gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 65

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCV WATER DISTRICT TAKEN BY 111TH AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
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 location 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 village 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 Malaguerras who chose to make a new start adjacent the present-day Anderson Dam . The McElroy Ranch lay between the waters of Coyote and Packwood Creeks and consisted of over several hundred acres . The ranch was sold to the Cochrane family in 1869 and they developed one of the finest dairy businesses in the state , selling their cheeses in San Jose and San Francisco . When John Cochrane passed away in 1899 , Mrs . Aphelia Cochrane further developed the ranch to include beef cattle and fruit orchards . Mrs . Cochrane lived in the old Hernandez adobe until 1914 when a new two-story home was built . This is the house now perched above the southern end of Anderson Lake , having been moved just prior to the flooding of the newly-created reservoir . Mrs . Cochrane passed away in 1947 at the age of 104 . Her estate consisted of more than 4,000 acres with 500 of those acres , including the original adobe home , now resting at the bottom of Anderson Lake .
The Phegleys were an early pioneering family in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy . Their framed , two-story
original home , built around 1870 , still sits near the base of Anderson Dam . The Phegley ’ s ranch was on both sides of Coyote Creek and totaled 240 acres . After the Phegleys left the area , an executive with the Sunsweet growers cooperative built a beautiful Spanish style ‘ casa ’ known today as the Rhoades Ranch , named after Ira O . Rhoades , just across the driveway from the Phegley house . Then , in 1945 , the ranch was subdivided with the Borello family establishing a substantial farming operation ; and 12 acres , including the historic homes and outbuildings , purchased by Dr . Harold Thomas and his family . Dr . Thomas was a well-respected research scientist specializing in strawberry hybrids . His efforts culminated when he founded the Strawberry Institute of California in association with Driscoll ’ s of Watsonville . Looking at the property today , it is difficult to imagine Dr . Thomas with his staff conducting field trials on different strawberry varieties , developed in his lab on the property , right next to Anderson Dam .
The last family that I would like to mention , although there are many others with just as interesting stories , is the Malaguerra family who settled along Coyote Creek in 1861 . The Malaguerras raised eleven children on their 200-acre property on which they farmed one of the valley ’ s first vineyards . In 1869 , the Malaguerras constructed a winery building from the field stones pulled out from the creek channel . While their house burned to the ground in the 1930s , the winery complex is still standing as a part of the Anderson- Coyote Creek County Park .
The Visitor Center at Anderson is located at 19245 Malaguerra Avenue . It has recently been re-modeled and upgraded with a host of new interactive exhibits and history timelines . The new displays offer a wealth of information about the natural history of Anderson and the Coyote Creek watershed . Stop by for a visit and learn more about the dam and the reservoir !
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MAY / JUNE 2017 gmhtoday . com
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)