Sarah Winchester

I want to tell you a different side of the story about one of San Jose’s most interesting characters, Sarah Winchester.

If you go to visit the Winchester Mystery House, you will see a magnificent home of 140 rooms.  You will be told stories of the mysteries surrounding this kindly lady and how she built stairs that had only two inch risers; how she built bathrooms with clear glass door panels; how staircases were built that went nowhere; how she had midnight parties with musicians playing in the grand ballroom, but there were no guests.

Sarah Winchester came to San Jose from chilly New England in 1884, the same year the Electric Tower was completed in downtown San Jose.  Her infant daughter had died when she was but a month old, followed fifteen years later by her husband William, the Winchester Rifle heir.  These deaths were devastating to the young, talented, intelligent Sarah.  As she was troubled with debilitating arthritis, her doctors suggested she leave the terrible East Coast winters and find an occupation to keep herself busy.

Thus she traveled to the delightful Santa Clara Valley and purchased a six room house on the outskirts of San Jose.  Soon she hired men to enlarge the house, becoming her own architect.  Each morning she would take a large sheet of butcher paper, consult with her carpenter foreman, and plan that day’s work.  The next morning they turned the paper over and discussed what would be done that day.  Because of the daily change of plans, exterior walls soon became interior walls.  Steps were built on staircases that were only two inches high because that was all her arthritic legs could manage.  Her late-night parties were held at the only times the musicians were available—after they had worked their gigs at downtown San Jose theatres or dances.  During this time, the 1890s, there were terrible economic depressions, but Sarah Winchester paid top wages and kept a full crew working no matter what the economic times were.

In 1906 the terrible earthquake ravaged her house and it suffered major damage.  She was trapped for many hours in an upstairs bathroom, and her servants could not find her.  She then decided that there would be clear glass in the bathroom doors so that if another disaster occurred she could be located.

When you visit the house, carefully examine the state historical marker.  You will find it reads “The Winchester House,” not “Winchester Mystery House.”  The lady that lived there and created this beautiful home was a tragic but generous, inventive woman.  She demanded her privacy and greatly benefited our beautiful Santa Clara Valley.


  1. Leonard McKay, you are absolutely right.
    As this city grows, history continues to be altered, and our memory of the beautiful landscape is tarnished with not only obscene visual entities but mis representing titles of places that hold the true meaning of this city.  We San Joseans give, Sarah Winchester gave, she didn’t take a thing.  Sarah did a lot FOR this community while some of our current leaders who claim to be residents, are doing something TO this community, and what they are doing is quite ignorant and even worse quite shameless.  I remember visiting your store often, and was sad to see the end to a place where I could go and be comforted by the history of my city.  My father graduated from Bellarmine in 1959, his father retired from PG & E after 36 years there, following a stint in WWII.  My grandfather McGuire retired from the City Hall of San Jose in 1972 after retiring from the Air Force a decade earlier.  I have a sad heart for the Valley of Delight as it becomes a MYSTERY to the rest of the world.  With that I ask that all readers visit my site,  I have filed my paperwork to run in the District Three council race, I have lived Downtown for 13 years and it is time for a change in leadership.

  2. Leonard, excellant article. Sarah should indeed be remembered as a generous and kind soul. Do you know where she is laid to rest? Also, there is fine collection of Winchester guns next to the giftshop, and the giftshop itself has a lot of fun and kitschy knick-knacks for sale—many of which grace my San Jose memoribilia collection.

  3. Dennis, I visited your website and found numerous references and links to Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and Mother Jones.

    Do you share the overall outlook and beliefs espoused by these folks?  If so, do you plan to bring their ‘hate America first’ idealogy and add a Berkeley-esque flavor to the City Council?

  4. Hi
    I remember hearing a story about Sarah Winchester…the President of the United States came to visit her and was told that he would have to go around to the back of the house as she did not let visitors in the front door…TRUE??? Anyone know of this one??!

  5. What an interesting story. A woman of means allowed to use her property and money as she saw fit, fulfilling her every vision and whim, all the while creating honest work for skilled men. No frustrating opposition from the local planning department, no tortuous delays obtaining permits, no running afoul of the historic preservation society.

    Consider this: in the ensuing century of remarkable growth and development, during which taxpayer’s have been compelled to “invest” billions in the ideas of those who pledged to erect a grand city in their town, the “mystery house” of a lonely, troubled woman remains San Jose’s most well-known landmark.

