California Travel Tips

Campbell, CA Once a Top Fruit Producer in U.S.

Published on: November 09, 2019


Pictured: Book cover of Images of America – Campbell, shows workers spreading fruit for they drying yard; Emory Poston takes Gordon Ainsley for a boat ride on Harrison Avenue opposite the Ainsley Cannery during Campbell’s 1911 flood; Okida General Store operated by the Okida brothers on Campbell Avenue circa 1908-1911; Campbell Avenue looking west circa 1930s.

The fascinating history of Campbell, and how it developed into a Fruit leader and much more, has been wonderfully put together with photos and words by Karen Brey, the caring and competent curator of the Campbell Historical Museum, and others in the book, Images of America – Campbell, Arcadia Publishing.

Readers learn about history, businesses, education, community life and landmarks, such as the huge Pruneyard Shopping Center complex on South Bascom Avenue.

This book is chock-full of super local tidbits:

  • Campbell had the first mobile, horse-drawn post office that carried stamps & postcards (First Rural Route) in the West!
  • The Mission Chicken Hatchery could ship 25,000 chicks to Utah, Idaho and elsewhere.
  • John Blaine invented the 3-legged Orchard Ladder, used to harvest fruit.
  • The Moreland School District, established in the early 1850s, is the Oldest Rural School District still operating in the state. Teachers used to live in students’ homes.
  • In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visited Campbell and planted a tree on the proposed high school grounds.
  • The girls at Campbell High School had a basketball team before the boys.
  • In 1863, Union School was built by local ranchers, who were pro-Union in the Civil War.

Thanks to Karen Brey, the Campbell Historical Museum & Ainsley House, and everyone involved in preserving this notable history, which gives us a real glimpse of an amazing California community that’s still booming today. Read the book review by Craig MacDonald…>

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