Geography. - Redwood township is bounded on the north by Fremont and Santa Clara townships; on the east
by Almaden township; on the south by Gilroy township, and on the west by Santa Cruz county.
Topography. - This township is a portion of the western boundary of the great Santa Clara valley, and is,
therefore, very mountainous, save a comparative small area which borders immediately on Santa Clara township. At
one time the hills were covered with giant redwoods, but these have long ago succumbed to the woodman's ax, and
it is not until the county line is passed that the monarchs of the forest are now met. In the vicinity of the two
prosperous villages of Los Gatos and Saratoga we find the rarest and most beautiful scenery, while on the level
ground is laid out a view of unsurpassed loveliness.
Soil. - In the portions of this township lying on the foot hills the soil is that rich, black land known
as adobe, while, for a considerable distance into the valley, a red, clayey, gravelly soil is found, a diversity
which makes Redwood a section of the county which produces a various supply of cereals and fruits.
Products. - The products of Redwood township are chiefly wheat and fruit. In the level valley land the former
is grown in great quantities, while on the eastern side of the foot hills every manner of fruit reaches fine perfection.
The influence of the Thermal Belt is here felt, so that in many of the gardens orange trees and grape vines have
reached a high state of excellence, as has been the case with those of the more delicate plants.
Timber. - At the present day there is not much timber in the township, what there had been having long ago
been felled. The hill sides are covered with brushwood, while, besides the willows which grow along the margins
of the creeks and in the bottom lands, the valley is well supplied with an abundance of sycamores and oaks.
Climate. - More rain falls in this township than in any of the others on account of its mountainous formation,
yet in the uplands there is not more than the soil requires. Frosts are rare, as the luxuriant growth of the orange
evidences, while, in Summer the days are hot, and the nights cool.
Early Settlement - In the year 1850 James Alexander Forbes, a Scotchman, well known in the district from
his being British Consul for California, was a resident of Santa Clara, and feeling the want of a mill, conceived
the idea of building one on the Los Gatos creek, where he thought there was the necessary water power to turn a
wheel to move the machinery which was to grind grain for the inhabitants of the then sparsely settled Santa Clara
valley. The building was completed in the year 1854 by Mr. Forbes, in whose hands, however, the enterprise failed,
and was succeeded by the French firm of V. Marzion & Co., who also were unsuccessful; the premises were next
rented by Pfister & Co. and others, but through the lack of power for so large a mill they were forced to abandon
it as an unprofitable venture, until finally, in 1866, it was purchased by W. H. Rogers & Co., the present
The settlement of this township is not such a matter of antiquity as many of the others. The person longest resident
in Redwood is Edward Hanrahan, who arrived in the Golden State January 16, 1849; came to Santa Clara county a twelve
month later, and settled in the township in March, 1851. Almost contemporaneous with him is Reuben McCoy, a native
of Green county, East Tennessee, who arrived in California August 29, 1850, and after sojourning in Placerville,
then known by the poetically ominous name of Hangtown, for fourteen months, came to the already famous Santa Clara
valley, and located on the land he now occupies. Prior to this time there had settled on what is now the site of
the village of Saratoga, one Martin McCarthy, who had taken up a quarter section in that locality. What the precise
date of his locating was, we have been unable to trace, but here he afterwards (about 1851) laid out a town and
dubbed it McCarthysville, name which happily was, ten years ago, replaced by the more euphonious one of Saratoga.
Here Mr. McCarthy resided until his death in February, 1864.
In the year 1846, as we have stated in our remarks on the early settement of Fremont township, there settled near
Mountain View a family of the name of Whisman. In company with them was one William Haun, who had married one of
the daughters of "Old John" Whisman. Haun and his wife took up their residence at the Mission of Santa
Clara in 1846, and there remained until 1852. In the Winter of 1851-2 Mr Haun, accompanied by his father-in-law,
had taken up some land. and commenced the erection of a water power flour mill, on the site of the Saratoga Paper
Mill, at the same time building as a residence the house now occupied by John Maclay. The mill building was three
stories in height; it was constructed with great care, and the water was conducted in a flume a distance of one
fourth of a mile to the wheel. In the year 1863 it was sold to Charles Maclay, and in that following, 1864, was
destroyed by fire. It will thus be seen that very early in the history of the settlement of the township, Redwood
had two flour mills.
