By Ron Erskine, Board President
All of us at Committee for Green Foothills are extremely excited about this year’s Nature’s Inspiration celebration on September 24; and with good reason. Number one, of course, is that we will be honoring Joan Baez, a truly remarkable and influential woman. But we are also pleased to be hosting the event in Coyote Valley where Committee for Green Foothills was an important player leading to POST’s recent purchase of key habitat that was slated for development. Nature’s Inspiration is an opportunity to highlight this important region where we will focus much of our attention in the coming years.
On a recent visit to Coyote Ranch, where Nature’s Inspiration will take place, I was accompanied by Mike Monroe, a longtime supporter of Committee for Green Foothills. During the visit, Mike shared some of his great historic knowledge about the Valley of Heart’s Delight with me.
The beautiful white two-story house that dominates the property was built in the late 1800’s by Fiacro Fisher (Fisher Creek in Coyote Valley, a key wildlife corridor there, is named for the family). In 1834, Juan Alvires received a grant for the original 20,000-acre Rancho “Refugio de la Laguna Seca” property that ran from the ranch house all the way down to Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill. Faced with financial difficulties, Alvires sold the Rancho to William Fisher in 1845. The Fisher Family moved into the Alvires adobe and lived there until the ranch house was built around 1873. In his 1846 expedition to California, John C. Fremont (along with guide Kit Carson) spent time at Coyote Ranch. “The place which I had selected for rest and re-fitting was a rancho called the Laguna, belonging to Mr. Fisher. I remained here until February, in the most delightful spring season of a most delightful climate.”
The region close to the ranch house, called Coyote Narrows (near Metcalf Road), was originally the site of an Ohlone village named Matalan. Their proximity to the Santa Clara Mission led to their assimilation there after 1777. There are several archeological sites nearby, including archeological sites.
Thank you, Mike, for sharing this bit of history and adding to our appreciation of Coyote Valley. The only thing missing from the history lesson is just how beautiful a place it is. It will be a great Nature’s Inspiration.
Get your tickets today for Nature’s Inspiration on September 24.