Hollister, California

Since Deelow and I had already explored the city of Gilroy we decided we should head more south and so I did some research of historical places in Noehill.com and found some interesting places in the town of Hollister and San Juan Bautista. Printing our itinerary and using our Garmi GPS we drove on and through Monterey Road and since I haven’t mastered driving in the freeway we used the inside road until we cross to Carls Jr, passing around small roads and farms and to the main road leading to Hollister.

It was refreshing it was the first time we saw open fields all around us, and the town of Hollister is nestled in between those green hills. We first went to the house listed on our paper but unfortunately since there was no picture we weren’t sure which one so we took random pictures around. Here are those pics:

The buildings in Hollister have some interesting designs ranging from European to Mission style architecture and as we get over our confusion on finding the right house we decided to move on. Seeing it was only a small town we drove around the downtown here is the history of the town.

Old Downtown

“The area of modern day Hollister was historically inhabited by the Mutsun band of the Ohlone Native Americans. With the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista in 1797, the Ohlone were forced into the California mission system.

Colonel W.W. Hollister

The town of Hollister was founded on 19 November 1868, by William Welles Hollister on the grounds of the former Mexican land-grant Rancho San Justo. At the time, Hollister was located within Monterey County, until San Benito County was formed by the California Legislature in 1874 from portions of Monterey, Merced, and Fresno counties.”

That was a very short history from this town. I even visited the official site and still the history was short. After driving around and taking pictures of the downtown, we head to the next places on our list and here are those:

Hollister Carnegie Library

“The Hollister Carnegie Library, designed by San Jose architect William Binder in the Classical style, is constructed of concrete scored to resemble granite block which contributes a sense of stability in an area where earthquakes are not rare. The building is included in the Downtown Hollister Historic District.

Former Carnegie Library now part of the City Hall

Hollister’s library history is long but intermittent, dating from an 1874 Hollister Library Association. Subsequent efforts for a Mechanics Library and a WCTU reading room resulted in collections that were the core of the eventual city library. In 1910 a Carnegie grant of $10,000 was received.

The building served as a library until 1959, after which it was used by the Superior Court and Probation Department. It now serves as City Hall, with a large extension for council chambers added to the rear.”

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

The death of a Hollister child in 1902 caused repercussions that are still being felt here a century later. Nine year old Hazel Hawkins died from an appendicitis. The tragic death of Mr. T. S. Hawkins’ grand-daughter — his “Little Sunshine” — led him to make a public commitment that no other member of this community would have to die for lack of adequate health facilities.

Hazel Hawkins

And so Mr. T. S. Hawkins, from his love, and as a grief-stricken grandfather, founded Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital to serve the community of Hollister and all residents of San Benito County, and created an enduring tribute to the memory of his “Little Sunshine.” His dream has become a successful reality; the legacy of his cherished granddaughter, Hazel, lives on.

The words of Mr. T. S. Hawkins when he presented the Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital to the people November 1907:

“I do not even claim the conception of this work. It is said in Holy Writ: ‘And a little child shall lead them.’ So from the beautiful and unselfish life of the little girl whose name adorns these portals, came the inspiration for all that has been done.”

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, originally located on Monterey and Hawkins Street in Hollister, was presented to the public November 13, 1907, and served as the community’s principal hospital until the new district hospital was completed. The issue of “Hospital District” formation was submitted to voters — and passed by a margin of two to one — on December 10, 1957. The dedication of the new “District” hospital on Sunset Drive was June 13, 1962; the first patients were admitted on June 19, 1962.”

Roy D. McCallum House

“As an agricultural field representative of the University of California’s Agriculture Extension Service for forty-five years, Roy D. McCallum was a major force in establishing San Benito County as a prosperous farming region.

Historical house of McCallum

McCallum lived in the house from 1936 until his death in 1982.”

The last item on our list was the “New Idria Mines” and we tried to follow the GPS as far as we could. We went through empty hills and barns but didn’t find any marker. So we gave up and took a break at the Target parking lot and head on to the next town; San Juan Bautista.  Our stay on this town wasn’t very long and for me personally, it’s like any ordinary town with a little bit of history.

Here are the links for more information:




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