Historical Sites in the South Bay

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Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House (Campbell)

Beautifully restored in an enchanting park like setting, the English Tudor style architecture of the Ainsley House transports the visitor to the bygone era of the 1920s. Built in 1925 as the home for Campbell canning pioneer J.C. Ainsley and his wife Alcinda, the home was moved to its present location in 1990. The exquisitely restored and decorated 15 rooms are furnished with much of the original furniture of the era when it was one of the grand homes of the Santa Clara Valley. The surrounding English gardens are a refreshing respite for the visitor to this unique historic house. They offer 45 minute docent tours.

Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park (Gilroy)

This 4.3 acre park is home to Uvas Creek and a cultural and historical site.  There is a self-guided walk around the whole park that includes informational panels and displays. The panels include photographs and original art about the Adams School, Ohlone village life and buildings, petroglyphs (rock art), the natural history of Uvas Creek, Spanish, California and Ohlone culture.  There is ample parking and restrooms For a map, please click here

Deer Hollow Farm (Cupertino)

This is the site of the old Grant Ranch back in late 1800s and is located within Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.  There is an easy flat one mile walk to the site that hosts a hay barn, historic cabin, blacksmith shed, tractor as well as a farm with pigs, cattle, vegetable and herb garden and nature center.  For a map of the area, please click here

Emma Prusch Farm Park (San Jose)

This historical site has 87 acres of land that was once a working dairy farm. Visitors can see the farm house, wood barn filled with large and small farm animals, other historical structures, and fruit orchards. There is also a Plant Science Center, two community gardens, and a butterfly garden.  The park has many acres of lush lawns for picnicing and walking. There is also a forest of trees originating from around the world.

History Park (San Jose)

There are galleries, historic buildings and a town as well as family activities, a cafe and museum store.  For a park map, please click here

McClellan Ranch Park (Cupertino)

This is an 18 acre historical preserve with 1930s ranch house, milk and livestock barn, Baer's Blacksmith Shop and old water tower on site. The park hosts a nature museum and community garden. There are trails for hiking and viewing deer, coyote, bobcats and more than 100 species of birds.

New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum (San Jose)

Learn about the history of the New Almaden Mines including the cultural diversity of the people living in the mining  communities, technologies used to extract liquid mercury from cinnabar ore and the different uses of mercury.  Exhibits allow you to experience what it was like to work in a mine, and how New Almaden participated in California’s Gold Rush.  Next door, view Casa Grande’s antique-furnished parlor to see what is was like for wealthy folk in the 1800s. There is also a self-guided walking tour through the small town of New Almaden that includes visiting other historical sites such as the Mine Supervisor’s House, St. Anthony’s Church and the Hacienda Cemetery.

Overfelt House (San Jose)

Overfelt Gardens is home to the historic Overfelt House that is representative of 1870s formal Italian Renaissance architecture.  It was designed by its owners Mary and William Overfelt who married in 1854.  They emigrated from Virginia to California in 1858 and established a stock and dairy ranch at Pyle Ranch.  William helped to establish the first free public school in East San Jose.  Mary successfully ran the family ranch for 54 years after her husband died.  The house was declared a City Landmark in 1985.  There are interpretive signs and a restroom at the location.

Peralta Adobe and Fallon House Historic Site (San Jose)

Built in 1797, the Peralta Adobe is the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. The exquisite Fallon House was built in 1855 by one of San Jose's earliest mayors. The Victorian mansion showcases 15 fully furnished rooms typical of the Victorian period. Learn about Thomas Fallon, a frontiersman in the John C. Fremont expedition, and Carmel Fallon, the daughter of one of the most prominent Mexican landowners in California.

Rengstorff House (Mountain View)

Circa 1867 and restored in 1991. It is an example of Victorian Italianate architecture on the west coast. The antique furnishings and wall and ceiling treatments by Bradbury and Bradbury make this a true Victorian home. Guests are invited to stroll through the surrounding English gardens for free.