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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alviso in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Location, Location, Location

Once a Hub for the South Bay

 
 
Location, Location, Location Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
1. Location, Location, Location Marker
Inscription. Because of its location at the mouth of the Guadalupe River, Alviso was deemed the ideal location for a seaport. In the 1830s and 40s, it was the only port where raw materials and crops could be shipped from the Santa Clara Valley to San Francisco. Following the Gold Rush of 1849, steamships also provided passenger access to San Francisco.

A series of events, however, diminished Alviso’s prospects. Relocation of the state capitol from San Jose to Sacramento in the 1850s caused a decline in growth in the South Bay. Winter flooding and muddy conditions also plagued the port’s viability. The completion of the Southern Pacific Coast Railroad in 1864 brought an end to water transportation. Alviso ceased to be a major port and turned its attention to other economic endeavors.
 
Erected by Santa Clara County Parks and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
 
Location. 37° 25.849′ N, 121° 58.689′ W. Marker is in Alviso, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Hope Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the trail of the Alviso Marina County Park. Marker is in this post office area: Alviso CA 95002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Salt Ponds (about 300 feet away,
Location, Location, Location Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
2. Location, Location, Location Marker
This marker is located on the right.
measured in a direct line); The Port and Town of Alviso (about 500 feet away); Discover Alviso’s Rich History (about 500 feet away); Water Everywhere (about 500 feet away); The Steamboat Jenny Lind Disaster (about 700 feet away); China Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bayside Cannery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Warehouse and Docks (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alviso.
 
More about this marker. This trail is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
 
Also see . . .  Alviso Town & Slough. (Submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesWaterways & Vessels
 
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
3. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Steamboat Slough, the main channel to the bay, was once navigable by large vessels.

Photo: Courtesy of History San Jose
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
4. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
This 1854 map of the South Bay shows Alviso as a prominent town along Steamboat Slough.

Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
5. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
After this depot was build in the 1870s, excursion runs from San Francisco often brought weekend visitors to Alviso.

Image courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
New Chicago Hope image. Click for full size.
6. New Chicago Hope
In the 1890s, a plan was devised to revitalize Alviso by selling housing lots and naming the streets after those in “Old” Chicago. The New Chicago development and Alviso’s port were envisioned as a great manufacturing center. In the end, however, local industry in Alviso did not pick up immediately and residential use did not occur until the 1960s. In recent years, this plot of land has been restored as a non-tidal salt marsh, aptly named New Chicago Marsh.
Map
New Chicago
At
Port of Alviso

The future Manufacturing
Center of California, Santa
Clara County
Alviso, March 1890

Photo: Courtesy of San Jose Library Collection, California Room

A complex water system now circulates water to New Chicago Marsh, maintains the salinity and oxygen level of the water, and contains built in safety measures to prevent flooding.
Photo: @ Daniel Quan
New Chicago Marsh image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
7. New Chicago Marsh
View from trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 968 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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