The history of the community tells a story of being built on part of the land that most know and remember as Frontier Village from 1961 to 1980 at the intersection of Monterey Road and Branham Lane in San Jose, California. At that time, San Jose was a farming city with many orchards and the peaceful qualities of the city were also shared by Frontier Village, the little western themed amusement park under the tall trees. On the exterior of the main laundry building in Rancho Santa Teresa is a rock mural of a matador marking the history of the memory of King Carlos of Spain who originally owned the land and later passed it on to the Tennant family who sold it to the Hayes’ family.
The property originally was part of Congressman Hayes’ estate. The 64 room Hayes Mansion, built in 1899 and completed in 1904, was located at the back of Frontier Village’s property. The Hayes family first bought the estate’s land, which was called “Edenvale,” in 1887. The land was originally populated with countless California oak trees and the Hayes family added hundreds of eucalyptus, redwood, Monterey pine, Arizona Pine, and numerous other varieties of trees. Those tall trees would eventually become the landmarks of the community. Also in the community remain several of the fruit trees that were planted in the early 1970’s. The Hayes Mansion is a national historic landmark and was completely restored. Mary Folsom and her husband Anson Hayes, moved to California after becoming wealthy mining the ores in the Midwest. They are responsible for building the beautiful English Tutor mansion which later burned down, so Mary had it rebuilt as the current Mediterranean style mansion. After Anson died, Mary remarried to a San Jose attorney named Thomas Chynoweth. Mary was known for her spiritualism and insights, ministry and healing powers. This inspired her to build a chapel on her land for her own ministry which also later burned down. Mary died in 1905 before the mansion was completed however, in Rancho Santa Teresa there sits a chapel that’s a 1/16th scale replica of the Hayes’s Chapel which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Hayes’s chapel.