Looking Back: The Old Corner Market
Once a year I create an album for San Jose State University’s Sourisseau Academy. Each album contains captioned historic photographs on various topics, and my first one was entitled, “What Ever Happened to the Corner Market?” (a video was also created) I noticed that one of the markets in my album had been located on Margaret and South Seventh Street, so I decided look up the address on Google Maps to see what was there now. What I initially perceived was that the beautiful old building had been replaced with a very plain modern one, but then I began noticing little details that told me that it was the same hundred-year-old building!
Image: A circa 1911 photograph of John Trexall's grocery store which was located across the street from Lowell Elementary School. Prior to 1907, Mr. Trexall had a market at 350 San Augustine (now W. St. John Street). Courtesy of The Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History.
Image: The old Trexall building still stands on the corner of South Seventh and Margaret Streets across from Lowell Elementary School.
There are a number of old corner markets still operating in San Jose’s Japantown, with one at Second and Taylor Streets, and another at Third and Taylor Streets. According to San Jose Permits Online, the market at Second and Taylor Streets (the old A.E.F. Market) is currently being remodeled for office use.
Image: This circa 1931 photograph shows the A.E.F. Grocery at 52 East Taylor Street. I believe that the two men pictured are likely partners Paul Malvase and Rocco Aloi. The meaning of the initials A.E.F. are unknown, but may refer to a partnership (Aloi, and previous grocer Ferriera...), or perhaps a reference to the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) of World War I. Courtesy of the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History.
Image: The A.E.F. Grocery as of June of 2017. According to the San Jose City Permits website, it is being remodeled as office space.
Image: This is the original carbon copy for a M. Sylvestri (Silvestri was the first owner and related to Paul Malvase) to build a store on the southeast corner of Second and Taylor Streets in 1925. The Sourisseau Academy owns a collection of building permits from 1920 - 1929. Courtesy of the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History.
Image: This matchbook cover is from 1939 - 1955, the period when Rocco Aloi's widow Katherine owned the store with Rocco's partner Paul Malvase.
San Jose State University’s Sourisseau Academy operates out of the SJSU Special Collections and Archive’s reading room on the fifth floor of the King Library. Click here for more on the Sourisseau Academy. Click here to view the Sourisseau’s photo albums and videos.