Celebrating the Sempervirens story — more than 100 years of conservation

San Jose, CA – May 6, 2013 On May 18, 1900 the Sempervirens Club was founded by photographer and painter Andrew Putnam Hill of San Jose to save the old-growth redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains. The Sempervirens were pioneers in the conservation movement, and the home of Andrew and Florence Hill is now located in History Park.*

In order to celebrate Sempervirens’ 113th Anniversary, History Park will host a family day focused on trees, photography, painting and conservation. Andrew P. Hill, founder of the the Sempervirens who helped to save the Big Basin Redwoods, documented his studies with paintings and photography, which will be featured inside his home, open in History Park for the festivities on May 19.

Mountain Charlie McKiernan will be on hand at 2 PM with his story of a fight with a grizzly bear, and how he lived to tell about it. Mountain Charlie will be available for photo opportunities, as will Portraits of the Past characters dressed in attire of the period.

Children are invited to go on an edu-trek, which focuses on the trees of History Park, while the entire family will learn through fun activities.

Sunday, May 19 is also Archaeology Day.

Fun for children includes Dig San José: Public Archaeology Day with Stanford Archaeology Students providing guidance and an opportunity to dig and become a junior archaeologist.

The Print Shop will be open to learn about printing before computers. The Printers Guild will demonstrate by giving away souvenir bookmarks printed on an 1884 platen letterpress.

Plein Air Painters will be painting throughout the Park and hosting a beginner’s workshop from noon to 3 PM.

Hill was also known for his documentation of nature, so those who bring their cameras may follow Master Photographer John Paulson from 1 – 3 PM on a photographic trek of the Park.

Live music will be performed in the bandstand at History Park and the trolley will be available for rides throughout the park.

Refreshments will be available for purchase from O’Brien’s Ice Cream Parlor and Tony’s Popcorn Cart.

Admission is free for HSJ members, or $5 per person, 4 years old and older. City parking lots are $6. History Park is located at Senter Road at Phelan, in San Jose, CA. (for GPS purposes, use 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose, CA).

Buildings Open on Sunday, May 19:

  • Pacific Hotel Galley & the Leonard & David McKay Gallery 
  • Trolley Barn with California Trolley & Railroad Corp. 
  • Print Shop with the Printers Guild 
  • Hill House with the Victorian Preservation Association 
  • Paulson House with the California Pioneers of Santa Clara Valley 
  • Chinese American Historical Museum with Chinese Historical and Cultural Project 
  • Portuguese Historical Museum with the Portuguese Heritage Society of California 
  • Dashaway Stables 
  • Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn 

*About Andrew Putnam Hill and the Sempervirens: A selection of photographs by A. P. Hill, as well as portraits of the Hill family, can also be found in History San Jose’s Photographic Collection and the Leonard McKay Collection.
Guide to the Sempervirens Club of California Records
Search the History San Jose online catalog