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Blogs: Local History

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The Habits of Monarch Butterflies and Their Far Flights

Walking the California Coastal Trail Starting at Wilder Ranch State Park you can pick up one of the many sections of the California Coastal Trail (CCT). Wandering the coast we noticed a number of…

11/21/2015 - 4:00 PM

Looking Back: Sayonara to Japantown's Historic Print Shop? (Part 1)

San Jose Japantown's National Printing Company in 2015.   In September of this year, a demolition request was applied for by the owners of the ninty-year-old print shop building at 510 North…

Ralph Pearce
10/28/2015 - 5:45 PM

Looking Back: SJ Library's Silicon Valley Information Center

SVIC librarian Andrea Schacter in 1986. When I began working for the San Jose Public Library in October of 1988, I was assigned to the Silicon Valley Information Center (SVIC) located on the 3rd…

Ralph Pearce
09/24/2015 - 2:05 PM

Looking Back: Downtown San Jose’s Bookstore Row (part 2)

San Fernando and Third Streets Looking West in the mid-1970s. Photo by City of San Jose Redevelopment Agency. In 1978, I began working part time in a used bookstore near the corner of Lincoln and…

Ralph Pearce
08/27/2015 - 3:30 PM

Looking Back: Downtown San Jose's Bookstore Row (part 1)

Image: Bob Sidebottom's Comic Collector Shop on E. San Fernando Street. Photo from 1976 Willow Glen High School yearbook.  When my best friend Kevin and I were about thirteen, we learned that…

Ralph Pearce
07/28/2015 - 4:35 PM

Looking Back: Chief Ralph M. Phillips of Los Gatos

Photo:  Officer Ralph. M. Phillips with the Los Gatos Police Department taken in the 1930s. Photo courtesy of Ralph Pearce. My grandfather Ralph Moses Phillips (1905-1981) was a tall, stout fellow…

Ralph Pearce
06/24/2015 - 4:30 PM

Looking Back: SJ Japantown's Hori Building

Photo: The Hori building in San Jose Japantown about 1990. In the late 1980s, I lived in the front half of a very long one-story building near the corner of Fifth and Jackson Streets in San Jose…

Ralph Pearce
05/23/2015 - 6:10 PM

Looking Back: The Kell House at Curtner and Almaden

Photo: Leonard McKay's photo of the Kell House, summer of 1961. Courtesy of History San Jose. In November of 1965, my family moved from downtown Willow Glen to the Meadowbrook tract in a southeast…

Ralph Pearce
04/28/2015 - 3:00 PM

Looking Back: Tokyo Giants in San Jose 80 years ago

The San Jose Asahi at Asahi Field in 1936. Russell Hinaga is seated in the center of the bottom row. Photo courtesy of Ralph Pearce. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Tokyo Giants…

Ralph Pearce
03/14/2015 - 4:50 PM

Looking Back: California's Negro League

Four members of the Oakland Larks baseball team including San Jose State College alumni Johnny Allen (third from left).  Photo Credit:  H99.29.37.  Unknown photographer, untitled (Oakland Larks of…

Ralph Pearce
02/14/2015 - 5:40 PM

Looking Back: Remembering Fallen San Jose Police Officers Gene Simpson and Gordon Silva

   Officers Gene Simpson and Gordon "Gordy" Silva. Courtesy SJPD   I began working for the San Jose Public Library in October of 1988 and was assigned to the Silicon Valley Information Center (…

Ralph Pearce
01/16/2015 - 5:50 PM

Looking Back: Willow Glen's Hilltop Christmas Tree

In November of 1965, my family moved into the Meadowbrook housing tract (now Canoas Garden) in the southeast corner of of Willow Glen. The tract is sometimes referred to as “Birdland” because of…

Ralph Pearce
12/13/2014 - 5:15 PM