New Almaden Tour - New Almaden, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 37° 10.710 W 121° 49.184
10S E 604771 N 4115326
Quick Description: This walking tour takes one through the New Almaden Historical District.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/7/2012 6:53:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMF820
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 2

Long Description:
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The Ohlone Indians first discovered the vermillion red rock in this area. They used it for body paint, in ceremonies and for trading with other tribes. In 1845, Spanish explorer Andres Castillero recognized these rocks as cinnabar, an ore that contains mercury. At that time the only other place known where cinnabar ore could be mined was Almaden, Spain.

At that time mercury, sometimes called quicksilver, was valuable because it was used in the refinement process of extracting gold and silver from ore and the Rothschild family in France held a monopoly on production of mercury at the mines of Almaden, Spain.

Andres Castillero claimed the mineral rights to the cinnabar and eventually sold it to a partnership that became known as the New Almaden Mine. The timing of all this was serendipitous with the discovery in 1849 of gold in the Sierra mountains of California. Mercury production in New Almaden thrived along with the gold mines. Over the next fifty years, New Almaden was the site of the richest mine in California, surpassing the monetary value of any gold mine in the State.

At it's peak, 3,000 people lived in New Almaden. Like a hierarchy of management, the houses along Almaden Road starting from Casa Grande represented your position of importance with the mine management company. The Mine Manager had the largest house at the head of the road. The house next to it was the Mining Office, then the Superintendent's House, followed by the Engineer's House and so on.

This is a 1.6 mile loop tour takes one through the New Almaden Historic District. it goes counterclockwise around a loop, down Almaden Road and back up Bertram Road. Parking is available at the QuickSilver Mining Museum, aka Casa Grande.

Casa Grande
"The Big House"
21350 Almaden Road

Stop #1 Constructed by Francis Meyers in 1854, this building was originally intended to be a hotel, but instead became the official residence of the mine manager, The building is a highly regarded piece of architecture throughout the Santa Clara Valley and California. Today it houses Santa Clara County Parks, Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum.

Randol House
"Mining Office"
21472 Almaden Road

Stop #2 The site of the Mining Office in 1856, this was also the home of the mine company's Dr. F. V. hopkins in 1878.

Young House
"Superintendent's House"
21474 Almaden Road

Stop #3 John Young was the first official mining superintendent of the New Almaden Mininng Company. He helped get mining operations started in the region.

Huttner House
"Engineer's House"
21490 Almaden Road

Stop #4 H. J. Huttner was a mechanical engineer hired with Robert Scott to construct the brick furnace ofNew Almaden. He and Scott invented a highly efficient ore extracting furnace, which saved the mining company from bankruptcy. Notice the ditch that runs along the front. This was called Acequia. It sevred as a waterway for much of New Almaden's irrigation and drinking water.

Scott House
21498 Almaden Road

Stop #4 The Scott Family lived here while Robert used his masonry skills to construct the huge furnace in the hills not far from this site.

Hauck House
"Casa Nuestra"
21506 Almaden Road

Stop #5 Built in the late 1840's, this cottage is one of several house swith a brick basement. The brick sidewalk was constructed so that children could walk to the hacienda school. without muddying their shoes. J.L. Shaw, an actor lived here in 1878.

La Mariposa
"The Butterfly"
21512 Almaden Road

Stop #6 This site contains the first cement foundation in the area. In the 1870's it was the home of Frank Bohlman, who was the owner of the livery stable.

El Vespera
"Evening Prayer"
21550 Almaden Road

Stop #8 The building was the site of the jail and the balcksmith shop, which was located in the rear of the building.

Bulmore House
21560 Almaden Road

Stop #9 This residence was constructed in the 1860's. It was the home of Robert Bulmore, the last president of the mining comapny.

Carson-Perham Adobe
21570 Almaden Road

Stop #10 Built between 1848 and 1850 by Mexican workers, this was the home of Geiorge Carson, the mine company book-keeper, postmaster, telegraph operator, and Wells Fargo Agent. Now the home of Constance Perham, it was the original site of the Almaden Museum.

La Casita de Adobe
"Little Adobe"
21600 Almaden Road

Stop #11 This is one of four adobe buildings built in the late 1800's.

Cactus House
21639 Almaden Road

Stop #12 (Opposite site of the street) A typical cottage that was home to miners in New Almaden. A prickly pear cactus took root on the roof.

House No. 18
21658 Almaden Road

Stop #13 In the 1850's, this was home to one of the first settlers of the NEw Almaden area.

Chimney, Reduction Works
Hillside of Quicksilver Park

Stop #14 Look up the hill to the right of Almaden Road. The chimney carried sulfur out into the atmosphere and away from the mining community. Of the three original smokestacks, this is the only one that remains today.

St. Anthony's Church
"Little Church"
21800 Almaden Road

Stop #15 Mine manager Laurence Bulmore's great aunt, Guadaloupe Madera, was instrumental in raising funds to build this church at the turn of the century. The mining company donated a large sum for its constructions.

Hacienda Hotel
21747 Bertram Road

Stop #16 This hotel housed visitors to the mine for several years, but it was originally built as a boarding house for single mine workers. It is now the home of the La Foret Restaurant.

New Almaden Community Club
21727 Bertram Road

Stop #17 The property belongs to the current residents of the New Almaden community. It was originally built in 1952 and was rebuilt in 1980.

Hacienda Cemetery
Bertram Road

Stop #18 The graves in this cemetery date back to the 1850's. Many of the headstones were made of rare Italian marble. A famous "resident" is the arm of Bert Barrett, who lost his arm in a hunting accident.

New Almaden Post Office
21300 Almaden Road

Stop #19 In service continuously since 1866, the post office moved around to several local facilities. This structure was biuilt in 1876 after a fire destroyed its previous home.

Recommended Time for this WayTour: From: 9:00 AM To: 4:00 PM

Starting Address for this WayTour:
21350 Almaden Road
San Jose, California USA

Number of Stops: 19

Website of stops: [Web Link]

Stop Coordinates: Not listed

Stop Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
You must include an original photo showing one of the stops along the tour route.
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