Sutter Packing

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Main Location


Bayside Canning Company

The Sutter Packing Company was a cannery in Palo Alto, located on Portage Ave. in the Mayfield area. The cannery was founded in 1918 as a second plant for the Bayside Canning Company. When Thomas Fong Chew died in 1931, the plant was sold to Yuba City-based Sutter Packing. Sutter closed in 1949 as local farms and orchards gave way to development. Fry's Electronics currently uses the building.[1][2].

The company was hiring Stanford students during the 1943 season[3][4].

In the mid 1930's, Sutter Packing was operating for about four and a half months each year canning spinach, apricots, peaches, and tomatoes. The cannery would work for eight to twelve hours a day with 300 employees. Sutter was one of the largest users of the Palo Alto sewage system, producing a huge amount of "scum load" which made Mayfield Slough smell like an outhouse[5][6].


Location Years Address Details
Mayfield 1933-1949 Portage Ave. Now Fry's Electronics.


  1. Barron Park history.
  2. The Story of Our Local Bayside: Sutter Cannery. In Summer 2010 Barron Park Association Newsletter.
  3. Labor Roundup: Daily Survey Shows Railroad Track Crew Needs Help Most: August 5 1943 Stanford Daily.
  4. Cannery Issues Urgent Appeal for Workers: August 3, 1943 Stanford Daily. Cannery is listed as 6 blocks below the highway at Mayfield. The 7-12pm shift and 1-5am shift needed workers.
  5. Ted R. Gregory and Jack H. Kimball, Cannery Waste at Palo Alto. In 9th Annual Conference of the California Sewage Works Association, April 24, 1937.
  6. Making Sewage Sexy is a Big Challenge. August 11, 2004 Palo Alto Online.