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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eva Picnic Stop

Map showing Eva (Courtesy Duncan Nanney)
Like it's neighbors, Eva was primarily a picnic stop located in the hills north of Alma along Los Gatos Creek. Originally called Forest Grove by the 1899 Station Book, its name was changed by 1905 for unknown reasons. Even the origin of the name is a mystery, though it can be assumed that it was the name of a local female resident.

Eva was located 61 miles south of San Francisco via Alameda point and was nestled between Aldercroft to the north and Call of the Wild immediately to the south. Due to local businesses and the proximity of mining operations, Eva had a class B freight station, implying access to at least two sidings and some freight-loading devices, and a freight platform that was located on the west side of the tracks.

Eva was most famous for its Eva Vista Hotel which was built immediately alongside Los Gatos Creek and enhanced with a dam that caused a small lake to form beside the hotel on the creek. In 1906, this lake proved to cause problems for Eva as a 10-acre landslide completely blocked the creek, causing water levels to rise above the banks and onto the tracks. From April 1906 until December, the large lake remained, blocking most access along the right-of-way. When it was finally cleared, the tracks were broad-gauged and Eva continued.

In 1917, the Hooker Creek Mine, built one mile away from Eva, brought copper, gold, and silver to Eva station for transportation to San José. It is unknown whether a spur was built for this small operation or if the company simply used trucks. In either case, labor disputes and a lack of significant profits closed the mine in 1918.

Eva Station itself remained until late 1938 when it finally was shuttered due to Southern Pacific budget cuts. No known photographs of the station, hotel, or lake have been found, though they undoubtedly exist.

Citations: 

  • Southern Pacific System: List of Officers, Agencies and Stations, 1899.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder if we could ever find the Hooker Creek Mine: it's probably buried under 20 feet of dirt and mud by now....

    ReplyDelete