    Some people think Sarah was nuts, the way she spent her money. Maybe, but had we left unrestrained a few more “nuts” like her, we just might have found ourselves smack dab in the middle of something the bureaucrats have absolutely failed to deliver: a unique, interesting city.

  6. I’ve been through Sara’s house a few times, mostly as a kid back in the 60’s.  I liked it better back then when it was kind of creepy and needed paint, etc.  Now it’s more like a Disney annex but regardless I’m amazed it has survived all of the post WWII leadership that has consistently been about erasing any evidence this town even existed before 1946.

  7. Novice,

    Yep, the Cindy Sheehan connection is very telling.  Another candidate for local office prepared to take our city to a “higher level.”  The last guy runing for Mayor wanted to go national.  We now have a candidate for the City Council that has aspirations to change the world!  How about fixing the traffic problem and getting our garbage picked up at a reasonable price?

  8. Sarah’s Mystery House is yesterday’s news.
    We need to get tourists to visit Ron’s Mystery House, that unusual-looking structure on Santa Clara Street rumored to be haunted by so many evil spirits.

  9. OK Novice,
    Initially I would like to say I have been following the Bob Herhold indictment of this page, and I guess I will never know who you are, and that is the way politics has been done in San Jose for a while now, are you part of that clan, too.
    The first Michael Moore movie I ever watched was Roger & Me, Dennis Jahne showed it to us in Communications Class at San Jose State University. in 1993. Michael Moore is an American Hater, well, let me tell you, you are going to have a hard time getting the Department Chair of Communications at STATE to believe that, so I don’t think anyone else on this blog is going to either.
    On the next point, Cindy Sheehan as an American Hater is nothing but an insult, you obviously didn’t bother to check my military rercord. Start there, and than start over again, with.  Wow, this guy could have saved the world, but he was going the wrong direction.  Did you get a chance to read the letters from the students at Burnett Middle School?  That is where you should go next after you realize that we can change the world.  Some of those letters to me from the students in our district are very telling, please read them before you comment any more on my intentions.  Fixing the traffic problems and getting garbage out of our storm drains is the perfect place to start changing the world.  Roy Young, my metor at SJSU, told me there would be guys like you out there.  Have fun, I am here for District Three, not to create adversaries or enemies, or fight over who is whose friend.  I know you have friends I don’t like either, let’s keep them out of this.

  10. I just asked a question to get some background about the candidates that are running council. 

    If your priorities are fixing potholes and garbage collection without jacking my taxes higher—instead of trying to legislate a social justice and foreign policy agenda from city council, then more power to you.

    You are to be commended for announcing your candidacy and getting into the ring.  But be sure to check the leftist dogma at the door if you get elected – just think roads, schools, and frugality!

    BTW – here’s Cindy at a recent rally with heaps of communists and anarchists – I’m not implying guilt by association mind you.

  11. “hate America first”???

    Wow, San Jose must be quite the fascist city, if anyone who believes that America should stand for something other than war crimes, and crimes against humanity is labeled an “America hater”!

  12. Dennis, I visited your website and found numerous references and links to Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and Mother Jones.

    Do you share the overall outlook and beliefs espoused by these folks?

    If so, good for you!  Do you plan to expose the right-wing America haters for what they are?

    Their love for themselves and their “hate Americas freedoms”  ideology must be exposed for what it is!

  13. Leonard McKay: 

    Articles like yours are why I continue to visit this site.


    “The hypocrisy from the left on this is just impossible to put into words.”

    Then consider not tying so hard and instead try to understand.  Seeding democracy is not the exclusive domain of President Bush and the ‘neocons’ and as long as we continue to act as a magnet for focussed hatred it won’t happen.  Sure seems to me we are creating more zealots than we are capturing or killing however many may be in the majority over there who want western-style democracy.

  14. Right ON DENNIS!! 

    Good Luck with your run for district three!

    We Need more people willing to stand up for what they believe in, instead of people standing up for their bloated wallets!

  15. “OK Novice,
    Initially I would like to say I have been following the Bob Herhold indictment of this page, and I guess I will never know who you are, and that is the way politics has been done in San Jose for a while now, are you part of that clan, too. “

    Nice run-on. Where did you learn your grammar? SJSU cum laude? Try not to be defensive. I’m not picking on you. I just find it hard to follow any of your statements. There is no flow, transition or proper punctuation…

    Not that I’m defending the views of Novice or expounding any of my own; it’s just that I would expect a city councilmember to be able to write a cogent sentence or two.

