Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chemeketa Park/Holy City, c. May 1974


      Here we have a group of photos dated May, 1974, though, as usual, it is possible that the photos were taken somewhat earlier. It would have been near the end of my first year at UCI. Ron would have been nearing his eighth birthday; Ray would have been thirteen. Annie, of course, would have been about twenty.
     If indeed they are a group, these photos seem to memorialize a family trip up to the Bay Area to visit Annie, who was by then living with her husband Dave Kook. (At the time, they lived in Chemeketa Park, which is just south of Los Gatos. Los Gatos is in the mountains south/southwest of San Jose.)

   
     I do not recall anything about these old buildings. No doubt someone will.

March 9, 2013:
     Annie told me that these "ghost town" photos are of Holy City, CA. What follows is the Wikipedia entry for Holy City:

     Holy City is an unincorporated community in Santa Clara County, California. Once a Utopian community, it is arguably now a ghost town. The town is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, off State Route 17 on Old Santa Cruz Highway, at 37°09′25″N 121°58′44″W
 . . . 
     Holy City was founded in 1919 by cult-leader William E. Riker [February 17, 1873 – December 3, 1969] and about thirty of his followers. Calling his ideology "The Perfect Christian Divine Way", Riker preached celibacy, temperance, white supremacy, and segregation of the races and sexes. 
     Riker bought the 142 acres … that became Holy City. Here he offered tourist services including a restaurant and gas station. 
     The town was incorporated in 1926. A radio station offering a variety of programming was built in 1924 and went on the air on July 7 of that year under the call letters KFQU. The station went off the air in December 1931, and had its license renewal denied on January 11, 1932, due to "irregularities." 
     The religious community had no church; services were held in Riker's home. 
     Holy City expanded to three hundred residents during the 1930s. 
     The town began to decline in the 1940s. With the construction of Highway 17, Holy City was no longer on the main route through the mountains. With the end of the Depression, many of Riker's followers were able to find work elsewhere. 
     Riker was arrested in 1942 for supporting Adolf Hitler, though he was later acquitted. The town was disincorporated in 1959, and Riker lost control of the property. Several of the buildings mysteriously burned down shortly afterwards.

Annie & Dave's home was in Chemeketa Park, between Lexington Hills and Highway 17 (see).
Holy City is a few miles to the south (east of the 17)



ANNIE: The photo of the family on a tractor was located above Portola Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, not Chemaketa Park. That happens to be George Bower's beloved tractor he named "Cleo". Cleo was a retrofit Frankenstein of a tractor that smoked and groaned its way through Geroge's 42 acres. David and I lived on George's Christmas Tree Farm; working on the farm on weekends and making sure everything was trimmed and watered. As I recall, one rainy day I tried to make it down the mountain after a freak rain storm. I had a couple of finals to take at San Jose State University. I slowly and cautiously crept down the adobe road, when i realized that I was doomed. My VW was sliding down the road under its own weight on the slicker-than-snot adobe. The ground was so slick I was actually caught in this drainage rut, going down-down-down the road. Then I hit the dreaded "hairpin". I ended up going straight into this ravine, 30-40 feet into a ditch full of rattlesnakes and poison ivy. These were that days before cell phones, and the nearest neighbor was a good 1/2 mile away. I sat there and thought how my hideous nightmares of missing a final came true, and how my phobic hatred/fear of snakes made me plug every hole in that VW's floorboard. I sat there half naked to make this come to pass. I shivered and studied the terrain realizing that I would have to either be clothed from head to foot and in "billy-goat style" claw my way up the side to the Simonic Indian Trail. After some thought, I thought that was not possible due to the slippery adobe. After a bit, I heard the squeaks and groans of what sounded like "Cleo". Oddly George took the day off and came up to the "Farm". He saw the top of my little blue bug poking out of the poison oak. He had cut a path to reach the little bug, threw me a chain and pulled me out. I make it to the finals. Yes, I was late for the first final, but the professor had mercy. He just stared at me as I told him my story covered in mud and mumbled something about how "creative" I was. George and his "Cleo" remain as my personal heros to this day!

