Town History at a Glance

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Town History
  • 1886 - Los Gatos school house erected, consisting of 4 rooms. Cost was $8000.
  • 1887 Population: 1500
  • 1887 - August - Election held to incorporate. Passed by 126-44 votes. Palmer Perkins, (mayor), J.W. Lyndon, George Seanor, D. D. Holland, H. Sund, George McMurtrey, A. E. Wilder, J. L.. Gelatte. VF General History.
  • 1887 - The Town of Los Gatos was established, incorporating one square mile on both sides of Los Gatos Creek.
  • 1887 - March - Jesuits select the Novitiate for their new college.
  • 1887 - May - J. W. Lyndon house on knoll southwest of town is under construction---$12,000.
  • 1887 - August - Wages at the cannery were raised from $1.25 to $1.50 per day.
  • 1887 - August - The 120 acre F. M. McCullough property sold for $60,000.
  • 1888 - Ordinance was passed to provide for the organization of a Fire Department.
  • 1910 - The Los Gatos Telephone Co. was founded. President was A. E. Wilder. Vice president was J. D. Farwell, De Laney Lewis was Secretary and J. A. Case was Treasurer. The company served 326 subscribers.
  • 1911 - The First National Bank of Los Gatos was established. Officers were Charles N. Cooper, president, Zadd S. Riggs, vice-president and Milton Alison, cashier. The location of the bank was in the Vermont building on Main St. at the intersection of University Ave.
  • 1912 - Population: 3500
  • 1912 - Annual fruit shipment from Los Gatos---7,500,000 pounds.
  • 1912 - George Turner was mayor from 1910-1912.
  • 1912 March - James Lyndon dies.
  • 1912 July - John Lyndon dies.
  • 1912—September 30 Bonds were passed to build a Town Hall on Main St. The site was purchased from Mrs. Schofield for $3500. The cost of the building was $8959. The first Trustee’s meeting was held in the building December 22, 1913.
  • 1912 - A hearing was held considering the proposal of the transfer of the Los Gatos Ice, Gas and Electric Company’s plant to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Charles Hume, vice president of the LGIG&E, explained that the business had grown to such an extent that the expenditure of the required amount of money needed to service the area was more than he was willing or able to invest. The representative of PG&E replied that his company was prepared to give Los Gatans as favorable rate as any of their customers. A favorable outcome of the report was expected.
  • 1912 - June 14, Flag Day was commemorated by a Town celebration including a display of 100 women dressed in red, white and blue forming a “human flag” marching in a parade.
  • 1912 - A Los Gatos Commuters Club was organized with the purpose of accommodating those who regularly travelled to San Francisco on the train for business. Officers were Richard Spreckles, president, and H. B. Hambly, secretary. Items to be addressed were the optimum time for Los Gatos residents to leave the 3rd and Townsend station in San Francisco, a summer schedule, and the instigation of a newspaper source on the morning trains.
  • 1913 - Snow fell in Los Gatos on January 15th.
  • 1913 - Post Office took under advisement the possibility of free mail delivery.
  • 1914 - First paved roads in Los Gatos----San Jose Ave., Main St., and Saratoga Ave.
  • 1934 - Population 1934: 5000
  • 1934-38 -Telephone lines were removed from No. Santa Cruz Av. And Main St. and replaced by underground cables.
  • 1936 November - Dr. F. W. Knowles dies.
  • 1937 June - E. E. Place dies.
  • 1937 - Mayor was Marcus J. Vertin. He served as mayor from 1932-1940.
  • 1937 Ground broken for Vasona Dam.
  • 1937 - Safeway ad: Mayonnaise, .35/ quart; Van Camp Pork & Beans, .10/can; rib roast, .23/lb.; hamburger 2 lbs. for .25.
  • 1937 - Golden Jubilee. Celebrations were held over a 3 day period in August to commemorate Los Gatos’ 50th anniversary. A 10 episode history of Los Gatos was performed at Pageant Park, the script written by Ruth Comfort Mitchell. There were also a golf tournament held at La Rinconada golf course and a tennis tournament at Los Gatos High School.
  • 1937 - A house in the Glen Ridge district was for sale for $2900.
  • 1937 - Los Gatos Hardware store windows were decorated by Mel Shore, committee chairman for the Pageant, including this first bicycle ever seen in the county, called the “boneshaker”. It was propelled by the rider’s toes pushing on the ground.
  • 1937 - Los Gatos celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
  • 1938 - John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath” is published.
  • 1937 - Library budget was $1,107.03. There were 4 or 5 librarians.
  • 1937 - Los Gatos Times newspaper, published by L.B. Garrett appeared. The office was on Main St. at Lundy Lane.
  • 1960 - Population: 9,036.
  • 1963 - Population: 13,450.
  • 1962 - Mayor was John Lincoln.
  • 1962 - The citizens of Los Gatos voted a bond measure of $1,200,000 to fund the building of a civic center to house a town hall, police station and library, and for a new headquarters fire station and for the building of a town plaza.
  • 1961 - Vasona Park partially opened for recreation.
  • 1962 - Los Gatos Community Hospital built.
  • 1962 - Town buys S.P.R.R. property for $449,464.
  • 1962 - The 75th anniversary of Los Gatos was celebrated at Oak Meadow Park with a visit from California Lt. Governor Glenn M. Anderson. The Wells Fargo Wagon was displayed also at the park.
  • 1962 - A bond program was approved for construction of a new Town Hall and Library on the civic center site. The current library site was to be used for a youth center.
  • 1962 - The Town Hall was recommended for demolition.
  • 1962 - Grocery prices: Mayonnaise, $.49/qt.; Pot roast, $.45/lb.; Flour, $.39/5lb. sack; toilet paper, $1.00/9 rolls; Campbell soup, $.99/6 cans; hamburger, $.69/lb.
  • 1962 - Library Budget was $13,000. There were 14 librarians.
  • 1962 - Plans for fire station at Bentley Ave. and University Ave. are completed.
  • 1963 - The competition for the design for the new Civic Center was held and the project awarded to Charles Stickney of Berkeley and William Hull of Hayward.
  • 1963 - The Hotel Lyndon is demolished.
  • 1985 - July 7- 43 families were burned out in a 15,000 acre Lexington Hills fire. More than 3000 career and volunteer firemen and 280 fire engines from 45 counties north of Bakersfield were involved.
  • 1987 - Mayors were Eric Carlson and Brent Ventura.
  • 1988 - Art competition with wine goblets.
  • 1989 - Loma Prieta Earthquake - variously assigned an intensity of 6.6, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1.
  • 1989 - Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz was closed for more than a month because of the Loma Prieta earthquake.
  • 1990 - Population: 27,357.

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