Monday, December 29, 2008

Los Gatos, California

Los Gatos is a wonderful town. Our shop has been here for nearly six years, but we have been here in the West Valley for decades. Located just moments from the high-tech heart of Silicon Valley, and nestled against the majestic Santa Cruz mountains, Los Gatos offers a small town feel with a lot going on.

Los Gatos is named for the mountain lions that have roamed the area for centuries. For the history of Los Gatos, from the times of the Ohlone Indians, to the missionaries and early industrial days, to the birth of our town as we know it today, check out the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce history page.

The Forbes Mill Museum is housed in the old grain mill along side Los Gatos Creek.

Lexington Reservoir is a popular fishing spot for the local Los Gatans and is home to several canoeing and crew teams. The artificial lake was formed when the Santa Clara Water District built the James J. Lenihan Dam in the early 1950s. The small towns of Alma and Lexington were covered by the rising waters of the lake, burying with it the colorful pasts of these two villages.

The photograph below shows the first waters flowing over the dam in 1952. This photo was taken by the pioneering woman photographer, Shirlie Montgomery. We'll have more to say about this remarkable lady, who is now 90 years young and still going, in a later blog.

Today's Los Gatos has come a long way from its raucous past, as these two images show.

The cats that were the namesake of Los Gatos are commemorated in a pair of stone statues at the entrance to an estate off the Santa Cruz Mountain Highway (US17).

Old artifacts of early wineries dot the hills west of the town. But fear not, there are several very good wineries in town and in the nearby hills.

Come visit Vintages and Los Gatos ... you will not be disappointed.

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