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September 24, 2013 > Improvements made at Rancho Higuera Historical Park

Improvements made at Rancho Higuera Historical Park

Submitted By Lila Bringhurst

Washington Township Historical Society, Mission Peak Heritage Foundation and the Museum of Local History have joined forces to work on the Rancho Higuera Historical Park. The groups are currently working on restoring the information Center, a redesign of the pedestrian entry gate into the park, and improving the flooring in the Higuera Adobe. The three organizations are collaborating with other organizations to get the project completed, including the Boy Scouts, and the Rotary Club of Mission San Jose.

The Information Center is original to the 1979 reconstruction of the Galindo-Higuera adobe and has suffered from the weather. A number of the supporting posts had termite damage and the information displays are empty and have suffered damage from graffiti. All four posts have been completely replaced and a new roof installed. Scout Gabe Champion worked on the renovation as an Eagle Scout project. Gabe and his team of volunteer Boy Scouts and parents removed the four posts and replaced them with new redwood posts. They then removed the wood shingles of the roof and installed new tar paper and shingles.

With the Information Center in better shape, four new information displays have been created and mounted in the Center. The multi-color displays detail the history of the adobe and park from the Ohlone days, through the Spanish, Mission, and farming days, and the 1979 restoration.

A pedestrian entry gate was an integral part of the information center, but to make the information center more accessible, the entry gate has been set back. The gate and fence redesign was done by local architect Neelu Hadav. The work on the entry gate was done by Scout Sean Wolnick also as an Eagle Scout project. The project involved digging new post holes, pouring new cement, installing mounting brackets, then putting in the fence posts and gate.

The floors inside the adobe have suffered from ground squirrels digging burrows. The Rotary Club of Mission San Jose assisted the team with installing a rodent resistant floor. The dirt floor has been dug up and a layer of rock laid down, to make it more difficult for burrowing animals to get into the adobe, and then the original dirt was put back in and tamped down.

The unveiling of the work done on the information center and the adobe will be held in conjunction with a car caravan along the DeAnza Trail from Fremont to Oakland, on Saturday, September 28th. The car caravan is in celebration of National Public Lands Day and is sponsored by the National Park Service.

The car caravan will start at Rancho Higuera Historical Park at 11:15 am. The kiosk will be officially unveiled and the adobe will be open for tours. Lionel Goularte, whose family used to live and farm on land that is now the historical park, will talk about growing up on the property and all that went on during the farming years. After the car caravan moves on to its next location, the Adobe will still be open until 3 p.m.

Rancho Hieguera Open House
Saturday, Sep 28
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Rancho Higuera Historical Park
47300 Rancho Higuera Rd., Fremont

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