San Jose decades: The 1920s

We’re delving into our local history in San Jose, CA during the roaring 1920s.

An overhead snapshot of Downtown San Jose in the 1920s.

Downtown San Jose over 100 years ago.

Photo via History San José

You might remember us turning back the clock and exploring San Jose’s history in the swinging 1960s.

Today, we’re back with the newest installment of our decades-inspired series, and we’re taking a deep dive into the great 408 during the roaring 1920s.

📈 Population: 39,642
🗳️ Mayors: Albert C. Jayet (1920-1922), M. E. Arnerich (1922-1924), Joseph T. Brooks (1924-1926), Dan W. Gray (1926-1928), Fred Doerr (1928-1930)

1921 San Jose City College is founded, with an enrollment of 86 students. The California State Normal Schoolaka San José State University — changes its name to State Teachers College at San Jose. 📚

A 1920s-era postcard of the front of the Winchester Mystery House.

Greetings from 1920.

Photo via History San José

1922 — Construction on the Winchester Mansion ceases after 36 years, following Sarah Winchester‘s death.

1923 — The Prohibition closes down a saloon at 702 S. First St., and the site becomes Faber’s Cyclery (which now houses Camino Brewing Co.). 🚲

1924 — San Jose’s oldest full-service restaurant, Wing’s Chinese Restaurant, opens out of Heinlenville Chinatown. The city’s oldest bakery, Greenlee’s Bakery, opens the same year.

1925 — The Scottish Rite Templewhich housed the local Masonic order — is built across from St. James Park.

1926 — Downtown’s Bank of Italy building, which was Bank of America’s first branch + headquarters, opens — becoming one of San Jose’s most iconic towers. 🏦

A black-and-white picture of the California Theatre gathering a large crowd in the 1920s.

Big Hollywood stars traveled to San Jose for the California Theatre’s opening day.

Photo via History San José

1927 — The California Theatre (formerly known as the Fox Theatre) celebrates its opening day in April. Rosicrucian Park is created by Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosae Crucis (AMORC) founder H. Spencer Lewis.

1928 Mayor Fred Doerr takes office — at the time of his death in 2013, he was San Jose’s oldest surviving mayor. 🗳️

1929 — The San Jose Women’s Club moves into its current home at 75 S. 11th Street.

Did you enjoy this decade roundup? Let us know if there’s another decade you’d like us to explore.

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