gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 67

Villa Mira Monte Joins Bay Area Historic House Museums
PHOTO COURTESY OF MORGAN HILL HISTORICAL SOCIETY / VILLA MIRA MONTE
at Bullocks as a dashing model who was seen around San Francisco in a swanky carriage with matching trotters ( perhaps akin today to a Ferrari ). Diana ’ s and Morgan ’ s courtship was not well received by her parents . In fact , on his deathbed in Nevada , Daniel Murphy extracted a false promise from his daughter not to marry Mr . Hill . It was too late . The couple had already eloped , and the story goes that Diana was remorseful throughout her marriage for deceiving her father .
Upon Daniel Murphy ’ s death , Diana received a substantial inheritance including half of the lands originally granted to Juan Hernandez in 1835 that make up most of today ’ s city of Morgan Hill ( nearly 4,500 acres ). Villa Mira Monte was situated with an inspiring view of Murphy ’ s Peak ( El Toro ) and conveniently close to the railroad tracks across from the back of the house to welcome friends to the Morgan Hill ’ s ranch . This “ country cottage ” was intended by the Hill ’ s to be a getaway place from hub-bub of San Francisco , and afforded Mr . Hill the opportunity to personally review the management of their ranch holdings . The Hill ’ s traveled a great deal , and so Villa Mira Monte was leased for a time then sold after Hiram ’ s death in November of 1913 .
After a succession of occupants , the historical importance of Villa Mira Monte
was recognized , and in 1978 , with the help of the Morgan Hill Historical Society , the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places . The house sat vacant for several years until 1993 when the all-volunteer Historical Society agreed to take on the job of restoring the house and grounds to their former glory . It took five years and considerable sweat equity to realize the grand re-opening in 1998 and welcome the community once again to Villa Mira Monte . It ’ s been nearly twenty years now that the public tours , school field trips and private events have been able to avail themselves of the cherished home of our city ’ s namesake .
Villa Mira Monte is more than just a home site , the property also includes the Morgan Hill Museum located inside the 1911 Acton House , and the Centennial History Trail , which was dedicated in 2006 . The Morgan Hill Historical Society and the City of Morgan Hill are currently moving in a direction which hopefully will lead to Villa Mira Monte being designated as an historic park , providing much-needed support to maintain and embellish this symbol of our local heritage .
In my opinion , the fundamental issue when discussing historic properties such as Villa Mira Monte revolves around the the idea of “ rootedness .” We need to provide ourselves with as many
chances as we can to put down deep roots that spread in all directions . These roots manifest themselves in the many volunteer and charitable organizations we are fortunate to have . In South County alone , there are more than fifteen structures , special historical or archeological settings that have earned a place on the National Registery of Historic Places . The last nomination was for the Miller Red Barn in Gilroy ’ s Christmas Hill Park , which occurred in late 2016 . Plus , we have a number of county and city historic listings that cumulatively tell a remarkable story of people ’ s determination to thrive in this valley .
I firmly believe in the sentiment that it ’ s difficult to fully appreciate the present or contemplate the future without an understanding of our history . Does an appreciation of our local history provide a value to the community ? I certainly think so . This sense of place I ’ m referring to suggests feelings of humility and gratitude for the opportunity of living in such a glorious landscape . It should inspire us to preserve and act as stewards of our natural history . My concern is that our fast-paced culture will overwhelm the nuance of place and that we will forgo historical memory because it may seem irrelevant . Let ’ s work together to relish and celebrate the history and traditions that make our valley a wonderful place to live .

