Congratulations Milpitas Beat and a special thank you to Joseph Ehardt for beginning to share some of the Milpitas historic treasures that are hidden for so many of our community members. I look forward to you Joe and the Historical Society’s to opening up the history books and telling us more of this City that has such an interesting past.
May I add a few comments on your first article, none of which are criticisms but rather a different perspective? Color in the Coloring Book. I have lived in Milpitas for a good number of years and in that time visited not all but many of our Parks. Somehow Higuera Park had not been on the list until about three years ago. At that time I had occasion to visit the park with my two dogs for a potential site for a Commission sculpture. I immediately fell in love with it and it is now the first location that I eagerly share with visitors to Milpitas.
From a historical standpoint the park and its Adobe today are a great example of what the City staff, Council and community can accomplish. The Adobe albeit not fully in its original form still represents a fascinating part of our past and a great opportunity for our community and visitors to enjoy. For me the vestiges of its past add immensely to the experience today but other than the obvious it is the myriad of pleasantries you become aware of as you wander around the site. It is not hard to imagine centuries of past inhabitants who must have enjoyed this idyllic setting.
I have returned to Higuera Park countless times and every time I become aware of yet another feature, another visual delight, another addition for my gallery of memories. The ancient olive trees were the first invitation for me. They have survived perhaps almost two hundred years, twisted, knotted, arched but standing their ground like perfect soldiers. Planted with purpose to shade the course to the original homestead and most surely can tell a tale or two. I have now strolled through that pleasant arbor many times and have often been tempted to bring my sketch book to catch the sun rising early in the morning above the Eastern hills. These hills stretch from behind the Adobe and rise far and high in the distance to the East. What a backdrop! Even those bare yellowy brown hills patched with dark oaks provide the park visual setting. Oh yes and don’t forget the occasional cattle quietly grazing in the pastures. If not sunrise then one must enjoy sunset. Be there as the sun slides away in the West casting long shadows across the front lawn and pointing emphatically at the Adobe frontage tinged in dusty reds.
The park seems to welcome all, not only because of its historic location, its setting, and the tranquility it projects but because of the well maintained and creative landscaping. Visit there any time of the day, settle on the grass, listen to the birds chirping and imagine the many who, over the years, have trodden that soil, toiled in the gardens and fields, raised their produce, told their own tales, loved raised their families. Maybe just maybe you will hear an echo or two or a laugh or just a whisper from how many centuries ago.
The creek and stream that borders the northern side of the park still babbles, was clearly one very good reason to create a dwelling here and one can imagine the pond that previously existed close at hand to provide fresh water for folks and livestock.
I would be remiss to not include my wonder at the variety of several well established trees in the Park. Stop as you slowly walk to the Northern side of the Adobe and look east. There stands the most majestic American Walnut tree that I have witnessed in recent years. Experience its tall, broad, rich in foliage, graceful limbs outstretched and commanding. How could not one feel a sense of respect and appreciation and what history it has experienced? I could go on because there are other elderly trees with twisted trunks and ragged bark that warrant attention.
My sincere hope is that many more of our community will venture out there and enjoy it as much as I have.
Thank you again Joe Ehardt for your labors and I look forward to more historical journeys and to those that have not yet benefited from a visit to this Park please put it on your bucket list.