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Theme: Parks with a Past

A Brief History of Bay Area Parks and Open Space
   Pt. 1, 1840s-1950s

A Conservation Timeline
   Pt. 1, 1840s-1950s

Up and Down the Peninsula and South Bay

Names on the Land
   Pt. 1, San Mateo County

Other Features

Sudden Oak Death

Oak Mortality Syndrome

Grazing Through Huckleberry Heaven

Old-Fashioned Huckleberry Muffins

Wild Lit

Note from the Literary Editor

Blacksmith Fork and Fox - Megan E. Hansen

Down Harkins Fire Road (El Mar de la Purissima - Greg Dunn


From the Editor

Park News

Trail Center Notes

Upcoming Events

The Trail Companion

Fall 2000

Theme: Parks with a Past

Up and Down the Peninsula and South Bay


Camp 49, Mountain View
[within current San Jose, not the site
of the present Mountain View]
Sunday, September 1 [1861]

Tuesday, Aug. 27, we went to examine a hill east of the head of the bay and north of San Jose [Mission Peak, Mission Peak Regional Park].

Mt. Hamilton
Mt. Hamilton.
It was both farther (14 or 15 miles) and higher (2,500 to 2,800 feet) than we expected, so it took us all day. The valley looked like a map, and the head of the bay, with its swamps intersected and cut up with winding streams and bayous crossing and winding in every direction, made by far the prettiest picture of the kind I have ever seen. It was wonderful. Wednesday afternoon we took dinner with Mr. Hamilton [Laurentine Hamilton, Presbyterian preacher and namesake of Mt. Hamilton], then rode to some sulphur springs and rocks that produce alum, about eight or nine miles east of town [Alum Rock Park], returned and took tea with him.

Tuesday, Sept. 8 [1861]

Yesterday was a most lovely day. We started early on foot to climb a high mountain that rises behind camp, over three thousand feet [Black Mountain, Monte Bello OSP]. It was hard to get at, and had no water. We had a canteen along to fill at a spring along the way, but we found it dry. We took it up moderately, however, and did not suffer much from thirst. We found tracks and traces of grizzlies, more abundant than we have seen them before - we were in paths where their fresh tracks covered the ground, but we did not meet any.

Brewer's journal, edited by Francis P. Farquhar and published by University of California Press as Up and Down California in 1860-1864, is available from the UC Press and from Books on Demand, Ann Arbor, MI.
      A good (though fictionalized) account of New Almaden can be found in Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose.

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