LEXINGTON AND ALMA

NAME: Lexington and Alma
COUNTY: Santa Clara
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Cool, wet winter--warm, dry summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring/Summer/early Fall
COMMENTS: No current residents as the sites are beneath water. To get there: go south on highway 17 out of Los Gatos, CA, past Lexington Reservoir Dam on the left. Exit Bear Creek Road & go back over the freeway. Go north on frontage Rd. Go right on Alma Bridge Road. Drive to paved parking lot on the right side and park.
REMAINS: Some foundational ruins--most always submerged beneath the reservoir.
Beneath the waters of Lexington Reservoir in the hills above Los Gatos, California, lie the old townsites of Lexington and Alma. The towns, or rather what was left of them, were mostly demolished when the James J. Lenihan dam was constructed there around 1950. Alma, at the time, had less than 100 people and Lexington only had a few remaining structures. The town of Lexington died aroudn the turn of the century. Alma, hung on for 50 more years. The towns were important rail stops for the logging industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as a nice stop for vacationers headding to the coast from the Santa Clara Valley. They had stage stops, hotels, saloons, small agricultural operations, general merchandise stores, and lumber mills, as well as other such establishments small communities would naturally have. Today, all that is left are memories possesed by a handfull of people who remember the towns from their childhood, some foundational structures that are only visable when the water levels drop in the reservoir, and some old roads and bridges. Modern day California highway 17 passes by the reservoir-- beneath which lie the former towns of Lexington and Alma. Submitted by: Jon M. Corry


The most intact remnat of Alma, the 1920's bridge
Courtesy Ron Pugh


Two foundations sticking up through the mud
Courtesy Ron Pugh


The old highway crossing the narrow guage train tracks ( rails and ties are gone )
Courtesy Ron Pugh


The town, along with Lexington, was submerged to create the Lexington Dam and Reservoir in 1950. The photo I submitted was taken October 29, 2009, as I was helping somebody look for their lost dog and we tracked the dog to inside the reservoir. The level of the water is very, very low due to a long drought, and the photo is of a concrete bridge where Alma used to be. We stumbled upon it after scaling the side of a creek where the dog went. The photo was taken by Mark Dombeck with his iphone, and he is the owner of the dog we were tracking
Courtesy: Jackie Phillips

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