The next settler we have been able to discover is Thomas Scully, who arrived on the Pacific coast in May, 1849,
and after taking a turn at the mines for two years came to Santa Clara county and purchased the farm on which he
now resides. This pioneer has been a continuous resident of the township since August 1, 1853. In the Fall of this
year Ira J. Lovell settled where he now resides, three miles north of Los Gatos; and in. the following December
William Cox took up his residence in the township, and, after working one season, acquired a tract of land on which
he now has a fine residence, with well kept grounds. For the two years following there were no additions to the
adult population, apparently, but in 1856 there arrived a family named Parr, whose children have, since the death
of the father, on September 11, 1867, succeeded to the considerable property left by him. Mr. Parr, with his wife
and children, came to the State in 1846 located in Livermore valley, now in Alameda county, where they resided
until 1849. In that year they took possession of the Laurelwood Farm, near Santa Clara; in 1853 they transferred
their habitat to Almaden township, and, three years later, as stated above, made their home in the township now
under notice. In 1857 and 1858 we are not aware of there being any new comers. In 1859, however, we have the information
that in the month of February Doctor William S. McMurtry settled in Lexington, whither he went to establish himself
in the lumber trade. That Summer he rebuilt a saw mill which had been erected in the previous year by Roork
Herrick, about four miles above the village At this time there were residing in Lexington, S. N. Johnson, Scott
Hall, James Kennedy, the toll keeper on the Santa Cruz turnpike road, R. S. Swain and a store keeper named Josephs.
Dr. McMurtry is now a resident of Los Gatos, to which place he moved in the year 1868. The next to take up a permanent
residence in the township was John W. Lyndon. This gentleman, after clerking three years in Josephs' store in Lexington,
started business on his own account. In 1868 he settled in Los Gatos, purchased from H. D. McCobb the "Ten
mile House," and opened it as a hotel, but, disposing of it a few months later to Morgan Covell, he opened
a store for general merchandize in the village. Mr. Lyndon repurchased the hotel from Jacob Rich, four years later,
gave to it the name of the Los Gatos Hotel, and now leases it to James J. Eddy. In the month of December of this
year Benjamin W. Hollenbeck purchased a home in Saratoga; and about the same period John F. Mason came from Alviso,
and bought a parcel of land situated on the north side of the Los Gatos creek from Charles Maynard. Mr Mason informs
us that when he arrived in the locality the only other resident, for the mill was then unoperated, was a man named
Rockeyfellow, who kept the hostelry known as the "Ten mile House" - a ten foot shake shanty that was
destroyed by fire some years later.
Thus far do we take the reader in considering the general settlement of the township. It will be seen that the
population had no rapid growth. In 1859 the greater part of the low lying lands were yet covered with brushwood;
fencing had not been then commenced, and cultivation of any kind was only to be found at widely separated intervals.
Between the hills and the city of San Jose there roamed at large, bands of untamed cattle; the thickly tangled
undergrowth on the mountain slopes were the resort of beasts of prey, while in that day it was little thought that
two decades would see immense fruit and grain crops, with the wild shrieking iron horse to bear away the produce,
after tapping the incalculable resources of the redwood forests in the adjacent mountain fastnesses.
These early settlers contented themselves chiefly in the rearing of livestock. In the year 1861 cultivation became
general, and with it fencing commenced. In 1862 the old Forbes mill was taken in hand by Samuels & Farmer,
the former of whom built the first dwelling house on the east side of the creek in the town of Los Gatos. It is
now occupied by Dr. McMurtry. Shortly after, there came a man named Van Taveron, who settled about a mile from
where the town is built. Two miles from the town there located William Scott, while adjoining Mason's property
to the north one Vinage Gariagus took up his abode. The land to the east of the stream was the property of Marzion
& Co., that to the west - a tract of twenty five hundred acres - belonged to Auzerais Brothers.
