In the 1860s, Edward Shaughnessy arrived in Milpitas and settled just south of where Coyote Creek flows under Highway 237, on land owned by Martin Murphy’s widow and Michael Bellew. In 1986, the city identified four buildings constructed there by Shaughnessy before he died in 1870. All but one of those buildings was demolished during realignment of the Coyote Creek levee in the early 1990s. The sole surviving building was a milk shed made of old growth redwood, that had later served as a ranch office.
At the recommendation of the now-defunct Cultural Resources Preservation Board, the city moved the Shaughnessy-Murphy milk shed to the sewage pump facility near Coyote Creek. It has been stored there awaiting rejuvenation for nearly 20 years now, exposed to the elements and left without any maintenance.
As the oldest wood frame building in the city, and Milpitas’ last surviving relic from the American Period in California agricultural history, the Shaughessy-Murphy milk shed deserves to be saved. It could be used in the new park as a museum office and as a small workshop.
by Steve Munzel, November 2011