Research has shown that this site was the original homestead of Michael Hughes in 1852. In the History of Santa Clara County (1882), Hughes is credited with building the first frame house in Milpitas. He filed for a Pre-emption Claim (squatter's rights) in March of 1853, presumably to this land. In February 1856, Hughes purchased this lot as part of 800 acres of Rancho San Miguel (AKA Rancho Milpitas) from Juana Galindo Alviso for $250. In 1868 his wife, Ellen, filed a Homesteading claim to this site. Tax records show the Hughes family continued to own this parcel into the 1890s. The County Assessor's Tax map of 1916 shows farm land in Milpitas still owned by Mary Hughes. We do not know when the last of the Hughes descendents left Milpitas, but there is evidence that Milpitas' first Irish American family resided here for over 70 years.
The Sanford Fire Insurance map of 1893 shows wooden farm buildings and at least two domiciles on the site. We can only speculate that the small farm outbuildings and water tank house that stood here until 2000 might have been constructed from old growth redwood by Michael Hughes himself.
Originally Carlo Street was not here at all! For many
years, where Carlo Street is now, there was a Ford Motor
and a service station owned by Frank Krusich. The original street
that ran nearby was an extension of the present
Street, a residential street in the Milpitas Manor neighborhood,
seen from the modern intersection. Today, Spence Street ends about
yards to the
west of Main Street. The spot where the old street intersected
Street is due
west of the historic Spangler Brothers' Service Station (the
independent gas station
on the corner of Main and Carlo Streets).
To the north, on the corner of old Spence Street and Main Street was the first residence of Sal Cracolice. The first pharmacist in Milpitas, and for many years known as "Mr. Milpitas", Cracolice walked to his business which was in the large two story building, then called Maple Hall, near the intersection of Main and Serra Streets. Today the Calaveras Blvd. overpass covers the site of the Cracolice home.
Dr. Cracolice’s neighbors to the north were the Ray Madruga family. Madruga owned a blacksmithy and metal shop called the Madruga Iron Works located on the east side of Main Street about 200 feet south of the Main and Carlo interection where there is presently a Buddhist convent. Today one sits in the Madruga's front yard while waiting for a County Transit bus under the overpass!
According to the city’s historic sites inventory, the house is believed originally to have been built by A. Rose. According to one long time resident, this was either Alfred or Amaro Rose who were from the Azores but not related to the Rose family for whom Rose Peak, the mountain to the east and north of Milpitas is named. A hand drawn map of the Main Street of the 1930s, believed to have been made by Ray Madruga in the late 1970s, identifies the property as being the residence of the Valencia family.
Present on the site in 1997 were a tall pump/tank house (the last privately owned one in the city), a small main house, a one car garage/storeroom, and other small outbuildings. At that time, it was one of fewer than a dozen original homes which still stood along Main Street but was the only one believed to be in its original condition and with its original associated structures.
In 2000, the owner tore down all of the buildings to make the property more appealing for sale to developers. Today, the site is vacant and awaiting commercial development.