Gem City Packing Company

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Business Details
Primary Town Vasona
Primary Business Dried Fruit Packer


Dried fruit packer in Vasona / Los Gatos along the railroad. Probably constructed in 1913 (based on the timing of a "California Railroad Commission lawsuit": over access to water for the plant), Gem City was packing for "Sunsweet":/view?industry=california_prune_and_apricot_growers in 1917, and was soon purchased outright.

Sunsweet turned the plant over to processing the prune and apricot pits piling up at other plants, and later sold the plant to "[Sewall Brown and Company]":/view/industry=sewall_brown_and_company , who continued in the same line of business.

Handy trivia: Gem City refers to an old nickname for Los Gatos.


Location Years Address Details
Vasona 1914, 1917, 1918 14350 Winchester Blvd.


Gem City Packing later became the Sunsweet packing house, and eventually Sewall Brown & Co some time before 1934. 1918 Western Canner and Packer reported:

Became associated with [California Prune and Apricot Growers] in 1917, packer for 1917 season.

"The Prune and Apricot Growers Association will convert one of its packing houses into an institution for cracking apricot pits and nothing else. The pits from the other packing plants will be collected and shipped to the Gem City packing house at Vasona.

"General Manager George Willes of the Growers' Packing and Warehouse Association, states that the association is negotiating for two more packing houses. The Central fruit packing plant at Santa Paula and the Mineral King fruit packing plant at Visalia.

Mr Willes has numbered the packing houses as follows, each plant being called a "Sunsweet Plant":

Campbell Farmers' Union, Campbell, 1; Morgan Hill Farmers Union, Morgan Hill, 2; Gilroy Farmers' Union, Gilroy, 3; [O. A. Harlan & Company], San Jose, 4; Hemet Apricot Growers Association, Hemet,5; G. N. Herbert, San Jose, 6; Gem City Packing Company, Vasona, Campbell, 7; O. A. HArlan & Company, Mountain View, 8; Hollister Packing Company, Hollister, 9; G. Frank Fruit Company, San Jose, 10; A & C Ham Company, San Jose, 11; [F. H. Holmes], San Jose, 12.

Included in July 21, 1917 San Jose Evening News list of Sunsweet collection stations.

Manager 1917-1918: William T. Stone