WILLSON HOUSE This home, built by one of Gilroy’s earliest settlers in 1859, is on the market. Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
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Those looking to own a piece of history in Gilroy have a couple of options.

Two homes, at 1980 Pacheco Pass Highway and 7040 Church St., are on the market.

The Pacheco Pass home was built by Horace Willson in 1859, and it was the first such structure to be constructed with American style bricks in the Santa Clara Valley, according to Connie Rogers of the Gilroy Historical Society. 

Willson, who at one point owned 20,000 acres in the region, purchased the land the home sits on from John Gilroy, the city’s namesake.

Rogers said the Gilroy Museum has original documents related to the house: two deeds showing he purchased land from John Gilroy and an architectural drawing of the exterior of the home. 

The 3,000-square-foot, three-story home sits on a little more than three acres, which includes a barn and other structures. The home is listed on the Santa Clara County Historic Resources Inventory.

The property is listed at $4,495,900 by Coldwell Banker Realty. For information, visit bit.ly/2R0t7HE.

Located at the corner of Church and Tenth streets, the Whitehurst house was built in 1870 by Lyttleton and Hester Whitehurst, where they raised their seven children, according to history compiled by the Gilroy Historical Society.

Lyttleton Whitehurst, who worked in the lumber industry, was elected to the Gilroy Common Council in 1876-1880, and was also elected mayor in 1892, later serving in the state senate.

The home is considered an historic site by both the city and Santa Clara County.

The home, which sits on one acre, is listed with an asking price of $1,779,000. A portion of the property, which is adjacent to West Tenth Street, is vacant, and a listing by Intero Real Estate Services said it could be used to construct a duplex and accessory dwelling unit.

Gilroy historian Phill Laursen said the property could have the potential to house a historical park, similar to the Agricultural History Project in Watsonville and the San Benito County Historical Park.

“These history parks not only preserve old buildings, they also offer picnicking and educational opportunities,” he said. “Some have live animals for children to experience, some have old tractors and equipment, some have blacksmiths or other tradesmen. Families have wonderful times at them.”

To view the listing, visit bit.ly/3dTQZ8N.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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