Joseph D. Grant County Park is located in the hills east of San Jose, California. San Francisco businessman and founding member of Save-the Redwoods League Joseph D. Grant (1852-1942) acquired the first ranch parcel in 1880. He added land throughout his life. The ranch was a place to relax and entertain friends, including Herbert Hoover. Grant’s children inherited the ranch in 1948 after his widow’s death. Daughter Josephine Grant Mc Creery bought out her siblings’ interests. Upon her death in 1972 her will divided the ranch between Save-the-Redwoods League and the Menninger Foundation. Both sold to Santa Clara County Parks in 1975. The park opened in 1978. Much of the archival collection was donated by Grant’s granddaughter Elspeth Grant Bobbs. It includes family photos, papers and books, and items related to Save-the-Redwoods League and Grant’s business interests. Current online items are mostly photographs. More will be added in the future.
New Almaden’s famous quicksilver mines, located just south of San Jose, gave rise to the world famous quicksilver mining community that evolved in the early 1850s. This National Historic Landmark district was begun as a formal mining claim by Mexican Calvalry officer Andreas Castillero in 1845. Named for the famous mercury-producing mines of Almaden, Spain; New Almaden attracted a world-wide interest during the Gold Rush, since mercury was the primary reduction agent of gold and silver. New Almaden became the most prominent quicksilver mine in the Western Hemisphere under the operation of the Quicksilver Mining Company. Casa Grande, which was constructed by mine superintendent Henry Halleck in 1854, became the working residence for a succession of mine managers. Casa Grande, part of Almaden Quicksilver County Park, boasts the Quicksilver Mining Museum which offers exhibits, education programs and public tours and houses a collection of historic maps, photos and archives relating to the area’s mining past.
Martial Cottle Park is located in San Jose, California. From 1864 to 2014 it was part of the Cottle Ranch. Walter Cottle Lester, the last of the family to live on the ranch, followed his mother Ethel Cottle Lester’s wishes and donated the land to Santa Clara County Parks in 2003. Their intention was to provide a place where future generations could learn about the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara Valley. The park opened to the public in 2015. Park archives and collections are made up of items from the Cottle family’s 150 years on the property. They include photographs, business and personal papers, household items, personal effects, and farming vehicles and equipment. More images and information will be added to this website as the collections and archives are further organized and documented, to share the ranch and valley heritage with an even broader audience.