Looking Back: The Errant Tombstone of Louis Pellier

Louis Pellier, "The Prune King" Photo courtesy of History San Jose One August day in 2011, a fellow named Tim Peddy came into the California Room to look at some aerial photos.  I noticed that one…

Ralph Pearce
08/16/2014 - 11:51 AM

Looking Back: El Rancho Drive-In Theater on Almaden and Alma

Of the various San Jose landmarks of the 1960s and 1970s, one of the most impressive to me was the huge mural that stood on the corner of Almaden Avenue and Alma Avenue.  How many times I looked…

Ralph Pearce
07/17/2014 - 11:49 AM

Looking Back: Growing Prunes, Walnuts, and Strawberries on Willow Glen’s Foxworthy Road

In 1895, two brothers immigrated to the United States from Japan and wound up working for the Von Dorsten family on Foxworthy Road in the Willow Glen area of San Jose (now known as Foxworthy Avenue…

Ralph Pearce
06/15/2014 - 3:41 PM

Looking Back: San Jose Japantown's Oldest Building, a Chinatown Survivor

Built about the same time as Heinlenville Chinatown, the one-story brick building on the northwest corner of Sixth and Jackson Streets was first home to Chinese tenants.  By 1901, the first Japanese…

Ralph Pearce
05/14/2014 - 4:09 PM

Looking Back: Mount Umunhum and the Almaden Air Force Station

Image:  View of the old radar tower atop Mt. Umunhum. Photo ©Ralph M. Pearce   Living in the Santa Clara Valley in the 1960s and 1970s, a familiar sight was the radar tower with its spinning…

Ralph Pearce
04/15/2014 - 3:47 PM

Silicon Valley Energy Watch: DIY Home Energy Savings Toolkit

This no-cost kit contains devices that will help you easily reduce energy and water use, saving you money on your utility bills.

Elizabeth Castaneda
04/07/2014 - 12:18 PM

Looking Back: Clyde Arbuckle, San Jose's First City Historian

I remember standing outside of La Villa Delicatessen on Lincoln Avenue about 1977 or so, when out walks a mustachioed fellow in a kind of khaki uniform with a broad-brimmed, circular hat like a park…

Ralph Pearce
03/15/2014 - 5:01 PM

Looking Back: Troy Laundry Company Building on Almaden Avenue

Photo courtesy of Edith C. Smith Collection/Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San Jose State University As a teenager in the 1970s, I remember going with my dad one time to pick up his…

Ralph Pearce
02/14/2014 - 6:11 PM

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