Pearce Canning

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Main Location

Decoto, CA

K. Hovden Cannery

Marlo Packing, Aalco Preserving.

Pearce Canning was a cannery located in Decoto, in Alameda County. Joe Pearce bought the former Decoto Cannery in 1932[1]. The company ceased canning by 1945; its plant was used in 1949 by the Marlo Packing Company and in 1950 by the Alaco Preserving Company.

The company canned fruit and vegetables, with peaches and cherries being common crops. Peaches were supplied from the central valley and local areas. Most of the workers came from nearby Hayward and Decoto. In 1933, the company was canning spinach from January through April, and later asparagus and apricots. The company also supposedly canned beef in 1934[2].

In 1933, the company was forced to close the plant early when reaching its allocation for peach canning, imposed by the U.S. government to keep prices high[3]. In 1939, the plant's cherry season began in late May, with expectations the cannery would operate through November[4].

The cannery caught fire in January 1937, and burned the company's old warehouse.

In 1937, Sterling B. Doughty was listed as an agent for the company[5]

Joe Pearce

Joe Pearce, the founder of the cannery, started in the cannery business at Hunt's cannery in San Jose (probably the Golden Gate Packing Company. He was later an official at the Hunt's Cannery in Hayward. Pearce started his own company in 1930, and bought the former Decoto cannery in 1932. Because of the depression, Pearce often paid his workers in scrip[6].


Location Years Address Details
Decoto 1920 Between H and I, along railroad tracks.


  1. Timothy Swenson, The Decoto Cannery. In Union City Patch.
  2. Timothy Swenson, The Decoto Cannery. In Union City Patch.
  3. Peach Allotment Forces Canners to Close Plants. Los Angeles Times, August 30, 1933.
  4. Decoto Cannery Begins Cherry Run. May 31, 1939 Oakland Tribune. "Approximately 150 men and women are employed at the Joseph Pearce Canning Company here which opens its cherry run today following the start of the picking season several days ago. Another hundred will be employed at the School plant at Niles where cherries formerly processed at Sunnyvale will be placed in brine for making maraschinos.
  5. Licensed Processors and Agents as of May 1, 1936. Official List of Commission Merchants, Dealers, Brokers, Processors and Agents licensed under the agricultural code of the State of California as of May 1, 1936. Special Publication No. 140, Division of Market Enforcement, Department of Agriculture, Sacramento.
  6. Myrla Raymundo, History: Jos Pearce Canning Company, Decoto, CA.. In Tri-City Voice, August 26, 2009.