Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn

 
 
Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
1. Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn Marker
[Photo captions, clockwise from the top left:]
Rose Zamar Olson holding a box of prize, hand picked Bing cherries ready for market, c. 1940. Photo credit: Courtesy Olson Family Collection

Interior of the fruit barn is home to the exhibit Passing Farms: Enduring Values. Photo credit: Sarah Puckett, 2009

View of the valley with orchards in bloom, c. 1940. Photo credit; J.C. Gordon

Workers picking apricots, c. 1935. Photo credit: Tucker Studio

Lester family and friends helping with apricot cutting, c. 1890. Photo credit: Gift of Leonard McKay.
Inscription. Around 1890, Orvis Stevens built this fruit barn to store fruit. He was one of the first orchardists in Coyote Valley, located in South San José. Born in Vermont, Stevens came to California in 1852 to try his hand at mining before settling in the Santa Clara Valley. In 1868, he purchased 108 acres of Rancho Laguna Seca and began working the land. His sons took over the Ranch in 1906.

By the 1970s the 101 Freeway was being planned, and it was determined that the Stevens Ranch was in the path of the proposed project. CalTrans provided funding for the fruit barn and other historic buildings to be preserved, moving the barn to History Park in 1979.

The fruit barn is home to the exhibit Passing Farms: Enduring Values which examines Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural past. The exhibit’s donor and Curator, Yvonne Olson Jacobson, grew up on her family’s Sunnyvale farm with orchards of apricots, prunes, and cherries. She witnessed the transformation of the Valley of Heart’s Delight to Silicon Valley, and realized the importance of documenting the disappearing family farm and way of life. The exhibit explores the Valley’s fruit industry from the late nineteenth century to World War II. During its heyday, Santa Clara County produced more than one third of all the fruit canned in the world.

To learn more
Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
2. Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn and Marker
about the Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn or orchard in the Santa Clara Valley, please visit our website: www.historysanjose.org

This sign made possible by a generous grant from the Jacobson Family.
 
Erected by San Jose Historical Museum Association.
 
Location. 37° 19.259′ N, 121° 51.506′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Senter Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1650 Senter Road, San Jose CA 95112, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gordon House (within shouting distance of this marker); Empire Firehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Coyote Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); The Chiechi House (within shouting distance of this marker); San Jose Electric Tower (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); O’Brien’s (about 300 feet away); The Zanker House (about 300 feet away); The Umbarger House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in History Park, a portion of San Jose’s Kelly Park.
 
Categories. Agriculture
 
The Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 25, 2012
3. The Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn
Map of History Park image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
4. Map of History Park
Click image to enlarge.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 396 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 2, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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