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What San Jose, California looked like in the 1890s

San Jose is the largest city in Northern California by both population and area. It is known for its innovation, cultural diversity, mild climate, and sunny days. San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the world, with the world’s third-highest GDP per capita and the fifth-most expensive housing market. There is an extensive network of municipal and regional parks. Kelly Park, located along Coyote Creek, houses a zoo, a Japanese garden, and an outdoor museum of restored and replica buildings from early San Jose.

San Jose flourished and developed rapidly in the 1890s. Paul P. Austin became mayor in 1894. The First Unitarian Church, Hall of Records, Associated Charities, Post Office, and several other major infrastructures were also built in the 1890s.

Here are some stunning historical photos that streets, towns, and everyday life of San Jose in the 1890s. Also check, San Jose in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s.

#1 Manual Training Room, San Jose State Normal School, San Jose, California, 1892

Manual Training Room, San Jose State Normal School, San Jose, California, 1892

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#2 Students in front of East San Jose School, located on McLaughlin Avenue, East San Jose, 1892

Students in front of East San Jose School, located on McLaughlin Avenue, East San Jose, 1892

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#3 San Jose State Normal School, 1895

San Jose State Normal School, 1895

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#4 San Jose & Santa Clara Street railway car, 1890

San Jose & Santa Clara Street railway car, 1890

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#5 San Jose Post Office, 1898

San Jose Post Office, 1898

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#6 Members of the San Jose State Normal School Tennis Club, 1893

Members of the San Jose State Normal School Tennis Club, 1893

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#7 San Jose State Normal School, 1895

San Jose State Normal School, 1895

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#8 Mrs. Winchester’s Bedroom. Winchester Mystery House near San Jose California, 1890s

Mrs. Winchester's Bedroom. Winchester Mystery House near San Jose California, 1890s

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#9 Interior Hammer and Lewis store, 28 North Market Street, San Jose, 1890s

Interior Hammer and Lewis store, 28 North Market Street, San Jose, 1890s

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#10 Trolleys in route on the Alameda between Santa Clara and San Jose, 1890

Trolleys in route on the Alameda between Santa Clara and San Jose, 1890

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#11 Chinatown, San Jose, 1899

Chinatown, San Jose, 1899

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#12 Plaza and San Jose Post Office, 1898

Plaza and San Jose Post Office, 1898

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#13 The New Century block or deSaisset building, corner of 2nd and Santa Clara Streets, San Jose, 1890s

The New Century block or deSaisset building, corner of 2nd and Santa Clara Streets, San Jose, 1890s

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#14 East San Jose School, Adams Street near Alum Rock Avenue, 1891

East San Jose School, Adams Street near Alum Rock Avenue, 1891

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#15 San Jose City Hall, 1890s

San Jose City Hall, 1890s

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#16 Students on the lawn of San Jose State Normal School, 1895

Students on the lawn of San Jose State Normal School, 1895

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#17 Postcard of Fruit Canning, San Jose, California, 1890s

Postcard of Fruit Canning, San Jose, California, 1890s

On the left women are preparing and packing fruit. On the left a group of mostly male workers pose.

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#18 Start Sunday School Commission in San Jose in 1894

Start Sunday School Commission in San Jose in 1894

A procession of women, children and men in formal dress is walking down the middle of the street. The sidewalks are filled with onlookers.

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#19 Lincoln School, San Jose, 1898

Lincoln School, San Jose, 1898

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#20 House Moving, 8th & Empire Sts., San Jose, 1890s

House Moving, 8th & Empire Sts., San Jose, 1890s

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#21 Court House, day Co. B went away, San Jose, 1898

Court House, day Co. B went away, San Jose, 1898

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#22 Alum Rock Park, San Jose, California, 1897

Alum Rock Park, San Jose, California, 1897

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#23 Fredericksburg Brewery employees with mugs of beer, 1895

Fredericksburg Brewery employees with mugs of beer, 1895

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#24 J. R. Welch Home, San Jose, 1896

J. R. Welch Home, San Jose, 1896

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#25 San Jose storefronts, 1890s

San Jose storefronts, 1890s

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#26 Chinatown, North Sixth Street, 1897

