Ghost Town Explorer
spacer
spacer
COYOTE CALIFORNIA
Full of history and politics

Occupied HistoricTown
Santa Clara County
Circa 1860 to a Political Present 

The town of Coyote was established on a popular route known by the Mexicans who traveled it as El Camino Real. This route linked Mission San Juan Bautista with Missions to the north. Originally named Burnett, the town developed around a Post Office housed in a stage stop and drinking saloon known as 12 mile house. Founded in 1860, the post office was once considered the oldest functioning post office in Santa Clara County. In 1882 the residents changed the name from Burnett to Coyote, probably due to the large population of coyotes in the valley. As the population grew, so did the ranches and farms that produced fruits, vegetables and walnuts. The Southern Pacific Rail Road added a stop in town that enabled growers to ship their crops out to market. A lumber company followed, taking advantage of the rail stop and constructing a lumber mill near the tracks. The town of Coyote was bustling strong and standing tall. After the automobile was introduced, the residents of Coyote took advantage of their locale and built additional roadside dinners, stores, hotels and attractions that catered to the traveler.

Coyote became somewhat of an Oasis on the long road between Hollister and San Jose,and remained popular to travelers for decades. As the 1970's arrived, the roadway through town which was still the only way to travel in to or out of the city of San Jose from the South, became known as "Blood Alley". Traffic accidents resulting in fatalities were on the increase because of high speed travel in either direction on this long flat stretch of roadway through the town. Yet Coyote continued to draw travelers off the highway and in to its roadside businesses. Then in 1983, Coyote suffered it's tragic blow as Highway 101 was completed and bypassed the town entirely. Travelers opted for the much faster 6 lane super highway. Slowly but surely the roadside businesses disappeared. Although the town survives mostly as residences for those who wish to live in the suburbs, scars of its former self are scattered throughout the valley. Mere skeletons of abandoned roadside businesses, Victorian ranch houses and old railroad buildings. 

As the town was suffering the effects of oblivion, the city of San Jose was busy purchasing up land from the struggling ranches and land owners with a plan of developing it to compete with neighboring cities to attract the ever growing technology industry. The plan was met with heavy opposition by historians, locals and environmentalist alike. Residents were split and sided against one another in their decisions to keep Coyote in its natural state, versus economic revitalization. 

As the 1990's came to a close, and the fall of the dot com and computer chip industry failed to rebound, all plans were postponed. Now the land sits dormant and city officials eagerly await an economic recovery. Today's visitors in Coyote consist of fisherman stopping at the remaining gas station for bait, or a chopper ridding biker visiting the tattoo parlor or pulling off for a drink at the old saloon. 

 

Ghost Town Explorer
Water Tower Remaining in Coyote.

Ghost Town Explorer
Lumber Mill Building.

Ghost Town Explorer
Original Railroad Spur Buildings.

Ghost Town Explorer
Old Railroad Switching Station.

Ghost Town Explorer
Old Grange Hall Building and Post Office.

Ghost Town Explorer
One of many old roadside stops that were popular in the town.

Ghost Town Explorer


Ghost Town Explorer
Coyote contains tons of old victorian homes, most hidden along private dirt access roads.


spacer
   spacer
   Copyright 2006 High Desert Drifters, All rights reserved.
DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript