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December 2, 2022
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Discover LOST Gatos: Happy Birthday, Los Gatos!

On Aug. 10, 1887—135 years ago today—a newly created Board of Trustees voted to officially incorporate the Town of Los Gatos. Let’s mark the occasion with a quiz about our beloved town’s history.

1. Who was awarded a land grant for El Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos?

a) Almendra and Hernandez

b) Peralta and Vasona

c) Hernandez and Peralta

d) Santa Ana and deAnza

2. Who is considered to be the “Father of Los Gatos”?

a) Mountain Charlie McKiernan

b) John Lyndon

c) James Alexander Forbes

d) Mike Wasserman

3. Why did Southern Pacific RR discontinue service through the mountains?

a) The route was unprofitable and too expensive to maintain

b) They feared that invading Japanese troops would use the trains

c) New locomotives wouldn’t fit through the narrow tunnels

d) Part of the route was needed to build Lexington Reservoir

4. What happened to Forbes after he built his flour mill?

a) He became wealthy building similar mills throughout the state

b) He was elected as our first mayor

c) He went bankrupt and left the area

d) His descendants opened a steakhouse

5. Who or what was the “boogang”?

a) A swimming hole in Los Gatos creek

b) A group of mischievous pranksters

c) A popular Los Gatos Halloween attraction

d) A mountain speakeasy during prohibition

6. What was Oak Meadow Park before it was dedicated?

a) Part of Vasona Park

b) A cemetery

c) An open meadow

d) The town sewer farm and landfill

7. Which of the following neighborhoods is NOT a designated historic district?

a) Fairview Plaza

b) Almond Grove

c) Broadway

d) Glenridge

8. What was a popular activity when the creek ran free before the dam was built?

a) Hiking to see the waterfalls

b) Fishing for speckled trout

c) Paddling a canoe

d) All of the above

9. What is a “Californio”?

a) An Ohlone native who lived at one of the California missions

b) A Californian who fought in the Mexican-American war

c) An Early Spanish or Mexican settler in California

d) A spicy burrito from Baja

10. Who was the famous suffragette who lived at The Cats estate?

a) Carry Nation

b) Louise Van Meter

c) Sarah Bard Field

d) Sandy Decker

11: What improvements were considered for the Almond Grove neighborhood in the 1970s?

a) Creating one-way streets

b) Installing underground utilities

c) Obtaining federal funding for historic preservation

d) Condemning two square blocks to build high rise apartments

12: Who invented a powerful insecticide sprayer that saved many orchards?

a) John Bean

b) Zephyr McAbee

c) Zachariah Jones

d) Steve Wozniak

13: What happened to the historic Hotel Lyndon?

a) It burned to the ground and was never rebuilt

b) It was remodeled and renamed the Toll House Hotel

c) It was replaced by the current post office

d) It was bulldozed in a misguided wave of modernization

14: What was our town called before it was incorporated as Los Gatos?

a) Alma

b) Forbestown

c) La Cañada

d) It was always known as Los Gatos

15: What replaced the Los Gatos train depot after the railroad stopped running?

a) The Civic Center

b) Town Plaza park

c) Old Town

d) A car dealership

ANSWERS:

1-c, 2-b, 3-a, 4-c, 5-a, 6-d, 7-d, 8-b, 9-c, 10-c, 11-d, 12-a, 13-d, 14-b, 15-b

Want to improve your score? Download the free “Discover LOST Gatos” mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and take a self-guided historical walking tour.

Alan Feinberg
Contributor

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