State Historical Landmark No. 249
The sole survivor of the third mission compound dedicated in 1784, this adobe is one of thirty "apartments" for married neophyte Indian couples that had been built by 1798. Each, constructed of adobe bricks and roofed with tiles, consisted of two large rooms with a garret above. Five parallel rows of these dwellings running westerly from the Murguia Church made up the Mission Santa Clara Rancheria.
Grants of mission land resulted from secularization in the 1830s, and in 1840 Jose Pena received a 100 vara grant of land and "una casa de las de la Rancheria de Santa Clara" from Governor Alvarado, in lieu of back salary. Evidently this "casa" included 4 of the neophyte structures, as his will describes the house as having eight rooms. After his death in 1852, his widow Gertrudis and widowed daughter-in-law Concepcion, found their property in demand due to the influx of Americans. They sold off parcels off their 300-foot-square block, holding on to the area immediately surrounding the adobe house. Concepcion later rented part of the adobe, living in the two northern most rooms.
When Concepcion died in March 1883, she left everything to her sister Magdalena Brother, including this adobe, which now consisted of only the two rooms. In 1902 when Magdalena died, her only surviving relation, her brother-in-law Thomas, inherited the adobe, living there until his death in 1911.
Sold as part of his large estate in 1913, the Santa Clara Woman's Club raised $350 and purchased the house and the 60 by 147-foot parcel surrounding it. On June 24, 1914, at an impressive civic ceremony, the adobe opened as the clubhouse of the Woman's Club. They had spent $400 remodeling the adobe, laying a wooden floor over the old earthen one, repairing the original tile roof and removing the small dormer. In 1958 a carved wooden door and Spanish tile floor were added along with a modem addition in the rear that included a meeting room, kitchen and restrooms.
Today, the Adobe is a State Landmark, one of the oldest surviving adobes in Northern California.
3260 The Alameda
Santa Clara, CA 95050