    Do you write your own speeches?

  16. Sorry for straying way off topic (again) from Leonard’s excellent piece today, but…

    Here’s a recent Murtha classic:  “I worry about a slow withdrawal which makes it look like there’s a victory”

    But he supports the troops!

    You would think that freeing the people of Afghanistan and Iraq from despotic, murderous regimes that oppressed women, gays, etc. would warm the hearts of liberals everywhere – but you would be wrong.

    The hypocrisy from the left on this is just impossible to put into words.

    If one were to step back and look at the really big picture – Islam is the fastest growing segment of world population while the west (especially europe) is in a population death spiral. 

    So what kind of Islam do we want to share the future with?  Taliban style Islam?  Wahabi?  Khomeni style theocracies?

    Pick the brand of Islam that you think would be most tolerant of transgenders, gays, and women .  Not an easy choice.  But as Europe’s population ages and declines, it’s what europeans could well be faced with towards the end of this century.

    Bush and the neocons are 1000% right in trying to seed democracies in the middle east.  That the US is successful is the best hope for peace in the world that our children will inherit.

  17. Without even commenting on the world view of city council candidate Dennis Kyne, it is clear that his website, one ostensibly designed to promote himself as a worthy representative of district three, contains references to controversial people and issues that have nothing to do with local politics.

    Mr. Kyne, this is a blunder—one that should be corrected immediately. Last I looked, District 3 is not in Santa Cruz or Berkeley—where a city council candidate’s position on Tibet or organic produce might be considered crucial. Aligning yourself with Cindy Sheehan or Jesse Jackson (or George Bush, for that matter) might get you some votes in San Jose, but it will cost you others and, most importantly, cause some important voters in the middle to question your focus.

    Get back on point. Be proud of your military service and commitment to the community, but spare us the big picture stuff. The last thing we need here is someone elected to local office who sees himself as a voice on national issues.

    Your website is an important asset; it is also a potential liability. Use it to emphasize your approach to local problems, not your reaction to national ones. There are more than enough sites dedicated to national issues, make yours about you, your district, your city.

    Demonstrate the discipline that allowed you to succeed in the military: turn your back on partisan politics. Win or lose on your ideas, your character, your ability—not Michael Moore’s.

  18. Correction
    Initially I would like to say I have been following the Bob Herhold indictment of this page, and I guess I will never know who you are.  That is the way politics has been done in San Jose for a while now, are you part of that clan, too? “

    Sadly, there quality.  I don’t know who you are either.  Are you part of that clan too? 
    No flow in my writing, can I get a second on that from the readers?  From someone willing to put there name to it?

    Finfan would you kindly mind letting me know what you think the qualities of the next District Three representative are?  I appreciate all the, “change your tune,” stuff, but you need to actually read the articles.  Find out why Michael Moore and I got together.  We raised a half million dollars and were able to bring hundreds of tons of food to starving people.  Michael Moore validated that by reporting it on his webpage, so did Mother Jones and so did the San Francisco Chronicle.  So, while some might not like the guy, he carried my message, not me carrying his.  I was in New Orleans, as a medic and a supply line expert.  I got food to places that Red Cross and FEMA didn’t dream of going into.  I am not being political, I am building allies.  That is what you do when you see a problem, isn’t it?  Find an ally and work towards a change in the problem. 

    I am qualified for the position.  I might run on like most of the other politicians do.  But that is not a discredit to the quality of education at STATE.

  19. Unfortunately, I will have to agree with #18 despite his wreched anonymity!

    Dennis, if you regularly read this blog, you would understand that the contributors here believe that a statement should be judged by its content, not the person making it.

    “No flow in my writing, can I get a second on that from the readers?  From someone willing to put there name to it?”

    I probably wouldn’t have even commented if you hadn’t used ‘there name’ instead of ‘their name’. ‘There’ is and adverb used to show location; whereas ‘their’ is an adjective used to show posession. (sorry for the Eng-101 repeat!)

    However, I must say that I do not believe such a minor thing as syntax should stop a good candidate from running for office. Maybe you should just have a good editor before publishing anything major.

