This Place Matters: The E.R. Kennedy House

Posted on August 4th, 2019 by susanblake

Photo courtesy of Susan Blake.

The Historic Preservation Board’s fourth featured Landmark home is the E. R. Kennedy House at 61 Catalpa Lane. This part of Campbell is historically referred to as the Kennedy Tract and later the Four “Cs” Tract that includes Cherry, Catalpa, El Caminito and California Avenues west of Winchester Blvd. At the turn of the century, it was ranch land owned by Erle Russell and Bessie Kennedy.

This outstanding example of Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture was built in 1930, for Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy who fell in love with the style while on a visit to southern California. It features white washed stucco siding with red-tiled hipped roofs, a terra cotta chimney and a flagstone entry. The original home had three bedrooms upstairs and a formal living room, dining room, breakfast nook, kitchen and library downstairs, with one bathroom on each floor. In the 1960’s a family room/apartment was added on north side.

Inside, the doors, door frames, and trim along with wall inset drawers and storage, are all solid mahogany. The main entry features a mahogany parquet floor. Numerous old growth trees can be seen on the property, including a huge Buckeye in the back yard and a grove of five Redwoods in the front yard.

The Kennedys had this house built to replace their old ranch house on Winchester Road after deciding to start subdividing their land. Starting with the development of Cherry Lane, many of the Kennedy Tract homes were built from 1941 through 1949. Prior to development, El Caminto was part of Kennedy Avenue, so named for the family.

Mr. Kennedy was a local farmer and realtor and also president of the Campbell Water Company from 1914 to 1918. In the early days of the company, he was a bill collector who went door to door, carrying a leather pouch with change, to collect water payments from households. In 1908, for private households with five or less family members, the monthly rate was $1. Each additional person cost 15 cents.

Bessie Kennedy was an energetic and determined member of our city’s Country Woman’s Club, starting in 1912. She was a driving force and instrumental in getting the club’s goal of a real library built in our downtown. This historic library building was completed in 1923, and still stands at the southwest corner of First Street and East Campbell Avenue.

The Kennedys later owned and operated the Kennedy Water Company which served customers west of Winchester Boulevard to Hazel Ave. Erle and Bessie owned and operated their water company until 1946, when they sold it to the San Jose Water Company, another family-owned water supplier.

In 1960, the E.R. Kennedy House was purchased by Courtland Watson and Jeanette Gomes Watson. Jeanette Watson became the first female council member and first female mayor (1988) in the City of Campbell. She lived there until 2006.

The current owner purchased the home in 2006, and is raising two...Read More

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This December, the Campbell Toy Program aims to serve over 2500 needy children in the Bay Area with Christmas gifts that they otherwise would not get. We're inviting you to show some Christmas spirit in July and donate to help this cherished program that has been spreading holiday joy since 1984.

Throughout the month of July, businesses in Campbell will be collecting donations for the Campbell Toy Program. Please look for specially gift wrapped Christmas in July donation gift boxes when you're in Downtown Campbell. Donations can be made in cash or by checks made out to the Campbell Chamber Community Foundation. (Non-Profit ID# 46-1353037).

You can also make a donation online through the Campbell Chamber's website.

Participating Businesses

  • Besties Boutique
  • Bishops
  • Boiler Maker
  • Bombshell Boutique
  • Brown Chicken Brown Cow
  • Campbell Chamber of Commerce
  • Campbell Creamery
  • Campbell Express
  • Campbell Public Library
  • Celtic Shoppe
  • Darling-Fischer
  • Khartoum
  • The Olive Bar
  • Palazzi Salon
  • Petite Petal Co.
  • Recycle Bookstore
  • Redemption
  • Rocket Fizz
  • Simply Smashing
  • Snake & Butterfly
  • SpellCraft
  • Spread
  • Staples (on Hamilton)
  • Stripes Boutique
  • Sushi Confidential
  • Tessora's Barra di Vino

...Read More

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This Place Matters: The Young-Satorette House

Posted on July 10th, 2019 by susanblake

The Historic Preservation Board’s featured Campbell Landmark home for July 2019 is the Young-Sartorette House at 1888 White Oaks Road.

Like many of our city’s Landmark homes, this house survived because it was moved, rather then being torn down. Designed and built by H. B. Painter in 1928, for Earl and Virginia Young, it was originally located on the west side of Bascom Avenue at the end of Woodard Road on three acres of land. This part of Bascom Avenue was then called San Jose-Los Gatos Road when the area was populated by walnut orchards and chicken ranches. The house sat near the rear of the property with a horseshoe driveway and formal gardens.

The house is a unique example of the English Tudor Revival Style with added French cottage motif. The arched front entry is framed by marble flagstone and features a capped turret. Although mostly hidden now by massive cedar trees, the five steeply pitched, gabled roofs and ornate front window details can be seen from the street. Earl Young was a local farmer and insurance agent and was Vice President of the Prune and Apricot Growers Association. The Youngs lived in the house until 1946, when they sold it to Collette and Charley Sartorette who raised horses on the property. Mr. Sartorette was also a well known local educator and served on the Cambrian School District’s Board of Trustees for many years. A Cambrian Elementary School is named after him. The Sartorette family lived in the house until the 1970’s.

In the late 1970’s, a large portion of Bascom Avenue was being developed for new housing, and the Satorette house was in the way. A significant impediment prevented the house from being torn down: It had been placed on Santa Clara County’s list of historic homes!

A Campbell couple, Rudi and Joanna Herz inquired about buying the house which Joanna “felt sorry for” because it was vacant, neglected, and covered with vines. The developer told them he would give them the house for free if they bought a now vacant lot and moved it to the back of the original property. They agreed, and in 1981 the 2,500 square foot home was cut from the foundation, rotated 180 degrees and slowly moved to its new location on White Oaks Road. After years of careful restoration and historic research, the Herz’s applied to have the house listed as a State of California Landmark which was granted in 2008. In May of 2009, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Besides the Young-Sartorette House, there are only four other buildings in Campbell that are honored in the National Register of Historic Places. They are: the Campbell Union Grammar School, the Campbell Union High School, the J.C. Ainsley Mansion and the Galindo-Leigh House.

The dresses in Bombshell Boutique's summer lineup are simply adorable. Here's a peek at the colorful and eye catching collection currently at the boutique. The days are long and somewhere out there is a perfect summer dress (or two or three) for you. Check out the gallery of cute dresses below!

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