In 1919, Charles Erskine Scott Wood and Sara Bard Field purchased a beautiful 34-acre site overlooking Los Gatos |
to establish a refuge for their creative pursuits. Here they commissioned Robert Treat Paine to create two large
statues to mark the entrance. The cat statues, completed in 1922, are made of cast concrete, originally tinted a soft
brown for a natural, unpainted appearance. Wood and Field retained architect Walter Steilbers to design their
house, an Italian-inspired villa in 1925. They named their new home "The Cats."
C.E.S. Wood (1852 - 1944) graduated from West Point and served as aide-de-camp to General O.O. Howard in the
Nez Perce War of 1887. Despite having met in battle, Wood and Chief Joseph, legendary leader of the Nez Perce,
later developed a deep respect and personal friendship. Wood earned a law degree at Columbia University, resigned
from the military, and settled in Portland Oregon, with his wife Nanny Moale Smith. A prominent attorney and
cultural leader, he helped define the young city's identity. Wood was also an outspoken advocate of progressive
causes. During this period, he met Sara Bard Field Ehrgott, who shared his progressive views.
Sara Bard Field (1882 - 1974) became active in the women's suffrage movement while living in Portland with her
husband, Rev. Albert Ehrgott. In 1912, she helped lead a successful statewide campaign, winning the right to vote
for Oregon women. In 1915, while living in San Francisco, she led a cross-country speaking tour, ultimately
delivering a petition with over 500,000 signatures to President Woodrow Wilson. Five years later, women's right to
vote was secured by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Wood was a prolific published author and poet, as well as an accomplished painter. Field also became a recognized
author and poet. They has a wide circle of friends, and The Cats became a gathering place for prominent artists,
musicians, and intellectuals. They married here in 1934, and this remained their home throughout their years
together. Field lived here until 1955.
Dedicated on June 21, 2015/6020 |
Sara Bard Field Family C.E.S. Wood Family Native Sons of the Golden West No.177
Mountain Charlie Chapter No.1850 ECV Branciforte Chapter No.1797 ECV