Villa Mira Monte Joins Bay Area Historic House Museums

In January , the Bay Area Historic House Museum organization ( BAHHM ) welcomed Villa Mira Monte to join its membership . Villa Mira Monte is a Nationally Registered Historic Landmark operated by the Morgan Hill Historical Society ( MHHS ), along with the Morgan Hill Museum and the Centennial History Trail . MHHS hosted more than thirty representatives of other house museums in Santa Rosa , San Francisco , San Jose and Half Moon Bay and other locations .
MHHS member Kathy Chavez Napoli treated visitors to a “ Trunk Show ” program offered by the Historical Society to Morgan Hill Unified School District third grade classrooms to prepare students for their first field trip to Villa Mira Monte . The program equips students to become history detectives as they explore the history of Morgan Hill , including Native Americans who occupied the land for thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1700s . The Historical Society serves 700 to 950 students per year . BAHHM members expressed interest in replicating Napoli ’ s trunk show model in their cities .
Upcoming Events :
June 24 – Annual “ Prohibition Party ” at Villa Mira Monte August 6 – Annual Community Picnic at Villa Mira Monte
Morgan Hill Museum , 17860 Monterey Road . Hours : Fridays 12 to 3 pm , Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm . mhhistoricalsociety . org
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH / APRIL 2017 gmhtoday . com
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at Bullocks as a dashing model who was seen around San Francisco in a swanky carriage with matching trotters (perhaps akin today to a Ferrari). Diana’s and Morgan’s courtship was not well received by her parents. In fact, on his deathbed in Nevada, Daniel Murphy extracted a false promise from his daughter not to marry Mr. Hill. It was too late. The couple had already eloped, and the story goes that Diana was remorseful throughout her marriage for deceiving her father. Upon Daniel Murphy’s death, Diana received a substantial inheritance including half of the lands originally granted to Juan Hernandez in 1835 that make up most of today’s city of Morgan Hill (nearly 4,500 acres). Villa Mira Monte was situated with an inspiring view of Murphy’s Peak (El Toro) and conve- niently close to the railroad tracks across from the back of the house to welcome friends to the Morgan Hill’s ranch. This “country cottage” was intended by the Hill’s to be a getaway place from hub-bub of San Francisco, and afforded Mr. Hill the opportunity to personally review the management of their ranch holdings. The Hill’s traveled a great deal, and so Villa Mira Monte was leased for a time then sold after Hiram’s death in November of 1913. After a succession of occupants, the historical importance of Villa Mira Monte was recognized, and in 1978, with the help of the Morgan Hill Historical Society, the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house sat vacant for several years until 1993 when the all-volunteer Historical Society agreed to take on the job of restoring the house and grounds to their former glory. It took five years and considerable sweat equity to realize the grand re-opening in 1998 and welcome the community once again to Villa Mira Monte. It’s been nearly twenty years now that the public tours, school field trips and private events have been able to avail themselves of the cherished home of our city’s namesake. Villa Mira Monte is more than just a home site, the property also includes the Morgan Hill Museum located inside the 1911 Acton House, and the Ce [X[\ܞHZ[ X\YX]Y[ H[ܙ[[\ܚX[Y]B[H]Hو[ܙ[[\H\[B[ݚ[[H\X[ۈXY[B[XY[HZ\H[۝HZ[™\Yۘ]Y\[\ܚX\ݚY B[]X [YYY\ܝXZ[Z[[[X[\\[Xو\[\]YK[^H[[ۋH[[Y[[\YB[\\[\ܚX\Y\X\[HZ\H[۝H]\\[HHYXHو8'Y\˸'HHYYݚYH\[\]\X[B[\\H[]ۈY\]XY[[\X[ۜˈ\BX[Y\[\[\[HX[B[Y\[\]XHܙ[^][ۜH\Hܝ[]H]K[][H[ۙK\H\H[ܙH[YY[X\\XX[\ܚX[܂\[X[][]]HX\YBXHۈH][ۘ[Y\\Hو\ܚX”X\ˈH\Z[][ۈ\܈BZ[\Y\[[x&\\X\[\X\Y[]H M\H]HH\و[H[]B\ܚX\[][][]][H[B[X\XHܞHو[x&\]\Z[][ۂ]H[\[^KH\[H[Y]H[H[[Y[]]8&\YX[[H\XX]HH\[܈۝[\]HH]\H]][[\[[و\\ܞK\[\XX][ۈو\[\ܞHݚYHB[YHH[][]OH\Z[H[œˈ\[HوXHx&[HY\[œY\Y[[و[Z[]H[ܘ]]YB܈Hܝ[]Hو][[XBܚ[\[\K][[\H\œ\\H[X\]\و\]\[\ܞK^Hۘ\\]\\ \XY[\H[ݙ\[HHX[HقXH[]H[ܙ\ܚX[Y[[ܞHX]\H]X^HY[H\[][ ]8&\ܚ]\[\[[X]BH\ܞH[Y][ۜ]XZH\[^HHۙ\[XH]K[HZ\H[۝H[^H\XH\ܚX\H]\][\’[[X\KH^H\XH\ܚX\H]\][Hܙ[^][ۈ RJH[YY[HZ\H[۝H[]Y[X\\ [BZ\H[۝H\H][ۘ[HY\\Y\ܚX[X\\]YHH[ܙ[[\ܚX[Y]H RK[ۙ]B[ܙ[[]\][H[H[[X[\ܞHZ[ RY[ܙH[\H\\[]]\و\\H]\][\[[HK[[\[H[[[ۈ^H[\][ۜ˂RY[X\]H]^\HX]Y\]ܜH8'['Hܘ[Hٙ\YHH\ܚX[Y]H[ܙ[[[YYY\X\ܘYH\ܛ\\\HY[܈Z\\Y[\[HZ\H[۝KHܘ[H\]Z\œY[XYH\ܞH]X]\\^H^ܙHH\ܞHو[ܙ[[ [Y[]]H[Y\X[\YYH[܈\[وYX\YܙHH\][وH[\[H M ˈH\ܚX[Y]H\\ MLY[\YX\RHY[X\^\Y[\\[\X][\x&\[[[[Z\]Y\˂\Z[][Έ[ܙ[[]\][H  M [۝\^HY B[H 8$[X[8'X][ۈ\x'H][HZ\H[۝B]Y\ 8$[X[[][]HXۚX][HZ\H[۝H\ΈY^\ L K]\^\ L[H HKZ\ܚX[Y]Kܙ‘SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSPT TS M™Z^KB