Well through the first decade of the 20th Century, San Jose Normal School graduation photos featured a sea of frilly white gowns and a bare handful of dark suits. Who would imagine that those few men could field a competitive football team in 1898? Associate Professor of History Libra Hilde (who is also a Sourisseau Board of Directors member) tells the story of that sport in the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Santa Clara Valley.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy News Video features Michael Pearce’s story of railroads in the Santa Clara Valley.
Before 1864, travel around the Santa Clara Valley and beyond was virtually impossible six months of the year: mid-winter and mid-summer the roads were a sea of either mud or dust. Shipping Santa Clara Valley produce to market in San Francisco was difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Michael Pearce, Sourisseau Academy’s Assistant Archivist, chronicles the many railroad lines that changed life in the Valley. Our Valley is still served hourly by the oldest railroad line west of the Mississippi. Once known as the San Francisco & San Jose RR, today we call it Caltrain. Our initial investment, made over 150 years ago, continues to serve us well.
This month’s Sourisseau Academy News Video explores the lives of women who worked in the Santa Clara Valley canning industry.
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.