Thursday, September 29, 2011

San Jose's Japantown, and CalPak's Pickle Factory

Even with all the historical articles lately, I'm still building models. The California Prune and Apricot Growers (Sunsweet) Plant #1 for Campbell is on my desk. The thick styrene walls still warped from the contact cement and Campbell corrugated siding. I also built the first plastic models I've touched in a while - Walther's interlocking tower, which was nicely designed so that trim and clapboards could be painted separately. The tower will stand in for San Jose's Fourth Street tower on my Market Street layout, guarding the east end of the passenger station and the switches leading either to Milpitas or Los Angeles.

But some quick searches turned up this great map of San Jose's Japantown in 1940, and shows track arrangements around the two Del Monte plants on the east side of San Jose - California Packing Corporation Plant #4 and Plant #339, the pickle factories. They cover three blocks east of Japantown.

It's also an attractive and detailed map, with color coding for the different types of buildings (businesses, industries, etc), comments on history, and details about the occupants in the 1940's. Go check it out.

San Jose's Japantown is still an active neighborhood, so wander over to check out the Nichibei Busson department store and have lunch, or stop by for one of the regular festivals in the neighborhood.

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