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flag  History of San Jose, California, USA

Journey back in time to San Jose, California, USA

Visit San Jose, California, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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San Jose, California, USA - Headquarters Fire Department, San Jose, California

San Jose, Santa Clara, CA

Founded on November 29, 1777, El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe was California’s first civilian settlement. It was named after Saint Joseph and the nearby Guadalupe River. It wasn’t until March 27, 1850 that it was incorporated as the City of San Jose. On April 3, 1979, the city declared that San José — with an accent mark — was its official name.


There is MUCH more to discover about San Jose, California, USA. Read on!

San Jose Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Headquarters Fire Department, San Jose, California
San Jose, California, USA

Headquarters Fire Department, San Jose, California
First National Bank
San Jose, California, USA

First National Bank
New High School
San Jose, California, USA

New High School

Discover San Jose: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1777 - January 18 - San Jose California, founded

1854 - San Jose
San Josb, san ho-say', the former, capital of California, and the present seat of justice of Santa Clara county, is beautifully situated in Santa Clara valley, 7 or 8 miles from the head of San Francisco bay, and about 50 miles S. E. from San Francisco. Although snow-capped mountains may be seen in the distance during the whole year, the climate of this place is perhaps the most delightful in California. A railroad has recently been projected from San Jose to San Francisco. Population in 1853, about 3500.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1857 - April 30 - San Jose State University forms

1869 - A Methodist church in San Jose, Cal., was recently set on fire and destroyed because the pastor taught the Chinese with a view to their conversion. A threatening letter had been sent him, commanding him to cease.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 6, 1869
1881 - San Jose

IN this chapter of our history of Santa Clara county we have been per force obliged to adopt a different method from that pursued in the annals of the other townships, for the population is so large in San Jose that it would have been next to impossible to follow the residents as they arrived and settled in so densely crowded a district. With this simple observation we leave our researches in the hands of the reader.

During the Gubernational regime of Don Felipe de Neve, which we have already shown commenced in December, 1774, and closed September, 1782, reports upon the topography, character and condition of Upper California, and what situations were most suitable for establishments were frequently made to His Most Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, through the Viceroy in Mexico. The country from south to north, from San Diego to the Bay of San Francisco, then the Dan and Beersheba of our State, was carefully examined, and permission sought to... Read MORE...

1895 - San Jose
San José, a city of California, the county seat of Santa Clara co., is situated in the beautiful and fertile valley of Santa Clara, on the Guadalupe River, about 8 miles from its mouth, in San Francisco Bay, and 48 miles S.E. of the city of San Francisco, with which and with Oakland it is connected by several branches of the Southern Pacific Rail way Company's lines. San José has a dry and delightful climate, and is noted for its beautiful gardens and excel lent fruits. Its streets are wide, crossing each other at right angles, are traversed by electric railways, and lighted by gas and electric lights. The locality is supplied with water by pure mountain streams and by numerous artesian wells. San José has a city hall, numerous churches, a public library, a state normal school, 2 high schools, the Catholic College of Notre Dame (for girls), a fine court house erected at a cost of about $200,000, a Hall of Records and a post-office, each costing about $200,000, a national bank, a... Read MORE...

1898 - Buried Under Falling Rock. Almost a Fatal Accident at the Gay Quarry. Marshall Cantua and Percy A. Holloway Crushed Under a Mass of Broken Rock.
An accident occurred at the Gay Rock Quarry just south of Oak Hill Cemetery about 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon which by the most miraculous circumstances did not prove fatal.

Marshall Cantua and Percy A. Holloway were engaged in loading a wagon with rock at one of the bins of the quarry. Suddenly while the rock was running out of the chute into the wagon the side of the bin gave away above and the whole mass of stone fell upon the two men and their wagons. So sudden was the accident that there was no time for escape and the two men were buried under the loose tock at almost the exact spot where they stood when the woodwork above opened and let the rocks down upon them.

Cantua was not completely buried and his outcries were heard by other men working at the quarry. They rushed to the assistance of the injured men and in about two minutes a large number of men were on the spot aiding in relieving the men from their dangerous positions.

A number of women living in the vicinity...

San Jose, a city, the county-seat of Santa Clara co., Cal., is situated in the beautiful and fertile valley of Santa Clara, on the Guadalupe River, 48 miles SE. of the city of San Francisco, on the Southern Pacific R. It has a dry and delightful climate and is noted for its beautiful gardens. It is the chief locality in the Santa Clara fruit region and has extensive fruit-growing and packing interests, besides various manufacturing industries (the making of fruit-packing machines, wind-mills, leather, wine, etc.). The city has a city-hall, court-house, public library, state normal school, the University of the Pacific, St. Joseph's College, and the Catholic College of Notre Dame (for girls). Pop. in 1880, 12, 567; in 1890, 18,050; in 1900, 21,500.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
Special to The Washington Post.
San Jose, Cal., Oct. 31. - Prof. JOHN J. MONTGOMERY, of Santa Clara College, inventor of one of the types of aeroplane, and an electrical expert, was killed this afternoon while experimenting with a new glider, of which he expected great things. The professor lost control of the machine and fell about 40 feet. He lived for about three hours, and was conscious to the last.

MONTGOMERY had been at work along the same lines as the Wrights to make flying safe, and with his new glider he went to the foothills, about 5 miles south of this city, to conduct his experiments in private. During the three hours that elapsed between his injury and death, Prof. MONTGOMERY talked freely with his wife and assistants of the accident and told the cause. He said:

"I had made a most successful flight and covered at least a half mile. I had reached the conclusion that I could go as far as I liked as long as I had a fair wind to help me rise. The machine seemed under... Read MORE...

1955 - September 12 - KNTV TV channel 11 in San Jose, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in San Jose:
1. The Tech Interactive:

Formerly known as the Tech Museum of Innovation, this interactive science and technology museum is a great place to explore hands-on exhibits and learn about cutting-edge technology.

2. Winchester Mystery House:

Explore the bizarre and labyrinthine Victorian mansion built by Sarah Winchester, filled with winding hallways, secret passages, and quirky architectural features.

3. San Jose Museum of Art:

If you're an art enthusiast, this museum offers a diverse collection of contemporary and modern art.

4. San Jose's Japanese Friendship Garden:

Located in Kelley Park, this serene garden is a perfect spot for a peaceful walk, complete with koi-filled ponds and a stunning array of plants.

5. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum:

Discover one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts in the western United States, housed in a beautiful Egyptian-style building.

6. Municipal Rose Garden:

Known as "The Rose Garden," this 5.5-acre park...

Discover MY Roots: San Jose Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in San Jose, California, USA

We currently have information about 17 ancestors who were born or died in San Jose.

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Genealogy Resources for San Jose

Our San Jose Gift Ideas

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

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Updated: 10/10/2023 6:32:26 PM