    As far as the other comments, take them as construtive criticism, not personal attack. I too have looked over your website and must agree with finfan that you could use it much more to your advantage. And please don’t just blow it off and say, “you need to look deeper”; for it is YOU that are trying to get votes. It is therefore your responsibility to make sure to draw people in to take that deeper look. Many potential votes can be lost simply because of format, not content.

    Personally, I like much of what you have to say; although the way in which you are saying it could be polished up a bit. Nevermind the detractors. They’ll always be there. Run your campaign the way that you see fit and, win or lose, you will be better for it.

    Best of luck.

  20. Mr. Kyne,

    What I think the qualities should be to represent D3 on the council do not matter. I am not running for office. What I urged you to do was to give the people of the district a reason to consider electing you. Your website does not do that.

    FYI: I explored your site. As a resident of the area, you are certainly aware that the government’s use of depleted uranium is not a pressing issue in D3. Nor is flood disaster relief, global warming, world peace, or jazz preservation. I must also warn you that should you bring up “guerrilla programing” (GNN.TV/) with D3’s southeastern-most residents, you’re going to have to explain to them, in several languages, that it has nothing to do with training knuckle-draggers at Happy Hollow.

  21. Nice link, there are people in those pictures I like less than you, and I am writing less than you metaphorically, because you seem to be trying to put us in an adversarial position by the fact I oppose this 15 year war we have had in the middle east.  But I don’t dislike you, like I said, have fun.  Cindy Sheehan opposes the war, we joined forces to confront the war machine, you claim that is un american.  But I have been in a war, and like Murtha, there isn’t much you can tell me. 
    this link
    will show you how unimpressed I am with what the dogmatic lefts do.  I indict the system whether it is left or right, Believe me Cindy does too, how many of those people in those photos you linked are slipping in for a photo OPP, you know that, I know you do. 
    The point I am still making is this though…..It is time for new leadership in San Jose.  Can that we agree on?  And what are the qualities you want to see in your leader?  Leanord McKay, the resident historian, can you tell us who you think some of the greatest leaders of this city are/were?  Can you tell us who Mr. Arbuckle would have considered some of the greatest leaders to be.  Maybe we can get Chuck Reed in on this too, he held the contest for kids in this city who could name the most former Mayors.  And David Cortese, pushing the agenda, with the water rebate we deserved, and this mayor who seems to think that the Brown Act is something to be violated any time he sees fit.  Let’s work together, and make government as transparant as that city hall is.  I am here for District Three, not to create enemies or adversaries.

  22. “the former Minister of Culture in Bamako Mali”…  Where the heck is Bamako Mali and who are they at war with? 

    Is the former minister looking for a job? 

    Judging by the laments of Single Gal and others on this board about the absence of things to do in SJ, we could definitely use a minister of culture – but not if he’s going to declare war on Milpitas or something crazy like that!

    Dennis, thank you for answering the questions around your bringing a social justice agenda to the city council.  It’s not often that politicians (or those aspiring to be) tell you what they really think. 

    Hopefully the folks in D3 have some common sense.

  23. Bamako, Mali is in North Africa.  Originally colonized by the French.  Mali is one of the few African countries that isn’t in a civil war at present.  Aminata Traore invited me to travel to her home and speak to her entire continent.  I did, about GMO’s. 
    In district three we have a lot of latinos and vietnamese residents.  These cultures still farm, like we used to here in San Jose when I was a kid.  These cultures know that we should not be genetically altering our foods.  Do you think they know we are doing it?  Do you think they are entitled to this information? 
    That is how important it is to have a bigger picture.  All politics are local though.  This is why I am running for office in my hometown and not for Senator.
    Aminata isn’t looking for a job, heck she can’t even come to the United States without getting one of the crazy eye scans that our government is forcing on everyone now.  You most likely will never meet her here in San Jose, but I would encourage you to go visit her.  It is referred to as BLACK Africa.  Only French is spoken there.
    I can fix Single Gal’s anxiety.  If I am elected there will be a different tune played downtown.  It will be the kind of tune that was played when we opened up South First Billiards in the early nineties.  It was jumping on first street when I was the Bar Manager there. 
    Who is declaring war on Milpitas?  My problem is with procedure and protocol at the San Jose city hall. 
    You are welcome.  Say hello to your neighbor.

  24. Dennis,

    Now you’re talking! Keep it up and you may just get what you’re after.

    P.S.- I’m not a grammar Nazi, but your exposition far more eloquent today than yesterday. I am pleased!

