House.[6] By 1980, the Historical Museum had brought onsite the Associated Oil Company Gas Station, Chiechi House, Coyote Post Office, Dashaway Stables, Doctor's Office, Empire Fire House, Print Shop, and Steven's Ranch Fruit Barn, although not all of them were open to the public; admission prices had risen modestly to $0.50 per adult.[2]

The San José Historical Museum was spun off as the History San José nonprofit in 1998. HSJ manages History Park at Kelley Park from the upper floor of the Pacific Hotel in History Park, a replica of a historic hotel originally in downtown San Jose. HSJ is also responsible for the operation of the Peralta AdobeFallon House Historic Site and the Collection Center/Research Library & Archives, which are in downtown San Jose and Kelley Park, respectively.[1]

Exhibits[edit]

Period exhibits consist mainly of the 32 historical buildings and replica buildings, including a doctor's office, a dentist's office (complete with an old foot-pedal-powered drill), blacksmith shed, a working print shop, the Pacific Hotel, the Empire Fire House, the Bank of Italy, a post office, and a number of houses of early Santa Clara Valley settlers. Some buildings house special interest historical societies and others host galleries. Admission is free, unless there is a special event being held.[7]

On weekdays, tours are offered by paid staff, often for local students on class field trips. On weekends, selected exhibit buildings are staffed on a rotating schedule by volunteers, who also operate a vintage trolley over the length of the park, including under the Light Tower replica.

Buildings[edit]

Historical Buildings and Replicas at History Park
Name Image Partner Original location Notes Ref.
Associated Oil Service Station Old Truck and Gas Station in History Park (16682991897).jpg Market & Julian
San Jose
Gas station built in 1927 for Associated Oil Company and saved from demolition for Guadalupe Freeway expansion by moving to History Park in July/Aug 1978. Dedicated Sept 9, 1979. [8][9][10]
Bank of Italy History Park (4527119462).jpg (replica) Replica of the San Jose branch of the Bank of Italy, the first branch built outside San Francisco. Bank of Italy was founded by A.P. Giannini, precursor to the Bank of America. [11]
Blacksmith Shed History Park (4527121042).jpg [12]
Chiechi House History Park (4527101842).jpg 820 Northrup Ave
San Jose
Built originally around 1880; moved to History Park in 1973. [13]
Coyote Post Office Post office at History Park.jpg Coyote, California in unincorporated Santa Clara County, on Monterey Rd between San Jose and Morgan Hill Built in 1862; postal service moved out of building in 1973. Building moved to History Park in 1974 and dedicated on Apr 5, 1981. [14][15]
Dashaway Stables Dashaway Stables in History Park (16864414166).jpg 130 S 2nd St
San Jose
Replica of stables built in 1888 and destroyed in 1928; replica dedicated in 1975. Livery stable is the US term for a business that rented out horse-drawn carriages. [16]
Dr. Warburton's Office Originally built in 1870s; first building to be relocated to History Park, 1966. [17]
Empire Firehouse Empire Fire House at History Park (16864382856).jpg 76 S Second St
San Jose
Replica of original firehouse built 1869 and destroyed by fire in 1892, dedicated in 1984. [18]
Gordon House History Park (4527114930).jpg Rotary Club of San Jose 5303 McKee Rd
San Jose
House built before 1887; moved to History Park in 1986 and currently houses the administrative offices of the Rotary Club of San Jose. [19]
Greenawalt House Viet Museum (4821761850).jpg Museum of the Boat People & the Republic of Vietnam Almaden near US 85
San Jose
Built in 1877 and moved to History Park in 1991. [20]
Hill House Andrew P. Hill house at History Park.jpg 1350 Sherman St
San Jose
Built in 1898; moved to History Park in 1997. [21]
Markham House History Park (4526475557).jpg Poetry Center San Jose 432 S Eighth St
San Jose
Built in the 1860s, moved to History Park in 1987. Used as the San Jose Center for Poetry and Literature prior to the move; Poetry Center San Jose returned in 2002. [22]
Migrant Worker Houses North First St
San Jose
Originally built c.1905–20 for Pratt-Low Preserving Company in Santa Clara and moved to San Jose in 1952; donated to History Park in the 1980s. [23]
Nelson – De Luz House S 11th & William
San Jose
Built 1905; donated to History Park in 1986. [24]
Ng Shing Gung Chinese Historical & Cultural Project Taylor & Cleveland
San Jose
Replica of "Temple of Five Gods" building, a former Chinatown religious and community center, built in 1888 and demolished in 1949. Now hosts the Chinese American Historical Museum. [25]
Pacific Hotel Pacific Hotel at History Park (16889285391).jpg 74-80 S Market St
San Jose
Replica of original hotel built in 1880; dedicated in 1977 and serves as Historical Museum headquarters. Main floor has a candy and ice cream shop and an exhibit gallery. [26]
Pasetta House Houses the Leonard and David McKay Gallery. [27]
Paulson House History Park (4526492353).jpg California Pioneers of Santa Clara County Downtown San Jose Built in the 1890s and moved to History Park in 1986, displaced by Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. Queen Anne-style residence with local history exhibits from the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. [28]
Portuguese Historical Museum at the Imperio PortugueseHistoricalMuseum-cropped.jpg Portuguese Heritage Society of California E Santa Clara St & US 101
San Jose
Replica of the first permanent imperio built in San Jose (1915), dedicated 1997. [29]
Print Shop History Park (4526489917).jpg Printers' Guild 91 N San Pedro St
San Jose
Residence, built in 1884; moved to History Park in 1972 and remodeled into a print shop. [30]
Santa Ana One-Room Schoolhouse History Park (4527106560).jpg Connie L. Lurie College of Education Alumni Association of San Jose State University Hollister Opened at History Park in 1998. A one-room schoolhouse, originally built in 1871 in Hollister, in the Santa Ana Valley in San Benito County. Santa Ana School was used as schoolhouse for grades one through eight from 1872 to 1967. SJSU College of Education Alumni Board raised funds to move the schoolhouse to History Park and renovate it. [31][32]
Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn History Park (4527116554).jpg 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Coyote Fruit barn (packing shed) built c.1890 and moved to History Park in 1979, displaced by US 101 expansion. The fruit barn not only has many farm implements and devices from the period, but also displays hundreds of photographs documenting the area's development. It also includes a collection of fruit picker wooden "box ends" from the families and companies of fruit growers from the Valley's history. [9][33]
Trolley Barn History Park Trolley Barn 3447 01.JPG California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (replica) Replica built in 1984. Houses and operates restored antique trolleys, both horse-drawn and electric, and automobiles, both gasoline and battery powered, along with other antique trolleys and cars awaiting restoration. [34]
Umbarger House History Park (4527105484).jpg 2662 S First
San Jose
Built in 1870s; moved to History Park in August 1970. [9][35]
Zanker House Zanker House in History Park (16704162589).jpg African American Heritage House Zanker Road
Alviso
Built in 1868; moved to History Park in 1987. Later additions removed during restoration. [36]

