Upper Lake at the Alma College site
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Upper Lake at the Alma College site


Upper Lake at the Alma College site
2 bedrock mortars
Elevation 964 ft.

In Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

Acess currently requires a permit. See Bear Creek Redwoods permits for details.

Joel’s research pretty much pinpointed this site.

In the 1850s logger James S. Howe dammed Webb creek and created Upper Lake to drive a sawmill. Captain Stillman H. Knowles, James L. Flood, and Harry Tevis each built estates here beginning in 1887. After the death of Harry Tevis in 1934 the Sacred Heart Novitiate of Los Gatos converted the Tevis estate into Alma College, the first Jesuit Theological Seminary on the West Coast. The Jesuits expanded the college and operated it until 1969 when the seminary moved to Berkeley.

The Upper Lake. Captain Knowles probably used this lake for his trout farm.


We’re not sure if the arrangement of rocks here dates from prehistoric times.


These are deep, capacious mortars.


Photographs by Bob Bardell

Check out this video by Alexander Kerekes of several sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains including Upper Lake at Alma College.