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The Oldest House in Naglee Park

Naglee Park is Santa Clara County's first modern subdivision, designed and marketed as we understand subdivisions today. It was designed as a complete neighborhood featuring paved streets, utility easements on the rear lot lines and restrictive covenants so that stables and lumber yards would not be built in the area.

Verifying the earliest development in Naglee Park is somewhat tedious but a search of the Index to Deeds at the Santa Clara County Recorders office provided the information regarding early Naglee Park buyers. Verifying early house construction is more difficult since the Permit Books for 1900-1910 are missing; however we have pieced together some information from the Certificates of Completion found in the Book of Miscellaneous Records. Since many architects did not file a Certificate of Completion, finding completely accurate construction records are impossible. The following information represents our best efforts.

Naglee Park was developed by the Naglee Park Improvement Company (NPICo), a small company chartered under the corporate laws of Arizona. The company was small; the major players were Naglee's two daughters, Marie and Antoinette, and their husbands. The California corporate offices were in San Francisco since that is where Antoinette Naglee Burk lived. Marie Naglee Robins lived in Philadelphia but spent a great deal of time in California and Europe.

The first subdivision map for Naglee Park was filed with the County Recorder's Office on April 15, 1902. The first map covered the first two blocks of Naglee Park between 11th Street and Coyote Creek. The area covered those houses now numbered in the "0" block and the 100 block. Buyers purchased a lot, then found an architect or a builder to design a house for them. Some early buyers were real estate investors who built houses for resale. Both Marie and Antoinette were investors in their own subdivision, building and selling several houses in Naglee Park.

The first two deeds for lots in Naglee Park were recorded in late April, a week after the subdivision map was filed. The first lots went to A. H. Eddy and someone named Rowland. The third deed was recorded by S. P. Hatcher and the fourth went to Charles Crothers.

The honor of having the first house completed probably goes to A. H. Eddy. He had contacted an architect and a builder by April 22 and documents show a completion date of August 12, 1902. The architects were Wolfe & McKenzie, the builder was J. W. Williams and the house was located in the middle of the 100 block of South 11th. The parcel is Lot 16 of Block 40 and the Certificate of Completion on file describes the house as a one-story frame cottage resting on a concrete foundation, east side of 11th Street and San Fernando. Sad to say, this house has been demolished.

Druggist Frank Patterson contracted with builder A. E. House in July of 1902 and his new Naglee Park home was completed in October. This residence is located at 22 South 11th Street. Mining engineer and capitalist S. P. Hatcher was building his house at the same time. His house at 80 South 11th Street was designed by architect William Klinkert and contractor W. J. Edmons finished the work in January of 1903. The Hatcher house has been remodeled, substantially modifying the second story.

Charles Crothers was another early Naglee Park resident and his house at 97 South 13th Street is a very unusual design for the late Victorian era. The house was built by contractor C. A. Bates who began work in June and officially finished on December 4, 1902. The house is described as a two-story frame residence resting on a concrete foundation with a plaster exterior, situated on the northwest corner of 12th and San Fernando. (Remember that the street numbers were different at this time.) The Crothers House is noted in the historic inventories for San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Contractor William Tilcock started building the Louis McDow home at 93 South 15th Street in August of 1902 and was finished by Christmas. This little house is more typical of the very late Victorian style cottages built in San Jose. It still retains its integrity and has not been remodeled.

Two more early houses deserve special mention because of the longtime friendship of the two owners. Southern Pacific Railway Agent Paul Shoup contracted with C. A. Bates to build the house at 101 South 12th Street. It was completed in July of 1903, finished the same time as the house across the street at 102 South 12th, built for attorney L. E. Petree. The two neighbors later formed the Altos Land Company and the University Land Company in order to develop what is now Los Altos. Paul Shoup later became the president of Southern Pacific in California and Shoup Park in Los Altos is named for him.

Building activity in Naglee Park was off and running and the Recorder's Office records showed many more deeds to Naglee Park lots recorded in 1903. Building was so successful that the Subdivision Map for the second phase, now known as the 200 block, was filed in 1905.

Verifying the construction dates of early Naglee Park houses is difficult, but the date of the earliest possible construction could be estimated by finding the date that the lot was sold by NPICo and then adding the four to sixth months that it took to build a house at that time.

And one more thing. We would be misleading you if we failed to mention that the oldest house in Naglee Park is actually Naglee's home, built in 1864 and located at the corner of 14th and San Fernando.

April Halberstadt
Copyright July 12, 2001
Permission to reprint in various neighborhood publications is hereby granted.