The Return of The Great Edenvale Detective Caper
April –June, 2002

[Original Project]

[Bernal Rancho] [Santa Teresa Springs] Hayes Mansion] [Edenvale Gardens] [Downtown San Jose]



Edenvale is your home. How do you know when you are home? What is the ‘sense of place’ you have when you leave Edenvale and return? Do you know where in your neighborhood there is dirt imported from France? What are the streets in the Edenvale neighborhood named after? Who planted the walnut trees on Monterey Road, and when and why were they planted? Which famous families lived in Edenvale? Who were the first people to live in Edenvale? What happened to them? What king gave Edenvale to one of his explorers? What used to grow in the Edenvale neighborhood?

You are now a college student at Foothill College conducting important research on the history of Edenvale. Think of yourself as a history detective. Edenvale has an exciting history. Your job is to create two museums. One museum will be in the Edenvale School office. This museum will be for the Edenvale community to enjoy. The other will be on the Internet for the world to see and learn about your community. This is an important project. The products you create will have a large audience and will live on for a long time and will be seen by many people. This is real historical research that will have value to many people. It will require you to think like a historian.

The Task

By June 10, 2002 you will create two museums—one real and one virtual. You will also keep a video/photographic record of the process. We will meet together six times on the following Monday afternoons from 2:30-4:30:
o April 22 and 29
o May 13 and 20
o June 3 and 10
Your homework will be to find the answers to research questions so that we can use our time together to produce the museums. It is important that you do the homework so that we can finish our museums by June 10.

Process
1. Decide what part of Edenvale’s history most interests you. You will work in a team of 3-4 people to research a period of Edenvale’s history and recreate that history in our museum using important historical artifacts
2. Research your period of Edenvale history. You will be given a list of questions to get you started. Decide who in your group with find the answers to which questions. Take notes and bring your answers to each class. Begin with these questions:

Ohlone Group

o Who were the Ohlone?
o What band of Ohlone lived in Edenvale?
o When did the Ohlone live here?
o What evidence did they leave behind that lets us know they lived here?
o How did the Ohlone live?
o What did they eat?
o What were their homes like? What were they called?
o Are there still Ohlone living in San Jose?
o What happened to the Ohlone?
o Why are the Ohlone important?
o What can we do to preserve their history and culture?
o What was Ohlone education like?

Spanish Group

o Who were the Spanish settlers in Edenvale
o When did they come here?
o Why did they come here?
o What king gave one of his explorers nearly 10,000 acres in Edenvale?
o Who was this explorer, and where did he live?
o How did the Spanish settlers change Edenvale?
o What evidence did the Spanish settlers leave that they were here?
o What animals used to live in Edenvale that are no longer here?
o What did the Spanish settlers do with these animals?
o How did the Spanish live? What did they do to earn a living?
o What were the lives of the Spanish settlers like?
o What kind of schools did the Spanish settlers have?

Pioneer and Gold Rush Group

o When did pioneers and settlers come to Edenvale?
o Why did they come here?
o From where did they come?
o Who are some of the famous pioneers and settlers that settled in Edenvale?
o What evidence did they leave?
o How did the pioneers and settlers change Edenvale?
o Who bought part of the Bernal Rancho?
o What was the Gold Rush, and why did some of the Gold Rush families end up in Edenvale?
o Which famous settlers are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery on Monterey Road?
o What was the stagecoach route through Edenvale and where was the local stage stop?
o Where was the first Oak Grove School? What happened to it?
o How did the pioneers and settlers earn their living.

Victorian Period

o Why is this called the Victorian Period?
o How did people live in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
o Who are the famous families that lived in Edenvale?
o With what other famous families were Edenvale’s famous families friends?
o What is the history of the Hayes Renaissance Center?
o What is the last Oak Grove School used for now? Where is it?
o Who planted the Walnut trees on Monterey Road and why did he plant them?
o How did the railroad change Edenvale?
o What famous Edenvale resident was a U.S. Senator?
o Why was this area called “The Valley of the Heart’s Delight?
o Who started the San Jose Mercury News?
o What famous spiritualist lived in Edenvale?

The 20th Century

o Who put horses on the train at the Old Edenvale Station and sent them to Hollywood? Why did the do this?
o What famous family, that has a college named after them owned a horse ranch and racetrack in Edenvale?
o How did this family get rich?
o Who build the first homes in the current Edenvale neighborhood. When did the build them?
o Where was a mansion that burned down in Edenvale? What is left of this mansion? Where is the tack house for this mansion?
o For whom are many Oak Grove Schools named? Why were they named for these people. (Hint—look at the plaque on the wall in front of the Edenvale office.)
o When was Edenvale built? Who was its first principal?
o Who works at Edenvale who was a student at Edenvale School when it first opened?
o What are the streets in Edenvale named after and why?
o Who built the first water company in Edenvale? What is the name of that water company?
o What amusement park was in Edenvale? Where was it? When and why did it close?
o What company changed Edenvale from a farming community to a series of neighborhoods?

Keep your research notes in a spiral bound notebook and bring it and all handouts to class every Monday afternoon.

Where can you get answers to these questions?
1. Interview your parents, neighbors, and Edenvale teachers. (Hint: Find the teachers who have been at Edenvale a long time.)
2. Visit the San Jose Historical Museum on Senter Road.
3. Visit the Hayes Renaissance Center. You can go inside and look at the displays and pictures.
4. Visit Edenvale Gardens.
5. Read The Mysterious History of Edenvale. There should be copies in the Santa Teresa and San Jose Main libraries. I have a limited number of copies.
6. Visit the library and check out books about San Jose History.
7. Visit the pioneer graves in the Oak Hill Cemetary
8. Visit the statue on Monterey Road just south of the 280 overpass where the road splits.
9. Interview former Edenvale students in your neighborhood who worked on the original project.
10. Contact Meril Smith, former Edenvale principal, in the Oak Grove District Office
11. Go to web sites about San Jose history. Here are a few:

a. History of San Jose’s historic buildings

b. The Story of Mission San Jose

c. History of San Jose

d. Chinese History and Cultural Project

e. San Jose History

f. San Jose Historical Museum

g. About San Jose

h. The Muwekma Ohlone Website

i. The Muwekma Ohlone

j. Hayes Mansion—A Walking Tour

k. Hayes Mansion

l. Edenvale Neighborhood Background

m. Rancho Santa Teresa

n. Santa Teresa Natural Diversity

o. Strong Neighborhoods