LOS GATOS. - How this pleasantly situated little village came to get its name of "The Cats," we
are not in position to say, but this we dare assert. that there are few spots in the broad county of Santa Clara,
indeed we do not except the State in its immense length, where we find so many charms of scenery and vegetation.
It was truly an inspiration which led the selection of such a spot by James A. Forbes for the erection of his mill.
Gurgling and babbling from out of an impenetrable canon rushes with many an echo this playful stream, joyous when
he first saw it mayhap, but often swollen into a wild and angry torrent. We can almost now fancy the Scotchman
standing on the bank of this rivulet, while his thoughts carried him back to similar scenes in "the old country."
Like shadows on the hillsides, idea chased idea, until there loomed up before him the brook wherein, in days gone
by, he had been wont to hook the speckled trout from out the shaded pool or mimic rapid. Now there arose a vision
of the quaint old mill, built of stone, roofed with straw, with a gigantic wheel slowly splashing its awkward round,
assisted to that end by a tiny aqueduct. In a twinkling there flashed through his brain the desire to make the
dream a reality, and there and then did he determine to put his idea into execution. About the year 1850 he commenced
the erection of his mill, but it was not completed until 1854. Considering the times, it was a well constructed
building, with wheels twenty feet in diameter, but with the slight fall of water of only twenty feet. Failing in
the hands of Forbes the works passed into those of a French firm, V. Marzion & Co., who also failed; it was
then rented by Pfister & Co., and others, for a term of years, who found it unprofitable, owing to the lack
of power for so large a mill, through the dry season. In 1862 Samuels & Farmer, who rented the mill, constructed
a new dam, and made a head of thirty feet of water. In 1866 W. H. Rogers & Co., on the purchase of the property,
raised the head to sixty feet, and in lieu of the former overshot wheels, placed those known as "turbine."
In 1870 the head of water was raised to two hundred feet, a power that has been found ample. When W. H. Rogers
& Co. took possession of the establishment the company was made a joint stock affair, with the following incorporators:
W. H. Rogers, J. Y. McMillin, W. H. Rector, W. S. McMurtry and C. C. Hayward. In 1869 they erected a four set woolen
mill, two stories high, covering an area of fifty by sixty feet, and finding employment for thirty persons, about
one hundred feet south of the flour mill. It was run successfully until 1872, when it was unfortunately destroyed
by fire, and has not been rebuilt. It may be as well to mention that from the tail race of the Los Gatos mill comes
all the water supplied to the San Jose Water Company, the immense volume thus required being conveyed through pipes
into reservoirs, until distributed throughout that city.
We have now shown that the first building, in the little town, was the mill. In 1859 there were no houses except
the mill and two shanties, built for the laborers engaged on its reconstruction; in 1861-2, however, the dwelling,
in which Dr. McMurtry now resides, was erected by Mr. Samuels, while there were a few shanties springing up around,
but no actual rate of building can be followed, neither can we trace the names of permanent settlers, most persons,
then coming to the village, being transitory employes on the mill. About 1863 a store and lumber yard was started,
by W. S. McMurtry and J. Y. McMillin, on the ground now in possession of the Los Gatos Manufacturing Company; while,
about this time, a school was inaugurated. We have mentioned above the establishment of the hotel. On December
8,1864, Henry D. McCobb was appointed the first postmaster; in 1871 a church was built; and early in 1877, the
trains of the South Pacific Coast Railroad, first made their appearance in the little town; since when its prosperity
has been on the increase.
Los Gatos, situated ten miles from San Jose, at the mouth of a canon in the Santa Cruz mountains, is a romantic
spot. and will, in the course of time, become a favorite resort for invalids and world weary people, from the fact
of its possessing a fine climate for both health and semi tropical fruit culture. Here flourishes the "green
bay tree," its pungent perfume, glossy and green foliage, and a symmetrical form, being among its many virtues.
The orange. lemon, fig, almond, prunes, pomegranate, and all the more hardy varieties of fruit, grow to high perfection,
while of the grapes, sunny France, herself, cannot boast of better than are grown in this locality.
