Blogs

Looking Back: The Mission Bells Along the El Camino Real

Photo: El Camino Real marker along The Alameda in San Jose Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I was curious about the green bell poles that you occasionally see alongside our roadways.  I got to…

Ralph Pearce
01/15/2014 - 3:20 PM

Looking Back: One Hundred Years of Schurra’s Candy

Schurra's in the 1930s.  Photo courtesy of Schurra's Fine Confections Back in the 1980s (not so long ago), I had a girlfriend who lived on Sunol Street.  One end of the street meets The Alameda,…

Ralph Pearce
12/15/2013 - 4:55 PM

Looking Back: Jack Graham - the Father of Sandlot Baseball of Santa Clara Valley

Photo courtesy of San Jose Evening News A foreman of the San Jose Mercury Herald Press Room for forty-one years (1893 – 1934), John (Jack) Martin Graham was one of the valley’s best known baseball…

Ralph Pearce
11/15/2013 - 2:54 PM

Looking Back: San Jose Public Library Automation History

The San Jose Public Library has been at the forefront of library automation systems. Before the time of search boxes and digitized catalogue records, the library depended on a card catalogue,…

Ralph Pearce
09/15/2013 - 6:00 AM

Looking Back: San Jose’s Last Chinatown to Today's Japantown

Did you know that San Jose’s Japantown is one of only three remaining Japantown’s in the United States?  And San Jose’s Japantown is generally recognized as the most authentic in that it wasn’t…

Ralph Pearce
09/01/2013 - 5:21 PM

Looking Back: City Librarians of the San Jose Public Library

This month we are Looking Back at the San Jose Public Library's leadership throughout the years. Since the first library was founded in San Jose, numerous individuals have carried the responsibility…

Ralph Pearce
08/15/2013 - 6:00 AM

The 45th Anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's Speech in San Jose's St. James Park

This year marks the forty-fifth anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.  Kennedy had announced his candidacy on March 16, 1968, and he spoke in San Jose’s St. James Park about a…

Ralph Pearce
07/03/2013 - 4:07 PM

Looking Back: The Great Earthquake of 1906

This month we are looking back at the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake in the City of San José. While the greatest casualties in the county were at Agnews State Hospital, the City of San José saw a…

Ralph Pearce
06/13/2013 - 9:00 AM

Looking Back: Agnews State Hospital

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…

Ralph Pearce
06/06/2013 - 9:00 AM

Looking Back: San Jose's Electric Light Tower

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…

Ralph Pearce
05/29/2013 - 1:00 PM

Looking Back: Canning in the Valley of Heart's Delight

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. While the agricultural…

Ralph Pearce
05/23/2013 - 4:55 PM

Looking Back: A Mansion of a Native Son

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…

Ralph Pearce
05/08/2013 - 3:42 PM