  25. Does anybody here want to talk about issues?
    The headlines today were about the Grand Prix, not my website. 
    Bob Herhold is Scott’s father, I appologize for getting the two mixed up.  Bob is a combat veteran and we talk about the lies that got us into this war. 
    B. Tallman, thanks.
    Fin Fan, in a democracy the citizen is the highest office holder.  If you don’t feel obligated to tell me what you want done,  you are part of the problem.  I am not selling you a product.  Politics is about procedure.  At San Jose City hall they are violating every ounce of protocol that ever existed.  Why? Becasue people like you let them.  I hardly want to represent someone who thinks that we are not worried about flood disaster relief.  Where are you from?  We live in a Valley.  Don’t you know we have and could flood?  I was putting sand bags around the Hotel deAnza a decade ago when we flooded.  You might think world politics have nothing to do with anything, that is fine.  I am not the one bringing these subjects up, you are.  My website is about me, who I am, where I come from, what I believe in, what I want to see in the world (run on?).  You so graciously explained to the list that most people in D3 won’t know what Guerilla News Networks is.  Do you think they are reading this blog? 
    Today I commented on the weed abatement agenda item 4.7.  while at city hall.  In support of Camco Inc.‘s technology that made pesticides and herbicides obsolete.  I asked them to hold a decision until the city got to see this technology.  You know what happened, they voted to bomb our yards with more chemicals. 
    I later commented on the garbage running down storm drains right on 6th street.  I commented on the work site across the street from City Hall blowing dust around and messing up peoples lungs.  I commented on a big white hose stuffed into a storm drain on St. John.  It was stuffed directly into the drain from a job site, and there is no artesian well on the job site.  You make the call on that one.  I mentioned that the Grand Prix was more toxic than any soccer game, could you put the four million into Soccer?  Heck there are a quarter million latinos in San Jose, and what is there game?  It ain’t Grand Prix.
    I commented that Eddie Gale, the Ambassador of Jazz had never been invited to play in the San Jose Jazz Festival.  Given this honor by Norm Mineta back when my gramps worked at City Hall, and re affirmed by Cindy and Ron, don’t you think he should be invited?  Jazz Preservation is not what I am talking about Fin Fan.  I am talking about knowing your neighbor, and your neighborhood.  Eddie Gale lives six houses from the city hall.  How come they don’t KNOW him.  The first step in going to war, is not saying hello to your neighbor.  Aminata Traore, the former Minister of Culture in Bamako Mali, taught me that.  I am going to work on the same things, peaceful neighbors, No Wars.  You can try to slow me down all you want.  Peace be upon you.  Say hello to your neighbor in the morning, he might be Eddie Gale.

  26. Dennis,

    Make sure you hire a Bellarmine guy to edit if not write your speeches and statements for you.  It always works in this town, you know.  A sophomore will be good enough.

  27. Mr. Kyne,

    Please forgive me, but could you remind me from what Star Trek episode did you learn that “in a democracy the citizen is the highest office holder”? I Googled it and found it in use only by the Alabama Education Association (an organization even more suspect than the United Space Federation). Oh, I know, it sounds good and feels even better to believe it, but in reality an individual citizen’s power in any seat of power pretty much stops at the receptionist’s desk. In other words, your motto is pure crapola. That said, I think you should run with it.

    Despite your eagerness to provide flood relief to the citizens of D3, you might want to wait for the water to rise high enough to hit shoe leather. On dry ground, stacked sandbags in the barrio accomplish little besides making it harder to run for cover during a drive-by.

    On the science front, I’m sure all of San Jose will welcome your enlightened opinions on pesticide development, genetically altered food, and the toxicity of a car race, after you provide us with evidence of your advanced academic credentials in biochemistry, genetics, or any related field. Nonetheless, good luck rousing the D3 voters with this bizarre agenda.

    With your comment on funding a soccer stadium you reveal the true depth of your thinking (no sandbags required). A soccer stadium, something never previously funded by the public, is, you believe, now justified by the fact that it is the favored game of Latin America, the ethnic homeland of a quarter of our residents.  Justified even to the point that it trumps the funding of a car race, a sport enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans. Let’s follow your logic: how about we cut some money out of the recreation budget and fund a few cockfight venues and bullrings? Oh, and let’s not forget elephant polo.

