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NewsCommunityRun, don't walk to Milpitas' tour of Alviso Adobe Park

Run, don’t walk to Milpitas’ tour of Alviso Adobe Park

The City of Milpitas, with the consultation of The Milpitas Historical Society, has graced the city with an innovative tour of Alviso Adobe Park (2087 Alviso Adobe Court). The Beat took the tour over the weekend and we encourage all city residents to do the same as soon as possible…

The adobe’s history can be traced back to 1834, when its original owner, José Maria de Jesus Alviso, penned a petition describing what he had built: “two walled houses,” outside of which were 600 cattle, a 600-vine vineyard, and an orchard bearing 60 fruit trees. The function of the petition was for Alviso to gain formal ownership of the property, which he cited as “the place named Milpitas.”

New fruit trees now stand tall onsite, along with a towering Sycamore tree believed to stem from The Civil War era (Milpitas has designated it as a Heritage Tree). As for the story of the property, it involves a great deal of human drama and political maneuvering, but to get the whole saga, you have to go take the tour.

The Milpitas Historical Society was humble, to say the least, about what they had contributed to. The tour is titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” We showed up at 3 pm on a Saturday and got a good look around at the land and the trees, learning about the adobe’s construction while awaiting the main event: the indoor tour. Historical Society President Bill Hare led up that tour, which involves stepping foot into the actual adobe and thus stepping back into the 19th century (if you’re in the 3 main rooms) or the 20th century (if you’re in the kitchen). In the main rooms, projectors line the ceilings, and after Hare gave introductory remarks, he fired up the projectors and treated the guests to an evocative, crisply narrated recounting of the adobe’s colorful history. 


Front of the adobe.


Visitors will take a trip back in time. Children in particular will be taken in by the rich and textured professional animation. Milpitas residents will find themselves ignited and fascinated by the proud origins of the city they call home, and probably impressed that a tour of such depth and technological wizardry actually exists so closeby.

In a follow-up text to The Beat, Hare was mindful about giving credit where it was due: “The Historical Society, specifically historian Joseph Ehardt, consulted with the City as well as the hired museum designers, The Sibbett Group, in terms of historical accuracy, timelines, etc. The rest was put together by the various subcontractors (artists, music, narration, electronic wizardry), and we only saw the end result after it was done. So, at that point, we just had to figure out how to integrate our own knowledge in giving the tours.”

We recommend you bring your family. And your friends. And bring the neighbors, too, while you’re at it. And not just the Milpitas ones; invite people in from other cities. The City of Milpitas has bestowed upon us quite a sacred and profound honor. 

We stood in the adobe. Within the walls.

They spoke. 


Tours are offered during the second Saturday of every month. You can RSVP here


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


  1. I’ve been totally meaning to go on one of these tours of Alviso Abobe, but haven’t made it yet. FYI. the Historical Society has an annual bus tour of historic Milpitas sites I hear. [Maybe this tour should also swing by now-gone sites such as the water park and Cal Skate] The old Ayer High School site is in the process of being reborn as well. While we’re at it. we need a remake of The Milpitas Monster lol.


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