Sunnyvale Landmark – Wright Ranch

wright ranch house and tank house in sunnyvale

William Wright’s redwood framed, two story, side-gabled farmhouse is the oldest extant residence in Sunnyvale. Located at 1234 Cranberry Avenue. It probably was constructed in 1862 and certainly prior to 1876, when it appears as an illustration in Thompson and West’s Historical Atlas of Santa Clara County. It is a simplified version of the Gothic Revival style. Its original centered …

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The First Manufactured Home – Murphy House

historical photo of martin murphy jr house in sunnyvale

In 1850, the Martin Murphy Jr family had a 20-room house in what is now Sunnyvale. Because there were no lumber mills at that time, Murphy ordered the home to be built in Bangor, Maine; disassembled; shipped around Cape Horn; and reassembled. Because there were also no suppliers of nails, man named Dawson managed to put the house together using …

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Sunnyvale Heritage Orchard

tiller at sunnyvale heritage orchard

Sunnyvale thoughtfully has preserved its heritage as bountiful agricultural land by reserving a large block of orchards and a replica of the house of some of the earliest Sunnyvale pioneers: the Murphy family. In 1994, the City of Sunnyvale preserved ten acres of Blenheim apricot trees to celebrate the important contribution of orchards to the early development of the local …

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Sunnyvale Landmark – Briggs-Stelling House

Briggs Stelling House

Originally constructed in the 1870s for George H. Briggs and extensively reconstructed in the 1920 for the Henry S. Stelling family, the mansion recounts the history of Sunnyvale. Briggs was one of the earliest pioneers who came from Boston in 1854. Stelling, the son of one of San Jose’s first orchardists, grew pears and award winning cherries. This large Redwood …

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Sunnyvale Heritage Tree – Monkey Puzzle Tree

The Monkey Puzzle tree is an exotic conifer. You can see a young example at 545 S. Sunnyvale. Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, Chilean pine, or pehuén) is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m (130 ft) tall with a 2-m (7-ft) trunk diameter. The tree is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. It …

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Sunnyvale Liquifaction Risks

This map shows the likelihood of liquefaction in Northern Santa Clara County during a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the northernmost segments of the San Andreas Fault. This earthquake is similar to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. At each location, the map predicts the approximate probability that shallow wet sands will liquefy and cause surface manifestations of liquefaction such as sand …

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Sunnyvale Landmark – Stowell House

Sunnyvale pioneer Charles Stowell bought the home from F. C. Fry in 1899, who had built the home circa 1890. The Stowell family owned the home for 100 years. Stowell and his brother-in-law Charles Spaulding were prominent businessmen in the community. They built the S&S building on the corner of Murphy Avenue and Washington Avenue. They were also involved in …

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Sunnyvale Heritage Tree – Murphy Park Valley Oak

heritage valley oak in murphy park

Quercus lobata, the valley oak, grows into the largest of North American oaks. It is only found in California, growing in the hot interior valleys and foothills. Mature specimens may attain an age of up to 600 years. This deciduous oak requires year-round access to groundwater. Sunnyvale still has several prominent and venerable valley oaks. The Spanish gave it the …

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Sunnyvale Landmark – Collins-Scott Winery

collins winery

Built in 1881 by the Collins brothers, the Collins-Scott Winery is the oldest brick building in Sunnyvale. In 1889 a private railroad spur was built on the property and more than 300 gallons of wine were shipped daily. In 1927 all of the buildings except the brick distillery were destroyed by fire. In 1965, the present owers, the Duane Heinlen …

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