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Kelley Park

Located at San Jose, California, is Kelley Park - an ideal getaway for the whole family. This park, covering 156 acres, encompasses facilities such as Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden, History Park at Kelley Park, and the Portuguese Historical Museum. Kelley Park also includes picnic areas and lawns for the leisure activities. The land comprising Kelley Park was originally a farm owned by Judge Lawrence Archer, a former mayor of San Jose. This land was converted into a 19th-century town, as part of the city’s heritage preservation plan. The reconstructed town includes practically every possible structure that is reminiscent of the 19th century. These include a fire house, hotel, bank, and residential buildings. There is also a replica of an old Chinese temple that was present years ago in the city. One of the remarkable reconstructions is the historic electric tower, which was once located in downtown San Jose. This tower has however been reproduced to only half its original scale. One of the major attractions in Kelley Park is its trolley service. Vintage trolley cars belonging to early 20th century, have been specially refurbished for this purpose. Currently there are six historic trolleys giving the visitors a ride through the different locations of the park. Completing the picture is the Trolley Barn. This wooden structure is a reproduction of the California barns of the 1900s. It houses the trolley restoration projects of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation. Most of the restoration works are carried out by enthusiastic volunteers. Kelley Park has loads to offer for all ages and likes. The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo holds special attraction for the children. The zoo is home to many rare and endangered animals such as lemurs, parma wallabies, and jaguar. The animal contact area includes a zebu, a donkey, miniature horses, and pygmy goats. Adjoining the zoo is the stage for puppet shows. For those looking out for an oriental experience, there is the Japanese Friendship Garden. This garden, enclosed inside a wall, is a replica of the world famous Korakuen Park in Okayama, Japan. Incidentally, Okayama is a sister city of San Jose. Apart from the History Park at Kelley Park, which is reconstruction of a 19th-century U.S. town, an interesting site for the history enthusiasts is the Portuguese Historical Museum. This is a replica of the religious and cultural buildings of the Portuguese Azores Islands. This museum is one of the prime attractions within the History Park.