Alviso in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Discover Alviso’s Rich History
Alviso Marina County Park
Alviso’s marina today starkly contrasts with its past as a bustling seaport. In the mid-19th century, Alviso was a transportation hub through which crops, goods and people circulated, fueling the economic growth of the South Bay. Port activity in Alviso eventually ceased under the strain of flooding and after the rise of railroads for commerce.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
1. Discover Alviso’s Rich History Marker
Alviso’s identity has shifted to its new role as a managed wetland. This South Bay area provides critical habitat for migratory birds and contributes to the environmental health of the bay.
At Alviso Marina County Park you can enjoy the quiet beauty of the wetland, view wildlife, or explore tidal and non-tidal marshes, salt ponds, sloughs, and remnants of the old marina and historic Alviso.
Erected by Santa Clara County Parks and Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Location. 37° 25.796′ N, 121° 58.763′ W. Marker is in Alviso, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Hope Street. Marker is located at the entrance to the hiking trail at
the Alviso Marina County Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alviso CA 95002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
2. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Alviso is named for Ignacio Alviso, a soldier in the 1776 de Anza expedition to California. In 1838, he was granted Rincon de los Esteros, a large rancho at the edge of the South Bay, where he established the port of Embarcadero de Santa Clara.
Much of the rancho was then sold to American businessmen, who founded the actual town. Alviso has been home to a multi-ethnic community associated with south Bay canning, mining, salt harvesting, and agriculture.
The Port of Alviso and the South Pacific Coast Railroad operated at the same time, circa 1870. The railroad eventually doomed the shipping industry.
Photo: California History Center Foundation
De Anza College, Cupertino, Ca.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Port and Town of Alviso (a few steps from this marker); Water Everywhere (within shouting distance of this marker); The Steamboat Jenny Lind Disaster (within shouting distance of this marker); Salt Ponds (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Location, Location, Location (about 500 feet away); China Camp (about 600 feet away); Bayside Cannery (about 600 feet away); Union Warehouse and Docks (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alviso.
Categories. • Environment • Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources • Notable Places •
3. Close-Up of Photo on MarkerChicken Shell Dredger
Ortley Bros. Alviso, Calif.
Dredging the tidal zone and waterways in and around Alviso was necessary to maintain access to the port and marina.
Photo: Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
4. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Boats could easily navigate Alviso Slough in the 1800s.
Photo: History San Jose'
5. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
The 1958 Alviso flood was typical of many that occurred when runoff from swollen creeks and rivers, coupled with high tides, flood the whole South Bay tidal zone.
Photo: Santa Clara County Water District
6. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
The park is bordered by salt ponds that are also a part of the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge. A series of trails links the different areas of the refuge.
Photo: Daniel Quan
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
7. Part of the Wildlife Refuge
More. Search the internet for Discover Alviso’s Rich History.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,293 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.