    Nothing here should be publicly funded because of the cultural preferences of some other land. This is a country with a culture already installed. It may have escaped your notice, but the Europeans who came here also saw soccer as “their game,” only no one on the city council seemed to notice or care, other than to direct the newcomers to the local baseball diamond. You see, pandering to minorities was not quite so pandemic back then.

    Regarding your enthusiasm for the Ambassador of Jazz, no offense, but being named San Jose’s Ambassador of Jazz is about as much an honor as is winning the title of Prima Ballerina of American Samoa. The city council does not know Mr. Gale because it is not their business to know every single citizen of this town. Even our city council understands the limited value of knowing your neighbor. Apparently you don’t. Nonetheless, I did want to congratulate you on achieving your obvious goal of publicly associating yourself with a black jazzman and a real, live, French-speaking African. 

    After reading your posts here and most of your website I have come to the conclusion that not only are you your own worst enemy, you are quite talented at creating others.

  28. Enviromental extremism?  Check.
    Absurd political correctness?  Check.
    Casually tossed racist smears?  Check.

    Dennis – you now have about 60% of the credentials needed to qualify as a bay area politician.

    All that’s left is (no pun intended) is to:
    – put up a post with a Haliburton reference and/or telling us how Michael Moore is a brave American who loves his country
    – put up a post that shows how guilty you feel about being a person of pallor and tell us how you are trying to atone.  Some on this board feel guilty about eating illegally picked lettuce – something along this line will suffice.

    Fulfill these last 2 requirements and you’re junior moonbat diploma will be mailed to you post haste via some non-CO2 emitting form of transport.

  29. Wow Leonard!
    A very nice piece on Sarah Winchester who was acquainted with my Grandparents got turned into a Dennis Kyne campaign soapbox for City Council.  I sure wish I lived in District 3 at the time of the election so I could help defeat Mr. Kyne.  His writing here and web links have convinced me of that.

  30. This in from the Metro / Public Eye / October 14, 1998

    “The European American Issues Forum is firmly committed to making Gonzo San Jose’s first Latino mayor. “I think he will be a unifying force,” gushes European American Dale Warner.”“

    European-Americans support the Latinos, too.  Nothing to absurd about that to me even after eight years. 

    What is it you would like to see in District Three? 

    The paragraph prior to Dale Warner’s comment, we read, “A couple of weeks ago, the African American Democratic Club announced it was getting behind Dando. Meanwhile, Dando’s monolingual Latino opponent, Ron Gonzales, is winning over grumpy white guys right and left.”

    Grumpy white guys, how does that make you feel.  To be recognized as a group, of grumpy white guys.  I have no guilt about being white.  Just like I have no guilt about being on the battlefield where millions of innocent civilians have died. 
    We are not guilty, we work to change it.  You should help out.  Peace be upon you.  Say hello to your neighbor, he might be Eddie Gale.

  31. “What is it you would like to see in District Three?”
    See posts #7 and #11.

    If you haven’t noticed – we have plenty of moonbats around here already – what we’re in short supply of are competent, balanced, politicians with integrity who aren’t carrying water for the organized grime that runs this city.

  32. Sadly, Fin, you are an irresponsible citizen and appear to be somewhat rascist?  Would you like David Duke to be our next District 3 Rep? There is still time to fly him out from Louisiana.
    Fin Fan I know you are frusterated about the Sharks, I will do all I can to support your team.  But, if you really think America is into the Gran Prix than you have to ask yourself; How come nobody in San Jose made any money on it last year?
    On the science front, I study with Marion Faulk, a Manhattan Project Scientist.  You know, one of those guys with a security clearance that lets him walk all over the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Lab.  He is 83, do you want to slander me for associating with the elderly, too?
    Soccer is the game of the world.  Maybe you remember when the World Cup was in the Bay Area.  Everybody from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa made an incredible amount of money.  I didn’t say we needed to build a soccer stadium, keep up with me here.  I said how about four million for Soccer.  As in, why did the Earthquakes disapper (again) in the middle of the night like the UA theater did when the magic fun land failed at the Pavilion? 

    The rest of what you have written is the same bigoted, rascist rhetoric I have been hearing since I was old enough to listen.  We are bigger than that here in San Jose.  I am starting to feel like you might be a new resident to our area Fin.  Welcome Home, Peace Be Upon You.