Los Gatos Lodge, No. 76: A. O. U. W. - This society was organized in Los Gatos, January 11, 1879, with
the following names on the original, Charter: J. T. Harris, T. S. Cleland, H. C. Black, John B. Waterman, A. T.
McFarland, Homer A. Swaney, W. R. Rogers, Henry U. Ball, Thomas W. Cox and William Parks. At the end of the thirty
days' extension allowed by the Grand Lodge, the following names were added to the list of Charter Members: J. W.
Miller, William Lundy, A. Lee, F Reynolds, S. Bishop, John Erickson, C. G. Erkson. The first officers elected to
serve were: J. T. Harris, P. M. W.; T. S. Cleland, M. W.; H. C. Black, F.; J. B. Waterman, O.; A. F. McFarland,
Recor.; H. A. Swaney, Finan.; W. R. Rogers, Recr.; H. U. Ball, G.; Thomas W. Cox, I. W.; William Parks, O. W. The
lodge has at present twenty six members on its roll; meets at Lundy's Hall every Thursday evening; and is in a
flourishing condition. The officers for, the current term, are; E. F. Reynolds, P. M. W.; J. W. Miller, M. W.;
John Erickson, F.; H. U. Ball, O.; T. W. Cox, Recor.; J. McWhorter, Finan.: F. Chase, Recr.; S. Dahal, G.; John
McCoy, I. W.; Arthur Murphy, O. W. Trustees; William Parks, H. U. Ball, William Lundy.
Victoria Lodge, No. 328, I. O. G. T. - This lodge was instituted May 21, 1880, with the following Charter
Members: W. W. Par ks, W. D. Hudson, Mrs. W. D. Hudson, D. Parks, Mrs. Clara Parks, M. Swall, J. R. Hughes, P.
Peterson, Mrs. P. Peterson, Frank Reynolds, John Reynolds, E. Main, John Franklin, Miss Verena Daves, Miss Clarissa
Crocker, W. Johnson, Re:. Jesse Smith, Mrs. Lena Smith, George McMurtry, S. Talbot, W. H. Spencer, Roderick Forbes,
Mrs. George Senor, P. Moiles, F. Waterman, Z. Le Fevre, J. Smith, H. W. Vandervaart, Mrs. M. J. Vandervaart, F.
Whitaker, O. Rodgers, Mrs. S. Andricks, Mrs. Mary Frost, F. Perkins. The original officers who served were: W.
D. Hudson, W. C. T.; Mrs. H. A. Hudson, W. V. T.; Rev. Jesse Smith, W. Chaplain; F. Perkins, W. Sec.; Miss Verena
Daves, W. Asst. Sec.; John Reynolds, W. F. Sec.; Mrs. S. Andricks, W. Treas.; J. Franklin, W. K.; Miss C. Crocker,
W. D. M.; F. Whitaker, W. I. G.; O. Rodgers, W. O. G.; Mrs. C. Parks, W. R. H. S.; Mrs. M. Frost, W. L. H. S.;
F. Reynolds, P. W. C. T. The lodge, though recently established is in a flourishing condition; has seventy members
on its roll, and meets in, Rodgers Hall every Wednesday evening. The present officers are: W. W. Parks, W. C. T.;
Mrs. M. J. Vandervaart, W. V. T.; Mrs. E. E. Hoyt, W. Sec.; Albert Marshall, W. Asst Sec.; George McMurtry, W.
F. Sec.; Miss Jessie Smith, W. Treas.; D. Parks, W. M.; Mrs. H. A. Hudson, W. D. M.; Miss Florence Johnson, W.
I. G.; Fred Baker, W. O. G.; H. W. Vandervaart, P. W. C. T.; Rev. Jesse Smith, W. Chaplain; Mrs. Baker, W. R. H.
S.; Mrs. Lena Smith, W. L. H. S.
