The Valley of Heart's Delight


Kendall Dale Resort, Los Altos

Surnames: Kifer, Hammond

A woman of splendid attainments and pleasing personallity, who is naturally very proud of her beautiful home place, once a part of her father's historic ranch and adjacent to her childhood's home at Hillside, is Mrs. Letitia Pearl Snyder Kendall, a native daughter of the Golden West, having been born at Hillside, the old John Snyder home ranch, on Permanente Creek, near Mountain view, on August 20, 1870.

She was the youngest in a family of five children born to John and Martha (Kifer) Snyder, among the worthiest of all pioneers in Santa Clara County, whose life-story is sketched elsewhere in this historical volume. Her childhood was spent at Hillside, where she enjoyed to the fullest the freedom of the great outdoors, and in time she became adept at driving and riding, preferring in particular the former exercise. After completing the course in the San Antonio district school, she continued her studies at the San Jose Institute, a highgrade, widely-known private school for young ladies, during which time she made her home with her eldest sister, Mrs. Sarah Foss.

In 1889, she was given the opportunity to make a delightful trip, accompanying her father and mother East, going to Tipton, Iowa, and thence to the AtlanticCoast, visiting en route such important cities as Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and New York, and after that through the South, into Kentucky, the region of her mother's birthplace, and continuing on to Louisville, St. Louis, Kansas City, and back to Iowa. On the journey westward, the party passed through Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, and eventually reached home, thus concluding a stimulating jouney of several months.

Miss Snyder then entered King's Conservatory of Music in San Jose, where she studied the piano, and from which she was graduated with honors in 1898; and once herself proficient, she taught piano for a short while. After her father's death, however, she gave it up, in order to devote her time to her mother, and she continued to give her mother a tenderest care until a year after her marriage to Mr. Kendall, when another sister, the widow of Dr. William Hammond, returned home to reside.

Mr. and Mrs. Kendall removed to Santa Clara, where they resided until their home on their orchard property, one mile north of Los Altos, was completed, when they took up their residence there. This orchard they brought to a high state of cultivation, and they named the place very appropriately "Heartsease." and there they devoted their time to horticulture. It was in 1904 she had married E. F. Kendall, the ceremony being performed at her mother's home, and then and there they entered upon a union proving very happy, and which has been blessed with three children, Raymond F., Earl C., and Martha Mae Kendall, all of whom are attending the high shcool at Palo Alto.

Mrs. Kendall's thoughts had always centered around the natrual beauty and grandeur of their old home at "Hillside," and desiring to make it her home, in 1910 she purchased eight acres on Permanente Creek, adjoining the old Hillside home, buying the same from her mother. They owned Heartsease until 1920, when they sold it, in which year they also took up their residence at the old home, where they built a large new bungalow of stucco finish from plans Mrs. Kendall herself designed. The result is a very beautiful and comfortable residence, where they now get much comfort and enjoyment. In all her ambitions for improving and beautifying her place on Permanente Creek, Mrs. Kendall has been heartily assisted by her husband, who learned, while living in San Francisco, the desire of city folks for a beautiful and quiet place to which they could bre themselves on week-end trips. Acting on this suggestion, Mr. and Mrs. Kendall began to formulate plans for the splendid "Kendall Dell Resort" a picnic grounds now such a joy to thousands of families during the summer season. Permanente Creek is fed by numerous springs, and one particularly large spring has been converted into a reservoir from which water is piped to a nuber of palces on the grounds, for they have an abundance of water-- enough, in fact, for a good-sized town.

Kendall Dell is ideally located, and is well-wooded with native trees, such as the live oak, the white oak, the pin oak, the willow, the sycamore--one tree of the latter species on Sycamore Flat being pronounced the best specimen known, and is thought by competent judges to be at least 500 years old. Then there is the laurel, the toyon, the cascara, the buckeye, the wild cherry, the alders and many other varieties. The Kendalls have also set out pine and cypress trees, making the whole one of the most beautiful spots in the state. Kendall Dell lies between two creeks, and is shaped like a horseshoe, opening to the south, and it is not surprising, therefore, that in more primitive days, it was used by the Indians as a camping ground, and there is an old Indian gburial ground on the place. When they first took possession of this property, the place was a wild wood of brush, nettles and poison oak, but they proceeded to clean it up, and Mr. Kendall's energy and enthusiasm have worked wonders, in hunting out and arranging the different delightful nooks and places, and in giving each its proper name. There is Rest View, for example, as well as the Natural Banquet Hall, with its barbecue pits, where 500 people have been accomodated the Upper Creek Terrace, the Lower Creek Terrace, Alder Flat,Laurel Flat, Brier Beach, Walnut Flat, Sycamore Flat, and beautiful winding paths, from one beauty spot to another, leading finally to a natural amphitheater, where over 400 people can be seated in the shade, all the grounds giving a capacity of 3,000 people. Then there are baseball grounds and tennis courts, and all of this-- involving much of Mr. Kendall's own handiwork--has been accomplished by Mr. and Mrs. Kendall, who have made one of the most charming of private picnic and camp grounds, which has given pleasure and untold health benefit to thousands. Of course, this is not a public resort, in the usual sense, but merely a home place where eight acres are open to the enjoyment of refined, appreciative people, subject to proper, but never unpleasant or narrow restrictions. It is just one of nature's beauty spots, where tables and benches are placed in the forest near an ever-running stream. It has graded roads, a dancing pavilion, a refreshment stand, tennis and baseball grounds. Although a quiet, retired spot, it is most accessible over good roads at the south end of Grant Road, across the railroad tracks, and it is reached from Palo Alto by way of the State Highway, when the picnicker will run to Grant Road, opposite the blacksmith shop at Old Mountain View, or on the highway mentioned through Los Altos to Grant. From San Jose, the visitor should proceed by way of Homestead Road or on the Fremont Highway to Grant. Electric cars run to Kendall Dell Station, from which there is a ten-minute walk.

Mrs. Kendall, like the true woman of culture that she is, has maintained her interest in music, and has devoted friends, who appreciate fully the rare hospitality of both Mr. and Mrs. Kendall at their now famous Kendall Dell.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 464


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight

(transcribers  note-I am interested in more information or resources on Kendall Resort)