  33. Education

    Political science1993-1995
    San Jose State UniversitySan Jose, CA

    Member of Phi Sigma Alpha’s political science honor society.  Dean’s Scholar and graduate cum laude.  Winningest debater in the history of San Jose State

    A.A. communications1991 -1993)
    West Valley CollegeSaratoga, CA

    Completed degree in 18 months.  Seminal member of the 2+2+2 mentor program for High School students.

    U.S. Army1987- 2003)
    Active Duty, Reserves & National Guard

    Medic and Instructor.  Responsible for the health and welfare of thousands of enlisted soldiers during my time.  Recipient of numerous medals, badges, and certificates as well as continuous and timely promotions until I started to oppose war.

    Speaker / journalist   / Author Currently
    visit for more details

  34. Mr. McKay, I am a native of San Jose who has lived most of my life in Santa Rosa. As a child I remember visiting the Winchester Mystery House several times. I have always been fascinated by it. Recently I wrote a book entitled, “The Inscrutable Mrs. Winchester and Her Mysterious Mansion” available at the mansion itself, the public libraries in San Jose and I tried to find out as much information as I could about Sarah and the house. Could you refer me to any further sources for information? I used Ralph Rambo’s book and some news articles from the Mercury News. I keep finding more about the woman and her home than what I wrote. I tried to portray as accurate a picture as I could regarding Sarah. I do not believe she was crazy. Do you know more information about the supposed curse and the medium? Is that purely fiction? I was never quite sure. For those of you who had a question on   Teddy Roosevelt’s visit to her house—Ralph Rambo said he passed by and did not stop, while on his way to Campbell,CA. A web-site for the suburb of Willow Glen had someone’s grandfather say that Teddy Roosevelt told him he was doing a good job. I guess we will never know the truth. I am glad that the Winchester Mystery House is still standing as a monument not only to Sarah and the Winchester name, but as an innovative architectural wonder.

  35. #37 Lisa
    If you did not start with History San Jose’s archives at 287-2290 or San Jose Library’s California Room give them a shot.  Recently I heard that the house on Winchester was not even her main residence.  Leonard I’m sure has more and better sources.

  36. Sarah Winchester was born and lived in New Haven CT. Her husband died of tuberculosis 2 years after her daughter died. She may have had arthritis, but actually went to California after visiting a psychic, who told her that her family was cursed. The psychic told her that the ghosts of people, who were killed by the Winchester Rifle, were seeking revenge on her and her family. Believing this psychic, she traveled west until finding a small farmhouse, tied to a lot of property. She purchased the property and began her construction. The house is so oddly built because she was convinced that she could confuse the ghosts by placing windows in the floor, doors that opened up to walls, and fireplaces that didn’t even work. Her superstition is shown throughout the house, mainly because everything is based on the number 13. Every staircase in the house has 13 steps; windows have 13 panes, coat hangers have 13 hooks, ect. She was a very generous woman, contributing 2 million dollars to the Winchester fund, started in her husbands name for tuberculosis research. No matter what the house is technically named, it is still oddly built and gives a weird vibe to any who visit. She was an extraordinary woman, but was still a little off in the head. She only had a few visitors, including Houdini and only one president. And yes; this was her primary residence, she slept in a different room every night, again playing into her superstition believing that if she slept in the same room, the ghosts would find her and kill her too.

  37. As a relative newcomer to SJI I find it fascinating reviewing the blogs and posts from just a couple of years back.
    In this episode we have one “Dennis Kyne”, whose name does not ring a bell so his bid for a seat on the City Council evidently came up short, supplying the first comment- an airy self-promoting piece, soon followed by a well deserved right jab from Novice, then in #5 a definitively poignant lament by frustrated finfan regarding the ongoing malgovernance of San Jose, followed by a brutal, back and forth melee in which the overmatched, dullwitted, and koolaid-addled Mr. Kyne was mercifully TKOd in round 38 in a blow delivered by the unheralded “Kyne is a little full of it” .
    Good stuff.

  38. #42,

    Yes, several times. The best part is on the garden tour when the tourguide points out the frog in the fountain and says, “there used to be 3 frogs but one croaked and one was toad away”.

  39. We do work hard to encourage Dennis to wear his foil hat as often as possible.  When he doesn’t, Dennis seems not to able get receptions.

    Dennis, as a fellow Centurian, I am begging you, no blogging without permission!

    Zipppy Zee Alpha

  40. I was serffing on the web and saw a couple of pictures and when i was looking i had seen a woman who looked like she was relly small and short i am wondering if that was her and if the winchester house is relly haunted?

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