The Valley of Heart's Delight
MRS. LETITIA PEARL SNYDER KENDALL
Kendall Dale Resort, Los Altos
Surnames: Kifer, Hammond
HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 464
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
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 HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight
(transcribers note-I am interested in more information or resources on Kendall Resort)