Sunday, April 25, 2010

Interesting finds in the newspaper

I spent the weekend on machining projects instead of on the railroad or (more importantly) yardwork, so there's nothing new to report. I did see a couple interesting articles in the paper, though.

First, the local weekly paper, the Willow Glen Resident, had this photo in their "Looking Back" feature. If I needed some ideas for my abandoned farm near Alma, this ought to give me some ideas. Looks like the owners brought out all their livestock to show how well they were doing.

Second, the Mercury News has a nice article on the city
buying up land for the proposed A's ballpark next to Diridon Station. Usually, I've got to go poring through old archives to find histories of old industrial buildings, but here they put a nice map on the front page. I'm glad I actually looked at the physical paper this morning.

The map's interesting because the area south of Diridon station holds areas I model. The "PG&E substation" used to be a PG&E generating plant. I've got a model of that plant as a building just south of the Plant 51 area; I modeled the building off a photo just after Diridon station was built. HP Pavilion was the site of a coal gas plant (I think) and had a gas holder for many years; I've got that too.

The extension of Autumn Street just south of the old main line (cutting across the top of the map) plows right over the former site of the Greco Canning Company, next to the Guadalupe River. History San Jose has a nice picture of that plant; it's where the large parking lot now sits at "B" on the map. There's also this history of Anthony Greco; I don't know if it's the same Greco's, but it gives some color for the history of the local canning business. [Oops, it's not the same. Anthony Greco formed a Greco Canning in 1909 which lasted four years until reorganization, then started Alba Canning, selling out in 1920 to buy land in the hills. The Greco Canning on Autumn St. was founded by Victor Greco in 1915. (Wonder if it was the remainder of what got reorganized?) The canning business is starting to sound a lot like high-tech...]

I also love the Greco Canning building because it looks like so many of the Campbell model buildings from my teenage years. They always looked odd to my eye, but now I know they were prototypical!


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog, and seeing your progress. I found the same exact thing. I am modelling Lebanon, the town I live in, and some of the old photos and info I come across about the history of town in just so cool.

    There are so many facets to model railroading, thanks for sharing.


  2. Glad you liked, Paul! I assume you're also learning what I finally figured out - the truth of what was going on in our specific town was a lot stranger than the traditional and more generic history books. The Depression was a lot more interesting when I saw pictures of farmers turning over wagonloads of fruit in hopes of holding out for higher prices, or when I saw that the Los Gatos Hunts plant was shut down for two years.