Ghost Town Explorer
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ALVISO CALIFORNIA
Economical Bayside living

Occupied Historic Town
Santa Clara County
Circa 1838 to Present

Not exactly a ghost town, but historic for sure, the town of Alviso has overcome incredible adversity for it’s survival in to this day.

After exploring the lands here with Captain Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776, Ignacio Alviso returned and was provided a land grant in 1838. Because of its bayside location, local mines in the south bay [New Almaden] began shipping quicksilver from its ports to San Francisco. Alviso assumed the look of an official town in 1849 when streets were actually laid out. Houses and business began to line them and Alviso matured it to an official port of travel and shipping.

Alviso became incorporated some time around 1852, however lost its popularity as a shipping port in 1864 when the San Francisco Railroad past the thriving little town landing directly in San Jose. Mines and merchants to the south found it was no longer necessary to transport goods by wagon to Alviso for shipping, instead opting to load directly at the main railway in San Jose which was much less costly. In 1896 The South Bay Yacht Club arrived in Alviso bringing popularity with it. In 1906 Thomas Chew assumed ownership of his family business, The Bayside Canning Company, and with the utilization of hundreds of local employees placed Alviso on the world map as he built it in to the third largest cannery in the world. The cannery finally closed its doors in 1935 never to recover from the great depression. During prohibition, Alviso became a magnet for liquor transportation and gambling. A lot of rough types began taking over the town until outside assistance from San Jose were summoned to help local law enforcement. Sometime in 1968 Alviso became incorporated as part of San Jose and the little town once again began attracting industry back to its bayside location. In the 1970's and 1980's the town suffered severe flooding from excessive rainfall which overfilled the surrounding levees and sloughs, but residents always returned to rebuild. Today Alviso consists of mostly residences. There are a few corner grocery stores, restaurants and industrial businesses, however, the docks and bay access has since been lost to sledge and hydrilla plants making it impassable to watercraft.


Ghost Town Explorer
Former Port Business

Ghost Town Explorer
Several turn of the century residences still occupy the town

Ghost Town Explorer
This building may have housed several businesses in its time

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