Published in the March 1 – 14, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Trina Hineser

Trina Hineser

For residents of our fair town, history and heritage are something they treasure.

As we continue to witness and experience expansionist pressures, we, the San Martin community, preserve a desire to protect our rural integrity. The blight of urban development is an ever present threat to our tranquility. So as we work to protect San Martin’s future, it may be instructive to take a look back at how this rural community came to be.

To that end, from 7 to 9 p.m. March 24, the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance will host an event to share the “History of San Martin” with interested members of the public. This is a free event, and open to all residents of San Martin. We also warmly welcome our friends from the neighboring cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. The event begins at 6:30 p.m., and will be held at the San Martin Lions Club 12415 Murphy Ave. (by the county airport).

The evening will be filled with the history of how San Martin was pioneered, and how the town has evolved. Guest speakers include author Donna Brodsky, who wrote the book “San Martin Then and Now.” She was a longtime resident and an active member of SMNA for many years. Unfortunately for us, just over a year ago retirement took her and her husband north to be closer to extended family. Get a copy of this interesting and informative book, at Rocca’s Market in San Martin or BookSmart in Morgan Hill.

In addition, longtime residents and former owners of the San Martin Christmas Tree Farm, Steve and Connie Ludewig, will share a bit of history and personal experience about the community. We are fortunate, too, that the Morgan Hill Historical Society has graciously loaned out videos depicting San Martin to share with the community. Refreshments will be served. It is sure to be enjoyable listening to stories of how our town came to be — and where it is headed.

One of our newest San Martin residents, Mark Peebles, has taken an active role in finding ways to discover the local spirit and share the charm we all know and love about our community. Mark moved to San Martin with his wife and two sons last year. With all his enthusiasm he has become my personal “idea guy,” as he actively implements and participates in the happenings of the community.

One of his bigger accomplishments is the creation of the San Martin Chamber of Commerce, as well as our very own San Martin website You will find the website full of information, like the San Martin Wine Trail and the new Chamber of Commerce.


Mark has been working with active neighbors and businesses who see the value of a Chamber of Commerce. And SMNA supports and encourages these efforts. The Chamber will provide a voice to our local businesses, and strengthen the shared goals of our residents with which they have served for so long. The first San Martin Chamber kickoff event is scheduled for May 13. Keep an eye out for more information to come.

The mission of the Chamber is to: promote local-serving businesses; stimulate the economic and general public interest of the residents within San Martin; build strong community bonds; strengthen San Martin’s independent and unique identity within the Santa Clara Valley; seek to work in harmony with individuals and business; integrate government and civic organizations within the greater community; and protect San Martin’s small town rural character, a quality which makes our community so unique. The Chamber is non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-discriminatory.

SMNA applauds the work and efforts of those who continue to invest their energy and time. The efforts of so many are what builds a community, and is what protects San Martin’s rural heritage. Please join us as we celebrate our unique and idyllic enclave.

Trina Hineser is the president of the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance.