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Le Petit Trianon
Photograph by Judith Silva, courtesy of the City of Santa Clara

Built in 1892 for Charles A. Baldwin and his wife Ellen Hobart Baldwin, the mansion known as Le Petit Trianon was once the center of their successful wine-producing estate where the couple was known to entertain lavishly. Baldwin installed a massive stone winery; built underground cellars (today part of the De Anza College grounds) and planted vines from Bordeaux and other regions of France. Under the label Beaulieu, Baldwin's wines were sold in New York, London and Central America. The design for Le Petit Trianon was drawn from classical French architectural motifs popular in America at the end of the 19th century. It is also the only example of "V" rustic redwood construction remaining in the area. The name Le Petite Trianon stems from its similarities to the architecture of "Le Grand Trianon," built for Louis XIV of France. Similar detail to this French precedent can be seen in Le Petite Trianon's columns, pilasters, windows and wood shutters.

Detail view of Le Petit Trianon
Photograph by Judith Silva, courtesy of the City of Santa Clara

In 1909, the mansion was sold to Harriet Pullman Carolon, daughter of George Pullman, inventor of the Pullman sleeping car. Carolon also found the home a wonderful setting for elaborate social functions. In 1940, the house was sold to E. F. Euphrat, owner of the Pacific Can Company. Since 1965 the estate has been the site of De Anza College. Remnants of the garden remain; the winery is still there, as are the guest cottages. The lovely house has twice been moved, first to make room for the Flint Center (theater) and next yielding to a parking lot. A restoration of the mansion was completed in the 1980s, and the house now serves as the California History Center, dedicated to preserving and bringing to life the history of Santa Clara Valley, the bay region and California.

Le Petite Trianon is located within the De Anza College Campus at 1250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, California. The California History Center is open from September through June, Monday-Thursday 8:30am to 12:00pm, and 1:00pm to 4:30pm, or Friday by appointment. For more information call 408-864-8712. A California Studies program is offered with changing exhibits, lectures, and special events which focus on Santa Clara Valley's past.

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