gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 65

From its headwaters in Henry W. Coe State Park, Coyote Creek feeds Coyote Lake—which was impounded in 1934— and then continues northward following a linear valley formed by the Calaveras Fault. Photos of the narrow gorge where Coyote Creek cuts through a low spot in Coyote Ridge, show the canyon mouth or water gap scoured by floodwater over countless centuries. I’m sure that it was recognized as an excellent loca- tion for a potential dam if there were not so many seismic faults nearby. The alluvial fan created at this point by the constriction Coyote Creek caused a high spot on the valley floor, which directed the waters of Coyote Creek to flow either to the south, merging with Llagas Creek and the Pajaro River, or to the north, following its current alignment to San Francisco Bay. The coarse sediments of the alluvial fan allowed for the growth an immense oak woodland that extended across the valley floor. Today, only a few remnant valley oaks remain after their removal for firewood and to make way for agriculture and new settlers. The combination of a perennial source of water, a wildlife corridor and abundance of acorns from the oaks most certainly would have enchanted the Ohlone peoples who first populated the area close to Anderson. Archeologists and historians suggest that the Matalan peoples lived either in a permanent vil- lage near the gorge or at least had a seasonal camp alongside the creek. The primary village site for the Matalan is located at Coyote Narrows, according to researchers. Mission records show that the Matalan were brought into Mission Santa Clara beginning in 1777 and Coyote Valley was fully depopulated by the 1790’s—the Ohlone culture was nearly wiped away. After serving in the Spanish military, Juan Hernandez was granted, in 1835, two square leagues (nearly 9,000 acres) extending across the valley from El Toro to Anderson. While the Hernandez adobe rancho was built near the intersection of today’s Hale and Llagas Avenues, it is suspected that one of the family members also constructed an adobe home along Coyote Creek just upstream from the gorge at Coyote Ridge. In 1846, Martin Murphy Sr. purchased the rancho from the Hernandez heirs for his home at the age of 66. This remarkable family had just completed the first successful crossing of the Sierra by wagon train. The Murphy family initially acquired vast acreages in the valley but the following generations began to allow their lands to be subdivided beginning in the early 1890s. The same is true for Rancho Laguna Seca to the north, owned by the Fisher family, except that land sales started there in the 1850s when Captain Fisher passed away at age 40. The early partitioning of Rancho Laguna Seca is why the community of Madrone developed about 30 years before Morgan Hill.    Among the early families to settle in the area were the McElroys, the Phegleys, and the Malaguerr ́ݡ)͔Ѽ܁хЁ)ѡɕ͕еͽQ)5ɽI䁉ݕѡ݅ѕ) єAݽ ɕ́)ͥѕٕȁ͕ٕɅչɕ)ɕ̻ QɅ݅́ͽѼѡ) Ʌ䁥䁅ѡ䁑ٕ)ѡЁ䁉͕ͥ)ѡхє͕ѡȁ͕́M))͔MɅ͍ ])) Ʌ͕݅䁥䰁5̸) Ʌѡȁٕѡ)ɅѼՑѱե)ɍɑ̻ 5̸ Ʌٕѡ)!ɹ聅չѥЁݡ)܁ݼѽ䁡݅́եл Q́)ѡ͔܁ɍٔѡͽѠ)ɸͽ1٥)ٕЁɥȁѼѡѡ)ݱ䵍ɕѕɕ͕ٽȻ 5̸ Ʌ)͕݅䁥܁Ёѡ(л !ȁхєͥѕɔѡ(аɕ́ݥѠѡ͔ɕ̰)Ցѡɥ)ɕѥЁѡѽͽ1)QÁݕɔɱ)ɥ䁥Ѡ5ɝ!)ɽ QȁɅݼѽ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)5d)U9)ɥեЁɽչ)ѥͥ́ȁѡ͔ͽ) QAéɅ݅́Ѡ)ͥ́ є ɕѽх(ɕ̸ѕȁѡÁЁѡ)ɕᕍѥٔݥѠѡMչݕ)ɽݕ́ɅѥٔեЁѥհ)M͠屔a͇dݸѽ䁅)ѡÍIѕȁ%Ʉ)