National Register of Historic Places in Santa Clara County

National Register #74000558: McCullagh-Jones House in Los Gatos 30 September 2011
National Register #74000558: Back of McCullagh-Jones House in 1974 Back of House in 1974 Photograph
Submitted with NRHP Nomination
National Register #74000558: Front of McCullagh-Jones House in 1974 Front of House in 1974 Photograph
Submitted with NRHP Nomination
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #74000558
McCullagh-Jones House
18000 Overlook Road
Los Gatos

In the spring of 1870, Frank and Mary McCullough, moved from Philadelphia to Los Gatos as a bride and groom. They purchased the site of the present home which, a two-story farm house located on 160 acres which extended from Bayview Avenue far up into the hills. [Webmaster note: In the NRHP nomination form, the name is sometimes spelled McCullagh and sometimes spelled McCullough.]

In 1873, they sold the property and returned to Philadelphia. In 1880, they returned to Los Gatos and repurchased the farm house and ten acres.

In 1901, Willis Polk redesigned the old farm house in the Mission Revival style modeled on San Miguel Mission. The house was cut in half and pulled apart by two teams of horses, and the present loggia was built between the two halves.

The McCullagh-Jones House is one of very few buildings designed by Willis Polk in the Mission Revival style and is one of only three structures designed by Polk which remain intact in Santa Clara County. [Webmaster note: the other two are Le Petit Trianon on the campus of De Anza College and the First Church of Christ Scientist in San Jose.]

The McCulloughs traveled extensively and brought trees and seeds from all parts of the world. The large Cedar of Lebanon tree at the rear was brought from Lebanon as a small seedling. The tree was about eighty years old in 1974.

In 1939, after the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. McCullough, the estate was sold Dr. and Mrs. Horace Jones who resided here until 1961.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination form.

In 1902, the McCullagh-Jones House was the first West Coast building featured in the new magazine, House and Garden. The article read in part:

The place is a part of an old Spanish grant called the Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos, meaning "the corner of the cats" (wild cats). It is situated on a gently sloping hillside near the town of Los Gatos. The house faces east; and lying as it does, about three hundred feet above a valley, it enjoys a superb view in that direction. Across the valley are the mountains of the Coast Range. Mt. Hamilton rises above its neighbors there, and the celebrated Lick Observatory is seen upon the summit.

The old California missions have plainly been the starting point of the architectural design. Those Mexican pioneers who built in California nearly a century and a half ago have left their impress on the land, even though many of their picturesque monastic establishments have now crumbled to unrecognizable ruin.

The quiet simplicity of those buildings...made fitting outlines for the genial landscapes of California. Add to this the romantic story of the early fathers, the fortitude and zeal of de Galvez, Junipero Serra and a dozen other leaders, and there is sufficient impulse for the attempt to reproduce in modern houses the beauty of a San Juan Capistrano, a San Fernando or San Juan Bautista.

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