Blogs: Local History

  • Looking Back: Agnews State HospitalAgnews Asylum upon completion in 1888.

    This week we are looking back at the Agnews State Hospital. The hospital is most famously known as the site of the greatest loss of life in Santa Clara County after the 1906 earthquake. Eleven officials and over one-hundred patients were crushed when the main treatment building collapsed. But the history of Agnews is more interesting than this grim memory.
    Posted by: Ralph Pearce on Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 9:00 AM | Comments: 7
  • Looking Back: San Jose's Electric Light Towercolor postcard of downtown San Jose with Light Tower in background

    San José's history is full of interesting stories and anecdotes. The story of the San José Electric Light Tower that spanned the intersection of Market and Santa Clara Streets until 1915 is no different. The electric tower has become a symbol of the city's past.
    Posted by: Ralph Pearce on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:00 PM | Comments: 1
  • Looking Back: Canning in the Valley of Heart's DelightBlossoms in bloom

    In the history of San José, before the tech growth and boom from the 1960s to the present, the most significant industry in the Santa Clara Valley was in agricultural products.
    Posted by: Ralph Pearce on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 4:55 PM | Comments: 0
  • Looking Back: A Mansion of a Native SonSenator James D. Phelan's Villa Montalvo

    Villa Montalvo is the former residence of California businessman and politician James Duval Phelan. Taken between 1915-1902, this photo illustrates the estate's grandeur, but also how little it has changed since its construction.
    Posted by: Ralph Pearce on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 3:42 PM | Comments: 0
  • Santa Clara County History: Digital CollectionsA View of the Electric Light Tower

    Interested in historic images of Santa Clara County? The San Jose Public Library's California Room and SJSU Special Collections and University Archives share a database of images from their collections.
    Posted by: Ralph Pearce on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 5:35 PM | Comments: 0