By the early 1930s, the Santa Clara Valley’s canneries were the largest employers of women in California. Margo McBane, SJSU History professor and Sourisseau Board member, tells us their story of 18-hour workdays, with employment opportunity divided along gender, ethnic, and racial lines.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy news video explores the experience of working in orchards and nurseries in Morgan Hill, where women’s work, though somewhat different than that in the canneries, was equally intense.
The drive between Morgan Hill and San Jose is now one of the most congested in Silicon Valley. Beth Wyman, Sourisseau Board member and former Mayor of Morgan Hill, recalls a gentler era (1905-1969) when Morgan Hill was known for its orchards, nurseries, and quiet suburban living. In this month’s Sourisseau Academy photo album Beth explores “Morgan Hill: The Bucolic Era!”
In this month’s Sourisseau Academy news video Heather David discusses fifty years of fashionable shopping.
Mirroring cities all over the country, the early 20th century shopping experience in the Santa Clara Valley centered on downtown. And for the first half of the century, downtown San Jose was the valley’s main shopping destination. Following World War II, however, economic prosperity ignited the construction of suburban shopping centers all over the Valley, and it was not long before urban businesses followed the mass migration to the suburbs. In this month’s Sourisseau Academy photo album Heather David (author of Mid-Century by the Bay) explores the origins of modern consumerism.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy news video tours Los Gatos, which for decades was Sunset Magazine’s iconic version of life in the Santa Clara Valley.
Decades before postwar urban sprawl erased the physical divides between Santa Clara Valley towns, Los Gatos had already achieved widespread recognition as an iconic location representing a newly emerging California lifestyle. In this month’s Sourisseau Academy photo album Amy Long (Curator of History at New Museum Los Gatos) tours the storied Los Gatos community.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy news video explores San Jose’s Vendome Hotel (1888-1930).
There was a time, long before the Fairmont, the Hilton, and the Marriott, that the Vendome Hotel (1888-1930) stood unchallenged at the pinnacle of South Bay elegance. Tourists and conventioneers could step through the front doors of the Vendome and board carriages for a day trip to the Lick Observatory atop Mt. Hamilton, where they could actually view the craters of the moon later in the evening. In this month’s Sourisseau Academy photo album Michael Hurley, retired attorney and member of the Vendome Neighborhood Association, tells the story of this early 20th century ultramodern venue, featuring guest rooms with individual bathrooms, steam heat, and the elegant convenience of Otis elevators.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy news video explores the history of bicycles in the Santa Clara Valley.