Chinatown, North Sixth Street, 1897

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#27 Fredericksberg Brewery Crew, San Jose, 1895

Fredericksberg Brewery Crew, San Jose, 1895

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#28 Children with employees of Fredericksburg Brewery, San Jose, 1895

Children with employees of Fredericksburg Brewery, San Jose, 1895

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#29 First Presbyterian Church interior, located at 56 North Second Street, 1891

First Presbyterian Church interior, located at 56 North Second Street, 1891

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#30 Willow Glen School, Minnesota & Lincoln Avenue, 1897

Willow Glen School, Minnesota & Lincoln Avenue, 1897

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#31 Fredericksburg Brewery employees, 1895

Fredericksburg Brewery employees, 1895

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#32 Man driving in horse-drawn cart down a street, seen from the front. Likely Evergreen, near San Jose, 1920

Man driving in horse-drawn cart down a street, seen from the front. Likely Evergreen, near San Jose, 1920

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#33 Auzerais Building, 1890

Auzerais Building, 1890

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#34 Hotel Vendome, San Jose, 1892

Hotel Vendome, San Jose, 1892

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#35 City Hall San Jose, 1890s

City Hall San Jose, 1890s

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#36 First Unitarian Church of San Jose, 1895

First Unitarian Church of San Jose, 1895

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#37 Post Office, San Jose, 1895

Post Office, San Jose, 1895

Horses and carts are parked outside of R. Wallace Grey Eagle Livery Stables on the right side. Sign for Garden City Nursery can be seen next to the post office building.

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#38 Electric Light Tower from First and Santa Clara Street, 1890

Electric Light Tower from First and Santa Clara Street, 1890

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#39 John Balbach, Jr’s carriage trimming and painting shop was located on the northwest corner of Market Street and Pierce Avenue, San Jose, 1896

John Balbach, Jr's carriage trimming and painting shop was located on the northwest corner of Market Street and Pierce Avenue, San Jose, 1896

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#40 Hayes-Chynoweth Home, Edenvale, 1890

Hayes-Chynoweth Home, Edenvale, 1890

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#41 Hotel Metropole building, Northwest Corner of Market Street and Post Street, 1896

Hotel Metropole building, Northwest Corner of Market Street and Post Street, 1896

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#42 Agnews State Hospital, long shot across field from rear-side, San Jose, 1890

Agnews State Hospital, long shot across field from rear-side, San Jose, 1890

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#43 Agnews State Hospital, rear side, with gardener and pedestrians, 1890

Agnews State Hospital, rear side, with gardener and pedestrians, 1890

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#44 Agnews State Hospital, front view up new, Palm tree lined drive, 1890

Agnews State Hospital, front view up new, Palm tree lined drive, 1890

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#45 Welch Children, San Jose, 1896

Welch Children, San Jose, 1896

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#46 Real Estate office in San Jose, California, 1890s

Real Estate office in San Jose, California, 1890s

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#47 Fitzpatrick & Kelley, Blacksmithing and Horsehoeing, San Jose, 1890s

Fitzpatrick & Kelley, Blacksmithing and Horsehoeing, San Jose, 1890s

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#48 Women at the Alum Rock swimming pool, San Jose, 1897

Women at the Alum Rock swimming pool, San Jose, 1897

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#49 State Normal School Faculty group portrait, 1893

State Normal School Faculty group portrait, 1893

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#50 First Methodist-Episcopal Church altar, San Jose, 1894

First Methodist-Episcopal Church altar, San Jose, 1894

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#51 Agnews State Hospital, close up of side, 1890

Agnews State Hospital, close up of side, 1890

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#52 Stagecoaches enroute to Mount Hamilton on Alum Rock Avenue near the San Jose Country Club, 1895

Stagecoaches enroute to Mount Hamilton on Alum Rock Avenue near the San Jose Country Club, 1895

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#53 Evergreen School, San Jose, 1890

Evergreen School, San Jose, 1890

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#54 State Normal School, Washington Square, 1896

State Normal School, Washington Square, 1896

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#55 San Fernando Street Horsecar, 1890s

San Fernando Street Horsecar, 1890s

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#56 Street Scene, North First Street., San Jose, 1890

Street Scene, North First Street., San Jose, 1890

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#57 View of downtown San Jose from Courthouse, 1890

View of downtown San Jose from Courthouse, 1890

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#58 St. Aloysius Day Parade, San Jose, 1891

St. Aloysius Day Parade, San Jose, 1891

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#59 San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga Interurban R. R., 1895

San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga Interurban R. R., 1895

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#60 Horsecar on The Alameda, 1895

Horsecar on The Alameda, 1895

In 1868 the first horsecar began running along The Alameda. The fare between San Jose and Santa Clara was 10 cents. According to driver A. C. Clevenger it took an hour and forty-five minutes to drive his horsecar between San Jose and Santa Clara.

