SpanishTown (HMY8Y)

Location: San Jose, CA 95120 Santa Clara County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 10.397', W 121° 50.517'

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Established in December, 1845, Spanishtown developed as Indians, Californios and immigrants from Peru, Argentina and Mexico built their homes on the hill above Deep Gulch. Cinnabar was first mined from a nearby cave known to local Indians. Later in 150, Mine Hill's Main Tunnel was built about 200 feet below this cave.

As Spanishtown grew, the Catholic Church, general store and boarding houses occupied the top of the hill. All buildings were company-owned though many families embellished their cottages with white fences, vegetable and flower gardens. Where space would allow, yards also contained chickens, a cow mule or burro. Less fortunate homes clung to rocky slopes, accessible only by a narrow footpath.The town was abandoned about 1912 when the Quicksilver Mining Company entered bankruptcy. The Army Corps of Engineers removed most traces of Spanishtown in the 1930s.

[Illustration caption:]
Mexican Camp Girl - "A little girl named Amelia, too-slight and small to carry the child she had wrapped in an old shawl stood beside me and told me the Spanish words for rock, sky and picture and the names of her brothers and sisters." (Mary Hallock Foote's A California Mining Camp)

Photo captions: top left]
Home of a Mexican Miner, 1885 - these redwood dwellings are typical of homes that accommodated miners and their families. Miners paid $5.00 per month to live here. On the knoll in the background is the Guadalupe cemetery.(Bulmore Photo)

[top right]
Spanishtown - Deep Gulch, to the left, is situated at the base of Mine Hill. The Catholic Church is at the upper center. Early inhabitants were workers transported from Mexico by Barron, Forbes and Company. "The Mexicans knew how to find cinnabar, and the Cornish new how to bring it out." (Jimmie Schneider's Quicksilver)

[bottom left]
Hispanic Miner - Patricio Avila showing off his tools. A miner's lamp fed with whale oil (also called a teapot lamp) hung on his coat. Ready to descend into the mine, Patricio carried a drill, lunch bucket and water bucket. He dressed in layers, effectively carrying his clothing to accommodate changers in temperature between the surface and inside the mine. (Photograph 1890 by Robert Bulmore)

[bottom right]
Colgate de Judas - Each year Mexicans paraded an effigy of Judas through Spanishtown, ending at the platform near St. Anthony's Catholic Church (upper left). After the crowd gathered around, they strung up the effigy, filling with it fireworks and a cat. The fireworks were lit and the frightened cat released, symbolizing the release of Judas' soul. (Bulmore Photo)

HM NumberHMY8Y
Placed BySanta Clara County Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 3:38am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 602806 N 4114723
Decimal Degrees37.17328333, -121.84195000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.397', W 121° 50.517'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 23.82" N, 121° 50' 31.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 115 Hidalgo Cemetery Trail, San Jose CA 95120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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