Los Gatos Flouring Mill. - The early history of this enterprise will be found above; we will here record
what has been done by the present proprietors, W. H. Rogers & Co. In the year 1880, while Mr. Rogers, was attending
the Miller's Convention, at Cincinnati, he became convinced that improvements were necessary in the working of
his establishment, if he wished to keep pace with the times. Be therefore purchased an entire new stock of machin
ery, and forwarded it to this coast. In July, 1880, the old mill was shut down, the required improvements effected,
and re-opened about November 1st of the same year. The mill, as it stands, is the original building erected by
James Alexander Forbes; is four full stories in height, and covers an area of fifty by eighty feet. In 1880, a
store room building, thirty by eighty feet, with two full stories was added, having a capacity of five thousand
barr els of flour and twenty thousand bags of wheat. The most improved machinery for making granulated flour was
adopted, consisting of eight runs of the Milwaukee Middlings Millstone Co mpany's mills; five other runs of stone;
three sets of the Downton chill iron rolls; eighteen flour bolts; two bran dusters; six middlings' purifiers; twenty
eight sets of elevators, which include large receiving and shipping elevators; two smut machines; one large wheat
brush; four wheat graders and separators; and all the other machinery necessary for a complete new process mill,
the whole of which was erected under the personal supervision of George B. Smith, of the mill firm of Smith Brothers,
of Milwaukee, who came to California for this especial purpose. The Los Gatos mill has been run, from that time
to the present, with entire satisfaction to customers and stockholders, and with the very best results. Its capacity
is two hundred barrels of flour per day, besides a large amount of barley and feed. A side track runs from the
main line of the South Pacific Coast Railroad to the mill, placing it in direct communication with all points on
Lyndon Hall. - This Hall was built in the Fall of 1878, by John W. Lyndon, and is situated next to the Los
Gatos Hotel. It is eighty feet in length and thirty two in width, fitted with a stage at the northern end, and
has a seating capacity of from six to seven hundred.
Los Gatos Hotel. - This establishment may be said to have had its incipience in a cottage which stood a
short distance above the railroad depot, owned by H. D. McCobb, who, in 1868, sold it to J. W. Lyndon, who disposed
of it to Morgan Covell; it then passed into the hands of Jacob Rich and, in 1872, was re-purchased by Mr. Lyndon,
who, in 1878, leased it to James J. Eddy. On the arrival of the railroad, in 1878, it was moved to its present
position opposite the depot, and considerable additions made to it. It now contains nineteen rooms, including parlor,
dining room, etc., the charges being moderate.
The Davis & Crowell Lime Quarry. - In the month of March, 1879, G. Guerinot disposed of a quarter section
of land in the hills, about one mile to the east of Los Gotos, to Edward Skuse, who opened a quarry thereon, but,
owing to financial difficulties, in February, 1880, he sold the property to Davis & Crowell, the present owners.
The kiln has a capacity of sixty barrels per diem, and the entire works are under the superintendence of S. S.
The Remillard Lime Quarry. - These works are situated on the hills about one mile south of Los Gatos, on
land owned by Frank Weiser, who leased, in March, 1880, to Peter Humel, for a term of six years. In the following
May, he transferred his lease to the Remillard Brick Company, who had the term extended to ten years. Up to the
present time, about eight hundred barrels of lime have been taken out of the quarry, under the supervision of Peter
Humel, the Superintendent.
SARATOGA. - In or about the year 1819-50 there took up a quarter section of land, which included the site
of the village of Saratoga, one Martin McCarthy. In the year 18.51 he laid out a town, gave it the name of McCarthysville,
and built the first house there, that in which his widow now reside. The next settlers to come to the village were
William Haun and his wife, and his father-in-law, John Whisman. In the Winter of 1851-2 they commenced the erection
of a water power flour mill on the site of the Saratoga Paper Mill, and the residence in which now lives John Maclay.
The mill was destroyed by fire in 1864. The next house to go up was that of Ashbury Shepard, a portion of which
is now used as the Temperance Hotel, and in the same year, 1853, the residence now of Mrs. Haun, was erected by
a man named Beckwith. At this period Washburn & Pipkins had a store in the old house next door to Frank Whipple's
saloon, while Henry Jarboe had then opened the first blacksmith's shop, and on November 2, 1855, Levi Millard was
appointed postmaster for McCarthysville and Bank Mills.
