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[photo] Luis Maria Peralta Adobe
Photograph by Judith Silva, courtesy of the City of Santa Clara

The Luis Maria Peralta Adobe was built before 1800, and remodeled in the mid 19th century. The original builder was probably Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache Indian. The adobe covers an area of 20 feet by 41 feet, and has two connecting rooms of approximately equal size. The walls are about two feet thick and made of adobe blocks that are 22" by 11" by 4." This building was built around the Market Plaza of early San Jose. At the time it was built, this adobe was not unique, but now it is the last vestige of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe.

Manuel Gonzalez, his wife and five children accompanied the Anza Party to California in 1776. He was one of the founders of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, the first municipal government in California, established in 1777. This was the second house that Gonzalez chose to live in, the first site was untenable due to winter flooding. In 1804 Gonzalez died and the adobe went to Luis Maria Peralta. Peralta was a soldier and one of the owners of one of the largest ranchos in Mexican California. His father, Corporal Gabriel Peralta, brought his family with him during the Anza expedition (1775-76) and was one of the first 15 families living in San Jose listed in the pardon of 1778. When he reached the age of 21, Luis entered, as was traditional, into the military of the King of Spain. Wedding Maria Loreto Alviso in 1784, Luis afterwards transferred from the Monterey to the San Francisco Company serving with the Escolta (guards) at Mission Santa Clara, Mission San Jose and as corporeal of the guard at Mission Santa Cruz. Phyllis Filiberti Butler records, in her book, The Valley of Santa Clara, Historic Buildings, 1792-1920, that after an attack on the priest and majordomo of Mission San Jose in 1805, "he led the full garrison from the fort at San Francisco into the San Juaquim Valley in pursuit of the Indians." Surprising the Indians in their village, Peralta won a swift victory, which enhanced his reputation. Then a sergeant, he was honored by appointment as comisionado in charge of Pueblo San Jose in 1807, the highest military and civilian official. Don Luis Maria Peralta held this position until 1822, when the position ended with Mexico's independence from Spain.

The Peralta Adobe is located at 184 West Saint John St., San Jose and is run by History San José. It is open Saturday & Sunday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm for tours. There is a fee. Call 408-918-1040 for more information. History San Jose also operates the The Fallon House located on the northside of West Saint John St., and is the fully restored and lavishly furnished Italianate home of an early mayor of San Jose.

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