THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
 SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
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BEAUTIFUL ALMA
1896
The Village Which is the Shipping Point for the Extensive Mountain Districts Recently Settled.  Its Soda Springs.  Hunting and Fishing.
 The Great Honey District.

 
Alma is most beautifully situated in an a grove of oaks on a bench by the side of Los Gatos reek three miles above Los Gatos, and twelve from San Jose.  The village is not large, countering only a store, hotel, blacksmith shop. depot, postoffice, and a few smaller shops, but there are a number of charming residences, and it is an attractive place in which to reside.  It is an important shipping point, as there are in the mountains above extensive fruit-growing districts.  The climate is very pleasant.  Alma escapes the fogs which visit the western slopes of the mountains to the west, and as the elevation is 560 feet, the weather is not so warm as it is in the valley in the daytime, and the warm air draws up the canyon in the night, making the temperature very equable.

Fruit Growing And Agriculture   Grapes are most largely grown in the vicinity, as even the steepest hillsides are suitable for their culture. Prunes, however, bear heavily, and in fact most kinds of fruit, the soil here, as in all the great mountain districts, being rich in plant food. The great forests which cover the mountains west and south, with the attending growth of vegetation and flowers, furnish a rare opportunity for bee-raising, as the honey made here is of excellent quality. Bees are never without food, because the weather is never cold enough to prevent them from working.  It is never necessary to store bees in the cellar here in winter, as it is in the East.  They gather honey all winter.  Flowers of some sort are blooming every day in the year.  It is one of the choicest sections in the State for apiculture, as there are few other localities which furnish such a constant supply of food, and the honey is very white, has a delightful flavor, and commands a good price. 

Making Homes on The Hillsides   Within the past few years men have extended roads up the canyons to the east, along the ridges, and to the very summit.  Springs have been sought out, houses built, and trees planted.  The soil is rich, and it is only needed persistent labor to transform the brushy hillsides into orchards and vineyards.  There is often less frost upon exposed knolls where the wind blows than in more sheltered localities in the valley, and in the years to come the great mountain section east of  Alma will produce some of the best fruit in the county.

The Soda Spring  On the Mount Pleasant road, about three-quarters of a mile east of Alma,  there is a strong soda spring, which contains iron and magnesia. The water flows from a small pool by the side of a stream which comes from the hill above.  The carbonic acid gas comes up in silvery bubbles through the clear water, which is alice with ebullition.  The sides of the spring are covered with the familiar snuff brown of oxidized iron.   The water has gained quite  a reputation for its medicinal qualities, which, of course, are confined to the minerals, the so called soda water taste being imparted solely by the carbonic acid gas.

The Moody Gulch oil well are situated but a short distance from Alma.  The school teacher is Miss S. M. Whitehurst.  The Methodists have a church, of which Rev. Wythe is pastor.  The agent of the Southern Pacific Company is C. A. Stice.

The shipments from Alma station during the past fiscal year amounted to about 800 tons.

There is good trout fishing and hunting in the vicinity of Alma.

Sunshine  Fruit and Flowers- Santa Clara County And its Resources- A Souvenir of  The San Jose Mercury, 1896- transcribed by cferoben


Transcribes note- the village of Alma was covered by the waters of the Lexington Reservoir in  1952


The Valley of Heart's Delight
Santa Clara County Pioneers