Edenvale Neighborhood Background



The Edenvale area was part of an original Mexican Land Grant given to Joaquin Bernal in 1834. The 9,742 acres were granted to Bernal as payment for his former service to the King of Spain. Bernal was a Spanish settler with the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition of 1775-1776, and later a soldier at the Presidio San Francisco. Bernal came to Alta California as a 13 year-old with his family from a small rancho named Tule in Sinaloa, Nueva Espana ("New Spain", now called Mexico). The Muwekma Ohlone Indians lived here for thousands of years prior to Spanish settlement. Some Indians remained living as they had before, some moved to Mission Santa Clara which was newly established as part of Father Junipero Serra's Mission system. Bernal raised cattle on his rancho, so that tallow and hides could be shipped out of Alviso and Monterey. Approximately 5,000 Santa Teresa cowhides were traded annually, with most of the hides going to the East Coast. Upon Mexico's independence from Spain in 1822, the Mexican Government granted "Rancho Santa Teresa" ("Santa Teresa Ranch") to Joaquin Bernal. After acquisition of California by the United States in 1850, the United States did not recognize ownership of Mexican Land Grants as legitimate. This position was against the agreement the United States struck with rancho owners, which guaranteed through the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that Mexican Land Grants would be left intact. The Bernal Family, as well as all landed Californios, was forced to file a claim in the newly formed Federal Land Court. Only a small portion (about 400 acres out of about 10,000 acres) of the original Santa Teresa Land Grant was awarded to the Bernal family. While the Bernals fought fourteen years until the case was resolved, American settlers began to squat on the Santa Teresa ranch. The Bernal family lost about half of their ranch and sold some of what remained to American immigrants to pay for the mounting legal fees associated with their court battles. Bernal descendants ranched part of the rancho until about 1980, with one Bernal descendant family still owning a few acres on what is now Manila drive. [The above history was provided by Paul Bernal, Official Historian for the City of San Jose, and a Joaquin Bernal descendant.]

Fredrick Tennant purchased the portion of land that now contains the Edenvale area. Mr. Tennant is credited with christening the area Eden Vale, because of its Eden like beauty. In 1894, William P. Lyon, a retired State of Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge, purchased the land that now contains the Edenvale neighborhood from Frederick Tennant and planted an apricot orchard. Judge Lyon moved to California because its milder climate was more favorable to his deteriorating health. As a resident of Eden Vale, he became a close friend of the Hayes family and his daughter Clara Lyons married Mary and Anson Hayes' son Jay Orley.

Following the First World War Mr. Lyon sold the apricot orchards to Norman Church. Mr. Church, a horse breeder, developed the Edenvale portion of the orchard into a horse farm and raised horses both for racing and for the MGM motion picture studios in Culver City, California. The Edenvale property was conveniently located near the Edenvale Southern Pacific railroad depot adjacent to the Hayes mansion, from which Mr. Norman shipped his horses. In 1947, Mr. Church sold "Edenvale Farms" to Muriel Vanderbilt Adams, the granddaughter of the prominent industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt. Miss Vanderbilt Adams, who grew up in Carmel Valley on the first race horse farm west of the Mississippi, retained Mr. Norman's staff, built a private horse racing track, and bred and raised race horses. It should be noted that the Edenvale area already had a history of racehorse breeding dating back to Joaquin Bernal. In the early 1800's Mr. Bernal built California's first horse raising track in Pleasanton and raised horses for racing on his Santa Teresa Ranch.

Following the Second World War, San Jose grew outward by leaps and bounds. The Orchards of the "Valley of Heart's Delight" rapidly gave way to new subdivisions, shopping centers, and highways. The Edenvale area was one of the first to be annexed, subdivided and developed in the southern portion of San Jose. The majority of the single family homes in the Edenvale neighborhood were built between 1961 and 1965.

Given the legacy of racehorses in the area, many of the streets in the Edenvale Neighborhood were named after famous race horses, though none of the streets were named after horses actually raised in the area. The developer of the Edenvale neighborhood also laid out Stagehand Drive, Gallant Fox Avenue, Dogaway Drive, and Pharlap Drive in the approximate size, shape and location of Miss Vanderbilt Adams' race track.

For the most part, the duplex and apartment properties were developed after completion of the single-family portions of the neighborhood. Most of the complexes were built between the mid-1960's and the early 1970's. The earliest projects, including the Oaks Apartments and the Glen Brooks Apartments on Roundtable Drive, being developed in the mid-1960's.

Edenvale Community Center

Description to be provided soon.

Services in the Neighborhood


The Girls Scouts



The shopping center

Edenvale School

Services Nearby


The nearest park is Great Oaks Park, located in the southern portion of the Great Oaks neighborhood. Great Oaks Park is 12 acres and contains a baseball and soccer field, basketball courts, a play lot and a picnic/B.B.Q. area. Just north of Edenvale is Coyote-Hellyer County Park, located along Coyote Creek and Coyote Road. This park is a regional park and offers opportunities for picnicking, boating and fishing, bicycling and hiking. After school recreational and educational opportunities are available to children at the Boys and Girls Club of America located just outside of Edenvale and adjacent to Caroline Davis Intermediate School on East Branham Lane. In the spring of the year 2000, the Edenvale Family Center is scheduled to open at Edenvale Elementary School. This City community center will provide area youth with recreational activities and educational opportunities.


The Edenvale neighborhood does not have a public library within or immediately adjacent to the area. The nearest public libraries are the Seven Trees Library, approximately two miles north of the Edenvale neighborhood, and the Santa Teresa Library, approximately one and a half miles to the south. Because these public libraries are not easily accessible to many residents of Edenvale neighborhood, the area is served by a City of San Jose Public Library "Bookmobile" which visits the neighborhood on a weekly basis.

Southside Community Center

Monterey Plaza Shopping Center



This ERCA web page sponsored by eNative, "Know YOUR neighborhood!"