Other structures[edit]

Exhibits[edit]

SP 1215 at History Park

Other attractions include:

Map[edit]

Historical and replica structures at History Park at Kelley Park 
  •  Former commercial 
  •  Former residences 
  •  Former public 

1
Associated Oil Service Station
2
Bank of Italy
3
Blacksmith Shed
4
Chiechi House
5
Coyote Post Office
6
Dashaway Stables
7
Dr Warburton's Office
8
Empire Firehouse
9
Gordon House (Rotary Club of San Jose)
10
Greenawalt House (Viet Museum)
11
Hill House
12
Markham House (Poetry Center San Jose)
13
Migrant Worker Houses
14
Nelson–De Luz House
15
Ng Shing Gung (Chinese American Historical Museum)
16
Pacific Hotel (History San Jose)
17
Pasetta House
18
Paulson House (California Pioneers of Santa Clara County)
19
Portuguese Historical Museum at the Imperio
20
Print Shop
21
San Jose electric light tower
22
Santa Ana One Room Schoolhouse
23
Southern Pacific 1215
24
Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn
25
Trolley Barn (California Trolley and Railroad Corporation)
26
Umbarger House
27
Zanker House (African American Heritage House)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History". History San Jose. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "San Jose Historical Museum Association News" (PDF). Vol. 1 no. 1. September 1980. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  3. ^ "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). Vol. 1 no. 7. May 1972. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). Vol. 1 no. 4. February 1972. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  5. ^ "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). March 1977. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  6. ^ "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). Vol. 1 no. 1. September 1977. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ Hill, Angela (September 14, 2016). "San Jose's History Park offers blast to the past". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  8. ^ "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). Vol. 1 no. 4. August 1978. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "San Jose Historical Museum Association Newsletter" (PDF). Summer 1979. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Associated Oil Service Station". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Bank of Italy". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Blacksmith Shed". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Chiechi House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Coyote Post Office Opening Planned" (PDF). San Jose Historical Museum Association News. Vol. I no. 3. February 1981. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Coyote Post Office, Historic Landmark 10-193". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Dashaway Stables". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Dr. Warburton's Office, Historic Landmark 10-195". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Empire Firehouse". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Gordon House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Greenawalt House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Hill House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Markham House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Migrant Worker Houses, Historic Landmark 10-192". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Nelson – DeLuz House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Chinese American Historical Museum at the Ng Shing Gung". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Pacific Hotel". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Pasetta House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Paulson House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Portuguese Historical Museum at the Imperio". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Print Shop". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Santa Ana One-Room Schoolhouse". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  32. ^ History of the One Room School House at History Park
  33. ^ "Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Trolley Barn". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Umbarger House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Zanker House". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Electric Light Tower". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Railroad Steam Locomotive and Cars". History San Jose. Retrieved 4 January 2019.

External links[edit]