Belshaw Home/Last Word Ranch

The Belshaw family built a house on this site before the 1920s. Over the years, as the family grew in size the original house was added to, until it reached the present grand size. Kim Parker purchased the home and acreage in the early 1990s. She loving restored it and renamed it 'Last Word Ranch'. Today it is frequently the location of the Milpitas Historical Society's annual Christmas Party, but in the 1930s the house was witness to one of the most famous kidnap/murder cases in American history.

The kidnappers of Brooke Hart, heir to a prosperous chain of department stores, met in Milpitas at Spangler's Service Station (at what is now Carlo and Main Streets) after kidnapping him as he walked out of Hart's Department Store in San José. From Spangler's they drove in Hart's yellow roadster east on Calaveras Road to Evans Road where they turned north. Soon, they transferred Hart to a second car about two hundred feet south of the Belshaw house. The above photo was taken looking north from near the dip in the road where Hart was moved to the second car. From there they drove Hart to the old San Mateo bridge that crossed San Francisco Bay. They bound him, threw him off the bridge hoping to drown him but, when they realized the tide was out and there were only a few inches of water covering the mud, they shot him. Later, two of the kidnappers were arrested and soon lynched in San José's St. James Park. Witnesses to the car exchange reported to the FBI that Hart was with five men, but no other arrests were ever made for the kidnap or for the lynching. The story of the Hart kidnapping and lynching is told in Harry Farrell's book, Swift Justice.

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