Sixteen: The Evergreen

Continuing the ‘Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley’ project.

Many don’t believe Orville and Wilbur Wright did the first heavier than air controlled flight. They think John Joseph Montgomery did and there is quite a bit of evidence to back them up. Montgomery, who some have called the ‘father of aviation’, did many of his flight tests on a hill in the Evergreen area of San Jose. Montgomery Hill Park, behind Evergreen College stands as a monument to his efforts. “The Evergreen” was the name of his aircraft, and he was eventually killed in it, albeit somewhat of a freak accident. You can read the entire story here. Glenn Ford starred in a 1946 movie also telling the story, “Gallant Journey“.

The Evergreen area of San Jose has also been my home for thirty years. Originally settled by Antonio Chaboya in 1833 and named Rancho Yerba Buena, it was fertile orchards, vineyards, and farmlands until the second half of the last century when suburbia took over and is now primarily a bedroom community of Silicon Valley. Even the Mirrasou Winery started in 1854 (which was still here when I moved to the area) is gone now. Here is a short history of the area.

Fowler Creek flows down from the hills Montgomery once glided, into Thompson Creek, then Silver Creek, Coyote Creek which empties into the San Francisco Bay. I did this little painting right where Fowler flows into Thompson, behind a strip mall which also happens to be where I get my favorite Indian takeout cuisine! Click on any picture to view a larger version.

The light area in the distance is San Felipe Rd. Click here for a map of all painting locations.

I named the painting after Montgomery’s glider–

The Evergreen, 8x10,oil on panel
The Evergreen, 8×10,oil on panel