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Welch-Hurst house – Bay Area Native Sites
Welch-Hurst house
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Welch-Hurst house


Welch-Hurst house
14 bedrock mortars
Elevation 1421 ft.

Another one of Joel’s South Bay discoveries. This one is in Sanborn-Skyline County Park.

Judge James Welch constructed this log-style house in 1892 (although some sources say 1908) as a summer home for his family. The historic value of the house, according to the National Register of Historic Places, derives from its use of indigenous materials and its integration with its site. The Tyvek wrapping is not a Christo installation. It’s there to protect the house pending renovation.


We hope “indigenous material” is not some horrible preservationist pun.


We assume someone moved the mortar rock to this location in historic times.


A closeup view of the mortar. It’s a beautiful specimen, more bowl-shaped than funnel-shaped.


Most of the mortar rocks at this site sit near the edge of a natural terrace. At least one has already slipped over the edge.


Photographs by Bob Bardell

Check out this video by Alexander Kerekes of several sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains including the Welch-Hurst house.


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