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California Historical Landmark No. 888: Hayes Mansion

The Hayes Mansion is a massive century-old mansion located in San Jose, California (Santa Clara County), which was home to a prominent local family. I visited the Hayes Mansion on my road trip up to the Bay Area at the end of February, after being lured in by the landmark signs from the highway. This landmark dates back to 1905, and is currently a luxury hotel and conference center.

California Historical Landmark No. 888

The Hayes family was originally from Wisconsin, and moved to San Jose in the late 1880s. Commissioned in 1903 and completed in 1905 to replace an earlier house that had been destroyed by fire in 1899, the mansion was to house Mary Folsom Hayes (now married to San Jose attorney Thomas Chynoweth) and her two sons from her previous marriage, Jay Orley Hayes and Everis Anson Hayes, and their families. The building was designed by George W. Page in the Mission Revival style, and was over 41,000 square feet, and had many fire-safety features, including the placement of the kitchen in a separate building. While Mary died before the house was completed, the house was occupied by the two brothers and their families, and became self-sufficient with their own fruit and vegetable cultivation. The Hayes’ became proprietors of the San Jose Mercury newspaper in 1901 and Everis Hayes served as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1905 to 1919, while Jay was the founder and president of the California Prune and Apricot Grower Association, which later became Sunsweet Growers.

During its heyday when the Hayes family lived at the site, the mansion was a hub of Santa Clara valley society, despite being separate from the main center of San Jose. In addition to the mansion, the Hayes estate once had its own power plant, post office, chapel, railroad station, carriage stop, and dormitory for ranch hands.

The Hayes families sold the mansion in the 1950s, after which it was left vacant and became dilapidated. The City of San Jose purchased the mansion in 1984 and renovated it in the early 1990s and added the conference facilities, and turned the north section of the property into a public park.

Plaque Text:

    Jay Orley and Everis A. Hayes built this Mission Revival style mansion, designed by George W. Page in 1904. The Hayes brothers were early San Jose Mercury publishers, prominent valley politicians, and were actively involved in establishing the Santa Clara Valley fruit industry. The mansion consists of 62 rooms, 11 fireplaces, and was paneled in over a dozen different woods.

    California Historical Landmark No. 888

    Originally registered December 29, 1975. Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Stella B. Gross Charitable Trust and Mountain Charlie Chapter No. 1850, E Clampus Vitus, April 19, 1986.

The Hayes Mansion is located at:
200 Edenvale Avenue
San Jose, CA 95136

There are a ton of tan landmark signs leading from the area highways to the Hayes Mansion from both US 101 and SR82, and the hotel has a useful map and directions page.

While there is a private plaque detailing the history at the entrance of the mansion building, which describes the history of the Hayes Mansion, the California Historical Landmark plaque is set into the decorative entrance wall, located back on Edenvale Avenue, just north of the driveway entrance. Adjacent to the California Historical Landmark plaque are plaques showing that the mansion is also a San Jose Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Check out my flickr album for the Hayes Mansion, where I have 15 photos of the historic building and its assorted landmark plaques.