The history behind San Jose’s long-lost ‘Goosetown’

Learn about one of San Jose’s many communities of the past — that bears an interesting name.

A vintage photo of Troy's Laundry Company in the 1900s.

Troy’s Laundry Company in Goosetown was nominated to be on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Photo via History San José

Did you know that a neighborhood called ‘Goosetown’ was once in our midst? 🪶

From 1890 to WWII, an Italian-immigrant community thrived in an area enclosed by Guadalupe River and Grant, First, and Alma streets. Our fruit-growing climate reminded many Italian families of the weather in Naples, and found comfort in their “home away from home.”

Okay, but why was it called ‘Goosetown’?

According to city lore, the town got its name from all the geese that once flocked to residents’ yards. However, some say it was because geese inhabited the town whenever Guadalupe River flooded. While there’s no verified story behind the name, we’d love to hear about any tips you might have that could help us solve this mystery.

Fun fact: Goosetown Lounge on Lincoln Ave. was named as such to remind locals of the town’s history.

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