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May 04, 2006

Tales of Tomatoes and Tin Cans-- Cannery's History On Display

WHO: Former workers and owners of the Gilroy Cannery, which was once
the city's largest employer, facilitated by Gavilan College history
students, their instructor Leah Halper, and South County Housing

WHAT: Will share their stories of cannery work with students and the
community. Former cannery workers will weave tales of tomatoes and tin
cans and a "Walk of History" exhibit will display photos, artifacts,
and transcripts of oral histories.

The Gavilan College Oral History Project documents the stories of
workers in the once-bustling Gilroy food processing industry between
1914 and 1997. History professor Leah Halper with students Crystal
Lombardo, Jackie Penyacsek, Erin Fry and Jeff Harris helped collect
the oral histories.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Light
refreshments will be served.

WHERE: At the old Gilroy Cannery site: 111 Lewis Street (at Alexander)
in Gilroy

WHEN: Saturday May 13 from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

WHY: This will be a "last chance look" at the old cannery before it
is torn down to make way for a major housing and retail development.
South County Housing has plans for a 200-unit mixed-use development on
the 13-acre site, formerly occupied by the Filice and Perrelli Cannery.

The Oral History Project will become a part of a permanent collection
to be housed within the development. Its stories, artifacts and photos
are important historical resources that capture a bygone era still
recalled by many members of the community.

Gilroy has undergone significant changes in recent decades: from farm
and cannery town to Silicon Valley bedroom Community, to growing
retail hub. The cannery site will mirror these changes, in the
transition from food processing plant to homes, shops and offices.

This project was funded by the California Council for the Humanities.


Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800