Cozzens House at 1195 Minnesota Granted Historic Status

The stately manor at the corner of Minnesota and Newport, well known among Willow Glenners, has been recognized by the city as a historic landmark.

Click here to read the entire application which includes a complete history of the house, and detailed description of the specific architectural attributes and features that make the house historically significant. We’ve cut it down to the good stuff, but the complete application and response are available at the city’s site.

The home was constructed in its present form in the early 1890s following a fire that had destroyed much of a house that had been built in the early 1870s. It is not clear how much of the original house was affected by the fire or left intact, as the interior features many design elements common to the 1870s.

The land is part of what was an original 19th century agricultural site of about 65 acres, until a 9.5 acre plot was sold to William W. Cozzens in 1873. The house was constructed for Cozens, and the land was home to a fruit drying operation known as the Cozzens Fruit Company of San Jose.

As noted in the historical landmark application, the house is an extremely ine example of a Victorian-era rsidence built during San Jose’s period of historical expansion which lasted from 1870-1919.

William Cozzens was born in Sacramento in 1853. He first worked as a miner in the 1870s until the family moved to San Jose in 1873 and settled in the area known as The Willows. Cozzens himself worked as hay and grain dealer with his son, residing on Minnesota Avenue. His sister Kate worked as a teacher at the San Jose Normal School (which eventually became San Jose State University). His older half-brothers Joshua and John were prominent orchardists who established a 500-acre orchard at Dry Creek and Kirk roads.

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