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#61 Parade at First and St. John Streets, 1890

Parade at First and St. John Streets, 1890

Fourth of July Parade, 1890, looking southeast across the intersection of First and St. John Streets. The Park Exchange Building site was later occupied by the Elks Building (now on North Third). Note the spire of the First Presbyterian church in background.

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#62 Statehouse Replica at Market Street Plaza, San Jose, 1899

Statehouse Replica at Market Street Plaza, San Jose, 1899

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#63 Looking down at Market Square/Market Plaza, with the old San Jose Library building and St. Joseph’s Church, 1890s

Looking down at Market Square/Market Plaza, with the old San Jose Library building and St. Joseph's Church, 1890s

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#64 San Jose High School – Class of 1891

San Jose High School - Class of 1891

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#65 Early San Jose Mercury Newspaper Office, 1890

Early San Jose Mercury Newspaper Office, 1890

The space used by the San Jose Mercury is on the right and the space used by the Santa Clara Valley Land Agency is on the left. Both spaces are fronted by long counters with men sitting/standing behind them. More men are standing at the rear of the photograph. This office was located at 171 West Santa Clara Street in San Jose. Office space was shared by these two companies for only a few years.

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#66 Roses in garden and on porch, 1895

Roses in garden and on porch, 1895

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#67 Post Office on Market Street, 1890

Post Office on Market Street, 1890

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#68 Palace Hotel, San Jose, 1898

Palace Hotel, San Jose, 1898

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#69 Group of San Joseans during the Spanish American War, 1898

Group of San Joseans during the Spanish American War, 1898

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#70 St. Patrick’s Church, 1898

St. Patrick's Church, 1898

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#71 Two women and two girls on a house porch, 1890s

Two women and two girls on a house porch, 1890s

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#72 woman feeding goat on porch, 1890s

woman feeding goat on porch, 1890s

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#73 Mount Hamilton stage coach livery, 1892

Mount Hamilton stage coach livery, 1892

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#74 Southern Pacific Depot, North First Street, 1898

Southern Pacific Depot, North First Street, 1898

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#75 Mangrum & Otter, Plumbing and Hardware; 85 East Santa Clara Street, 1890

Mangrum & Otter, Plumbing and Hardware; 85 East Santa Clara Street, 1890

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#76 Alum Rock Garden, 1897

Alum Rock Garden, 1897

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#77 Building at Golden Gate Park, 1890s

Building at Golden Gate Park, 1890s

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#78 Lick Observatory buildings, 1898

Lick Observatory buildings, 1898

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#79 Vennum House on Lundy Road, December 25, 1895

Vennum House on Lundy Road, December 25, 1895

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#80 Vendome Hotel, 1895

Vendome Hotel, 1895

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#81 Vallejo waterfront and ferry, 1890s

Vallejo waterfront and ferry, 1890s

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#82 Socrates Kirk House on Hicks Rd, 1895

Socrates Kirk House on Hicks Rd, 1895

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#83 Building set back from the road, with tall trees in front of it. Appears to be a mountain setting, 1892

Building set back from the road, with tall trees in front of it. Appears to be a mountain setting, 1892

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#84 James H. Campbell Home, 1890

James H. Campbell Home, 1890

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#85 People Preparing for a Stage Ride, 1890s

People Preparing for a Stage Ride, 1890s

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#86 W. Faulknar Horse Showing & Blacksmithing, 1890s

W. Faulknar Horse Showing & Blacksmithing, 1890s

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#87 Steamship at Minticelo, 1890s

