Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yet Another Packing House: Mountain View's Sunsweet Plant #8

And following on this blog's successful "all dried fruit packing houses, all the time" theme, here's a photo of the Mountain View Sunsweet plant #8, located at Oak Street at the railroad tracks (just west of Castro St.) It's big and barn-like, but it's a little more elaborate with that odd third floor. If you need a homely packing house, you can't go wrong here - just start building. Between the afterthought of a third floor, the corrugated steel walls, the unpainted and randomly-stained wood of the foreground warehouse, and the great Sunweet logo (flying over the corporate-subsidiary "Growers Packing and Warehousing Association" name), you've got a model that'll be easy to build and "full of character". And prunes.

The original photo came from an eBay sale years ago, and got collected on one of those sites which scrapes old sale info from eBay in hopes of getting clicks on their ads. I don't have any details about the original beyond that, but we'll just have to be grateful the photo got saved for future sharing.

I didn't know the location of this building off the top of my head, but a quick check of the Mountain View Sanborn maps for 1921 located it precisely at Oak Street next to the railroad tracks. The Sanborn map also shows that like that all packing houses, grading was done on the third floor of the plant, with storage on the first and second. The near warehouse must have been where shipping was done.

The next block closer to Castro St. also held an interesting industry: the California Supply Co.'s tomato and pickle plant. This is the second pickle plant I've encountered in the Santa Clara Valley; the other was Del Monte Plant #4, out by San Jose's Japantown. Who would have thought of the Valley as a big pickle producer?


  1. I lived 1 blk. from Pickle Factory, when the wind was blowin in our direction you would smell a very strong pickle smell, especially strong on a hot day.

  2. Hi, Larry, were you living by the Japantown Del Monte plant, or by the pickle plant in Mountain View? I'd be interested in hearing when either was operating.

  3. I remember the very large pickle vats in Mountain View. My 2 older brothers and I would venture around there after the seeing a movie matinee at the Mtn. View theater on Castro. We would play hide and seek or explore. The pickles were tasty.. The year must have been 1958-1960.