E. Carlson, 1999

Page 9  St. James Park Menu

Page 11

Information gleaned from Tales of Naglee Park by Jack Douglas.

Brigadier General Henry Morris Naglee is one of San Jose's most distinguished historical characters. A graduate of West Point in 1835 (23rd in a class of 56), Naglee moved to California in 1846 to make his mark.

He was involved in several skirmishes during the Mexican War, and later served with great distinction in the Cival War. His leadership was noteworthy at the Battle of Fair Oaks in May 1862.

Pioneer Vitriculturist
Henry settled in San Jose in 1858, purchased 140 acres of land, henceforth referred to as Naglee tract, and began distilling some of the finest brandy in the world. The last known bottle was auctioned off in 1944.

Jack Douglas writes, "At the height of his operation, Naglee could produce 170 gallons of alcohol per day. His premium product, "Naglia," was a colorless brandy which compared favorably in potency with the "white lightning" of the Smokey Mountains, and it made San Jose famous throughout the U.S."

Naglee died in 1866 and his estate, Naglee Park, was developed into housing properties by the ambitious T.S. Montgomery in 1902. These were, and still are, pretty swank digs. San Jose's own faux-Beverly Hills.

A monument was placed in St. James Park in 1915 by the daughters of Henry Naglee. At that time the park was an integral part of downtown San Jose.

Proceed to the next page to read about the "dark side" of Henry Naglee.

Page 9   St. James Park Menu

Page 11