 I'm fairly certain this shot was taken from within the family car, a black 1965 Lincoln Continental.

 Annie in her kitchen, I believe.


 Annie: just south of Carmel, heading towards Big Sur.

     Annie: The green cabin was a 16 x 16 foot cabin Dave Kook and I lived in, located on the George Bower Christmas Tree Farm off of Alpine Road, above Portola Valley California. We were the care-takers of the Christmas Tree Farm, working with George and his delightful sons on weekends. The road going through it was referred to as the Simonic (Sp?) Trail, apparently an old Indian trail. This trail connected with Skyline Blvd., where the Fogarty Winery is located. Dave and I got our water off of a small spring that trickled out of the ground, where the Winery is located. Amazingly, an old red ram water pump was the force that brought it all to the surface. Rumor had it that it was placed there many many many years before.



 ANNIE: These "Friends" were Elfieda and Carl Stoll . Their home was located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Loma Prieta, Ca (epicenter of the famous Loma Prieta Earthquake), located south/west of Los Gatos in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


3 comments:

  1. The coastal shot was just south of Carmel, heading towards Big Sur.

    The green cabin was a 16x16 foot cabin Dave Kook and I lived in, located on the George Bower Christmas Tree Farm off of Alpine Road, above Portola Valley California. We were the care-takers of the Christmas Tree Farm working with George and his delightful sons on weekends. The road going through it was referred to as the Simonic (Sp?)Trail, apparently an old Indian trail. This trail connected with Skyline Blvd. where the Fogarty Winery is located. Dave and I got our water off of a small spring that trickled out of the ground where the Winery is located. Amazingly, an old red ram water pump was the force that brought it all to the surface. Rumor had it that it was placed there many many many years before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The photo of the family on a tractor was located above Portola Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, not Chemaketa Park. That happens to be George Bower's beloved tractor he named "Cleo". Cleo was a retrofit Frankenstein of a tractor that smoked and groaned its way through Geroge's 42 acres. David and I lived on George's Christmas Tree Farm; working on the farm on weekends and making sure everything was trimmed and watered. As I recall, one rainy day I tried to make it down the mountain after a freak rain storm. I had a couple of finals to take at San Jose State University. I slowly and cautiously crept down the adobe road, when i realized that I was doomed. My VW was sliding down the road under its own weight on the slicker-than-snot adobe. The ground was so slick I was actually caught in this drainage rut, going down-down-down the road. Then I hit the dreaded "hairpin". I ended up going straight into this ravine, 30-40 feet into a ditch full of rattlesnakes and poison ivy. These were that days before cell phones, and the nearest neighbor was a good 1/2 mile away. I sat there and thought how my hideous nightmares of missing a final came true, and how my phobic hatred/fear of snakes made me plug every hole in that VW's floorboard. I sat there half naked to make this come to pass. I shivered and studied the terrain realizing that I would have to either be clothed from head to foot and in "billy-goat style" claw my way up the side to the Simonic Indian Trail. After some thought, I thought that was not possible due to the slippery adobe. After a bit, I heard the squeaks and groans of what sounded like "Cleo". Oddly George took the day off and came up to the "Farm". He saw the top of my little blue bug poking out of the poison oak. He had cut a path to reach the little bug, threw me a chain and pulled me out. I make it to the finals. Yes, I was late for the first final, but the professor had mercy. He just stared at me as I told him my story covered in mud and mumbled something about how "creative" I was. George and his "Cleo" remain as my personal heros to this day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The "Friends" were Elfieda and Carl Stoll . Their home was located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Loma Prieta, Ca (epicenter of the famous Loma Prieta Earthquake), located south/west of Los Gatos in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

    ReplyDelete

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