Steamship at Minticelo, 1890s

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#88 Fredericksburg Brewery on the corner of Cinnabar and The Alameda, 1895

Fredericksburg Brewery on the corner of Cinnabar and The Alameda, 1895

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#89 Alum Rock Railroad, 1895

Alum Rock Railroad, 1895

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#90 American Fish Co., F. Locicero; lots of fowl, 1890s

American Fish Co., F. Locicero; lots of fowl, 1890s

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#91 South First Street, San Jose, 1890

South First Street, San Jose, 1890

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#92 Native Sons of the Golden West Parade, 1890s

Native Sons of the Golden West Parade, 1890s

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#93 Mangrum & Otter Hardwarem, 1892

Mangrum & Otter Hardwarem, 1892

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#94 Garden, Santa Clara College, 1890

Garden, Santa Clara College, 1890

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#95 Eaton House, 1890s

Eaton House, 1890s

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#96 Alviso School, San Jose, 1895

Alviso School, San Jose, 1895

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#97 Singleton Home on Senter Road, 1895

Singleton Home on Senter Road, 1895

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#98 First Street Scene, 1890s

First Street Scene, 1890s

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#99 Golden Gate Packing Electrical Co, 1890s

Golden Gate Packing Electrical Co, 1890s

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#100 Goodrich’s Sandstone Quarry, 1890

Goodrich's Sandstone Quarry, 1890

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#101 Mount Hamilton Store, 1890

Mount Hamilton Store, 1890

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#102 Mountain View School, 1890s

Mountain View School, 1890s

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#103 Edenvale Station, 1890

Edenvale Station, 1890

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#104 Talladega, Alabama, group, 1896

Talladega, Alabama, group, 1896

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#105 Fountain counter at drug store, 1890s

Fountain counter at drug store, 1890s

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#106 Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Altitude 4200 ft, 1895

Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Altitude 4200 ft, 1895

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#107 possibly the Hellyer Home, 1895

possibly the Hellyer Home, 1895

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#108 Agricultural scene in Gilroy, 1890

Agricultural scene in Gilroy, 1890

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#109 Mayfield School, 1890s

Mayfield School, 1890s

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#110 The Garden City Winery owned by A. Lagna on South Almaden Boulevard, 1890s

The Garden City Winery owned by A. Lagna on South Almaden Boulevard, 1890s

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#111 Horse train hauling logs near Mt. Shasta, 1898

Horse train hauling logs near Mt. Shasta, 1898

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#112 Palo Alto Parlor No. 82, N.S.G.W., 1898

Palo Alto Parlor No. 82, N.S.G.W., 1898

Native Sons of the Golden West on either Third or Fourth Street. The house in the background belonged to Dr. Ed Ulrich who died in 1916.

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#113 Smith Creek hotel, Mt. Hamilton Road, 1895

Smith Creek hotel, Mt. Hamilton Road, 1895

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#114 Mount Hamilton Summit, 1890

Mount Hamilton Summit, 1890

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#115 Railway express office, 1890s

Railway express office, 1890s

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#116 Grain harvesting operation, 1890s

Grain harvesting operation, 1890s

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#117 Bar room scene, 1890s

Bar room scene, 1890s

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#118 Benj. Gertaz women’s clothing store, 1890s

Benj. Gertaz women’s clothing store, 1890s

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#119 Fredericksburg Brewery & Employees, 1895

Fredericksburg Brewery & Employees, 1895

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#120 Man walking in front of building, 1890s

Man walking in front of building, 1890s

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#121 Trolley Barn on The Alameda, near Race Street, 1890s

Trolley Barn on The Alameda, near Race Street, 1890s

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#122 Watkins Home, Gould Avenue., 1890

Watkins Home, Gould Avenue., 1890

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#123 College of the Pacific Conservatory of Music interior, 1896

College of the Pacific Conservatory of Music interior, 1896

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#124 Mount Hamilton stable buildings, 1892

Mount Hamilton stable buildings, 1892

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#125 Robertsville Store, Prosper Estrade proprietor, 1890s

Robertsville Store, Prosper Estrade proprietor, 1890s

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#126 Brewery Wagon, 1892

Brewery Wagon, 1892

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#127 William Lewis Manly residence, 1890s

William Lewis Manly residence, 1890s

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