History San Jose

I have lived in San Jose next to forever and in that time, I have never visited Kelley Park. It was a beautiful day, so time to get outside and explore, off to History San Jose.

When you come into the park, you are looking down a long and wide main street. My first impression was that there is plenty of room to add buildings. History San Jose is a collection of homes and businesses from various periods of the valley’s past.

The homes depict the various styles of architecture from the 1800’s through early 1900’s. There are reconstructions of various buildings including The Bank of Italy (BofA), Pacific Hotel, Dashaway Stables, and the Electric Light Tower.

The Electric Light Tower was a 237-foot tower that provided light to downtown San Jose in the late 1800’s.

One building I wanted to go inside and check out was the Trolley Barn. I looked in the window and saw a horse drawn streetcar, trolley cars, and assorted antique cars. A few of the buildings are open on the weekends. The museum store and O’Brien’s Café are open Tuesday through Sunday.

There are many more buildings including the Ng Shing Gung; built in 1888 to serve as a cultural and religious center for San Jose’s Chinese community.

You will find numerous picnic tables throughout the park.

The park is open Tuesday through Sunday 12noon to 5:00pm. Admission is free *. Parking is $6.00 weekends and most weekdays.

Location info here.
* Summer weekend admission begining June 1, 2011

3 Comments so far

  1. Chris Luebcke (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    Just a note about the light tower–what’s at History Park is a replica. The original was twice as big (which, when standing under the 115-foot tall replica, gives you some idea of how crazy massive that thing was).


    There’s been talk about bringing the tower back in some form or another; I hope we do.

  2. randramble (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 8:56 am

    Is “History San Jose” a permanent thing? I’d love to check it out…

  3. Gary Wiens (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    Permanent at its current location since 1971.

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