The Ramohs Pacific Railroad once ran through the foothills off of Blossom Hill Road in East Los Gatos. Today there are hiking trails in the Heintz Open Space Preserve (behind the Heritage Grove neighborhood put up by SummerHill Homes in about the year 2000).
Recommended reading on the Ramohs Pacific Railroad
If you enjoy Los Gatos history, you will love this in depth look at the Ramohs Pacific Railroad by Derek Whaley on his Santa Cruz Trains website:
RM Heintz Miniature Railroad on the Santa Cruz Trains site.
Related reading on Los Gatos history
Cheeky Los Gatos article from 1892 (on this website)
Los Gatos and the 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic: Part 1 (this site)
Hooker Gulch in the Los Gatos Mountains (this site)
Ming Quong: a Los Gatos Monument (this site)
The Los Gatos History Project (NUMU)
The other day, my husband, Jim Handy, found a photo of Ralph Heintz’ QSL Card on a history website and requested permission for me to share it with our readers here. Permission given – I hope you enjoy this step back in time!
Ralph Heintz’ QSL Card
Credit Engineering and Technology History Wiki (used by permission)
QSL cards are postcard sized collectibles used by ham radio hobbyists to record when they have communicated with each other. Traditionally they will include cartoon drawings related to the ham who sends them out.
Ralph Heintz’ QSL Card has three cartoons: His miniature train (ridden by him, wife Sophie, and their dog, Gilmore, and parrot, Shorty), his observatory, and his home with a big ham radio antenna over it.
The Heintz Open Space in east Los Gatos still has remnants of all three landmarks.
- There’s grading for the long-gone railroad and a tunnel entrance. The tunnel entrance is closed up for safety reasons, of course.
- The round concrete foundation of the observatory is still there.
- And there are remnants of a house next to the observatory.
- Another part of the trail appears to have been the driveway leading up the hill.
The one thing I’m not sure of is the location of the house when Ralph and Sophie lived there. Previously I thought it was the large farmhouse now within the Heritage Grove neighborhood. It makes sense that the ham radio antenna would be higher up on the hill, though, and if the house was next to that antenna it wouldn’t be the farmhouse lower down. When I find out, I’ll correct this post. If any of our readers have more insight on any of this, please email me and I’ll update this post.
Ralph Heintz’ QSL Card is a fun step back in time. I wish I could have seen his railroad, tunnel, observatory, and antenna.
The Heritage Grove Neighborhood in Los Gatos and the Heintz Open Space Preserve (more photos on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog)
QSL Cards on Wikipedia
More local history articles here on the Live in Los Gatos Blog
Heintz and Kaufman manufacturing business