San Tomas Drying Company

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Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

Los Gatos

Stillman A. Moulton drying yard, San Jose Dried Fruit Company

The San Tomas Drying Company was a Santa Clara Valley dried fruit packer. The company operated from a packing house on Bascom Ave, probably in the former Stillman A. Moulton drying yard along the railroad tracks near Campbell. The spur was on the north side of the tracks, west of Bascom Ave.[1] The company was on the San Francisco Call 1900 list of dropoff locations for the California Cured Fruit Association. The plant had been in operation under the same name as early as 1896, under the supervision of Curt Roemer[2]

A bit of their business process is seen in a lawsuit over the 1907 season's crop. San Tomas Drying bought the Morrell ranch's expected 100 ton crop of apricots for the 1907 season, "f.o.b. (freight on board) Wrights, tested at Wrights", with an expected average size of 75 per pound. "All fruit to be delivered f.o.b. packing house on Infirmatory Road, Santa Clara County."[3]

The principal owner in 1907 appeared to be Henry Booksin Jr.. according to the lawsuit. The 1911 city directory shows Booksin as a fruit broker, with offices in downtown San Jose.

The packing house, according to a 1907 railroad map[4], showed a sequence of sheds or buildings along the track: an office, box room, "facing room", packing room, and corrugated iron warehouse. The property also held a boiler house, covered platform, and sulfur house. The former Moulton drying yard probably extended to the west.

By 1948, the packing house had disappeared[5].


Location Years Address Details
Campbell 1900, 1907 "Infirmatory Road (Bascom Ave.) at railroad tracks". (Currently Borello Dr.) "Moulton's Switch, Santa Clara County" according to lawsuit.


  1. Moulton station valuation map. Southern Pacific Railroad, December 1907. In California State Railroad Museum library collection.
  2. Los Gatos Correspondence. September 5, 1896 Pacific Rural Press. "Los Gatos Correspondence : "The first carload of prunes to leave here this year was shipped yesterday by Curt Roemer of the San Tomas Drier over the Sunset route for the Eastern market. This is not only the first carload to leave Los Gatos, but the county or State, and is the product of the one drier. Mr. Roemer should have had the honor last year, as the first shipment then made was gathered from two or three plants and was a combination shipment made two days prior to his first carload of his own preserving. Mr. Roemer is entitled to the belt, having won in two straight heats."
  3. J.B. Morrell v. San Tomas Drying and Packing Company and Balfour, Guthrie & Co., California Appellate Decisions: Volume X, January-June 1910, First Appellate Disrtrict, civil #720, April 26, 1910.
  4. Moulton station valuation map. Southern Pacific Railroad, December 1907. In California State Railroad Museum library collection.
  5. Historic Aerials, 1948 aerial map. Site is orchard only; no sign of spur.