In the month of December, 1863, a re-survey of the town site was made by C. T. Healy and filed in the office of
the County Recorder, which shows an addition to the original limits of three blocks of twelve lots each, three
of six, one of seven, eight and nine lots respectively, while names were given to the streets, such as Lumber,
Oak, and St. Charles; Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.
Near to the village is situated the Congress Springs, one of the most popular resort in the State, the waters being
equally beneficial at all seasons of the year. Congress Hall was opened June 16, 1866, was originally fifty feet
square, and was established as a Summer resort by such leading capitalists as D. O. Mills, A. Hayward, A. J. Easton,
E. W. Knight, O. F. Griffin, Louis McLane, John O. Earl, and George R. Spinney. The present length of the building
is two hundred and twenty five feet, and contains sixty three well ventilated rooms. A more extended notice of
this establishment, now conducted and owned by Lewis A. Sage, will be found on page 39 of this work.
In Saratoga are situated the Saratoga Paper Mill, and Caledonia Pasteboard Mills, histories of which will be found
Located as Saratoga is on the foot hills, the views from some points are magnificent. The mountains rise in irregular
cones, one close upon another; some bold, others covered with timber or brushwood, and all running down into softly
undulating hills dotted with evergreen and majestic live oaks, which shelter many a neat homestead. To the east
the mountains rise sharp and clear into the infinite blue of the cloudless sky; deep shadows darken the many canons
and defiles; below, extending to the Bay of San Francisco, lies the gorgeous Santa Clara valley, while off to the
right the range of the Contra Costa is detected in the dim distance, but nearer are the blue peaks of Mount Hamilton,
grander than the rest, but not too grand for its being the site of the finest astronomical observatory in the world.
Saratoga Paper Mill. - This enterprise was established in the year 1868, by E. T. and W. T. King, who, shortly
after, took A. Pfister into partnership, and the firm became known as E. T. King & Co. In 1874 the establishment
was amalgamated with the Lick Mills property, when Blake, Robbins & Co., of San Francisco, were taken into
the firm, the association converted into a joint stock company, and both concerns conducted, until 1878, as the
Saratoga and Lick Mills Paper Manufacturing Company. In 1878, A. D. Remington, of the Remington Paper Company,
Watertown, New York, purchased, and segregated the Lick property, and shortly after, the mill now under notice
was leased to E. T. King, under whose management it now is. The capacity is about two and one half tons daily;
the power used is steam; while there is an annual comsumption of two thousand cords of wood, and twelve hundred
tons of straw.
Caledonia Pasteboard Mills. - This establishment was erected about the year 1868; by Peter Somerville, who
conducted it until the Summer of 1878, when he assigned it to his brother. In January, 1879, the property was leased
for a year by Brown Brothers, who purchased it in January, 1880, and who now own the enterprise. When they took
possession the quality of the manufacture had much deteriorated, but by earnest labor, and careful workmanship,
so good a business has been built up that the premises are too small, and a removal to more ample quarters in Santa
Cruz county is contemplated.
LEXINGTON. - This is a quiet hamlet situated about two miles above Los Gatos, in the Santa Cruz range of
mountains. It is unnecessary to say more of it than that at one time it had a considerable lumber trade. Some three
and twenty years ago Roork & Herrick constructed a saw mill nearly four miles above the village, which in 1859
was reconstructed by Dr. W. S. McMurtey, now of Los Gatos. When this gentlemen went to reside there, among the
residents were S. N. Johnson, Scott Hall, James Kennedy, the toll keeper on the Santa Cruz turnpike, while R. S.
Swain conducted a small hotel, and a man named Josephs had a store. Lexington is now a voting precinct, but otherwise
has no prominence.
ALMA. - This is a hamlet on Los Gatos creek consisting of only a few houses, and bearing no importance of
WRIGHT'S STATION. - This is a depot on the narrow guage line of the South Pacific Coast Railroad, and is
principally composed of the cottages of their workmen, and the necessary shops.