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June 15, 2010 > Plien-Air day at the Galindo-Higuera Adobe

Plien-Air day at the Galindo-Higuera Adobe

By Mona Shah

If you take the time to drive down winding Curtner Road in the Mission San Jose area of southern Fremont, you will come across a piece of history dating back to the Spanish-Mexican era. Tucked away on a small hill surrounded by peacefully grazing horses and wild turkeys is the Rancho Higuera Adobe, built in the early 1800s.

Saturday, June 19, is Plein Air Day at this historic structure located at Rancho Higuera Historical Park. Although normally closed to access, the entrance gate will be open all day providing a great opportunity to see the adobe up-close. Join artists and local history buffs for a day of sketching, painting, or simply strolling around this historic home.

Rancho Higuera Adobe has a rich history. After the secularization of mission holdings in California by the Mexican government, Mission San Jose's vast lands were carved into huge ranchos, which were then granted to "Californianos" who were allies of the Spanish and Mexican governments. In 1839, one such grantee was Fulgencio Francisco Higuera. Fulgencio received more than 9,000 acres in a parcel of land called "Rancho del Agua Caliente," meaning "Hot Springs Ranch." The name came from natural hot springs bubbling from deep inside the hills. The springs were popular with the Ohlone Indians, padres, and everyone else in the area. Eventually, the town of Warm Springs was established nearby.

The western portions of the ranch were divided among Fulgencio's many children. Of the seven adobe homes known to have been built on Rancho del Agua Caliente, only one remains - the structure known as the "Galindo Higuera Adobe." This adobe has witnessed years of California history from its panoramic site above the south Bay, and now survives as a reminder of the rich history of the area.

In 1960, the Historic Resources Commission of Fremont designated the structure, which had begun deteriorating under the influence of age and weather, as a primary historical resource,. Under their direction temporary roofs constructed of plastic and canvas were suspended above the adobe for weather protection. Early attempts by the Recreation Commission to arrange the purchase of the structure and surrounding land as a historical park failed due to lack of funds.

Finally, Ponderosa Home Development bought the property and through a dedication process contributed acreage, the adobe, and funds for restoration to the city. A full restoration and replication was proposed and accepted by the recreation commission and the city council. The Rancho Higuera Historical Park and restored Galindo Higuera Adobe was made available for the enjoyment and education of present and future Californianos on Pathfinder Day, 1979.

The Park is located in the Warm Springs district of Fremont at 47300 Rancho Higuera Road (off Mission Blvd. at the end of Curtner Road) at the foot of Mission Peak Regional Park.

Plien-Air Day
Saturday, June 19
Galindo-Higuera Adobe
Rancho Higuera Historical Park
47300 Rancho Higuera Road, Fremont
Open all day

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