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At Home in Chemeketa Park

Located in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County, California, Chemeketa Park is a delightful rural neighborhood that forms part of the broader Los Gatos community. This unincorporated locality, with a postal designation “Los Gatos 95033”, offers a perfect blend of a tranquil setting and accessibility to urban perks.

Origin and Development of Chemeketa Park

Chemeketa Park came to existence in the mid-1920s when J.B. Balcomb, a civil engineer from Palo Alto, developed a 63-acre orchard into this scenic residential locality. Notably, the initial purpose of these lots was to serve as vacation cabins, providing city dwellers from San Francisco and San Jose a peaceful retreat. However, with improved infrastructure, many vacationers transitioned into permanent residents by the mid-1930s.

The Name: Chemeketa 

Chemeketa, derived from the language of the Kalapuya Indians, bears several meanings such as “resting place”, “old home”, “meeting place”, and “old camping ground”. This Native American influence is also evident in local street names like “Comanche Trail”, “Ogallala Warpath”, “Apache Trail”, and “Navajo Trail”.

Chemeketa Park Road Infrastructure 

Most roads within Chemeketa Park are private, maintained by the community itself rather than the county. Regular maintenance, including crack filling, ensures the roads’ longevity and safety. However, during the repair process, residents may need to exercise patience due to minor delays.

Chemeketa Park Mutual Water Company 

Established in 1929, the Chemeketa Park Mutual Water Company is responsible for the community’s water supply. The company, owned by the community, draws water from natural sources and creeks within the Santa Cruz Mountains. Each homeowner is a member and shareholder in the water company and can partake in its management.

Nearby Locations 

Chemeketa Park is close to several other communities including Redwood Estates, Aldercroft Heights, and the ghost town of Holy City.

Accessibility 

State Route 17 provides access to Chemeketa Park. Residents and visitors can reach it via Old Santa Cruz Highway along the Big Moody Curve.

The Balcomb Family Legacy 

Following J.B. Balcomb’s untimely demise in a car accident in 1927, his family continued to sell lots in Chemeketa Park. The Balcombs held property in the development until the mid-1960s, leaving a lasting legacy.

Chemeketa Park Lifestyle 

Chemeketa Park is not just a residential community; it’s a hub of regular social activities and events such as bluegrass music concerts and family picnics. The community’s clubhouse, maintained by the water company, serves as the venue for these gatherings.

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